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The Aurora Effect

The oldest cigar company in the Dominican Republic does things its own way
Gregory Mottola
From the Print Edition:
Jeff Daniels-The Newsroom, July/August 2012

(continued from page 4)

Along with Guillermo León, Aurora’s other new brands include Aurora 107, León Jimenes Prestige, and the limited edition Puro Vintage, a figuardo that recently scored 91 points in Cigar Aficionado. The previously unreleased Don Fernando, a corona blended for León’s father, is also scheduled for commercial distribution. It will be a blend of Corojo wrapper and Piloto Cubano tobacco.

“The consumer always wants something new,” León says resignedly. Most of these consumers are citizens of the United States. The U.S. makes up half of La Aurora’s premium production. Spain is its second-largest market, and, according to León, La Aurora is the No. 1 cigar brand sold in the Dominican Republic. Right now, León has 5 million cigars in his aging room, symmetrically stacked to the ceilings in cataloged wooden cases waiting to be boxed and shipped to various markets.
 León takes the final puffs of his cigar. He’s reminded of that odd-looking machine a visitor spied earlier on the factory floor, and once again he is asked what it is.

“Well,” he says, “I’ll tell you this—You won’t see those anywhere else.”

León smiles, and then laughs. He has over 100 years of history in his hands, and probably 100 more.

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