On January 28, 2012, Emilio Cigars owner Gary Griffith announced a series of four distinct blends with Greek roots, all of which would be umbrellaed under the new La Musa line, Spanish for the muse. Mousa, the first of the La Musa blends, is actually just a renaming and rebranding of its Grimalkin line, arguably the most popular the company made. The other three lines are named after the three original Plutarchian muses in Greek mythology; Melete, Aoide, and Mneme.
Brand owner Gary Griffith had this to say about the reasoning behind the La Musa Melete:
The second blend, known as La Musa Melete, will be shown at the IPCPR trade show in August, and will ship shortly thereafter. The Melete blending was completed earlier this year, and yields a somewhat stronger, but equally complex cigar as compared to the original. The Aoide blend, to be released in summer 2013, is a much milder cigar with a tremendous amount of nuance. I’ve added corona to the list of available sizes as a standard production item, along with the existing robusto, toro, and torpedo. Each blend will also see the production of a single release of 250 boxes of lanceros. In 2013 we will also release a La Musa limitado in a single size, toro, which will only be produced one time.
Melete and the rest of the muses have quite a history in Greek mythology, which Wikipedia covers:
In Greek mythology, Melete (Μελέτη) was one of the three original (Boeotian) Muses, though there were later nine. Her sisters were Aoide and Mneme. She was the muse of thought and meditation. Melete literally means “ponder” and “contemplation” in Greek. According to Pausanias in the later 2nd century AD, there were three original Muses: Aoidē (“song” or “voice”), Meletē (“practice” or “occasion”), and Mnēmē (“memory”). Together, these three form the complete picture of the preconditions of poetic art in cult practice.
In Delphi three Muses were worshipped as well, but with other names: Nētē, Mesē, and Hypatē, which are the names of the three chords of the ancient musical instrument, the lyre. Alternatively they were called Cēphisso, Apollonis, and Borysthenis, whose names characterize them as daughters of Apollo. In later tradition, four Muses were recognized: Thelxinoē, Aoedē, Archē, and Meletē, said to be daughters of Zeus and Plusia (or of Uranus).
The second line in the La Musa brand is named Μελέτη, or Melete, and originally comprised of three different vitolas at launch with two other sizes released at a later date. There are now five different vitolas in the La Musa Melete line. They are:
- Emilio La Musa Melete Robusto — 5 x 50
- Emilio La Musa Melete Toro — 6 x 50
- Emilio La Musa Melete Torpedo — 6 x 52
- Emilio La Musa Melete Corona — 5 1/2 x 46
- Emilio La Musa Melete Lancero — 7 x 40
- Cigar Reviewed: La Musa Μελέτη Lancero
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Undisclosed
- Wrapper: Nicaragua
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 7 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 40
- Vitola: Lancero
- MSRP: $10.20 (Boxes of 20, $204.00)
- Date Released: March 2013
- Number of Cigars Released: 250 Boxes of 25 Cigars (8,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The La Musa Melete is well-rolled with a light brown wrapper that has quite a bit of tooth when you run your finger down its length. There are a few noticeable veins, but they are not overly distracting. The cigar has a pigtail on top and a bit of oil is present. The aroma off of the wrapper is a combination of licorice, earth, barnyard and cedar. Cold draw notes included a strong grapefruit tartness as well as sweet cedar, leather, coffee and earth.
It starts out with a strong cedar base, along with leather, coffee, earth and citrus. There is a really nice sweet maple note on the retrohale that reminds me strongly of maple syrup, combined with a biting black pepper that stays pretty constant throughout the first third. Smoke production is well above average, and both the burn and draw are excellent so far. Overall strength starts out below medium, but quickly ramps up to a solid medium by the end of the first third and seems to only be getting stronger.
The sweet maple note continues in the second third of the La Musa Melete, although the citrus flavor that accompanied it from the first third has all but disappeared. The main note is still a great creamy cedar, but it has become a bit more creamy, and other flavors of bitter chocolate, leather, earth, espresso and licorice. The burn and draw continue to be wonderful, and the pepper on the retrohale has diminished significantly, although it is still noticeable. The strength has not increased as fast as I thought it would, and ends the second third just slightly higher than medium.
The final third of the La Musa Melete has much of the same flavors as the first two thirds, with dominant flavors of cocoa, creamy cedar, espresso, sweet maple and earth along with some great black pepper on the retrohale. Construction-wise, both the burn and draw are excellent until the end, with just the right amount of resistance and the overall strength does not get much higher, reaching just past the medium mark.
- Griffith chose yellow for the color on the boxes and bands of the release La Musa Mousa for one simple reason: it is the favorite color of the person who he considers his muse, writing, “(it) is dedicated to a dear and inspiring young friend, whom I often refer to as my muse.”
- Officially, the cigar is made at an undisclosed factory. The long-standing rumor is that it is made at My Father Cigars S.A., something My Father Cigars Inc. denies. To be more specific, the rumor is Grimalkin, the old name of the cigar, was made at My Father Cigars S.A., according to Griffith, nothing other than the name is changed.
- According to Griffith, each of the four blends will have a release of 250 boxes of Lanceros.
- The next blend Aoide was scheduled to be released in the summer 2013, but no new firm date has been set as of yet.
- Honestly, I always thought the original Grimalkin band was ugly as sin, and even a tad creepy, reminding me a bit of what I imagined Church’s eyes looked like after he crawled his way out of his grave (or the first time.
- As for the new band, it’s quite minimalistic: purple type on a white background. The look is interesting and honestly, extremely hard to read. Since I am not fluent in Greek, if I had no information on this cigar, and you asked me what the band actually said, Melete is not what I would come up with.
- While the ash is well-formed and a dirty grey in color, but is quite fragile and did not stay on for more than a half inch before falling each time.
- For those who say that two ring gauge doesn’t matter, this cigar proves otherwise. It is fairly easily discernible from a 38.
- The construction, burn and draw was excellent for the entire cigar on two samples I smoked. However, one sample had to be relit multiple times and the burn was all over the place. The profile was fairly consistent regardless, and I just chalked that one up to a bad sample, construction-wise.
- Samples smoked for this review were provided to halfwheel by Emilio Cigars.
- The final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 35 minutes.
This blend—and the flavors in this vitola especially—fits my profile like a glove. Sweet and peppery, with great construction and wonderful balance make this an excellent choice. The Corona is wonderful as well—although it loses a bit of the maple note—but the Robusto is nowhere close to either of them in my opinion. An expertly-blended, excellently-rolled medium bodied and full-flavored cigar that everyone should try.