La Aurora Cigar Institute

If you are interested in immersing yourself in the cigar industry, La Aurora created the La Aurora Cigar Institute just for you. The Cigar Institute “focuses on education, communication, and dissemination of the culture of tobacco, understanding it to be an inseparable part of the development of Dominican society and its agro cultural practices. The Cigar Institute places special emphasis on all aspects related to the understanding of the different varieties of plants, soils, organoleptic characteristics, leagues, tasting of cigars and through pairings between cigars and various agro-food specialties.” I’m not sure what the heck “organoleptic” means but it sounds like a great experience. The Cigar Institute caters to consumers, cigar sommeliers, cigar shop employees, and cigar journalists.

There are three different programs available to meet your cigar education needs: Introduction, Advanced, and Modular.


The Introduction course is three days and costs $950. The course covers the following topics over the three days:

Day 1 (Theory)

  • Tobacco and its history
  • Economic and Social Importance of Tobacco in the Dominican Republic
  • Microclimate and cultivation zones, seed selection, and soil preparation
  • Seedbeds and cultural practices
  • Harvesting and curing
  • Processes for fermentation and aging of raw tobacco
  • Pre-manufacturing preparation
  • Visit to processes with detailed viewing of destalking of filler

Day 2 (Theory/Practice)

  • Factory Tour
  • Cigar manufacturing process
  • Selection of tobaccos
  • Manufacturing — final pressing and rolling

Day 3 (Practice)

  • Rolling cigars
  • Selection of cigars, cutting and lighting
  • Ringing and packaging
  • Basics of Sensory Evaluation
  • Tasting: comparing a fresh cigar vs. an aged cigar
  • Tasting seminar
  • Knowledge test (Yes, you have to pass a test!)

The course cost includes lodging, transportation while at the Cigar Institute, meals, cigars, and instructional material.


The Advanced course is also three days and costs $1,100. The course covers the following topics:

Day 1 (Theory and Practice)

  • Factory Tour
  • Dominican tobacco varieties
  • Flavors and aromas of Dominican fields and regions
  • Concepts: for those who wish to master these terms, they explain why it is called dry, moist, medium time or light; the colors of the ash; why it is called third, strength vs. flavor and where the balance is broken, consistency, terminology in the tobacco industry
  • Development of blends:  they discuss the development of blends using different areas of Dominican culture
  • Blending seminar

Day 2 (Practice)

  • De-stem layer, binder, and filler
  • Preparation of blends
  • Preparation of grip
  • Rolling, ringing, and packaging of cigars 

Day 3 (Practice)

  • The world of coffee
  • Pairing coffee and cigars
  • The world of rum
  • Pairing rum and cigars
  • Knowledge test

The course costs includes lodging, transportation while at the Cigar Institute, meals, cigars, and instructional material.

Modular Courses

The Modular Cours are for those who are too darn busy to attend the Introduction or Advanced course. Each Modular Course costs $50 and covers the following:

Module 1 – Starting module

  • Cigar selection
  • Cutting and lighting
  • Tasting seminar
  • Tasting

Module 2 – Advanced module

  • Blending seminar
  • Tasting

Module 3 – Pairing module

  • Pairing cigar with rum

Module 4 – Pairing module

  • Pairing cigar with coffee

Course Location

All courses take place at La Aurora Cigar in the Dominican Republic. You can learn more, including checking out the course schedule by going HERE.



c.gar loves all things cigar-related. He typically falls in love with cigars that are discontinued shortly thereafter. His first cigar was a Swisher Sweet with a wood tip. Sadly, these are still in production.

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