Cigar of the Week: La Aurora 1495

Featuring tobacco from Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Peru, La Aurora 1495 (at least the original one) is wrapped in an Ecuadorian leaf. Being the very first line created by La Aurora and Jose Blanco, it definitely helped to establish the good reputation this company boasts.

La Aurora 1495 Robusto

  • I reviewed the La Aurora 1495 robusto a couple of months ago and it has gained a place in my regular rotation since then.
  • Recently, the Connoisseurs selection was released, which consists of the same cigar with different wrappers. Cigarfan tried them and summarizes his impressions in this great review.
  • There is another good review of this stick on Cigar Review Rag. Check it out.

Where to get it?

These can be found at around $5-6 each, which is quite a good deal, IMO. If you can find the '94 version (review), it might be a good idea to get some as well!
Check out the prices here.

Flor de Oliva Torpedo

Flor de Oliva Torpedo

Oliva CigarsOrigin : Nicaragua
Format : Torpedo
Size : 6 x 52
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Sumatra
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Nicaraguan
Price : ~$2.50
More info about purchasing Flor de Oliva cigars...

Background Info

Handmade by the Oliva family, this particular cigar is a ever popular choice in the world of budget-conscious cigar buyers.

Mission Debrief

Coming from last review where I reviewed the pricey God of Fire, I wanted to follow up with a cigar that anyone could afford. One of my go-to, affordable cigars in my humidor is the Flor de Oliva. I discovered it about a year ago from the cigar chatter via Twitter but because of the price tag (note: cheap), I was a bit wary it might end up like the cigars you see behind the counter at a gas station. Nevertheless, I heeded the words of those I trust and followed through.

Read the full review of Flor de Oliva Torpedo...

Avo Compañero (LE 09)

Avo Compañero (LE09)

Avo CigarsOrigin : Dominican Republic
Format : Toro
Size : 6.0″ x 54
Wrapper : Cuban Seed Ecuadorian Sun Grown
Filler : Three types of Dominican Ligero and a Peruvian Seco leaf
Binder : Dominican
Price : $15+ each
More info about purchasing Avo cigars...

The Compañero is Mr. U’s 83rd Birthday Cigar. Most everyone who is into cigars knows that every year Avo releases a Limited Edition cigar to celebrate Mr. Avo Uvezian’s birthday. Last year in April of 2009 I had the honor of attending one of his many birthday parties. Even at 83 Mr.U is still touring the country celebrating his birthday with his fans. At this celebration I picked up a box of the LE09′s [l-ee-oh-nines] as they are also known as.

Read the full review of Avo Compañero (LE 09)...

Camacho Triple Maduro 11/18

Camacho Triple Maduro 11/18

CamachoOrigin : Honduras
Format : Figurado
Size : 6 x 48/54/48
Wrapper : Honduras Maduro
Filler : Honduras Maduro
Binder : Honduras Maduro
Price : ~$11-15 each
More info about purchasing Camacho Triple Maduro cigars...

Up for review this time is the much acclaimed Camacho Triple Maduro. In typical American style if something is good, more of it must be better. So this cigar became the first to sport all Honduran Maduro tobacco. I smoked the 11/18 which tapers at the head and foot of the cigar.

Read the full review of Camacho Triple Maduro 11/18...

Wrappers A-Z: Colorado

Illusione Holy Lance - 3 wrappers

Illusione ~hl~ Holy Lance Colorado (in the middle), surrounded by the Candela (left) and Maduro (right). Photo credit: danthebugman

Colorado is the term used to describe a cigar that falls in the “reddish” brown tobacco shade color category. Just like Maduro, Colorado is really a description of color, not what type of tobacco is used. "Rosado" is often used interchangeably with Colorado. Several cigar manufacturers use this description to describe their cigar. Most notable examples are Illusione’s Café Colorado wrapper (which is very dark actually) and the defunct Don Lino Colorado (true Colorado color). It can also be paired with other wrapper types/descriptions. A cigar described as having a Colorado Maduro wrapper for example indicates that the wrapper’s color falls between the reddish brown Colorado and the dark brown Maduro color; the opposite end for a Colorado Claro wrapper. The use of this term has been few and far between. It will be interesting to see if this changes due to the popularity of the Illusione line.

Nosotros Worldwide Release Event

Nosotros Cigars

So last Friday, the folks at Empire Cigars in Raleigh, NC had a very special event. This was the worldwide release of the Nosotros cigar by Dion Giolito made in collaboration with Jonathan Drew and Drew Estate.

Dion and Jonathan were supposed to be there, but Jonathan ended up at another shop for a similar event (?). This was ok, because I was very interested in picking the brain of one of the cigar industry’s biggest up-and-comers, Dion Giolito. This guy is known for his palate and cigar flavor memory, and like me is a true cigar geek.

I walk in a little before 4 and Dion is already there chatting with Hal Rubin, the owner of Empire Cigars. I introduce myself and shake hands say a quick hello to some of my buddies before checking out the sticks. Four sizes were available that night – the Corona Larga, Robusto, Corona and Churchill. Dion told me the Toros and the 660s will be in by the end of the month.

I’m in line waiting to get a box (the Corona Largas) and Dion is standing near/above (he’s like 9 feet tall), so I start talking to him. He asks which size I picked, I show him the CLs, and he tells me that they are 60 days from the table and suggested I try one or two now and put the rest away for at least a month. You gotta love a guy that up front and open about his product.

Dion Giolito

I ask him if he is glad that the cigar is finally out and he agrees, but he was less concerned about the delay (they were initially going to be released in 2009) and more concerned about getting out a product that is ready to be smoked and it tastes like he wants it to taste.

I pay for my box and get me freebies (4 ~mk~‘s!) and sit up front with Dion. My buddy Matt joins me, and we start with the questions. I ask him about the blend and he tells me what makes this blend special is the Oliva ASP Viso tobacco in the filler. This has been a leaf he’s been trying to find for quite a while. He talks about having to use to ASP Viso leaves for the different sizes. The smaller sizes get the ASP Viso while the bigger ring gauge sizes needed a little extra punch of flavor so they get the ASP Viso Pequeno, which is actually a smaller leaf but a higher priming, so it gets more sun/time and therefore more flavor.

I light up a Corona Larga from my box and note right away, this is not like any Illusione, or Drew Estate cigar for the matter, I’ve ever had before. I’ll go in more depth in my review which will follow, so stay tuned!

I ask him about the move to Drew Estate rather than having Arsenio Ramos at the Raices Cubanas factory (Casa Fernandez) make the Nosotros. He delved into the reasons for having someone else make his product. He had always wanted to have more than one person make his cigars. He didn’t want the “same” taste in all of his cigars, and he also didn’t want to put all of his eggs in one basket. He originally was going to have the Cruzado made by Joya de Nicaragua, but when Drew Estate took over distribution of JdN, the were unable at that time to make a cigar for him. Dion understood and went back to Raices Cubanas. When the time was right, the folks at Drew Estate and Dion got together and Dion went through their inventory of tobacco and put together a blend based on the individual flavors of each leaf (pretty amazing when you think about it). More incredible, is that the first blend became the final blend used in the Nosotros!

Guys at the Nosotros event

Other regulars joined in, and Dion educated us on Nicaragua and its tobacco, how he creates his blends and also the scoop on his new project the yearly Limited Edition – the Singulare. Dion shared a lot of interesting stuff about this blend off the record, so all I can tell you is that each year will feature a different blend in one size. Based on what he shared with us, I cannot wait for this cigar to come out!

We talk about other cigars he likes. We discuss Pete Johnson and his cigars (Tatuaje), Don Pepin, the Fuentes, La Flor Dominicana, Davidoffs and even Habanos. Like me, Dion loves to smoke all different types of cigars, and not just his own!

Talk moves away from cigars and into music and movies. Matt breaks out an Illusione Culebra to share, the ~23~, and Dion notes that this is the only size made in Miami by one roller. It also features just one type of leaf from the blend. It really sets it apart from the other sizes in the line.

I ask Dion what is his dream leaf that he wanted to work with, and he says it’s the one in the Nosotros, the ASP Viso. I asked him if he planned on any new lines this year. He said no, he didn’t want to have a glut of lines and wanted to focus on making good cigars and his yearly Singulare LEs.

Through the night Dion smoked a Nosotros and a Cruzado Marios, which he said are really “on” right now. Another one of his favorites is the ~mk~. I had a Nosotros Corona Larga, an Epernay La Petite, an Illusione ~23~ and a ~mk~. Whew! One thing that’s great about Dion’s smokes is that though they pack tons of flavor, they’re not so strong to kill the palate, so I was able to enjoy multiple cigars that night (as well as a few glasses of home-brewed beer from our buddy Rich).

Nosotros event - Dion and Hal

The night goes by quickly and I can tell you I learned more about the industry in a few hours with Dion than I have through all of my research prior. He is a great guy, a gracious host and really stands behind and is very proud of his product. It was a great night, and hopefully we can get him to stop in again!

I’d also like to thank Hal and Dave at Empire Cigars for throwing an awesome party!

Gurkha Assassin

Gurkha Assassin

Origin : Dominican RepublicGurkha
Format : Toro
Size : 6 x 50
Wrapper : Brazilian
Binder : Dominican
Filler : Nicaraguan and Peruvian
Price : ~$9 each
More info about purchasing Gurkha Assassin cigars...

The Gurkha Assassin is a Nicaraguan firecracker blended by Paul Flores and premiered on the U.S. market in 2009. I had the benefit of having Paul at my local tobacconist this past week and he told me that the Assassin was blended as a full-bodied cigar with sweetness and refinement… So basically he took the ass-kicking Evil and added some Peruvian tobacco to the filler to add additional flavor and complexity… I’ve been smoking em’ all week and I can’t wait to fire up another one right now. Many thanks to Paul Flores and Butthead's Tobacco Emporium for making this review possible!

Read the full review of Gurkha Assassin...

Cigar Reviews of the Week #90 (Apr 24 2010)

Welcome to our weekly reviews selection.

Lempira Fuerte

Reviewed by Chris at   Nice Tight Ash

Chris isn't exactly impressed by this Nicaraguan puro.
Read the full review here...
On other hand, Nathaniel gives it a "buy" recommendation...

Cuba Aliados Miami

Reviewed by Cigarfan at  Keepers of the Flame

Another smoke with a Nigaraguan filler, the Cuba Aliados Miami might be the best cigar from Reyes, according to Tom.
Read the full review here...
Read our take at the Cuba Aliados Miami...

La Aurora 107 Giveaway

Miami Cigar & Company, the exclusive distributor for La Aurora brands in the United States, announces the release of the La Aurora Serie 107 Anniversario to mark the company’s 107th year of operation in the Dominican Republic. As part of a year-long campaign to Rediscover La Aurora, 107 retailers across the U-S will be giving away 107 robustos on April 30th. The list of participating retailers can be found at
Check it out.

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