La Aurora Escogidos Maduro Robusto

Many moons ago, I came across the La Aurora Escogidos in a small mall shop on a visit to Miami. At the time, there was only the Cameroon-wrapped version, and it was said to be a cigar only available to visitors of the La Aurora factory in the Dominican Republic. Sensing opportunity, I did what any guy with a cigar blog would do, I bought them and wrote up a review. Now, just over three years later, I bring you a sequel. And like the Empire Strikes Back, this one’s a little darker.

After years in the works, the La Aurora Escogidos Maduro made a quiet debut in early 2011, but they didn’t cross my path until almost a year later at a La Aurora event. It seems that like the original Escogidos, these are generally only available either at the factory, or at cigar events. (Though apparently Famous has a limited quantity available via their website.) As with the original, not much information is available online about the Escogidos Maduro, so I contacted Miami Cigar Company for composition details. They confirmed that it features a Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper, and Dominican binder and filler. That’s all I need to get started.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Beverage: Water
Source: Samples provided by Miami Cigar Company
Price: MSRP $6.25

The Pre-Smoke
I’ve always liked the main Escogidos band, and I really wish the second band was more consistent with that design. Not that it looks bad, it could just look better. The cigar itself is a little on the rustic side with fair number of medium-sized veins, and sometimes, sporadic tooth. I also noticed a little more wrapper color variation than average, and a water spot here and there, but no serious issues. The cigars felt consistently firm and the cold draw offered chocolate and raisin flavors.

The Burn
One thing’s for certain, the Escogidos Maduro is a well made cigar. Of the four or five I smoked for this review, only one ever made me pick up a lighter a second time. And that was a touch up that appeared to be caused by one fire-proof leaf in the blend. The draw was consistently perfect, the ash strong and nearly immaculate (there was some flaking) and the burn was even with the noted exception. Really there’s not much more you can ask.

The Flavor
Things got interesting in the flavor department. To roughly paraphrase an old kids song, one of the cigars was not like the others, one of these cigars just didn’t belong. The flavor profile was so significantly different, I’m convinced a mix up occurred with the leaves going into that stick. Or perhaps it was a banding mistake. (What I wrote up in my original Escogidos review is closer to the mark.) In either case, what follows excludes that stick.

The first third of the Escogidos Maduro was a little like sitting at a campfire, eating jerky and drinking coffee. There profile was savory, smokey and earthy, with charred wood, grass and sweet spice notes. Though as the next third began, there was a transition toward sweeter and creamier flavors.

The creamy and sweeter trend continued a little way into the second third, with flavors like salt caramel and nougat making appearances. Though grass, a sometimes sweet paprika spice and cafe con leche quickly take over. There was also a meatiness and some chocolate, particularly toward the end.

Grassy, spicy and meaty is the way the Escogidos Maduro began the final leg of the journey. But the variations weren’t quite over. A nougat-like flavor and sweet cinnamon made brief appearances before the cigar came to a somewhat sharp and acidic end.

The Price
The price is very reasonable. I think they’d sell pretty well in some markets if they were more widely available.

The Verdict
I’m not ordinarily a fan of cigars with such a grassy profile, but I’m also a sucker for that sweet and smoky paprika spice that accompanied it. The two combined with the richer and creamier flavors just works. And then there’s the almost continual development in the profile, not to mention the budget-friendly price. Given the opportunity, I’d buy more and would recommend trying it if you have a chance, especially if you enjoy Brazilian tobacco.

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

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