At the 2017 ProCigar Festival, La Aurora Cigars showcased a new line in its portfolio called La Aurora ADN Dominicano. Later, at the 2017 IPCPR Trade Show, the La Aurora ADN Dominicano would have a full launch. The distinguishing characteristic of this cigar is that it contains andullo tobacco. Andullo tobacco is something that is more commonly found in chewing tobacco or pipe tobacco. It’s a tobacco that also undergoes a very different fermentation process than traditional air-cured cigar tobacco. This tobacco isn’t commonly found in premium cigars, but the La Aurora factory does have experience with it. For the La Aurora ADN Dominicano, the andullo is incorporated into the filler as part of a multi-national blend. Today we take a closer look a the La Aurora ADN Dominicano in the Toro size.

Andullo tobacco undergoes a very different curing process than traditional cigar tobacco leaves.  This involves putting tobacco leaves in palm seed pods.  The pods are then wrapped in rope, causing the andullo tobacco to compress into a thick bar almost looking like a roll of salami. Once it has hardened, it typically is carved off.

Andullo Tobacco (side view) – Cigar Coop IPCPR Photo

Andullo Tobacco – Cigar Coop IPCPR Photo

As mentioned, working with andullo tobacco is not a new thing for La Aurora. The company’s factory has worked with this tobacco in blends for Ventura Cigar Company’s Project 805 and Total Flame’s Wild One. When it comes to the La Aurora ADN, Dominicano, La Aurora says this is the first time it has put a long filler andullo leaf into the blend.

Finally, the name ADN is the Dominican equivalent of “DNA”.  Because La Aurora has worked with andullo tobacco for many years, the company considers it a part of its “DNA”, thus the inspiration for the cigar name.

The andullo tobacco for the La Aurora ADN Dominicano is used in the filler with Pennsylvanian, Dominican, and Nicaraguan fillers. The cigars feature a Cameroon binder and a Dominican wrapper from the Cibao valley.

Without further ado, let’s break down the La Aurora ADN Dominicano and see what this cigar brings to the table.

SPECIFICATIONS

Blend Profile

The andullo tobacco for the La Aurora ADN Dominicano is used in the filler with Pennsylvanian, Dominican, and Nicaraguan fillers. The cigars feature a Cameroon binder and a Dominican wrapper from the Cibao valley.

Wrapper: Dominican (Cibao Valley)
Binder: Cameroon
Filler: Dominican (Cibao Valley), Pennsylvania, Nicaragua, Andullo.
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (La Aurora SA)

Vitolas Available

At press time, the La Aurora ADN Dominicano is available in four sizes. Each is presented in 20-count boxes.

Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 5 3/4 x 54
Churchill: 7 x 47
Gran Toro: 6 x 58

La Aurora ADN Dominicano Packaging (Gran Toro Size)

At ProCigar 2018, there was a very small batch run of a 6 x 47 Corona Gorda size of the La Aurora ADN Dominicano made available to attendees. At press time, there is no word whether or not this will be eventually released to the greater market.

Appearance

The Dominican wrapper of the La Aurora ADN Dominicano Toro had cinnamon color to it. There was also a light amount of oil on the surface of the wrapper. The wrapper was slightly bumpy with some visible veins. There were also some thin visible wrapper seams.

The band of the La Aurora ADN Dominicano has the shape of a flag along with the Dominican colors and gold trim. Toward the outer part of the flag is the text “HAND MADE IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC DOMINICAN DNA” in small gold font arranged in a repeating pattern. The center of the band has a round seal design on it. The seal has the La Aurora lion on the upper top of it. Just under the lion is a gold ribbon-design with the text “ADN” in black font resting on it. The lower part of the seal has a black background with the text “DOMINICANO” in gold font. The seal has a gold trim with the text “DOMINICAN DNA” in small black font.

PERFORMANCE

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

I commenced the cigar experience with the La Aurora ADN Dominicano Toro by placing a straight cut to remove the cap. After removing the cap, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of musty earth and cedar notes. I wasn’t completely excited by this pre-light draw, but since this is not factored into the value rating or merit score, there was no loss of points here. At this point, I was ready to light up the La Aurora ADN Dominicano Toro and await what the smoking experience would have in store.

Flavor Profile

The start of the La Aurora ADN Dominicano Toro delivered notes of musty wood, black pepper and grass. The black pepper and grass notes subsided into the background. As the cigar moved through the early phases, the musty wood transitioned to a natural tobacco sweetness that also had some musty qualities. Further, into the first third, some sweet/sour apple notes surfaced and the mustiness began to diminish. Meanwhile, the retro-hale was producing a combination of black pepper and cedar.

The second third saw the natural tobacco remain as a primary note. The sweet/sour apple notes floated between the forefront and background. The black pepper remained in the background. Before the midway point, both the mustiness and grassy components were pretty much gone. Just past the midway point, a bready note surfaced in the forefront.

By the last third, the bready notes were in control. I still found the sweet/sour apple notes to float between the forefront and background. Meanwhile, there was an increase in black pepper on the tongue, but it never overpowered the rest of the flavor profile. This is the way the smoking experience of the La Aurora ADN Dominican Toro finished up. The resulting nub was slightly lukewarm and soft to the touch.

Burn and Draw

Overall the burn of the La Aurora ADN Dominicano performed quite well. The cigar maintained a straight burn path and maintained a straight burn line. The resulting ash was gray in color and was on the firm side. As for the burn rate, I found it to be ideal. The burn temperature was ideal for most of the cigar experience, but toward the final puffs, it was slightly on the lukewarm side.  By that point, I did find the cigar to be ready to put down.

La Aurora ADN Dominicano Toro - Burn

Burn of the La Aurora ADN Dominicano Toro

The draw to the La Aurora ADN Dominicano Toro was on the open side,  but it wasn’t a loose one. This was a cigar that was low maintenance to derive flavor from.

Strength and Body

In terms of strength, I didn’t find the La Aurora ADN Dominicano Toro to be overpowering. Overall, I found this cigar to maintain a medium strength level from start to finish. There was a slight uptick in strength in the second half, but the ADN Dominican Toro still remained in the medium range of the spectrum.

The body was a different story. I found the ADN Dominicano Toro started out medium to full-bodied. The body of the cigar linearly increased and by the 3/5 point of the cigar, I found the ADN Dominicano Toro to be in full-bodied territory.

When it came to strength versus body, I found the body maintained a moderate edge from start to finish.

OVERALL ASSESSMENT

Final Thoughts

While I have always been intrigued with andullo tobacco, my previous experiences with that tobacco in a cigar have not really wowed me. I will say, the La Aurora ADN Dominicano Toro is probably the best cigar I’ve had with this tobacco to date. I will say – the La Aurora ADN Dominicano Toro is a blend that needs some aging time. The more time in the humidor, the better. In particular, the aging time will really allow some of the unique sweetness this blend has to offer to shine. Given there is some body, the ADN Dominicano Toro is a cigar I would steer toward a more experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, there was enough going on with this cigar to smoke it again and pick up multiples for my humidor.

Summary

Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Sweet/Sour Apple, Black Pepper, Bread, Mustiness, Wood, Grass
Burn: Excellent
Draw: Very Good
Complexity: Medium to High
Strength: Medium
Body: Medium to Full (1st 3/5), Full (Remainder)
Finish: Good

Rating

Value: Buy Multiples
Score: 90

Reference

News: La Aurora ADN Dominicano Officially Launched at 2017 IPCPR
Price: $8.25
Source: Miami Cigar and Company
Brand Reference: La Aurora

Photo Credits: Cigar Coop