To celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of La Aurora, Jose Blanco and company created the Cien Años (One Hundred Years) limited edition cigar. First released in 2004, Cien Años is a Dominican puro with a corojo wrapper that has been aged for four years. The binder and filler have been quietly aging since 1996.
La Aurora was founded in 1903, so why was this celebratory line not released until 2004, a year past the anniversary? Well, it’s that pesky Dominican wrapper leaf. For whatever reason, growing wrapper in the DR is and always has been a real challenge. The corojo wrapper used on this line has lived up to its finicky reputation with a low yield: only a third of the harvest is usable for wrapper. So the anniversary release was consequently delayed.
On the bright side, this has resulted in slower distribution as well, making the Cien Años available over a longer period of time. Obviously this is still a very limited edition, with some sources reporting a total of 300,000 and others 400,000 sticks produced. It is still available at this time, though not widely, at a “super-premium” price.
This corona measures 5 3/4 inches by43, but if you prefer a larger cigar there are three other sizes available: churchill, belicoso, and robusto. The wrapper is smooth with very little grain, apart from a couple of knotty veins. The head is finished with a triple cap. The wrapper smells rich and slightly spicy — no barnyard scents here. The draw is firm and the prelight flavor is grassy with a touch of pepper.
I had a little trouble with the light on this one, and more burn issues were to follow. This corojo wrapper has an exquisite aroma of leather and spice — it’s actually quite similar to the aroma of many Cuban cigars. But this aroma apparently comes with a price, and that is constant attention to the burn. I had to retouch this little cigar several times to get it to burn straight.
It starts out smooth and mellow with a fairly mild body. After an inch or two it picks up strength and a leathery flavor. The finish grows from negligible at the beginning to quite lengthy as the stick burns, leaving a solid white ash behind. By the midpoint the flavor is somewhat similar to the 1495, but a little more sophisticated and not as aggressive. By the time the ash hits the band there’s a little more pepper, but the smoke is still smooth as glass. All the while I’m really diggin’ the aroma, a nice leathery smell with hints of caramel and cinnamon.
The 100 Años corona is a tasty medium to full bodied cigar with a lot of complexity and a top notch aroma. I’ve only tried one of these, and at 10 to 15 dollars a pop I won’t be sampling many more, but if you’ve got the budget you should stock up now. Construction issues aside, this is a really nice cigar.