Emilio III. Satisfying Marquee Reviews

Review: Emilio La Musa Melete (Μελέτη) Lancero

Emilio La Musa Melete Lancero 08
Joshua Child
Written by Joshua Child

THE RUNDOWN

The La Musa line is the re-branding of Emilio’s discontinued Grimalkin. The Grimalkin became the La Musa Mousa (Μούσα) while the Melete (Μελέτη), a different blend, followed later. La Musa is Spanish for the muse while the names for each line are inspired by Greek mythology. The cigars are rolled in Estelí, Nicaragua but the company has not seen fit to reveal the factory of manufacture.

Gary Griffith, owner of Emilio Cigars, had this to say about the La Musa Melete on his “From Seed to Ash” blog:

The second blend, known as La Musa Melete, will be shown at the IPCPR (2013) 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 Melete is available in the following vitolas:  Lancero (7 x 40), Corona (5.5 x 46), Robusto (5 x 50), Toro (6 x 50), and Torpedo (6 x 52).

Emilio La Musa Melete Lancero 01

Country of Manufacture: Nicaragua
Rolled: Undisclosed
Size: 7 × 40
Wrapper:  Nicaraguan Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
MSRP: Approx. $11
Sample: provided by Emilio Cigars
Quantity smoked: 2

The La Musa Melete Lancero is a well constructed, long lancero, featuring a triple cap topped with a stubby pig-tail. The wrapper leaf is medium brown with a hint of red coloration and a subtle oily residue. The cigar is criss-crossed by some fairly thick veins which are especially noticeable on such a thin, long cigar. When squeezed between my fingers the Melete Lancero has a nice solid feel with only the slightest give and the foot was well packed on all 3 samples.

The wrapper has a distinct cedar aroma, probably from sitting in my humidor without cellophane for the past month. The foot of the cigar also smells strongly of cedar but the cold draw holds the most complexity with a combo of cedar, leather, touches of cocoa and a subtle citrus on the back-end. The cold draw is just right for a lancero, which can often-times feel too tight or too open with this vitola.

Emilio La Musa Melete Lancero 02

THE SMOKE

First Third

Stating things off, a mid-level white pepper greets the sinuses. Meanwhile, a creamy, nutty coating of the palate is accompanied by intonations of cedar, subtle cocoa and citrus on the finish. The leather component from the pre-light didn’t show its face until the tenth puff or so and arrived as the pepper bumped up in terms of strength. The La Musa Melete is very clean, smooth and balanced in the first third but don’t mistake that for a lack of flavor because it’s already a solid medium bodied affair and the flavors linger on the finish. However, I find that the smoke leaves a slightly gritty or chalky texture on the palate moving towards the second third, and while it isn’t exactly unpleasant I preferred the creamier quality of the initial quarter-inch. Construction is excellent with no complaints about smoke production, burn-line or ash.

Emilio La Musa Melete Lancero 04

Second Third

As the Melete Lancero progresses the flavors intensify as the pepper begins to settle in the throat and on the tongue. On one sample the citrus note dissipated in the second third, while the on the others, the citrus ramped up considerably. Otherwise, both provided undertones of cocoa, leather and nuts. At the half, a hint of saltiness arrived, pairing wonderfully with the rising sweetness. I love when a cigar features hints of salt, but unfortunately it only lasted a short while. The slightly gritty mouth-feel of the first third slowly transitioned to more of a creamy/syrupy texture. Construction remained excellent on all fronts.

Emilio La Musa Melete Lancero 05

Final Third

The profile doesn’t exactly change in this third, but some flavors come forward to prominence as others sink underneath. The cocoa takes a big step up, while the leather and cedar drop ever-so-slightly and the citrus almost disappears completely on the finish. The nuttiness that was never more than a hint begins solidify while the pepper finally mellows, replaced by a distinct nutmeg spice. The creaminess intensifies, creating a milk-chocolate sensation. Everything is extremely well-balanced and settles right above medium.

Emilio La Musa Melete Lancero 06

FINIS

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The dominant notes fit pretty nicely in this class: cedar, citrus, nuts, cream, white pepper, leather and cocoa. Oddly enough, while the Melete is probably a little more robust than the elegant Mousa, I felt the Mousa had a darker profile, featuring considerably more chocolate.

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The La Musa Melete Lancero is a lovely cigar with excellent construction and a somewhat unique profile that kept me interested throughout. The high point of the cigar for me was when the salty component made a brief appearance as the cigar hit its apex of sweetness around the middle-point. Construction of each sample was on-point with excellent burn characteristics and a good draw. While I prefer the La Musa Mousa due to its more decadent profile, the La Mousa Melete is a worthy companion to the original. A very good smoke that almost tips the scales in favor of a II. Memorable rating.

Emilio La Musa Melete Lancero 07

NOTES:

About the author

Joshua Child

Joshua Child

Just an impostor in the cigar game who's only goal is to provide an unpretentious outlet for smokers. Other than cigars he enjoys people of substance, dogs, pugilism, and barrel aged spirits.