This week's review is of the Para Japón, a new cigar from La Aurora. Proceeds from the sale of the Para Japón are going to the Japan earthquake and tsunami relief fund, which is the whole reason behind this project. The guys from Cigar Explorer (Mario Takeyama and Dan Reeve) approached La Aurora to do this cigar after the earthquake. Mario still has friends and family in Japan and he wanted to do something to support the relief fund. Mario and Dan designed the band and artwork and La Aurora put together a cigar. Actually, the cigar has been aging for 3 years and was waiting for a project to be released under. I was lucky enough to be one of the people a few samples were sent out to. This cigar is a 5x50 robusto with a Nicaraguan wrapper, Dominican Binder and Cameroon, Brazilian and Dominican fillers. These are being released in boxes of 12 this week.
The Para Japón has a silky brown wrapper with 2 larger veins running the length of it. The overall roll feels very firm without any soft spots. The aroma at cold is of cedar and well fermented/aged tobacco. The prelight draw shows a good draw with a lot of musty aged tobacco flavor. The wrapper leaves a slightly odd flavor on my lips that takes a minute to get used to. Once lit this starts out with a lot of leather and cedar. This isn't overly complex but it is definitely pleasant. The ash holds on for a solid inch in this example, but one of the previous samples I smoked had a really flakey ash on it. The burn hasn't needed any touchups throughout the first third. At the end of the first third the finish has gotten really nutty, something similar to toasted walnuts. This cigar has a unique flavor to it. I have tasted all of these flavors in cigars before, but something about the way they are coming together in this particular cigar is really different. As I reach the band the flavors have stayed consistent. Thankfully the larger veins on the wrapper didn't cause any burn problems or bitterness on the palate. I would put this down as a medium bodied mild/medium strength cigar.
The Para Japón was a pretty solid cigar. This probably isn't my favorite thing I've had from La Aurora, but there was something unique about it that would definitely bring me back to smoke it again. These will be available for $10 a piece or $96 for a box of 12, with some of the proceeds going to the aid in Japan. I love seeing a cigar company stepping up and supporting a great cause. This fits what I like for a first cigar of the day, something mild enough to have after breakfast that still delivers plenty of flavor. This isn't the most complex cigar you will ever smoke, but with the flavors it offers, it won't disappoint.