Back in March of 2011 a group of bloggers were invited to the La Aurora cigar factory and while events that surrounded me might live in infamy the best thing to come out of the trip was the birth of Para Japon. One of my esteemed colleagues Mario Takeyama from Cigar Explorer is of Japanese heritage. He was born there, and is still a legal resident of the island nation. With the catastrophic earthquake still fresh in our minds Mario began to seek support for a cigar to raise money for the people of Japan. We all jumped on board and once La Aurora made the cigar an official project we all tossed our weight behind the project.
The Para Japon should begin to ship soon, and the cigar isn’t just a thrown together smoke. These sticks have aged for 3 years in the aging room at the factory in Santiago, Dominican Republic.
Cigar: Para Japon
Size: 5 x 50 (Robusto)
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Brazil, Cameroon, Dominican Republic
Number Smoked: 3
Appearance and Construction: The Para Japon features a medium brown wrapper that has a few veins present and a slight tooth. There are plenty of oils as well, and the cigar has a nice weight in the hand. The label is a stylized version of the Japanese Flag that was created by Dan Reeve and Mario the creative forces behind cigarexplorer.com.
Flavor & Notes: The foot of the cigar has some earth to the nose with a slight hint of spice thrown in for good measure. Once the cap is clipped the cold draw of the cigar has the same earth like components and a slight sweetness that borders on caramel. As the cigar is lit some earth like notes develop quickly with cedar and a slight citrus through the nose. The citrus reminds me of the rind from a tangerine or something in that family. There is a nice complexity that continues in the second third of the smoke. The sweetness noted in the cold draw begins to develop some and reminds me of honey. As we close out the second third of the cigar the cedar notes begin to take center stage. The final third the stick becomes leathery with some chocolate notes and spice which made for a hearty finish.
Smoking Characteristics: The burn of nearly all my samples left a little to be desired. They burned funky at times and needed to be touched up, but this is what lighters are made for right? The medium gray ash had some yellowing to it, which left me perplexed. If any one with an basic understanding of chemistry can let me know what causes this I would be curious to know. There was a nice amount of smoke to it, and it had an enjoyable aroma as well. The draw was a little loose which made for a little bit of a quick smoke.
Conclusion: I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. The cigar community for as much crap as we take continues to be one of the most generous around. We continue to support so many great causes and the brotherhood remains strong because of it. Kudos to Mario for a great idea, and Brian Hewitt from stogiereview.com for coming up with a great name. This is a very good cigar which reminds me a lot of the La Aurora Escogido and worthy of a purchase to support the cause.
Disclaimer: These samples were sent to me by Miami Cigar & Company who are the distributors of La Aurora Cigars in the United States.