Cigar Review- La Aurora 1495 Series Belicoso

Wrapper: Ecuadorian

Binder: Dominican Corojo

Filler: Dominican Corojo & Ligero, Nicaraguan, Peruvian

Size: 6.25 x 52  Belicoso

Body: Medium/Full

Price: $7-$8 each

The origin of the name is based on Christopher Columbus’ journey in 1495 when he sailed to the Dominican Republic. He arrived to discover the fertile valley of Cibao – home of today’s finest Dominican tobaccos. He founded the city of Santiago de los Caballeros. Which is Yiddish for, “Why are you taking so much lox? Do you see me being a goniff and taking more than my share?”

The wrapper is a mottled milk chocolate color. There is a nice oily sheen.  There are some pretty good sized veins which the color of the wrapper accentuates. And a bit of toothiness.

The pre-light detects mostly barnyard…with a little bit of cocoa and caramel.

I clip the cap and light ‘er up.

Immediately, there is some sweetness. And a small blast of red pepper. Cedar shows its mug. Right away, it’s a good tasting cigar.

When shopping for this cigar, you must be careful. The price points are all over the place. I have seen a box for $80 and another for $330. The average price is around $7 each in a 25 count box. I got mine on a one day deal on CI for $40.

There are some sweet cashews on the palate now. The sweetness is outstanding. The strength is just barely medium at this point; but full flavored. The spiciness moves to the background. And earthiness builds. The burn line is in pretty good shape.

This is a big cigar and will take a bit to smoke so I will come back and forth to my laptop.

The first third ends and the flavors become more pungent. The spiciness has ramped up and I like that. There is a component of coffee now. And some creaminess begins to show itself. The body is medium now. This is a really nice stick. It’s as rich as the French-est of pastries.

I expected some cocoa but there is only a barely detectable amount. The earthiness and richness of the cigar is what swings this bat. Of course, I have only allowed these cigars to rest 3-4 weeks which may not be enough.

At the halfway mark, the creaminess just overwhelms the other flavors, tamping down the spiciness. And the char line has been on point the whole time.

The last third just intensifies the flavors and the strength moves up a bit. By the last couple of inches, it had become full bodied.

This is a great cigar and since I was able to buy a box, this is my last stick for a few months to allow the cigars to properly age in my humidor. If you find a deal, buy them. In fact, CI has a killer deal on boxes right now..Around $80. You can’t beat that and I’m sure it will go away soon.

And now for something completely different:

Back in the early 80’s, I had a lot of friends because I owned a recording studio in Long Beach, CA. One of them was an L.A. disk jockey on a major rock station. His name is Marshall.  He used to get me into to the cool places and clubs in Hollywood.

We used to hang out at this club, that is long gone, that was very small and off the beaten path. I met Ray Manzarek of “The Doors” there. He was very laid back and we saw him there the one or two times we visited the club per week. We got friendly and I made my bones by playing bass in Curved Air. So we talked music…we traded road stories. And tooted nose candy together.

The Fabulous Thunderbirds used to play fairly often. And this was when Jimmie Vaughan was in the band…that’s Stevie Ray’s brother for those of you who are not sure.

There may have been a dozen tables and a bar where the tiny bandstand was. The FT’s were getting airplay back then and since Marshall was a big shot DJ, the boys of the band would always visit with us for a while.

One night, Jimmie suggested I bring my bass with me next time they play there. I was in shock. Actually, what was shocking was that this band of extreme talent only filled half the room of a dozen tables. We sat maybe 6’ from the bandstand. And would kibitz with the band between songs. We turned into good natured hecklers. Sometimes, Manzarek would join us at our table and heckle.

The very next time we visited the club, I had my bass. I studied some of their songs at home so I wouldn’t make an ass of myself. I was ready.

Sure as shit, the boys asked me up to jam on their fourth set when there was basically no one left in the club. I played my Schecter fretless. I got to play 4 songs with them and did pretty well. No clams.

After the gig, the band sat at our table, with Manzarek, and shot the shit while the roadies packed their gear. We sat there until 5am. These boys were hard drinking fellas. No way could I keep up with them. I had to do a fair amount of toot to stay conscious…which I spread around the table….in fact, everyone shared. So we talked all over each other and laughed all night…of course, with the club closed, out came the herb. So it was crazy nuts.

Jimmie told stories about his brother. It was about 8 years later that Stevie died. Ray told stories about The Doors that had us all rapt with wonder….

Jimmie told us how a roadie would super glue the tips of Stevie’s fingers back on during concerts. None of us could fathom that and wondered if he was pulling our leg.

The night ended and it wasn’t til that afternoon, that I was calm enough to go to bed. Marshall and I continued to visit that club but I never took my bass back. I figured it would be presumptuous of me to bring it without being asked.

The Thunderbirds disappeared into the night playing much bigger gigs…but Ray Manzarek was always there. We eventually began to feel sorry for him. He always seemed to be sad. He took a big fall from grace from the 1960’s to the 1980’s.

But I had the time of my life back then.



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