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BEHIND THE LEAF: La Aurora: 120 Years Strong

BEHIND THE LEAF: La Aurora: 120 Years Strong

The Dominican Republic shares its tropical beaches, gorgeous valleys, mountains that peak majestically skyward and farmlands with the world. The tobacco fields of the Dominican Republic have given birth to some of the world’s most revered cigars in the history of cigar making.

Established in 1903, La Aurora is the country’s original and oldest cigar manufacturer. Their pristine factory, lush tobacco fields, meticulous tobacco barn and aging rooms are representative of the company’s commitment to maintaining its standard as a leader in the premium cigar world. We are fortunate that La Aurora continues to thrive in the cigar culture and share their iconic cigars with the rest of the world.

La Aurora gives back. The company contributes to the employment of the area, and many of its employees have been with the brand for decades.

La Aurora is currently stewarded by President Guillermo León Herbert. He’s the fifth generation of León family in the tobacco world.

Recently, we had the chance to chat with Guillermo, and congratulate him on the company’s 120th year of sharing their artistry with the world.

Cigar & Spirits Magazine: Congratulations on your big year.

Guillermo León Herbert: Well, thank you so much.

Let’s talk about how La Aurora’s legacy informs your goals with the brand today.

Integrity, authenticity, honesty and passion for excellence have been principles in our family creed. These values have been kept throughout the history of our factory and brand. Since its beginnings, La Aurora’s legacy has been to make cigars of the best quality and the passion for excellence. This focus has maintained on our trajectory, making us a reference for world-class quality in our industry.

What does La Aurora’s 120th anniversary personally represent to you?

For me, it means commitment in the broad sense of the word. On the one hand, it is a commitment to perpetuate my family’s values from generation to generation; the same ones have been present in every step and decision taken by my father, uncles, and grandfather. Also, it’s a commitment to our consumers, which have consistently supported us and believed in our brand, to continue making the best cigars in the world. A responsibility that weighs on my shoulders but that fills me with inspiration every day to continue writing our history.

What might resonate with La Aurora brand fans about the anniversary?

We think the most special way to celebrate La Aurora’s 120 Anniversary is to transform those 12 decades of history into an exceptional cigar. We invite our fans to celebrate our anniversary by smoking this Dominican Puro Cigar as well as getting to know more details behind each cigar within our portfolio as we work to expand distribution in the United States Market.

What are the special aspects regarding the blend of the 120th Anniversary cigar that make it notable?

The composition of this Puro is unique. La Aurora 120 Anniversary is a medium-to-full-body complex cigar that provides a memorable smoke. It is a cigar of Dominican tobacco, a harvest of our family. We have chosen the best of our own tobaccos to share with the world on this special anniversary.

Tell us what continues to inspire you to create some of the finest cigars in the world.

I’m inspired by following my grandfather, father and uncle’s legacy and dream. However, I’m also motivated by our consumers, who are increasingly demanding and have new ways of appreciating a smoke. Knowing the different types of consumers and knowing how to create products that satisfy such varied palates is a challenge that inspires me every day.

How rewarding is it for you that La Aurora is recognized as one of the world’s most iconic cigar brands?
It’s an honor for us to see my family’s dream come true and to appreciate the time and sacrifice it’s taken to keep us together over time. La Aurora has been part of my entire life, and it fills me with pride to be able to represent what we’ve achieved as a family and the innovation we have brought to the cigar industry.

La Aurora’s history is well-known to our audience. Please share something unique or under-the-radar about the brand.

There are some things I would like to point out about us. The first one is that our family has a museum, The Centro León. Not only about our family legacy, but it’s also one of the most important cultural centers in the Caribbean, with artworks and projects that transcend internationally.

Also, others may not know that differently from most cigar factories, we prefer to grow our own tobacco. We initiate a plan to plant the seeds we want to obtain the perfect leaves and follow all the processes that allow us to reach our high-quality standard. The variety we mostly plant is Corojo because it has the highest consumption locally. We are making sure to provide the finest finished product, which has opened the doors to collaborate with partners to bring other brands to market, such as Kafie and Fratello. The process of collaboration to create a brand outside of La Aurora is always exciting because it is a way to help others bring their dreams to life through the world of tobacco.

What should we be on the lookout for the rest of 2023 and beyond?

2023 has been a year of reinvention, of celebrating the rebirth of La Aurora, but the best is yet to come. In April we established La Aurora USA, to provide a closer and more personalized experience to our consumers in the market. We’re very excited about all the new things on the way. We invite everyone to be attentive to all our channels to be part of our 120 Anniversary festivities: but above all, of the New Dawn of La Aurora.

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