It was a great cigar and I agree with your assessment, Charlie. I prefer it over the lancero, but not over the corona. I definitely want a box of these. To me, the flavors were a crossover between the lancero (spicier) and the corona (sweet) that brought both the spice and sweetness together evenly.
Review: La Aurora 107 Puro Vintage (Prerelease)
On December 9, 2011, Buckhead Cigar Club held their second annual ATL Tweet-Up. This year’s featured guests were Guillermo León of La Aurora and Jason Wood of Miami Cigar & Co. That Friday, La Aurora showed off two unofficial additions to the La Aurora 107 line: the La Aurora 107 Puro Vintage and the La Aurora 107 680 Factory Press “Big Mike”. While the latter was limited to a single box, Guillermo León brought fifteen (15) boxes of eight (8) 107 Puro Vintage to the Atlanta shop. The La Aurora 107 Puro Vintage takes the popular La Aurora Serie Aniversario 107 blend and places it into the La Aurora Puro Vintage 2003 mold.
These two additions would bring the La Aurora 107 portfolio to eight different sizes:
- La Aurora 107 Robusto (4 1/2 x 50)
- La Aurora 107 Toro (6 1/2 x 54)
- La Aurora 107 Belicoso (6 1/4 x 52)
- La Aurora 107 Corona (5 1/2 x 43)
- La Aurora 107 Lancero (6 7/8 x 40)
- La Aurora Gran 107 (6 5/8 x 60)
- La Aurora 107 Puro Vintage (7 1/4 x 52)
- La Aurora 107 680 Factory Press Big Mike (6 x 80)
(Limited Edition/Sizes in Italics, The Big Mike is at this point a prototype)
As we announced yesterday, these will be a larger limited edition later this year with plans of 1,000 boxes of 8 cigars going to select retailers. So far, no release date is available, but La Aurora’s main focus right now is taking care of the still unreleased La Aurora 107 Maduro which is now expected to be arriving on shelves in February, after a soft launch at Cigar King this past December. This would presumably mean that the 107 Puro Vintage would be likely from spring to the IPCPR show in August.
And the particulars.
- Cigar Reviewed: La Aurora Serie Aniversario 107 Puro Vintage
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: E. León Jimenes Tabacalera
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Sun Grown
- Binder: Dominican Corojo
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Size: 7 1/4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Salomon
- MSRP: $10.95 (Boxes of 8, $87.60)
- Release Date: December 9, 2011 (Prerelease)
- Number of Cigars Released: 15 Boxes of 8 Cigars & 1,000 Boxes of 8 Cigars (8,120 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 2
The La Aurora 107 Puro Vintage looks rather stunning. The Puro Vintage 2003 never had the oily red wrapper that shined like the La Aurora 107 and the Puro Vintage 2004 doesn’t have the same effect given its smaller size. Unlike the La Aurora Gran 107, the Ecuadorian wrapper on this cigar is uniformly flawless with no massive veins, no rough spots and a seamless color that is only interrupted by the lighter veins. These aren’t packed in cellophane, which means the aroma coming off the wrapper of the Puro Vintage 107 isn’t strong, but there’s are noticeable earth, coffee and aged tobacco aromas — staples of the 107 blend. Cold draw from the gigantic Figurado produces a medium-full coffee, earth and cedar, and is rather open. For those subscribing to the method of clipping both ends of a Salomon, a concept that I never subscribe to, there’s really no need here. The draw is medium to open (loose), and by far the easiest of any Salomon I’ve had.
The La Aurora 107 Puro Vintage begins with a stronger profile than the rest of the vitolas of the line. Dark roasted nuts slowly bitter with coffee, earth, massive amounts of creaminess and nuts combine for a full flavor. Key words at the start are robust and hearty, although smoke production struggles somewhat. Some sweet cocoa and a touch of pepper add to the mixture of dark roasted nuts and coffee, and define the remainder of the very enjoyable First Third. The draw is fairly open, something that doesn’t thrill me, and with smoke production inconsistent, I really would have liked a tighter draw across both of the La Aurora 107 Puro Vintages I smoked.
By the time the Second Third rolls around, the construction is impossible to miss. Nearly two inches of beautifully layered ash hang on before landing in an ashtray. The Dominican-made cigar is a shining example of what La Aurora is capable of construction-wise. The flavor profile doesn’t change much. When it does, it’s harsher, less sweet and with a more defined pepper, not as detailed as the first third, but still rather enjoyable. Strength is settling in right around medium, with a pretty quick puff rate and body is a bit above that — a lot of tobacco, but not much punch.
As the Final Third starts, the youth is apparent. The first inch on both cigars I smoked were chewier before falling apart flavor-wise. There are brief moments where sweetness or cedar regain control of the flavor profile, but for the most part, the 107 Puro Vintage is young tobacco. On the second example I smoked, I decided to actually let the cigar go out with an inch and a half left just to see if purging it, a practice that normally destroys the flavor profile, would help it. Not really sure if that helped. It’s a sad end to what was a rather impressive young cigar.
- Both the La Aurora 107 Puro Vintage and Gran 107 are rather heavy. The former has a nice consistent weight to it, something that isn’t present in every Salomon.
- This is the most expensive La Aurora 107 to be released. While the Gran 107 might offer you more tobacco, the Salomon size is infinitely times more difficult to roll.
- The La Aurora 107 blend in general has done well right from the factory. The La Aurora 107 Corona and La Aurora 107 Lancero were both shining examples of when Miami Cigar & Co. was able to ship smokeable products quickly, this is no different.
- Buckhead Cigar Club was the only place to get these, all fifteen boxes were sold that weekend. Presumably Buckhead will get more with the later release.
- For Salomons, scissors like the Xikar MTX Tool are your best cutting option given the amount you have to take off is a bit more than your average cigar.
- The burn of the La Aurora 107 Puro Vintage was great: consistent burn line, awesome ash and never went out except when I forced it to. The draw and smoke production both could have been a bit better.
- Given the amount of tobacco and the difficulty rolling a Salomon, if these ever are released, expect this to be the most expensive La Aurora 107 to date.
- Final Smoking Time was just over 2 Hours for both cigars.
The Bottom Line: The first two thirds of the La Aurora Puro Vintage 107 were amped up versions of the popular blend. The last third was just disappointing. If it wasn’t for your viewing pleasure, both would have been ended a lot sooner. In my opinion, this cigar needs a few months before the extreme youth of the final third will be resolved, but that’s just me. I think this will ultimately be resolved with the actual launch, but the contrast between the first two thirds and the final was a bit aggravating. In current form, I’d still take the La Aurora 107 Corona and La Aurora 107 Lancero (in that order) over the La Aurora 107 Puro Vintage, but time could easily change this.
Final Score: 88