La Aurora "120th Anniversary" Review: Toast of the Town

Anniversary cigars are about as commonplace as limited-release IPA tap handles at a hipster bar in Cincinnati's historic OTR brewery district. And like these hoppy, limited edition helpings of fermented goodness, the vast majority of the anniversary cigars that I encounter are pretty damn wonderful.

One of the more memorable anniversary smokes that I encountered this year, was the "120th Anniversary" by La Aurora. If my math is correct, that makes La Aurora the longest-running cigar manufacturer in the Dominican Republic. 

After scoring a couple of sample sticks at the 2023 PCA Trade Show in Las Vegas (note the mini footband toward the bottom), I returned to Japan and fired one of these Dominican puros up early one morning at a beach in Kagawa.

No more than 10 minutes into this blend, I realized that referring to this celebratory cigar as "memorable" was a bit misleading. "Magical" or even "mesmerizing" would be far more appropriate descriptors for the experience that this limited-run cigar provides, and you're about to understand why...  

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Unlit Impressions


La Aurora "120th Anniversary"

I adore a cedar-sleeved cigar. Protection and appearance are one perk of this sheathing, but the aromatics it provides are the real reason I love a cedar sleeve.

Dried figs, dates, and raisins, along with a nice belt of bourbon vanilla sweetness all pour forth from the foot. The barrel smells of cedar, exotic spice, and oiled leather. 

Remove the cedar and you'll see a very nicely formed robusto, with zero construction issues, and a nice, deeply formed cap. In hand, this is a fairly heavy-feeling robusto too, so La Aurora isn't skimping on the filler whatsoever. 

Initial Smoke 

La Aurora "120th Anniversary"

Cedar-forward from first light, and distinctly peppery (red, white, and black), the initial portion of this cigar is definitely intense. This is soon offset by vanilla and dried fruit flavors, and a light leather note that goes wonderfully with all of that cedar and exotic spice from the nose.  

1st Half 

La Aurora "120th Anniversary"

Purposefully perfect would be the best way to describe the first half of this Dominican puro. 

That Habana '92 wrapper leaf is just outstanding in every way, with a burn line that is only bested by its aromatics. The body is on the lower end of full, with full-strength fillers from La Aurora’s Cibao Valley farms bringing earthen depth and a low and slow burn to the table.

Cedar is still the most prominent flavor profile, followed by spiced candied fruits, Szechuan pepper, and a dark molasses note that isn't so much sweet as it is tasty.  

Retrohales are peppery from the corojo and Piloto Cabano tobacco, with the Olor binder adding a cocoa note. 

2nd Half    

La Aurora "120th Anniversary"

As the spice levels adjust, so too does the flavor of the cigar in the second half. Those cocoa, coffee, vanilla, and cinnamon notes advertised on the La Aurora webpage come into their own, and everything experienced prior mellows.

The cigar starts to become slightly bitter at this point but in a pleasant, sun-grown tobacco strength sort of way. This is achieved by the introduction of a mild brown sugar and vanilla sweetness within the long finish of the cigar, serving as a countercheck and secondary tasting note.

Retrohales are still peppery, but milder than before. 

Parting Puffs   

La Aurora "120th Anniversary"

I liked the finale of this full-flavored celebratory cigar much more the second time around. La Aurora's use of stronger internal ingredients (Piloto Cubano in particular) makes the tail-end of the smoking experience a bit brazen. 

Strong notes of charry chocolate bitterness, candied fruits, and a smoky cedar taste dominate. 

Ash / Burn / Smoke / Draw   

La Aurora "120th Anniversary"

 A flawless victory on the first sample stick, but the second cigar burned a bit hot, even though I smoked it very slowly. One touch-up was needed at the start of the final third, and the ash grew progressively flakey as it went. 

Final Thoughts 

La Aurora "120th Anniversary"

If I could smoke this particular premium cigar blend once a week for the rest of my life, I would be immensely satisfied. 

Every day might be a bit much, as it is a very intense smoking experience and one that should not be taken lightly. But with the right beverage, some quality time around the campfire with family and friends, and a slight chill to the air, La Aurora's "120th Anniversary" quickly becomes an ideal any-given weekend sort of cigar.

Now if you'll pardon me. I need to see about securing a few more of these cigars before ya'll buy them all up...


La Aurora "120th Anniversary"


Cigar Stats 


La Aurora "120th Anniversary"


Habana '92 (Dominican Republic)


Olor (Dominican Republic)


Piloto Cubano/Olor/Corojo (Dominican Republic)


Dominican Republic


5" x 50 "Robusto"



Pairing Drink

Wilkinson Ginger Ale



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