Wrapper: Ecuadorian Cameroon
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Dominican Republic
Brand: Musa Cigars
Factory: La Aurora (Santiago, Dominican Republic)
Vitola: Robusto (5 x 50)
CigarNoise Price Range: $8 – $10

Musa – Opening Thoughts

In the Dominican Republic municipality of Tamboril, a boyhood dream was born.   At the age of 15, Jose Musa began cultivating his knowledge of the tobacco industry.  Surrounded by the likes of Guillermo Leon, Eladio Diaz and Chico Rivas, his exposure to the dynamic world of cigar manufacturing matured him quickly.

By age 19, he was ready to launch the cigar bearing his name.  Due to his young age, he was unable to do business in the United States and had to place his dream on hiatus.  With the doors of the La Aurora factory opened to him at age 22, the Musa cigar became reality.

The Musa cigar provided to me for review was soft brown in color and appeared well constructed.  Aromatic qualities of hay, oak and tea drifted from the wrapper while the foot carried oak, cherry and earth to the nose.  A straight cut to the cap revealed an easy cold draw laden with hay, cherry, green tea and a tease of cocoa.

Musa – First Third

Charred Cedar, Cream, Pepper, Walnut, Mild Tobacco, Coffee

The initial impressions from this robusto were blended flavors of charred cedar and cream with a short finish.  Warm pepper arrived on my tongue and brought along a slight walnut bitterness.  While the bitterness quickly subsided, mild tobacco notes came and went intermittently and finished with a coffee note hidden in the finale of the profile.

Musa Review

Disappointingly, the cherry flavor experienced in the cold draw failed to show up for the game.  I wasn’t waving the white flag quite yet and knew some searching would reveal it’s hiding place before my review ended. While the cherry note hid,  peppery heat in the retro hale did not.  My sinuses felt slightly punished by the spicy heat.

The Musa’s draw remained easy throughout the first third, producing plenty of smoke to fill the area I occupied.  I did experience the strange appearance of a burn mark about 1/4″ past the char line as this third ended, but it self-corrected as the ash fell for the first time.

Musa – Middle Third

Cream, Red Pepper Flake, Cedar, Earth, Cherry, Cocoa, Baked Pastry Sweetness, Buttered Popcorn

The middle portion of the Musa beckoned me and I obliged.  Removing the charred cedar from the profile, Musa became creamy smooth and I could only attribute this radical change to the ash fall preceding this third.  It was a great transition no matter how quickly it occurred.  A smorgasbord of red pepper flake, cedar, and earthiness followed the creaminess in suit.  Adding to the complexity, that particular cherry flavor revealed itself, bringing cocoa and a baked pastry sweetness to the finish.

Musa Review

This movement from the red pepper flake heat to a sweet coating on the tongue was splendid, but Musa wasn’t finished with her surprises quite yet.  The retro hale was still heavy with peppery heat, but delighted in a moment of buttered popcorn in the finish.  This twist in flavors was great!

In repeated fashion, the draw remained perfect as I neared the final third.  I did notice the burn cycling from wavy to straight several times, clearly having a mind of its own.

Musa – Final Third

Cedar, Cream, Cherry, Charred Meat

With Musa’s band safely removed, I began the final third of my exploration into this cigar.  Heavy cedar notes reclaimed the lead.  Not to be forgotten, cream and cherry followed quickly on the finish.  I did detect an essence of charred meat in the lingering moments of the profile as well.

Musa Review

The char line during this segment was wavy, but manageable, up until the halfway mark.  Intent on scoring perfectly, the draw finished as it started: flawless.

Musa Review

Musa Review
8.9 Reviewer
8.1 Cigar Noise Network (3 votes)
Pros

Complex 1st and 2nd Third

Perfect Draw Start To Finish

Cons

Mildly Unpredicatable Burn

Burn Correction Needed In Final Third

Diminished Flavor Profile In Final Third

Summary
Musa was a beauty out of the gate, setting a quick pace. Midway through, the experience the flavors transitioned at an impressive pace. The final leg, however, found her struggling with a flattened profile and burn issues near the end. I am eager to try the different vitolas of the Musa cigar because I believe the possibilities of greatness exists in this line.
Value
Burn
Draw
Flavor
Enjoyment
What Other Folks Are Saying: 3 Make some Noise
Inconsistent, but shows promise
I had a similar experience to Dave's, where I was not getting enough smoke to separate out a ton of flavors from my admittedly smaller palette, and that hurt this cigar for me.

I won a three-pack of robolos off CigarNoise back in July/August, and had one ROTT and one just a week or two ago.

The aging process definitely helped (I'm saving the third for the one-year mark), but this cigar suffered I think #1 from the vitola I had it in (probably 4/4.5x54), as well as inconsistent flavors and weak smoke production.

I got the bitter nuts Ted described, although it stayed throughout for me. I also got the waves of pepper, and only the slightest hint of cocoa and espresso. No creaminess in sight for me.

Hoping for better things come July!
December 15, 2016, 9:56 am
Value7.5
Burn8
Draw8.1
Flavor4.7
Enjoyment4.7
0
2
A good smoke!
Ted nailed the tasting notes. Cream, wood, cherry, pepper (more red pepper than black pepper) and a couple extra interesting notes in there as a bonus as well. Well-made and tasty.
September 12, 2016, 6:58 am
Value9
Burn8.8
Draw9
Flavor8.8
Enjoyment8.9
0
1
Good Stuff!
The foot of these smells like Lucky Charms, something that sets it apart instantly.

My first Musa Robusto had excellent construction but didn't seem to have many identifiable flavors past the first third. Giving it another 10 days rest, I'm glad to see that flavor and construction were both present in today's Musa.

My experience front loaded the sweetness from the second third right into the very beginning, hitting me with cherries, cream, and woodsy notes from the get-go.

The ash/burn line remained what I'd consider "Text Book" for my two cigars, and the draw was plenty adequate.

My two knocks on this cigar are the body and an intermittent wave of sinus heat. The smoke was very thin and I found myself wanting more depth to explore the flavors. Until a random blast of heat would sear my senses LOL
August 31, 2016, 10:13 am
Value8.7
Burn10
Draw9
Flavor7.6
Enjoyment8.8
0
6
Make some Noise

 

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Ted

Contributor at CigarNoise.com
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