Cigar Review: Merlion Maduro by La Sirena Cigars

Cigar Review: Merlion Maduro by La Sirena Cigars

La Sirena Cigars
Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Mexico (San Andres)
Binder: Brazil (Sumatra)
Filler: Brazil, Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
Size: 5 1/2” x 54
Strength: full
Price: $10.50

Overall Rating: 8.9

The Merlion, a mermaid/lion hybrid, is perfect symbol for both the original Merlion cigar and the new Maduro, which are collaborations between La Sirena Cigars and La Aurora Cigars, as it is a combination of the two companies standard bearers. Like the previous Merlion, the Merlion Maduro is a very good cigar coming from Arielle Ditkowich’s boutique cigar company, only this time in a full bodied version featuring a Mexican San Andres wrapper. A complex blend of creamy sweetness and peppery strength, the Merlion Maduro should please fans of the original while reaching out to a larger audience.

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Pre-Light: La Sirena has some of the most impressive looking bands. From the nautical theme to their large size the La Sirena cigars all stand out on the shelf, and the Merlion Maduro is no exception.  The cigar’s wrapper has a bit of an oily sheen, while it is dry to the touch. There are a few prominent veins and visible wrapper seams, none of which detract from the look of the cigar at all.

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Earth and spice notes can be detected from the Mexican San Andres wrapper of the Merlion Maduro. The foot has some interesting sweet gingerbread, spice and anise scents to it. A good pre-light draw is sweet, allowing through flavors of gingerbread, grass and mild spice.

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Burn: On all the cigars I smoked for this review I found that the burn could be a bit on the uneven side, and one eve required touch ups from my lighter. The draw was good, and the Merlion Maduro produces a good deal of smoke. The ash clings fairly well to the foot of the cigar.

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Flavor: Right away there is a creamy chocolate flavor to the Merlion Maduro that calls to mind a glass of chocolate milk. Black and red pepper soon overpower the early chocolate notes. The flavors develop and transform very quickly during the first third of the Merlion Marduo. An inch into the Merlion Maduro Toro, the pepper mellows significantly with an earthiness beginning to come through. During the transition to the second third of the cigar there is a mix of earth, black pepper, chocolate and cedar. On the retrohale, black pepper mixes with cocoa and cedar. The second third of the Merlion Maduro sees the flavor profile mellow with cocoa, earth, subtle cedar and mild pepper notes. Occasionally during the second third of the cigar there is slight grassy note that comes and goes, which is likely to disappear with a little age. As the final third of the Merlion Maduro begins there is a good mix cocoa, earth and black pepper. There is a good deal of black and red pepper to the last inch or so of the Merlion Maduro with cocoa and earth in the background.

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Overall: I love being surprised by a cigar, and this one was certainly pleasantly surprising. I found it to be much more complex than I was expecting, with a good deal of interplay between the flavors. I’m honestly not sure why I’m so surprised because I very much like the original Merlion and the La Sirena. This full bodied cigar has a mix of creamy sweetness and peppery strength, that it should please a wide range of full bodied cigar enthusiasts. For me personally, I enjoyed the Merlion Maduro, but was slightly upset with the uneven burn I experienced. I definitely plan on adding some to my humidor to try again with a bit of age on them. There is a grassiness to the second third of the La Siren Merlion Maduro that should go away with age, but right now the cigar seems a tad young. On a whole, I would recommend that the full  bodied cigar enthusiast looking for something new give the Merlion Maduro a try.

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Pairing: The Merlion Maduro pairs well with a cup of cappuccino or espresso, and this is my personal favorite pairing with this cigar. Those looking for something a bit stronger will find that the Merlion Maduro also goes nicely with a good sipping rum.

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Reviewed by Jonathan David (@JonDavid1210)

Cigar for the review were provided by Arielle Ditkowich of La Sirena Cigars before August 8, 2016. No request for review was made. Although the generosity is greatly appreciated, it does not alter the Overall Rating of this cigar. At Toasted Foot LLC we remain committed to providing impartial cigar and product reviews.