La Aurora Cien Anos Maduro Robusto 5x50
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
You know, at times reviewing cigars can seem more business then pleasure, as the note taking, determining taste profiles, and objectivity can take away from the personal enjoyment of the moment. We have monikers employed to describe our experience and build our opinions from, which sometimes may make little sense to readers. What one reviewer describes as finish, may mean something else to the reader, and then again to the company. However, occasionally a cigar comes up and teaches you something about how we enjoy cigars, and changes our objectivity forever. In this case, the Cien Anos Maduro provided an experience I will judge every cigar from in regard to what we call, “the finish.” The finish to me is that lingering taste in your mouth that provides the flavors that sit on your palate, your tongue, the back of your mouth, and generally enticing our senses. So without getting into the specifics and history of La Aurora, let us just say the Cien Anos is a celebration of 100 years of business for La Aurora in the Dominican Republic, released one vitola at a time from 2003-2006. The maduro line is a current limited production, as only 7,000 cigars were rolled with this wrapper, and part of a 2012 rerelease of the line to meet demand.
Prelight: The dry draw provided a creamy cocoa note that immediately brought Swiss chocolate to my mind. There were already signs of plume crystals in the wrapper, signifying a properly aged wrapper.
1st Third: Immediately the draw was very full bodied, only requiring one puff to get a full blast of smoke on my palate. The retro was very strong at first, but the finish was slow building. It seemed as if the finish started very slowly and built into a rich experience that could be interpreted many ways, depending on the smoker. My notes suggested the flavors were not upfront; rather, taking so long to develop that I continually put the cigar down to enjoy the length of the finish and admire the quality of taste, as opposed to figuring out specific notes. This took place for about 20 minutes, until I finally jotted down that the retro had opened up a bit, smoothed out, and the distinct Swiss chocolate notes were developing with hints of cedar and spice. I honestly spent most of this third admiring the finish, and forgetting about the review, as the flavor seemed to linger forever. My final note of the first third: This is the shit Zeus would smoke.
2nd Third: The main change that took place was how the cocoa note of the God’s changed in richness and sat on my palate. As opposed to showing up towards the end of the greatest finish I have experienced, the note moved up front to the tip of my tongue amidst a creamy plume of smoke. The creaminess of the draw sweetened on each puff, while the retro became much smoother and had a notable sting of cedar. The sweetness is also met with a nutty flavor of sorts, which reminded me of toffee. It was as if the cocoa note invited a bunch of friends to come dance around on my palate, hand in hand with the cocoa leading the jitterbug. The complexity had picked up significantly during this third and set up a finale of mythological proportions.
Final Third: The main note has moved into an espresso profile now, with the cocoa shifting ever so slightly to the retrohale. The complexity of the retro had grown substantially, with cocoa, coffee bean, and the toffee nuttiness intermingling on my palate. I could see the crystals of plume shimmering in the ash as I neared the end, while espresso sat on the roof of my mouth and coffee bean flavors sharp on the tip of my tongue. Roasted nuts arrived that could be interpreted as almonds, peanuts, or cashews all over the finale. The flavor profile was all over the board and after each draw I set the cigar down to experience all the wonderful flavors the Cien Anos had to offer. I would say Zues would be smashing the doors down at the factory looking for boxes to fill his mythological humidor at this point.
Construction: Flawless… As previously stated, this is what the God’s would smoke. My main complaint is MAKE MORE PLEASE.
Final Thoughts: I am not a huge maduro fan, as I am a picky fanatic of Padron Family Reserve and Anniversary lines, and not many maduro’s live up to the bar the Padron family has set. I have always been a big fan of the 100 Anos line, and La Aurora in general, so when I saw these sitting on the shelf, I grabbed a couple immediately. Sadly, I only bought two, and when I went back a few days later, they were gone. Did I mention I gave the other away to my buddy Jim? My suggestion is if you see them, buy them, and save them for the perfect smoking experience. This is something I would put on par with Padron 80th or 40th, as in I wait to experience cigars like this after the perfect steak, with the perfect spirit, when the moment commands perfection. The most important part for me with this review, was truly experiencing one of the longest finishes any cigar has offered my palate. When I read a review, or write one going forward, the Cien Anos will be the benchmark as to what a, “long finish,” should embody. The length was so long, as the smoker I did not want to pick the cigar back up and ruin the lingering richness of Swiss cocoa and friends with another draw. An hour after I smoked this, I went back to my note pad and noted the espresso, toffee, almonds, and richness of the cocoa were still on my palate; thus, suggesting my enjoyment lasted well after the cigar was done. Kudos to La Aurora for creating such a fantastic maduro, and if anyone has these laying around I would gladly buy or trade for more as my only complaint is I will not get to experience this again.