La Aurora Cameroon Robusto

I found it interesting when I heard La Aurora was reblending their Cameroon line. For years now, when asked for an example of a great Cameroon cigar, La Aurora one of the names that passed my lips. Why change a good thing, I wondered. But when I thought about about it a little more, how many Cameroon-wrapped cigars have I actually smoked in the past year? I don’t have an exact figure, but it’s not many, and I’m certain it’s fewer than years past. Maybe a little change is in order after all.

My understanding going into this review is new Cameroon was meant to be more of a blending “tweak” than a complete reblend, with the focus being on increasing the power and body of the cigar, rather than changing the flavor profile. It seems like it’d be hard to do one without affecting the other, but then, I’ve seen first hand the magic the folks at La Aurora can do with Cameroon in their blending seminar. (When in doubt, guess Cameroon.) But before we look into it in more depth, a little information. The new Cameroon is available in six sizes, Corona (5 x 38), Short Robusto (4 x 54), Robusto (5 x 50), Belicoso (6 1/4 x 52) and Churchill (7 x 50). At the check out counter you’re looking at prices between $6 and $8 per stick, plus applicable taxes. Now let’s investigate.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Cameroon
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Beverage: Water
Source: Half samples, half purchased by reviewer
Price: MSRP $6.80

The Pre-Smoke
Along with the changed blend comes a brand new, sharp looking band. As much as I enjoy the tradition that comes with cigars, it’s always a good idea the change the band in some way when you’re changing a cigar’s composition. Beneath the band is wrapper with a lot of rustic quirks to it, including the occasional water spot, twisted veins, and sporadic large tooth. In terms of actual flaws, the caps on a few of the cigars I smoked looked bunched up, like the pectin may not have set before the cigars rubbed up against something else.

The cigars seemed pretty consistent and firm to the touch, and the wrapper had a pungent aroma. The cold draw was easy and produced a pleasant molasses flavor.

The Burn
As much as these cigars may have looked like ugly ducklings fresh out of their cellophane, they turned into beautiful swans once lit. Long, even, solid light ashes, an easy draw and ample smoke, there’s just nothing bad to say here.

The Flavor
The La Aurora Cameroon began with the usual cast of characters for a Cameroon-wrapped smoke, grass, cedar and spice, but there was also a nice molasses sweetness that I don’t typically associate with a cigar like this. An earthy characteristic developed as it progressed. It was obvious from the beginning that this wasn’t the mild Cameroon smoke of yesteryear.

In the second third, grass, cedar and spice continued, but the sweetness evolved so it tasted at different times like raisins and frosting. The most interesting development in this third were the chocolate notes that began to appear near the end of it. It was relatively brief, but it was wow moment.

At the end, the sweetness diminished significantly as the cigar took on a more savory profile. The rich chocolate noted before was replaced by a meatier, fuller earth. The cigar ended on a very grassy, earthy note.

The Price
No complaints here, this cigar falls nicely into the pricing sweet spot.

The Verdict
I enjoyed the La Aurora Cameroon, and not just because it has great flavors to offer. What I really liked about it was its uniqueness, and it’s hard to say that about cigars these days. It’s not like anything like the Cameroon I’ve had in recent memory, and I’m sure the increased Nicaraguan influence is a factor in that. Of course, all the other factors come into play as well, such as the reasonable price and generally good performance in the burn department. If you like Cameroon leaf, this is a cigar you need to try. And if you’re bored of Cameroon, this smoke may rekindle your interest.

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes

Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.