Team Cigar Review: La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill

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Cigar Details: La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill

  • Vitola: Chuchill
  • Length: 7″
  • Ring Gauge: 47
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Dominican Habana ’92
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Cibao Valley
  • Factory: La Aurora
  • Blender: Manuel Inoa
  • Price: $16.10
  • Release Date: September 2023
  • Source: Developing Palates

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

Aaron: Most of the wrapper is not visible initially on the La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill as there are two bands with a cedar sleeve between them. The primary band is white, copper, black and red and denotes the company, line and country of origin. The foot band is black and copper and denotes Anniversary edition and is over the end of the cedar sleeve. After sliding off the cedar, a matte, medium brown wrapper with some raised, knotty veins is present. The seams are smooth and the caps decently applied. The aroma from the wrapper is sweet cedar and light hay while the foot brings cedar and some stewed fruit. The pre-light draw brings cedar and floral perfume, along with a mild spiciness on my lips.
Seth: Firm and oily in hand, the La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill has small to medium sizes veins throughout. The coloring is that of Colorado Maduro, and it has this coffee bean appearance. Aromas of leather, rich earth, wood and tobacco on the wrapper. Cherries, rich earth and chocolate at the foot.
John: The La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill comes in cellophane and has a UPC sticker which I forgot to capture details on whether it tore when being opened. There is a primary La Aurora 120 band along with a thin foot band that indicates ‘Anniversary Edition’. Additionally, a cedar sleeve covers roughly two thirds of the surface of the cigar. I weighed the cigar at 17.0 grams with the cedar sleeve on, and 16.1 grams with it removed. The humidity as measured by a HumidiMeter Pro was 60.9%. Smelling the wrapper, I could pick out aromas of sweet graham cracker, wood and mild, faint hay. From the foot, I was getting the same faint hay along with tobacco.
Jiunn: The La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill has a Colorado wrapper shade. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and the head is well wrapped and capped. Aromas provide cedar and hay. Cold draws reveal mixed nuts and hay.

La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill

La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill

First Third

Aaron: The cigar begins with toasted oak, earth and bold baking spice. At a half inch in, the baking spice transitions to black pepper and is not as bold. The retrohale is toasted oak and light earth. At three quarters of an inch in, the earth lightens up a bit. At an inch and three quarters, the black pepper is now fairly light. As the third comes to a close, the toasted oak is up front, with earth in the middle and black pepper in the background. The strength was right at medium.
Seth: The first third starts out with some nice barnyard and leather notes. There are some mineral qualities and it has some bitter chocolate notes on the finish. Medium in strength and body. Long finish.
John: The first third brings sweet tobacco and mild graham cracker out of the gate with a combination of tobacco and wood to finish. Light plus spices come through on the post draw after a short delay on the puff. Sweet nuttiness joins the post draw as the first third continues. I also find the spices building in strength on the retrohale to medium with creaminess and a sharp wood joining the finish. Umami nuttiness comes into the post draw, mixing with wood. By the one inch mark, all of the various flavor components have come together in harmony. Graham cracker and wood take up the center, moving up to medium as delayed spices and wood make up the post draw. The profile remains stable until the halfway point where tannins join the post draw.
Jiunn: The first third provides a flavor mixture of construction paper, spicier cedar, cream and leather. Retrohaling deepens the spicy cedar. The finish is long and lingering with dried pepper spice and leather. Strength is medium-full and body is medium.

La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill

La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill

Second Third

Aaron: As the second third begins, the earth lightens up a bit more. At an inch in, the toast level increases a bit. The retrohale remains toasted oak and light earth. At an inch and a quarter, the earth picks back up. As the third comes to a close, the fairly heavily toasted oak is up front, earth in the middle and black pepper in the background. The strength bumped up to slightly above medium.
Seth: The second third is fairly similar to that of the first. I am picking up those barnyard and leather notes with some minerals on the finish. Bits of earth, chocolate and coffee as well. Still medium in strength and body.
John: Creamy baking spices start the second third with graham cracker to follow and tannic wood making up the post draw. As the second third settles in, tannic wood moves into the center of the retrohale. Medium strength earth has joined the post draw wood by the bottom half.
Jiunn: The second third’s flavor profile becomes spicier, now with a combination of dried red pepper spice and spicy cedar. The other flavors remain intact; construction paper, cream and leather. Strength and body is still medium-full and medium, respectively.

La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill

La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill

Final Third

Aaron: As the final third begins, the black pepper is now very faint. At a half inch in, the earth picks up and is now right behind the toasted oak. The retrohale is now toasted oak and earth with light creaminess and black pepper. At an inch in, a light menthol mintiness joins the profile. At an inch and a half in, the menthol mintiness is now even with the earth. As the cigar wraps up, the toasted oak is just ahead of the earth and menthol mintiness while a faint back pepper remains in the background. The strength remained at slightly above medium.
Seth: The final third is fairly in line with that of the second, but a little bit more chocolate heavy. Some hot chocolate notes with the mineral, leather and barnyard flavors. Medium in strength and body.
John: Creamy wood starts the last third with a tannic wood at light plus on the post draw. Earth joins with baking spices in the middle of the retrohale as earth lingers well into the finish. Wood goes up to medium strength and takes the lead of each puff approaching the halfway point. Tannic wood is up to medium-full on the finish and remains on the palate between each puff. The post draw tannic wood softens to light plus in the bottom half.
Jiunn: The final third’s flavor profile melds so it is more cohesive. However, the flavor mixture is still the same, with the construction paper note leading the pack. Strength and body finishes the same medium-full and medium, respectively.

La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill

La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill

Burn

Aaron: The burn was a bit wavy at times, but never needed any attention. The ash held on in inch and a half increments.
Seth: Slightly wavy throughout.
John: The burn was wavy out of the gate and remained that way until the second third. By the bottom of the second third, I had to do a touch-up. In the last third, the cigar went out, requiring a re-light.
Jiunn: Burn performance was perfect. Even burn, ample smoke production, tight ashes and cool burning temperature.

La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill

La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill

Draw

Aaron: The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer, but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.
Seth: Solid draw.
John: The draw was at most one notch into the resistant spectrum which puts in the ideal range for an amazing draw.
Jiunn: The draw was slightly snug. Not a major hindrance to the flavor experience though.

Overall

Aaron: The cigar began with toasted oak, earth and bold baking spice. The baking spice transitioned to black pepper fairly quickly. The second third saw the toast level pick up a bit. The final third saw a menthol mintiness join in and then build up. The La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill had a nice start, with a basic combination of flavors, but well delivered. The profile took a step down in the second third as the flavor delivery mellowed a bit and remained at that level the rest of the way. Not a bad cigar, but nothing all that exciting either. It didn’t really deliver on what I would expect from an Anniversary cigar and I don’t really see it as something I’d come back to.
Seth: I enjoyed the La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill, and I thought it was a solid blend, but I was hoping for more complexity, depth and transitioning. Nice core flavor profile, really nice, but it needed more to pop and really celebrate 120 years. Cigar seemed young as well.
John: The La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill started out with a myriad of complex flavor combinations in the first third. The second third was still pleasant but lacked the same engaging combinations and that remained true of the last third as well. The draw was amazing while the burn required a touch-up and a re-light through the review. I was happy to have the opportunity to review the La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill, but it falls a bit short when I think of legendary releases such as the Cien Años. This isn’t likely something I’d return to in part because of the time commitment to reassess. My total smoking time was much of the afternoon at 3 hours and 23 minutes.
Jiunn: Like most anniversary cigars, this La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill is no different in the sense that it falls short. The flavor profile didn’t work well, being too earthy in paper and spice. I’ve said this about La Aurora and I’ll say it again, stick to the cheaper regular production lines. You’ll get more enjoyment and your wallet will also thank you.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Very GoodPre
Light
Good
GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Average
AverageSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
Average
AverageFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Average
Very GoodBurnAverageBurnGoodBurnAmazing
Very GoodDrawGoodDrawAmazingDrawVery Good
AverageOverallGoodOverallAverageOverallAverage

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.85

Cost/Point

$2.75

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

6.22

Cost/Point

$2.59

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

5.90

Cost/Point

$2.73

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

5.60

Cost/Point

$2.88

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill

Seth GeiseTeam Cigar Review: La Aurora 120th Anniversary Churchill

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