The 25 Best Cigars of the Year 2006
Aurora Preferido Emerald
The Preferido shape, a bomb-shaped perfecto, was the first cigar made by La Aurora S.A. when it began making cigars more than 100 years ago. That cigar put the company on the map, and its re-release in April 1999 has brought Aurora back to prominence. Each new version features a different wrapper leaf. Originally done in Cameroon, the Preferido now has versions made with Connecticut broadleaf, Connecticut shade, Dominican Corojo and now Ecuadoran Sumatra. Most come in colorful tubes, such as the green-hued one that holds the Emerald. The somewhat unusual filler blend of Nicaraguan, Brazilian and Dominican tobaccos combined with the Emerald's Ecuadoran Sumatra wrapper results in hearty notes of hickory wood and a masculine character. The impeccable construction of the perfectos (they measure a tidy 5 inches long with a 54 ring gauge around their bulbous bellies) is done by a select group of rollers who sit in a showcase section of the factory frequented by tourists.