Last week Jason Wood, Vice President of Miami Cigar & Company rolled through New Hampshire and brought with him some of the new Puro Vintage 2006 for us to smoke. The cigar which will come in 1,500, 18 count boxes will begin shipping sometimes after TAA.
Those who know me, know one of my desert island cigars is the original release of the Puro Vintage 2003 back in 2008 which had notes of sunflower seeds that I couldn’t get enough of. Since that initial release the cigar has been made a little bit smaller, and the price a little bit less. Curious to how the new Puro Vintage 2006 smoked, I lit one up with Wood last week and a second one today.
Cigar: La Aurora Puro Vintage 2006
Size: 6.5 x 52/60 (Salomon)
Wrapper: Ecuador Havana (Harvested 2006)
Binder: Dominican (Harvested 2006)
Filler; Brazil, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua (All Harvested 2006)
Source: Miami Cigar & Company
The Look: The Puro Vintage 2006 appears to be darker than years past at first glance. The exceptionally rolled Salomon cigar features two bands, the first being the La Aurora Puro Vintage 2006 band which is my favorite of the La Aurora portfolio, the secondary band denotes it is their 111th Anniversary which seems to be more of an afterthought as the coloring and quality is less than the primary. The foot of the Salomon is wrapped with a separate piece of tobacco that is a different color that the rest of the cigar which does detract from the beauty. In the hand the cigar is firm with no soft spots.
The Notes: The cold draw of the cigar reminds me of oatmeal with elements of the batter and raisins. The aroma off the wrapper is sweet and reminiscent of a honey graham cracker. Once the cigar is properly toasted, which is important for a salomon the initial note is lemon zest.
Smoking into the first third of the Puro Vintage 2006 the cigar has an amazing aroma. There is a sweetness that reminds me of pears, honey and graham crackers. As the first third comes to close there is a note that is best described as La Aurora. It’s something I am not able to precisely put my finger on, but it is definitively synonymous with their factory.
In the second third of the cigar some spice picks up through the nose the first time this has happened, and it helps intensify the delightful aroma of the cigar. There is still a note that reminds me of pears, but the sweetness of honey and graham crackers have faded away. There is a nuttiness and a hint of salted sunflower seeds. The saltiness of the cigar also reminds me a bit of saltines.
The last third of the cigar sees the sunflower seeds become the focal point, though it looses its saltiness. There is a slight floral note as well with a nutty finish.
The Burn: For tobacco aged since 2006, I expected the burn line of the cigar to be razor thin and unfortunately it was not. These doesn’t change the taste of the smoke, I just expected something else. The draw started out slightly tough which is normal for a salomon with the narrow foot, once the cigar got passed the nipple it totally opened up and was perfect. The cigar held its ask for nearly half the cigar, and then I lost the ask again when I removed the bands. The cigar remained lit from first light to last puff.
The Finish: For me every Puro Vintage is met with the same question, was this as good as the Puro Vintage 2003, and for me that answer is no, but it was pretty damn close. The cigar for me felt darker like a movie by Tim Burton and this isn’t a bad thing. It is definitely a vast improvement from the 2005 and despite the price this might be a box purchase for me, though from a financial stand point I wish it was in an 8 or 10 count box. It seems like La Aurora is beginning to make a change with their smokes, and this is a good thing. Now if only we can get Guillermo Leon to do a maduro version of his signature cigar.