I had a different cigar scheduled for review today but the other night Guillermo called me up when in NYC to hang with him at Cigar Inn. So I figured I should review his newest cigar which I have had the pleasure of smoking on numerous occasions before. When I went to the Aurora cigar factory in the Dominican Republic I got to smoke a variation of today’s cigar. I say variation because between then and now the blends changed. I can honestly say I was happy with the previous versions of this smoke but lets see how I feel about the ‘official release’.
Launched at IPCPR in New Orleans I had the honor of attending the event on Bourbon Street to officially welcome the cigar to the masses. I should add a disclaimer that I have become very good friends with Guillermo Leon and the entire La Aurora family as well as Miami Cigar Company. I got these cigars compliments of both companies, but I paid my own way to IPCPR so in a sense the samples were not “free”. Those who know me, know I am brutally honest and our relationship does not effect the outcome of this review.
Cigar: Guillermo Leon Signature
Size: 6.25 x 52 (Belicoso)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Vuetta Arriba
Binder: Dual (Cameroon & Dominican Corojo)
Filler: Peru, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Nicaragua
Facebook: La Aurora Cigars
Official Site: http://rediscoverlaaurora.com/guillermo.html
Appearance and Construction: Having smoked a different blend in the Dominican Republic from the release the first thing I notice is the wrapper is darker and has undergone a change. This Guillermo Leon Signature Collection wrapper is virtually flawless and glistening with oils. Finding a vein is difficult as well as the seams of the roll. The band which will feature a more detailed lion by the time it hits stores is simple but classy. In the hand of the smoker there stick feels velvet like with a nice weight. There are a couple of soft spots along the top of the smoke, but none of which are glaring.
Flavor & Notes: Normally I don’t smoke a belicoso for review but I figured I would change things up as I have not smoked any of the pre-releases in this vitola. Once I clip the cap the draw serves up notes a sweet earthy note while the foot offers up much of the same. Being a huge fan of Peruvian tobacco I can instantly identify it being in the stick which makes me happy. Once the cigar it lit there is some pepper from the Corojo binder with a subtle sweetness. The first third is incredibly smooth and tasty with notes of nuts, coffee and a subtle spice. As we enter the second third the complexity really begins to take hold with a continued spice through the nose, and a rich smooth sweetness on the palate. The Peruvian tobacco really begins to shine here and has me in smokers heaven. As we enter the final third of the cigar the spice kicks up a notch and the taste of the cigar goes into overdrive. The cigar has a nice sweet finish bordering on butterscotch that leaves me wanting to light up another one.
Smoking Characteristics: I am thinking of doing away with this section because as a person from a well know cigar company says, who cares if the cigar burns a little uneven that is what lighters are for. But for now I will continue and tell you that the Guillermo Leon Signature cigar burned nice and even with a solid ash that that a mix of light, medium and dark color ash that held on strong. The aroma which is a integral part of a cigar smoking experience was enjoyable and the draw was ideal. The stick produced a nice volume of smoke as well which for me is a good thing.
Conclusion: My friend Thomas calls me a La Aurora fan boi and that might be the case, but when it comes down to it I love Peruvian tobacco. My friend Skip who prefers strong cigars said, “I really liked it, a little mild for my tastes, but lots of flavor.”. So fan boi or not there is some love for this cigar outside my site. A wonderful smoke that could be in contention for cigar of the year, but don’t take my word go out and try one for yourself. I do not think you will be disappointed and I am willing to stake my reputation on the fact that more will enjoy then not.
Price: $6.50 (Available only at Brick & Mortars)