The history of La Aurora is the history of the Dominican Republican tobacco industry. La Aurora is the country’s oldest cigar manufacturer. When La Aurora succeeded the Dominican Republic did too.
In 1903, 18-year-old Eduardo León Jimenes opened the La Aurora factory on land he had inherited. Eduardo’s father was a tobacco farmer and had taught him the way of the leaf, and Eduardo in turn passed on the knowledge and skill to his sons, most nnotable amongst them being Francisco Fernando who would forever change the company’s trajectory.
As the brand developed, local tobacco farmers grew to respect the La Aurora label and the León family as a whole. In 1926, La aurora adopted the majestic lion to represent the brand on their cigar band. The lion was a fitting symbol for the brand’s commitment to integrity, its passion for quality, and its status as a leader in the Dominican tobacco industry.
As their popularity grew, La Aurora became a small part of the family’s larger company; Empresa León Jimenes C. por A. Despite the best efforts of the Dominican dictator, Trujillo, La Aurora kept a solid stand in the industry and prevented Trujillo from completely controlling the country’s tobacco industry.
After Trujillo’s death in 1961, Empresa León Jimenes was able to fully flourish unabated. They entered the cigarette business and sparked a partnership with Philip Morris, in which they produced Marlboro for the Dominican Republic. International exports began once again.
The company’s growth made room for Fernando’s son, Guillermo, who joined the business in 1983. That same year they bought the Bohemia Brewery and began to produce Heineken beer. In 1986, Cerveceria Nacional Dominicana, makers of Presidente beer, came into the company’s portfolio and solidified its presence as the leader in the Dominican beer market.
In 1987, the founder was honored with a brand of cigars, known as León Jimenes. During the 1990’s cigar boom, Guillermo took a leadership position in the cigar operation, which represented just 1% of the company’s profile. During this time the need for skilled rollers skyrocketed so La Aurora opened a school to train new rollers.
Guillermo made La Aurora a focal point for the company once again, giving it the dedication and care it deserved. In 1997, they relaunched a project to grow wrappers in the Dominican Republic, which at the time was unheard of. The project proved to be a smashing success, and in 2003 La Aurora released the legendary puro Dominican cigar line, known as 100 Años.
In 2010, connoisseurs reached out to Guillermo via Twitter asking for La Aurora 107 to be made as a Lancero. La Aurora thought it was a great idea, and they agreed to create the cigar with one caveat, it was only made available via Twitter! In 2011, Guillermo decided to separate La Aurora from the rest of the Empresa León Jimenes portfolio in order to preserve its integrity.
In 2004, La Aurora 100 Años was named the best Dominican Cigar in the World. Cigar Aficionado has also awarded the brand with several 90+ ratings.
Perhaps the key component behind La Aurora’s popularity is their decision to craft complex quality cigars as opposed to focusing on a mass production operation. The complexity they achieve is made possible by their never ending quest for perfection, sourcing tobacco from countries such as Brazil, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Peru to complement their Dominican roots. La Aurora is fit for the noblest connoisseurs, those who can appreciate the value of its motto “Chosen tobacco, skilled craftsmen”.

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