Team Cigar Review: La Aurora TAA Exclusivo

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Cigar Details: La Aurora TAA Exclusivo

  • Vitola: Toro
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habana Vuelta Arriba
  • Binder: Dominican Republic
  • Filler: Dominican Republic and Pennsylvania Broadleaf
  • Factory: La Aurora
  • Blender: Manuel Inoa
  • Price: $12.00
  • Release Date: June 2020
  • Source: Developing Palates

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the La Aurora TAA Exclusivo is medium brown and has a few raised and knotty veins present. The seams are easily visible as they are raised in some areas and the head is finished off with a deep triple cap. The band has a couple of shades of brown with gold artwork and lettering that looks a little washed out. It displays both the company and TAA logos. The aroma from the wrapper is musty wood while the foot brings wood with some mild baking spice. The pre-light draw is Spanish cedar with a pretty decent spice present on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

Average in presentation, the wrapper on the La Aurora TAA Exclusivo is sightly oily and features a classic Colorado coloring. It has medium to large sized veins present throughout and I am picking up aromas of sweet spices, milk chocolate, fruit cake, tobacco and rich earth.

Pre-light Experience

The La Aurora TAA Exclusivo has a UPC sticker designed with a tear tab to leave the UPC intact when the cellophane is opened. The cigar itself has a brown, toothy wrapper. It also has a soft box press to it, that I almost missed as I was admiring the cigar band. I was able to pick out aromas of sweet bread and hay. From the foot, there was sweet, spicy tobacco.

Pre-light Experience

The La Aurora TAA Exclusivo has a shiny Colorado Claro wrapper shade. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and head finished off with a deep wrapped cap. Aromas from the wrapper tell cedar and barnyard. Aromas from the foot tell spicy white pepper spice and cedar. Cold draw gives lightly toasted wood.

First Third

The cigar begins with a mix of wood and cinnamon. At a half inch in, the wood becomes fuller while the cinnamon lightens up a bit. At three quarters of an inch in, a light mustiness joins the profile and the cinnamon in the background transitions to baking spice. The retrohale is creamy wood with a light baking spice. As the third comes to a close, the wood gains a toasted note and is paired evenly with the mustiness while the baking spice is faint in the background. The strength was slightly below medium.

First Third

The first third was quite enjoyable and I was picking up notes of sweet spices, tobacco, earth and minerals. There is this creamy quality present as well with a hint of wood shavings. I would classify the cigar as being medium in strength and body.

First Third

Sweet hay, along with wood open up the first third. Medium-full spices along with sweetness complete the retrohale. As the first third settles in, rich chocolate joins the retrohale and adds complexity. By the 20 minute mark, graham cracker and baking spices at medium strength on the retrohale. Roughly 5 minutes more, cedar is present in the post draw, and light plus citrus comes into the retrohale. By the 45 minute mark, the post draw cedar has moved up to medium strength.

First Third

The first third’s story is all about wood. Oak presence galore on the palate and finish. The oak is accompanied by some sharper minerals. Retrohaling takes a break from the wood as it’s more focused towards white pepper spice and roasted nuts. Strength is medium plus, body medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the toasted wood and mustiness remain up front as a light creaminess joins in while the baking spice is still very faint in the background. At a half inch in, the baking spice is no longer present. The retrohale is now just musty wood. At an inch and a quarter, the light creaminess has dropped out. As the third comes to a close, the profile is toasted wood and mustiness. The strength remained at slightly below medium.

Second Third

When I get into the second third, I am picking up notes of minerals, spices, herbs, tobacco, earth and wood. There are some cinnamon notes, but they are very faint. Like before, the cigar is medium in strength and body.

Second Third

Coffee and cocoa usher the cigar into the second third. Baking spices finish the draw at medium strength, with earth coming into the post draw. The citrus returns to the retrohale as the second third settles in. Shortly after, post draw cedar and tannins joins. As the cigar progresses, baking spices move into the retrohale, with cedar finishing each draw.

Second Third

The second third is still very much oak and mineral focused. A new flavor of faint burning paper flows through, widening the flavor profile. Also, the finish picks up a lasting white pepper spice sitting deep on the rear palate. Strength and body is still medium plus and medium, respectively.

Final Third

As the final third begins, it continues on with the toasted wood and mustiness. The retrohale remains musty wood. No real changes throughout the third as it wraps up with the same toasted wood and mustiness. The strength remained at slightly below medium.

Final Third

The final third is somewhat similar to that of the second third and I am picking up mineral, tobacco, earth and wood notes. Like before, the cigar is medium in strength and body.

Final Third

Bread and baking spices combine on the retrohale, with baking spices and cedar finishing the draw. A lingering dry cedar defines the post draw as the last third settles in.

Final Third

Not much new to talk about within the final third. It’s still medium plus strength and medium body with dominance in oak and minerals with some trailing burning paper notes. The finish continues to be lasting white pepper on the rear palate.

Burn

The burn was a bit of an issue as it was wavy throughout and required two major touch-ups to keep things moving along. It also went out once in the final third, requiring a re-light. There were also a fair numbers of draws where I felt I wasn’t drawing on a fully lit cigar.

Burn

I am going to be honest, I was shocked that the burn was as good as it was for being a La Aurora. I know that is a harsh thing to say, but there is a compliment in there. Typically with cigars like this out of la Aurora, the burn line is wavy and all over the place. Well constructed cigar.

Burn

The burn was consistently straight with the ash falling in 1-1/2 inch increments.

Burn

Flawless burn performance. Even burn, tight ashes, cool burning temperature and good smoke production.

Draw

The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer, but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.

Overall

The cigar began with a mix of wood and cinnamon. Some mustiness joined in and the cinnamon transitioned to baking spice. The wood gained a toasted note towards the end of the third. The second third saw a light creaminess join in for a bit and the baking spice later dropped out. The final third was just the toasted wood and mustiness. The burn was a bit of an issue with the cigar and strength was slightly below medium the whole way. The La Aurora TAA Exclusivo had a nice start with a good combination of flavors, but by the second third as some of the components started dropping out, it became average and was a simple and linear profile the rest of the way. I’m always interested to see a brands first attempt at a TAA cigar, and I would say that this wasn’t a great debut. There wasn’t enough to this one to make it a special cigar for some of the best retailers out there.

Draw

The draw was fantastic on this cigar from start to finish.

Overall

I was disappointed with the La Aurora TAA Exclusivo. I felt that it delivered some quality flavors, but was always one step behind and therefore lacking important qualities. I liked the medium strength and body, and the sweet spice, tobacco and wood flavors were great, but it just needed a little bit more. On an unrelated note, the band was not right for this cigar. The brown and gold band on the wrapper was not appealing.

Draw

The draw was slightly into the open spectrum, roughly 1 to 1-1/2 notches.

Overall

The La Aurora TAA Exclusivo represents the type of quality that all TAA cigars should deliver. A complex assortment of flavors, with each third delivering a consistently good experience, with construction to match. I would happily smoke more of these at the earliest opportunity. Total smoking time was a respectable 1 hour and 54 minutes.

Draw

The draw was slightly snug.

Overall

This was an average experience. While there were no concerns regarding the technical performance of the cigar (draw and burn), the tasting experience of the La Aurora TAA Exclusivo was nothing to write home about. It was too monotonous with dominance in oak and minerals. It would have been much better (and much needed) to have some sweetness and perhaps some fruit characters to layer onto the earthiness. This is a pass for me.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
AveragePre
Light
AveragePre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Good
GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Average
AverageSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
Average
AverageFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
GoodFinal
Third
Average
SubparBurnVery GoodBurnAmazingBurnAmazing
Very GoodDrawAmazingDrawVery GoodDrawVery Good
AverageOverallAverageOverallGoodOverallAverage

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.55

Cost/Point

$2.16

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

6.00

Cost/Point

$2.00

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

7.02

Cost/Point

$1.71

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

5.60

Cost/Point

$2.14

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: La Aurora TAA Exclusivo
John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: La Aurora TAA Exclusivo

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