The La Aurora 1903 Cameroon is the third installment of the La Aurora Time Capsule Series. La Aurora is the brand that comes out of La Aurora SA, the oldest cigar factory in the Dominican Republic. With that distinction comes a rich history associated with that factory. As a result, over the years the La Aurora brand has released many cigars commemorating milestones associated with that history. The Time Capsule Series is a unique line where each installment pays homage to a year where La Aurora first starting working with a particular wrapper tobacco. In addition, the cigars in the Time Capsule Series are designed to be value-priced premium cigars at around the six dollar price point. Earlier this year, the La Aurora 1903 Cameroon was released – paying homage to 1903 being the year the factory started working with Cameroon. Today I take a look at the La Aurora 1903 Cameroon in the Robusto size. Overall I found this to be an excellent cigar at an affordable price.
The Time Capsule Series first made its debut in 2016 with the release of the La Aurora 1962 Corojo and 1987 Connecticut – with 1962 being the year La Aurora started using a Corojo wrapper and 1987 the year La Aurora started working with a Connecticut Shade wrapper. Over the years, Corojo, Connecticut, and Cameroon tobaccos have been staple wrappers seen across many releases in the La Aurora portfolio.
Of significance is that the year 1903 is not only the year La Aurora first started using Cameroon, but it is also the year the La Aurora factory opened.
Like all La Aurora Cigars, they are distributed in the U.S. market exclusively by Miami Cigar & Company.
Without further ado, let’s break down the La Aurora 1903 Cameroon Robusto and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The La Aurora 1903 Cameroon utilizes a multi-national blend of tobaccos.
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (La Aurora SA)
The La Aurora 1903 Cameroon is offered in four sizes – each packaged in 20 count boxes.
Robusto: 5 x 50
Churchill: 7 x 47
Toro: 5 3/4 x 54
Gran Toro: 6 x 58
The Cameroon wrapper of the La Aurora 1903 Cameroon Robusto had a dark brown color to it. This wrapper could easily be mistaken for a maduro. There was a slight amount of oil on the surface of the wrapper. The wrapper had somewhat of a bumpy surface with some visible veins. The darker color of the wrapper did a good job at hiding the wrapper seams.
There are two bands on the La Aurora 1903 Cameroon. The primary band is common to all three installments of the Time Capsule Series. This is a white band with red and gold trim. On the center of the band is a yellow, orange, and red La Aurora lion logo. Above the logo is the text “LA AURORA” in red font arranged in a curved fashion. Below the logo are some red and gold adornments highlighted by a gold crown in the center. Below those adornments is the text “REPUBLICA DOMINICANA” in a smaller red font – also arranged in a curved fashion. The left and right side of the band each have two gold medallions. The far right of the band has the text “HECHO A MANO DESDE 1903” – arranged in landscape mode in red font.
The secondary band has a pale yellow color with red and gold trim. On the center of the band is the text “CAMEROON” in red font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to lighting the La Aurora 1903 Cameroon Robusto, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was removed, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of chocolate, wood, and black pepper. Overall, I considered this to be an excellent pre-light draw. I was ready to light up the La Aurora 1903 Cameroon Robusto and enjoy the smoking phase.
The La Aurora 1903 Cameroon Robusto started out with notes of mocha, earth, and wood. The mocha notes are what I consider to be a cross of coffee and chocolate. Throughout the smoking experience, there were times the wood notes also had a cedar quality to them. As for the retro-hale, it produced a mix of cedar and mixed pepper.
During the first third, the mocha and wood notes moved into the forefront. The mocha notes delivered a nice (but not overpowering) sweetness. The earth notes settled into the background. Meanwhile, a slight amount of mixed pepper and a subtle metallic note surfaced in the background.
By the second third of the La Aurora 1903 Cameroon, the mocha notes seemed have more of the coffee qualities than the chocolate qualities. The background still had notes of pepper and earth. The metallic note that surfaced early was pretty much gone.
As the cigar entered the second half, there were some bitter notes that surfaced with the mocha notes.This wasn’t a negative as it provided some balance to the sweetness the mocha also delivered. The pepper and earth notes still were in the background with the pepper notes.
The last third of the La Aurora 1903 Cameroon Robusto continued along the same pattern that emerged in the second half. Toward the very end, the bitterness ramped up a bit and at that point, the La Aurora 1903 Cameroon Robusto had reached a nub point. The nub itself was cool in temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
Overall, the La Aurora 1903 Cameroon Robusto scored quite well on its burn. For the most part, this was a cigar that maintained a straight burn path and had a straight burn line from start to finish. Along the way, some touch-ups were required, but there was not an excessive amount of them required. The resulting ash was on the firm side with a silver-gray color to it. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the La Aurora 1903 Cameroon Robusto was also excellent. It had a touch of resistance to it – which is something that I like. This made the 1903 Cameroon Robusto an enjoyable cigar to smoke.
Strength and Body
The strength and body of the La Aurora 1903 Cameroon started out in the medium range. There was a gradual increase in both attributes along the way. I did find the strength increased at a slightly higher rate. As a result, the strength level crossed into medium to full territory by the second half.
While the strength and body started out even at the beginning, the strength gained a slight edge during the second half.
The La Aurora 1903 Cameroon comes in at $5.75 per cigar and I can honestly say this cigar might be one of the best values out there. If this cigar was being smoked unbanded, I could have easily mistaken it for a cigar two to three dollars higher. Flavor-wise the cigar performs really well. As mentioned there is some bitterness toward the end, but that should not be mistaken for harshness. I found that component helped to round out the flavor profile. This is a cigar that I’d recommend to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast. It is also a good cigar for a novice looking to expand one’s flavor palate. As for myself, this is a cigar I’d smoke again – and at the $5.75 price, it garners a box worthy cigar rating.
Key Flavors: Mocha, Wood, Mixed Pepper, Earth
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Assessment: 4.0-Box Worthy