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.
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.
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.
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.
Complex 1st and 2nd Third
Perfect Draw Start To Finish
Mildly Unpredicatable Burn
Burn Correction Needed In Final Third
Diminished Flavor Profile In Final Third