Aurora 1495 Connoisseur Collection Cigar
A few months ago I received a care package from my good friend José Blanco at Tabacalera La Aurora. Inside were five Robusto cigars, all from the Aurora 1495 Connoisseur Collection that debuted at last summer’s Retail Tobacco Dealers Association Trade Show in Houston. Now available at most retail cigar stores, the concept behind the 1495 Connoisseur Collection is to answer the question regarding how much the wrapper leaf affects the flavor of a cigar. The answer? A lot!
To make their point, La Aurora took the core of their 1495 selection, a robust blend of Nicaraguan, Peruvian, and Dominican longfillers, and created four unique new blends using a Brazilian Maduro, a Cameroon, a Connecticut, and a Corojo wrapper leaf.
Being very familiar with the Aurora 1495 cigars selection in the original Ecuadorian Sun Grown wrapper, I was anxious to taste how these four additional wrappers would pan out on my palate. I smoked the four new cigars over the period of a month and paired them with a bottle of spring water so as to not affect any of the flavors. Rolled to a 5″ x 52 shape, all of the cigars were well-packed, looked gorgeous, and drew well. So how did they stack up on taste? Here’s my 2¢ (in the order I smoked them).
Aurora 1495 Connoisseur Connecticut – Much like the Ecuadorian Sun Grown, the smoke was earthy, spicy and full-bodied. The smoke was very well-balanced, very smooth, somewhat woodier in character, and offered an outstanding aroma. For me, the big difference here was the smoothness of the smoke and the aroma. Final score: 9.0
Aurora 1495 Connoisseur Cameroon – The aroma on this cigar topped the Connecticut. It was full-bodied, but not as heavy or nearly as spicy as the Ecuadorian Sun Grown. I’d even go so far as to say it had a very “Cuban character” that was more on the mellow side. The smoke was primarily rich, earthy and very sweet – all perfectly balanced. The cigar also produced a 1½-inch ash to start. The finish was a bit shorter, too, until the last third when even more flavors kicked in. Final score: 9.3
Aurora 1495 Connoisseur Corojo – This wrapper also offered a sweet aroma, but the spiciness was back. The smoke was smooth, earthy, balanced, and overall, much more heady, dominated by strong woody and peppery flavors. Certainly the most complex so far, and perhaps the closest in flavor to the original Ecuadorian Sun Grown. Final score: 8.8
Aurora 1495 Connoisseur Brazilian Maduro – This thick, toothy wrapper was the most rustic in appearance and had an unappealingly salty taste. The pre-lit draw was sweet and spicy, but once lit the cigar gave off a very burly aroma. Unfortunately, I had some burn problems with this sample, too, and although the cigar was well-balanced, the flavors were even heavier than the Corojo. If I had to describe it in one word, I’d say “strong.” This was a really dark, spicy, peppery powerhouse that was just too overwhelming for me. Final score: 8.0
You can also watch a short video of José Blanco describing the concept behind the 1495 Connoisseur Collection that I took at last year’s RTDA Show in Houston: