To be honest, I didn't even "get" the 107 until I smoked the Corona. I had 2 or 3 Robustos and found them to be "good/not great." The Corona really made the blend shine, though, so I am looking forward to trying these. About to head out the door for Burns now...maybe they got theirs in today...hmm...
Review: La Aurora 107 Lancero
I debated with this for a bit, but ultimately decided it seemed okay. Today is my initial review of the La Aurora 107 Lancero. I say initial for a couple reasons. First, it will be based off one cigar. Second, the cigars have been traveling quite a bit in the past week. Sure, I could have waited a few days, but it’s 10/7, you really thought I wasn’t going to post this? In a few months I’ll revisit the 107 Lancero, so take these overly-biased initial thoughts as what they are…
Here’s a Story
I’m not sure when Mike from Buckhead Cigar Club LLC started his conquest to get the 107 Lancero, but mine started after I smoked my first 107. Call me biased, but it’s actually not everyday that I smoke something and say, “damn, that’d be good in a Lancero.” The 107 was different, to me this was a cigar that needed to be done in a Lancero. Soon after this site launched, the official Twitter campaign started for the 107 Lancero. After months of annoying Guillermo León, he finally was willing to give it a try. Sometime before the show, Boram Lee and Mike had some of the first 107 Lanceros (who knows what those actually were) and then at the show, orders were taken for a cigar that didn’t exist. (For the record, yours truly ordered Box No. 1 long before IPCPR, but that’s another story…) After a little over three hundred boxes, Mike, Jason Wood of Miami Cigar Co. and Guillermo sat down at the Miami Cigars’ Booth and it was officially told to yours truly: the 107 Lancero was happening.
After a host of hashtags, an official Team 107 Lancero Twitter account was created. Then came the announcement of the cigar itself. A bunch of test blends were smoked in the Dominican Republic and on September 13th, three hundred boxes were announced available for sale. It’s believed to be the first ever cigar launch on Twitter, as in order for retailers to get them, they had to DM Jason. By the end of the week, something like twelve of the first three hundred boxes were unclaimed and by Monday, word was out that the 107 Lancero had sold out. The first box in the U.S. arrived a few weeks ago and a lucky few have smoked the cigar as of now. Despite some confusion, the cigars are in the U.S. and some retailers will likely have them later today. Anyways, my thoughts of the cigar that always seemed like it would never happen.
- Cigar Reviewed: La Aurora Serie Aniversario 107
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: E. León Jimenes Tabacalera
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown
- Binder: Dominican
- Filler: Dominican & Nicaragua
- Size: 6 7/8 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 40
- Vitola: Lancero
- MSRP: $7.05 (Boxes of 21, $148)
- Release Date: October 2010
- Number of Cigars Released: 300 Boxes of 21 (6,300 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 1
My idea of a Lancero is 7 x 38. The reality is, just like Lanceros, that’s becoming even more of a rarity. The 107 measures in at 6 7/8 (6.875) x 40, which is becoming more and more the norm for the Lanceros of today. As I glance at the Ecuadorian sun-grown the wrapper, it’s like all of the other 107s I’ve smoked. The light milk chocolate wrapper has mild veins that look more like cracks. A nice aged leather emerges from the wrapper with hints of sweet chocolate in the background. To the touch, it gives off great resistance at all parts of the cigar. The packing is about average on the foot. (There, I said something mean about the cigar) A mild to medium aroma from the foot was a baking gingerbread with hints of cinnamon and caramel.
The Moment I’ve Been Waiting For
While my Xikar is still at HQ getting fixed, it’s time for the Colibri’s built-in cutter. As requested, Guillermo put a pigtail on the cap. Honestly, that’s the only way it should be done. Even Mr. Triple Cap himself (cough, cough, Pepin) puts pigtails on Lanceros. After the clean cut, the head gives off a mild sweet leather that is noticeably different from the more aged and bitter notes from the wrapper itself. The cold draw was shocking, one of the only times you’ll find a clean medium draw from a Lancero. Flavor-wise, it was even milder in flavor with hints of coffee and earth. Lighting filled the Winston-Salem air with notes that reminded me of rich brownies from the oven, a sweet Snicker’s commercial looking caramel and tobacco that reminded me where I was. Then the moment I was waiting for… first puff. Rich nuts, a tingle of spice on the front of the tongue. Cedar finish with coffee bean. Medium light flavor with lengthy finish. Yeah, that’s straight out of my notes.
While the 107 Lancero changes five or ten minutes in, the unique pepper tingle stays throughout the first third. The first third is sweet nutty core with woodsy flavors in the background. Retrohales give an added sweetness, but the flavor remains relatively mild to medium through the first third. The reason you stay around is the finish: nuts and hay with spice in the front. It gives the flavor time to build as it hits more medium while being well above average in length. I was shocked, the draw stayed the same: still a bit open, yet providing a lot of smoke in the mouth. Outside there isn’t loads of smoke, but a calming roasted nuts serves as a great reminder that it is October and goes nicely with the fall leaves on my table. The wind doesn’t help the slightly light grey ash, but I ash comfortably every half or so inch.
In what has become the story of the 107, a few flavors change just enough to cause a large transition overall. The nuts transform into a more meaty and bolder version of their former selves. I get hints of leather and sweet tobacco at various points of the middle part of the smoke. The tingle is still present at the front of each draw, but most of the spiciness is coming from a deep, but slightly hidden herbal note. It settles down a bit, but the finish is still a star. This time a combination of oak and nuts combine with a coffee note that comes in via the retrohale, but is much more enjoyable in the finish. A bit before the midway point, the cigar jumps up in strength. It’s smooth, but it’s a noticeable shift from the mild plus to the medium plus range. Pretty much everything else remains the same: smoke production is similar with a change in aroma to a generic tobacco, ash is still holding to a half inch, draw is still slightly open and the burn is dead-on with not a touch-up needed.
Towards the End
It takes a pretty dramatic turn with toasty flavors serving as the boldest flavor and a grassy secondary core. Creaminess emerges at some point and the retrohale delivers a deep coffee bean. While the flavor has definitely increased, it finishes at best a medium plus. Speaking of the finish proper, it’s oak and pepper with hints of leather and lengthier than ever before. While pretty much every other category remains the same, my ability to hold the ash seems to be getting better. At the 1″ mark the youth of the cigar shows itself and harshness begins to kick-in and at a little over the hour and a half mark, I put it down.
It’s Just Getting Started
The cigar is fine for the novice, just make sure you know how to smoke a Lancero right. It’s still young. I don’t normally smoke cigars ROTT and I wouldn’t dare review something unless it’s got at least two weeks recovering in my humidor. Most of the cigars I review have been in my humidor for a month and who knows how long elsewhere. These cigars are at best six weeks old and were shipped from the Dominican, then to Miami, plane ride to Atlanta, four days in Buckhead, shipped to North Carolina and an hour after picking one up, it’s being photographed. The flavors were young and mild. Part of that is no doubt the air trips and part of that has to do with the overall age. These don’t need five years like my beloved Oliva Special S, but a few weeks in my humidor and I imagine we’ll see the cigars real colors. That being said, I didn’t get harshness until the 1″ mark, so the flavors I got is what I imagine you’ll see, perhaps a bit more. Then again… it’s all subjective.
Taking Care of Business
These cigars came from the Godfather of the 107 Lancero, Mike at Buckhead Cigar. His role in this project is a lot larger than you’d ever imagine. I don’t know how many boxes he ended up ordering, but I’m pretty sure it was the largest order by quite a few. He tells me he’s got five boxes left, you can call him at (404) 844-0400 – I believe it’s $140 a box with shipping. In addition, site supporter Tobacco Locker has a few boxes and Jackie at Bonita Smoke Shop, who has supported this project from the start, has ordered boxes.
To Mike, Boram, Jason, Nestor, Amaury, José, Guillermo and anyone else that had anything to do with this project – thank you. When it was July, it was something to joke about. A few months later, it’s something to marvel at. The fact is, a few people on Twitter made a cigar. The work that Jose and Guillermo put in to bring to market what a few customers wanted has paid off – the cigar is everything I wanted and then some. Trying to objectively judge this cigar isn’t going to happen. Every time I look at the cap, I’ll think of Guillermo’s tweet about whether a pigtail was needed. And each time I take one out of the box, I’ll remember Mike’s request for Box #1 to be a hundred count cabinet. If you have a chance to pick up one of the three hundred boxes from the initial batch, I’d obviously recommend it, just don’t take my box.
Every cigar has a story, this one just has to be told 140 characters at a time.