I should start by saying I was extremely excited to try this cigar. The La Sirena Prince was the subject of my first review and one of my go to sticks. The Merlion by La Sirena Cigars is distributed by Miami Cigar & Company which produces other tasty blends as well. When the Merlion became available on the Pipes and Cigars website, I wasted no time.
The construction of the cigar is beautiful. Packed well and a little lighter in color than the La Sirenas. A few medium veins throughout but nothing tedious. Pre light sniff was a wonderful mix of manure, woodsy and nutty notes. The foot gave some spice, woods and more manure. The pre light draw offered woods, spice, and cream. Toast it, smoke it…
The first third was as good as it gets. A flavorful blend of woods, nuts, earth, and a dry spice at the finish. The burn was great, and produced a nice light colored ash. The smoke was aromatic and a little dry, and plenty of it was created. I also at times sensed some creaminess in the profile. The cigar thus far has been worth the wait.
The second third saw a few minor changes but nothing too significant. The more dominant flavors became the woods, earth, and creaminess. The spice was reserved for the palate and was a dry finish. The earth and nuts were still present but more as undertones. The burn stayed pretty even, and if it seemed it wouldn’t the cigar corrected itself wonderfully. The smoke stayed ample and the cigar at a cool temp.
In the final third the spice began to fade a bit, giving way to the more earthy, and wood tones. The creaminess also seemed to amp up a bit and provide a smoother finish. At times I thought I sensed a bitter chocolate taste, a subject which I’ll pay more attention to with my next Merlion. Oh yes this was only one of many, I can guarantee that. The cigar stayed perfectly cool from foot to nub.
Sometimes anticipation, can lead to great happiness or disappointment. The anticipation of the Merlion for me was every bit worth the wait. I can see this in my top five of 2012 easily. La Sirena and Miami Cigar Company continue to create quality smokes and I look forward to trying more of their lines in time to come. As always I thank you for reading and long ashes to all! -Evan