I think we all know the story of Uptown Cigar which was at one time located in Kingston, NY. They served the cigar community up there until it became impossible due to the tobacco tax levied on cigar smokers in the state. So after 14 years they closed up shop and headed to Florida where they can now serve the cigar smokers with a 0% tobacco tax.
I was looking at their newly redesigned website when I came across a cigar I never had before. The La Aurora Puro Vintage 2003 and Izzy was kind enough to send me a couple to sample and formulate this review. According to the Uptown Cigar website these cigars which came out in 2008 “is an exceedingly rare cigar (only 12,000 cigars were created) crafted into a beautiful Salamone shape. The Puro Vintage wrapper, an oily, leathery Ecuadorian leaf boasting a lovely reddish hue. This exquisite wrapper hugs a bold mixture of Cuban-seed Dominican long-fillers secured by a Dominican binder. Best of all, every leaf – from filler to wrapper – was cultivated in 2003 and enjoyed a cedar-aging process of five years prior to rolling. This produces an intense variety of chewy, leathery flavors. A touch of spice and cedar complement the medium-bodied core, which is buttery smooth from start to finish.”
Appearance and Construction: The Aurora Puro Vintage 2003 is a monster of a cigar that takes time to smoke. A beautifully rolled Salomon that has a well aged oily wrapper with a minimal of veins. There are no soft spots on this hearty looking stick that has a nice weight to it. The over sized band works on something of this size and denotes it is the Puro Vintage 2003.
Flavor & Notes: Once clipped the cigar offers a beautiful well defined note of sunflower seeds on the cold draw that was incredible. It always amazes me when I find a new taste on a cigar and this one fit that mold. The foot of the draw served up some tobacco notes and a slight nuttiness to the nose. Once lit we take a slow journey toward inner peace as we relax with this delightful stick that serves up notes of sunflower seeds, a faint cedar and some leather notes. As we enter the second third of the cigar the leather notes leave the palate a little dry so be sure to have a beverage handy. The notes are a strong nuttiness, some spice and leather at this point but it is very smooth and enjoyable, just dry. Just before the 2nd third comes to a close the well defined nuts of sunflower seeds take control and I am totally digging this new found note. The final third of the cigar comes into play nearly 2 hours from the start with a continued sunflower seed, nuts, smoked wood and a slightly spicy finish.
Smoking Characteristics: The Salomon vitola is a long cigar that is basically like a perfect on steroids. For a cigar of its size it burned very well never needing a relight during its 2 hour duration. I did need to touch it up once or twice but only because I was smoking the review stick in breezy conditions. The draw was the best I ever had in this size and was as perfect as could be. You would think the cigar would of produced a bigger of volume of smoke, but the aroma was incredible. The dark ash held on incredibly well and at one point I had the ash for almost 4″.
Conclusion: As I stated earlier I love it when I get a cigar that offers up something new and I never tasted sunflower seeds in a smoke before. And despite sounding like a broken record this blew me away. So much to the point that I plan to order a box of these cigars if Uptown still has them in stock after IPCPR. Despite the flavor profile having a dryness to it I totally enjoyed this with just a plain bottle of water. Maybe one of the 10 best cigars I ever smoked which I should clarify gets put into that category because of it being different then anything I have tasted before.
Price: $170.00 a box of at at Uptown Cigar