La Aurora Bristol Especiales

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I’m feeling much better now thanks to the fine folks at Proctor & Gamble (who distill that nectar of the gods called Nyquil.) But I thought I’d get back into the swing of things with something mild, so I bring you La Aurora, the label that started it all for Eduardo Leon.

The original La Aurora cigar was a true perfecto, tapered at both ends, similar to the Preferidos produced by La Aurora today for what I would guess is now about a hundred times the original price. Today’s standard La Aurora cigar is an economical everyday good smoke retailing at around 3 or 4 USD. The Bristol Especiales are what seem to be a non-standard size. They have a 48 ring gauge so they’re a little emaciated for a toro, but with a length of 6 3/8 inches you could also call it a truncated churchill.

This stick isn’t going to win any beauty contests, but its fine construction makes up for any aesthetic flaws. The Cameroon wrapper is dark and dry but is nicely toothed. There are a couple of prominent veins and the wrapper is easily chipped, but that’s typical for Cameroon. It burns smoothly and evenly from the first touch of the torch and it never requires touch-ups. The ash is a uniform gray that needs tapping only occasionally.

The binder and filler are both Dominican, as is only fitting for the DR’s longest lived cigar company. The body of this smoke can only be described as mild. The foundation flavor is woody, but the aroma of the cameroon wrapper adds an elegant spice that pretty much takes over the spotlight. There is a slightly earthy twang that makes an appearance at the half-way point and by smoke’s end gets a tad bitter, but I have to admit this may have been a result of my oversmoking. I tend to hotbox mild cigars because I get a little impatient. The best way for someone like me to smoke a cigar like this is with something else to do while I’m smoking — watching a game on the tube or reading something.

There really isn’t much depth or complexity here, but that’s not unusual for mild cigars so I can’t criticize it too much in that regard. The finish on this cigar is fairly short, and there is only a hint of aftertaste. The woodsy spicy aroma lingers pleasantly on my moustache. That is the point of having a moustache, is it not?

Smokers who favor medium to full bodied cigars will most likely find the traditional La Aurora to be on the boring side, but it’s a quality mild cigar with a fine wrapper that is eminently affordable. It was also a great way to break in my palate after a week on the wagon.

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