11 Feb 2013
When I reviewed the Grimalkin Toro by Emilio Cigars back in 2011, I liked everything about the cigar. Everything, that is, except for the name and the creepy band.
Gary Griffith must have gotten similar feedback pretty regularly, or perhaps he just had a change of heart about the best way to market this stellar creation. Whatever the case, he decided to re-brand the line as La Musa Mοῦσα, which—as Cigar Fan eloquently describes—may be a nod to the first line of Homer’s The Odyssey.
La Musa Mοῦσα features a Habano Rosado wrapper and is handmade in Estelí with production “based on harvest conditions,” according to the Emilio website. It is available in a limited Lancero vitola, along with traditional Robusto, Torpedo, Corona, and Toro formats.
The latter retails for $8-9 apiece and measures six inches long with a ring gauge of 50. It boasts an oily, reddish wrapper with nary an imperfection and wonderful notes of milk chocolate and nut off the foot. Moderately firm throughout, the Toro is downright beautiful with (what I think is) a significant improvement in the band.
La Musa Mοῦσα is “designed for the refined palate with an appreciation of subtle nuance in texture and flavor of the smoke.” Fittingly, the initial profile is neither monolithic nor overbearing—even though many have speculated this smoke is made by Don Pepin Garica, a cigar maker with a knack for powerful, peppery introductions. Flavors of almond, caramel, cocoa, and cream emerge in a balanced, medium-bodied taste.
And that’s pretty much how the Toro smokes from light to nub, save for some increases in spice down the stretch. Not surprisingly since the blend is the same, I’ll agree with my previous assessment of the Grimalkin Toro that the “balance and syrupy texture stand out as the most memorable characteristics of the smoke, imparting a uniqueness that’s lacking from other cigars that take on a more predictable profile.”
Also not surprisingly, the combustion qualities are the same as the Grimalkin—an excellent draw with large volumes of smoke, a straight burn line, and a solid ash.
When Grimalkin was introduced, I nodded in agreement as I read positive review after positive review. The quality, subtlety, and balance of the blend cannot be denied. And so is the case with La Musa Mοῦσα Toro, my favorite of Gary Griffith’s creations to date. It’s worthy of four and a half stogies out of five.
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photo credit: Stogie Guys