Having previously reviewed the 1903 Emerald Doble Figurado Tubo, I took the chance to review this La Aurora Preferidos 1903 Platinum which features a Cameroon (Ecuador) wrapper.
Below, you’ll discover the Preferidos 1903 Platinum as I review it via the following categories:
You can use the links above to jump ahead or scroll down to learn more.
Watch The Video Review
- Brand: La Aurora
- Range: 1903 Platinum
- Reviewed Vitolas: 5 x 54 “doble figurado” Perfecto
- Wrapper: Cameroon (Ecuador)
- Binder: Cibao Valley (Dominican Republic)
- Filler: Cibao Valley (DR), Brazil, Cameroon (Africa)
- Factory: La Aurora, Dominican Republic
- Handmade: Yes
- Body: Medium
- Estimated Smoking Time: 40-45 Minutes
- Pricing: $26 / Single [Buy Now]
The 1903 Edition by La Aurora is also known as the Preferidos range since it recalls some of the earliest cigars created by the La Aurora Cigar Factory and which were originally sold under the Preferidos name. All of the 1903 Edition cigars boast the same elegant box presentation and individual tubos.
Specifically, the Platinum is marked by its Cameroon (Ecuador) wrapper and medium + strength.
La Aurora 1903 Preferidos Platinum Look & Feel
- Wrapper Hue: Brown
- Rolling Consistency: Very Even
- Spring: Firm
- Aromas: Straw, Leather, Light Barnyard
The roll of the La Aurora 1903 Platinum is quite even with minimal veining. Furthermore, the cigar is firm throughout its entire length which, given the difficult double figurado vitola, is certainly impressive. Even under scrupulous inspection, I couldn’t find any soft spots.
The Cameroon wrapper gives off a slight sheen though it is not overly oily. As far as aromas in the pre-light, most notes are rather subtle at this point. Nevertheless, I can identify straw, rich leather, and light barnyard.
La Aurora 1903 Edition Platinum Review
Prior to smoking the 1903 Platinum, I seasoned the cigars in my humidor for about 2 months with 69% Boveda packs as this is my preferred humidity level for cigars that I’m getting acquainted with.
- Draw: Ideal
- Aromas: Light Hay, Nutty, Butter
Following a dry draw, I experienced light nutty notes along with some hay and butter. It was to be expected with a cigar at this price point, but it’s worth noting that the pre-light draw was ideal – not too tight and not too loose so I was sure it’d be an enjoyable smoke even before getting out my torch.
1st Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Woody Oak, Earth, Sweet
Upon lighting my 1903 Platinum, I could tell that the cigar opened up with a slightly sharp, bitter note. I believe this may be due to the double figurado vitola which I am not completely familiar with. This being said, further into the first third and once the body and oils in the cigar were warmed up, the true flavor profile began to shine through.
The most prominent flavors I found were woody oak, earthy notes, and a sweet nuttiness. In the retrohale, I largely encountered notes of sweet earth and some slight citrus tones.
2nd Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Cinnamon, Graham Cracker, Spice
Into the second third of the La Aurora 1903 Preferidos Platinum, there is a clear and distinct evolution of flavor from the beginning of the cigar. At this point, I found the flavor profile to be much more complex.
I noted a cinnamon flavor here, as well as graham cracker and spice. On the retrohale, there are earthy and woody tones as well as light citrus, much like I encountered in the first third. Around this time, the burn angle did begin to deviate slightly but against my impulses, I did not reach for my torch to correct it on the spot and it ultimately evened out later in the session.
I have to admit that the flavors were quite nuanced and even my experienced palate was unable to uniquely distinguish all of the notes. That being said, the experience throughout was quite pleasant and harmonious.
Final Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Cedar, Coffee, Woodiness
Into the final third, in the 1903 Edition Platinum I’m picking up woody notes along with coffee and cedar. The retrohale reveals earthy notes not unlike what I encountered on the retrohale in the second third.
The finish is slightly oily as a result of the Cameroon (Ecuador) wrapper, the body is medium plus, the smoke is very smooth throughout, and the mouthfeel is wholesome. All in all, the evolution on this 1903 Platinum is phenomenal which I’d attribute to the Doble Figurado shape that physically modifies the amount of air flowing through the cigar almost from minute to minute.
- Ash Backbone: Solid & Strong
- Burn Angle: Consistent Burn Angle
- Temperature: Hot at some points
- Draw: Perfect with slight resistance
- Final Smoking Time: 40-45 Minutes
The combustion on this Preferidos 1903 Platinum was perfect throughout the session. Once more, I like to highlight the draw as it’s easy for it to become inconsistent (or worse) with such a particular vitola but the master rollers at La Aurora have evidently earned their titles.
Likewise, the burn angle surprised me with how even it remained not just after one cigar but in the five 1903 Platinum cigars I smoked. The ash quality has also been quite solid, while the temperature at times I perceived to be a bit hot. It’s possible I was just oversmoking my cigar (I’ve been known to do this) but I did experience this on occasion.
All in all, I thought the combustion and overall structure were impressively consistent, and even more so given the Doble Figurado shape.
The premium smoking experience of the La Aurora 1903 Platinum is only further augmented by its exceptional presentation.
The cigars are packed in the traditional wooden box which has an attractive design not only on its top but throughout. The range and contents of the cigar box are even burned onto the front of the box which I found to be a nice touch.
Inside the box, you’ll find 8 individual metal tubos in the same double figurado shape. The tubos are securely wedged into individual slots on a felted or lined surface. This kind of presentation is unlike what I’ve encountered in other brands and certainly helps justify the cost because, in my opinion, it certainly improves the experience.
Each box is also accompanied by a small card that states some information about the cigars including the range, lot number, the month/year when the aging process was started, when the cigars were packed, and when they left the factory.
My specific box contained cigars that were first aged in June of 2019 then packed and released in October 2020.
The band on the cigars is likewise rather elegant. It’s marked by the La Aurora logo, an indication of the Cameroon wrapper and the image of a lion which I’d imagine is a recall of the wrapper’s origin as well. Considering this along with the price point of the cigar, I thought it might be doing it a bit of a disservice to the cigar experience for the design to be so subdued, but evidently, La Aurora wanted something simpler here.
Overall, I don’t think the 1903 Platinum cigars can be beaten when it comes to presentation. Perhaps the band could be a bit more substantial but again, this may have been intentional by the brand, and the presentation as a whole more than makes up for this.
It is this same presentation that makes the cigar ideal for black tie events or perhaps even as a gift at a friend or loved one’s celebration. I can easily see how bringing out a box of the 1903 Platinum cigars (and passing out the tubos) towards the end of a wedding celebration or milestone birthday could make for a memorable juncture.
Pairing Recommendations For The 1903 Preferidos Platinum Cigar
There are varying (if not contradicting) fields of thought when it comes to pairing cigars with food or drinks. Generally, I enjoy some sort of drink with my cigars but it varies from smoke to smoke.
In the case of the La Aurora 1903 Platinum, I’d have to stick with the fundamentalists who shun covering up the flavor of a good cigar with any kind of refreshment. The experience is so nuanced at different points in the cigar that I think it is completely worthwhile to go without a drink that may cause you to miss the complexities in the flavor.
If you insist on an accompaniment, I’d opt for very light nibbles or finger food that will not overpower the cigar’s notes. For instance, some crackers and soft cheese could be a harmonious pair. On alcohol pairings, the idea is the same, consider drinks that are not bold, so opt for a low ABV rum, dry champagne, or scotch that is not too peaty.
Tallying up the points per the Bespoke Unit Cigar Formula, the La Aurora 1903 Preferidos Platinum scored an 86/100 which puts it comfortably into the top category as one of the best we’ve reviewed.
While not a component of the final score, we also consider the value for money, and I’ve given the 1903 Platinum a B+ in this regard as it is well into the premium realm considering that it’s $26.25 for a single and $210 for a box of 8. If the vitola was larger and therefore the smoking experience a bit longer, I’d certainly grade the 1903 Platinum an A- or higher on value.
Taking all of the above points into account, I can truly appreciate the expertise that goes not only into the blend but specifically the perfect execution of the Double Figurado shape. The cigar is very interesting with a significantly complex, nuanced, and evolving flavor profile that makes it more than worthwhile to take your time enjoying it and analyzing the different notes that arise throughout the session.
"A premium, complex, and evolving cigar that rewards those who devote the time to experience the nuanced notes that arise throughout."
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