La Aurora Review: Keeping the Cigar Tradition Alive

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by  William Barton | Last Updated: 

In the wide world of cigars, it can be hard to find artisan crafted and hand rolled tobacco at a reasonable price. But one major brand claims to have been doing just that since 1903.

In our La Aurora review, we put four of their most popular cigars to the test to see if they can produce a truly superior smoking experience.

How do you roll?
The Adult Man Image/Icon Image source: La Aurora

La Aurora

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Bottom line: La Aurora’s revamped site makes picking your ideal cigar easy, and their wide range of Dominican-rolled cigars bring along the sweet and rich flavors that are perfect for a relaxing, Friday night smoke.

Ratings:

The Adult Man Image/Icon  Design The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Quality of Materials The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Value for Money The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Craftsmanship The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon
The Adult Man Image/Icon  Customer Service The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon The Adult Man Image/Icon

Pros:

  • La Aurora’s site has a robust education section and pairing quiz to help you find your ideal cigar
  • The brand has a nice mix of variety packs, one-offs, and handsome bulk options
  • The 1903 Ruby Tubo cigar is an excellent smoke, with the tobacco rolled by expert craftsmen (15+ years of experience only), and 4+ years of aging
  • You can now buy online and have it shipped to your home, with free shipping in the continental US

Cons:

  • The Preferidos 1903 Diamond Robusto came across very dry, so I had to drink a ton of water throughout, although it’s expertly packed and the flavor is excellent

It’s Friday afternoon. 

You’ve closed that achingly long deal, you’ve pushed your company a little further, and you brought home the bacon, so to speak. 

Whenever I have a solid week like that, I kick back on Friday night with a good cigar paired with the right liquor. To me, there’s nothing better. 

I’ve come across La Aurora several times, but they recently revamped their online store, and since I’m now able to have their cigars shipped straight to my apartment, I figured it was a good time to restock and give them a shot. 

So was the smoking experience worth the cost? Keep reading to dive into the details. 

What Is La Aurora?

La Aurora cigars with camp fire in background

La Aurora has been making hand-rolled artisan in the Dominican Republic since 1903. Over the years, the La Aurora turned from a small factory into a worldwide brand, spanning the globe in over 80 countries. 

They offer a wide variety of cigars, with different tobaccos from all over South and Central America. But what sets La Aurora apart is the experience of their Torcedor’s.

Certain collections, like the 1903 Preferidos (I review the Ruby Tubo below), are only rolled by Torcedor’s with over 15 years of experience. And they’re limited to 125 cigars a day to ensure they’re able to properly pace themselves and devote the necessary attention to each cigar. 

You can bet that kind of mastery results in a balanced and even smoking experience. 

La Aurora 1903 Preferidos

The 1903 Preferidos are only rolled by Torcedor’s with over 15 years of experience. And they’re limited to 125 cigars a day to ensure they’re able to properly pace themselves and devote the necessary attention to each cigar. 

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Things to Consider Before Buying Cigars from La Aurora

La Aurora cigar cut with knife

Shopping online for cigars can be difficult since you aren’t able to smell and feel the product. 

La Aurora does a great job in their educational section and their “Cigar Quiz” to help bridge that gap and connect you to the best experience. 

If you’re looking to go all-in and buy a large pack of cigars, La Aurora actually offers returns if you don’t like what you get. For orders with fewer than 19 cigars, you’re able to try two out, and if it’s not for you, you can still get a full refund.

For 20 or more, you can try three before sending it back for a full refund. But that’s only if you don’t like the cigars. After my experience, and after reading through dozens of reviews of other folks’ experience, I think you’ll be perfectly fine to keep the whole pack. 

La Aurora Review

1903 Preferidos Ruby Tubo

la aurora cigars ruby tubo collectors case

I started my La Aurora experience off with an 8-count box of their 1903 Ruby Tubo cigars.

The packaging is incredible, and it’s what drew me to these in the first place. Each cigar is packed in a ruby-colored aluminum tube, and then placed in a wooden presentation box.

There are several other varieties of the 1903 Preferidos edition cigars, including their Diamond, Gold, Platinum, Sapphire, and Emerald collections. 

The cigars across these different editions are all rolled in the “Perfecto” shape, which is five inches long and comes to a narrow point at the head. 

la aurora cigars ruby 1903 collection

I’d never tried a Perfecto, but after indulging in a few of these, it’s my new favorite. My biggest worry was that the narrow tip would lead to an impacted draw. But because the entire 1903 Preferidos series is only wrapped by artisans with over 15 years of experience, the way these are packed and rolled is practically flawless.

I opted for the Ruby because of the rich Brazilian Maduro wrapper. I love the color and there’s a certain depth of flavor that comes along with the dark, aged wrap. 

For such a stubby cigar, I was surprised at how long the smoking experience lasted. La Aurora suggests the smoke is around 60 minutes, but the two I’ve smoked have gone longer than that (between 75-90 minutes for me). 

La Aurora smoke

The construction is impeccable, and I’m able to get about two inches of ash at a time. I’m sure more experienced smokers could get a bigger ash going, but I tend to get greedy at that point and start puffing a little faster, and that’s when it falls apart. Once I start thinking about the ash, it’s too late. 

The flavor is quite spicy, and has a strong cedar note throughout, which is really pleasing all the way through to the end. 

la aurora cigars ruby tubo 1903

I didn’t expect the final third to be so smooth because of the Perfecto shape, but I was proven wrong. The complexity dies down a little toward the end, but it’s still very enjoyable and doesn’t burn too hot, either. 

I still have another six left to smoke through before I restock, but I’m definitely considering these as a gift for my Father-in-Law as the packaging and presentation is excellent.

La Aurora 1903 Ruby Tubo

The Ruby Tubo flavor is quite spicy, and has a strong cedar note throughout, which is really pleasing all the way through to the end. I didn’t expect the final third to be so smooth because of the Perfecto shape, but I was proven wrong. The complexity dies down a little toward the end, but it’s still very enjoyable and doesn’t burn too hot, either. 

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1903 Edition 5 Cigar Sampler

La Aurora cigars on table in sample five pack

I was also happy to find a cigar sampler so I could try some more variety from La Aurora. I went back to the 1903 Edition series sampler, which contains two of their Preferidos Diamond and Emerald Robusto cigars, and a Preferidos Sapphire Robusto.

The main filler in all of these cigars is Dominican, but each features a blended tobacco for a little added dynamics. 

La Aurora complete 1903 collectio cigars

I love the Maduro coloring, so I ended up smoking the two Diamond cigars before the others. The Preferidos Diamond is a blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan leaf, with a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper. This makes for a rich and nutty flavor and a very smooth smoke.

La Aurora diamond in hand

The Sapphire blew me away—the addition of Cameroon tobacco in the filler stunned me with how powerful the leather flavor was. 

la aurora cigars sapphire 1903 collection with phone and watch

The Emerald is the most complex of all four I’ve tried: the tobacco comes from all over the world. 

model holding La Aurora cigar

With a Sumatra wrapper, and filler from Peru, Brazil, and Nicaragua, this is a carefully blended smoke. The flavors range from fruity to spicy, and tend to swap dominance throughout the smoke. 

It was almost like every puff brought something different to the table, which is what I appreciate most about cigars. It’s not something I’d reach for every time, as sometimes I like a more stable flavor, but the Emerald is definitely an exciting smoke.

La Aurora cigar with fire in background

As with the 1903 Preferidos Ruby, the cigars in the 1903 sampler are all expertly rolled by experienced craftsmen. I was able to get a significant amount of white ash, which is something I haven’t seen elsewhere—that means these burn clean and smooth. 

La Aurora 1903 Edition Sampler Pack

Diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires: the 1903 Preferidos sampler is a great way to jump into La Aurora's finest hand-rolled cigars.

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What do Other Reviewers Say About La Aurora? 

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There’s no shortage of professional La Aurora reviews on the web. The one note I keep reading throughout all the reviews is on how exceptional the torcedor’s are. Yes, the filler and wrappers offer a complex and dynamic smoke, but it’s really how the cigar is rolled that makes the experience enjoyable.

This is La Aurora’s strong suit.

My Thoughts Overall On La Aurora

What I Like

  • La Aurora features a large education section and a pairing quiz, which makes finding a great cigar much easier.

  • They do a nice job of offering variety packs, singles, and gift options so you’re able to define your experience. 

  • I love the unique shape of the 1903 Ruby Tubo, plus it’s an excellent smoke. The entire 1903 collection is rolled by torcedor’s with over 15 years of experience, and the wrappers have been aged for over 4 years. 

  • You can have La Aurora shipped straight to your door for free in the US. 

What I Don’t Like

  • The Preferidos 1903 Diamond Robusto had me going back for water on nearly every puff—it seemed pretty high in the tannin department. 

Who is La Aurora for?

La Aurora is an excellent brand for you if you’re looking for a classic and enjoyable smoking experience. They’re old school and skip the flashy stuff in favor of classic craftsmanship.

The Verdict

If you’re in the mood for a celebratory smoke and want a balance of dynamic flavors with a smooth, enjoyable draw, La Aurora is a must. 

Unlike a lot of newer brands, La Aurora doesn’t touch the flashy stuff: they’re all about classic craftsmanship and keeping the tradition of hand-rolled cigars alive. 

They’ve been around since 1903, and their newer collections are a throwback to the golden age of Dominican cigars. The flavors are smooth, dynamic, and they burn so evenly that you don’t really need to worry about keeping the ash even after you get started. 

I personally really enjoy the 1903 Preferidos Ruby Tubo for their interesting shape. I loved the experience, and the flavor is strong without becoming overpowering. When I polish them off, I’ll be back for more.

La Aurora Cigars

La Aurora is an excellent brand for you if you’re looking for a classic and enjoyable smoking experience. They’re old school and skip the flashy stuff in favor of classic craftsmanship.

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FAQs

Are La Aurora cigars good?

Yes, La Aurora cigars are excellent. Their 1903 edition cigars are only wrapped by torcedor’s with over 15 years of experience, which means the burn is even and smooth.

Who makes La Aurora cigars?

La Aurora is based in the Dominican Republic and their cigars have been rolled there since 1903.

What’s the difference between Cuban and Dominican cigars?

Usually, Cuban cigars are made with tobacco only grown in Cuba. Dominican cigars often use blends. Some say Cuban tobacco is also naturally stronger because of the terroir of Cuba, but much of the Dominican Republic’s tobacco is closely related to Cuba’s.

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