Team Cigar Review: La Sirena Merlion Maduro Robusto

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Cigar Details: La Sirena Merlion Maduro Robusto

  • Vitola: Robusto
  • Length: 5″
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro
  • Binder: Brazilian Sumatra
  • Filler: Brazil, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua
  • Factory: E. León Jimenes Tabacalera
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $9.50
  • Release Date: July 2016
  • Source: La Sirena

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is a very dark brown and has a couple of raised veins. The seams are nearly invisible due to the wrapper color and how smooth they are. There are three caps present with the final cap being a darker shade and also a more matte finish than the wrapper. There are two bands, but they actually look like one very large one which takes up most of the cigar. The lower half actually slides off if you’re careful which leaves a smaller (still pretty tall) one which still shows the company and line name. The aroma from the wrapper is a pungent manure and the foot gives a heavy sweetness like prunes. The pre-light draw is a mix of hay and that same prune sweetness I got from the foot aroma. There is also a pretty decent spicy tingle on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The La Sirena Merlion Maduro Robusto has a spot on maduro shade wrapper. Major veins are well pressed and seams tight and visible. The cigar feels quite firm with virtually no give. The head is finished off with a well applied, thick double cap. Nosing the wrapper gives pungent cedar, barnyard and construction paper. Nosing the foot tells dry nuts, nutty sweetness and cedar. Cold draw reveals cardboard, hay and lip tingling black pepper spice.

First Third

Initial draws bring a very heavy wood and black pepper mix with the black pepper really coating my mouth on the finish. At a half inch in, things settle down a bit and the wood and pepper create a better mix and the pepper doesn’t have such an intense finish. The retrohale is carrying a nice dark wood note. At an inch in, the wood transitions to an earthiness while the pepper still plays a prominent part in the profile. As the third comes to a close, the earthiness remains, but wood re-enters the profile with some cream and the pepper has dialed back quite a bit. The strength in this third was just below medium-full.

First Third

First third’s initial flavors starts off with a mixture of dark chocolate and charred oak with a hint of harshness. Inch in, a creamed nuttiness as well as a subtle black pepper spice joins the profile. Through retrohaling, deep notes of creamed nuttiness, toastiness and black pepper. The finish is long and lingering with faintly charred wood and subtle effervescence. Strength and body is for the most part medium the entire first third

Second Third

As the third begins, the wood gains some char and moves up front while the earthiness moves to the background and the cream and pepper completely leave the profile. The retrohale still carries the dark wood note. At a half inch in, some earthiness and pepper return to the profile. At an inch in, the charred wood which is now more defined as oak is very full with the earthiness and pepper in the background. The retrohale is now charred oak. As the third nears a close, cream rejoins the profile which pushes the pepper out and mixes well with the charred oak and earthiness. The strength in this third was medium-full.

Second Third

The second third returns to chocolate and wood. The chocolate is still dark in nature while the wood loses its charred nature and is more of a traditional oak note. The retrohale retains its deeper notes of creamed nuttiness, toastiness, black pepper and also picks up a stone fruit character. The finish is namely a long and lingering oak note. Body stays medium, while strength increases to medium-full.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the cream ramps up to become even with the charred oak with the earthiness in the background. The retrohale is a warm oak. At a half inch in, a bit of a dirty note joins in with the rest of the profile. At an inch in, the cigar warms up a bit which brings a toasty note to the charred oak. The cream and dirtiness remain. This is the profile the cigar finishes with. The strength in this third was medium-full.

Final Third

The last third’s first half mimics the second third. The real difference happens after that, where the profile is primarily oak based with a lip tinging black pepper zing. The retrohale is by far my favorite part, centered around creamed nuttiness, toastiness and black pepper. The finish continues its long and lingering oak note. Strength is somewhere in between medium-full and full, while body stays at the medium level.

Burn

The burn was very good with just some slight waviness throughout the cigar. It was also a very slow burner. Ashes held on in one inch increments.

Burn

Long, cool and slow burning cigar with sturdy ashes averaging 1.5 inch increments. The only downside was a somewhat major touch up required within the last half of the final third.

Draw

The draw was just a little more snug than I prefer, but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.

Overall

The cigar started with a ton of strength and very full wood and pepper but quickly settled into a smoother variation of the same flavors. There were some small transitions through the smoking experience but carried a medium-full strength level throughout. Those that like Maduro’s and more strength might find this right up their alley. I was pleased to see this fuller offering from La Sirena. Definitely worth giving a try and would be something I would revisit as an after dinner cigar following a nice full meal.

Aaron
Jiunn
Very Good Pre
Light
Good
Good First
Third
Good
Average Second Third Good
Average Final
Third
Average
Very Good Burn Good
Very Good Draw Very Good
Average Overall Good

Draw

Although slightly tight, the draw was still considered relatively effortless with minor attention paid to.

Overall

I’m slightly relieved and surprised by this cigar as I typically associate La Sirena cigars with a heavy hand in strength. Although, by the end, the cigar was pretty strong and I’m glad the delivery was gradual. I enjoyed the chocolate and oak backing quite a bit, as most cigars delivering especially a chocolate centered note is always enjoyable. The chocolate surrounded by good notes of wood, creamed nuttiness and subtle spice made for an experience I would happily enjoy more of in the future.

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.00

Cost/Point

$1.58

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.53

Cost/Point

$1.45

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: La Sirena Merlion Maduro Robusto
Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: La Sirena Merlion Maduro Robusto

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