La Musa Mousa by Emilio Cigars | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Rosado
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5 x 50 “Robusto”
Body: Full
Price: $7.81 MSRP



This blend was released in 2012.

Emilio Cigars has been around for a few years but as they are a very limited production run outfit, you will rarely see their cigar in online stores. I remember reviewing some of Emilio Cigars a few years ago while working for an online store.

But now the look has changed. La Musa used to be called Grimalkin which is what you probably remember.

From Wikipedia:
“A grimalkin (also called a greymalkin) is an old or evil-looking female cat. The term stems from “grey” (the color) plus “malkin”, an archaic term for a cat, derived from a hypocoristic form of the female name Maud. Scottish legend makes reference to the grimalkin as a faery cat that dwells in the highlands.”

La Musa (Grimalkin) by Emilio Cigars is available in cabinet boxes of 25.

Gary Griffith of Emilio Cigars debuted four blends and all of them are Greek mythology based. In fact, the word “Mousa” is on the cigar band. Greek for “Muse.” But of course it is written in Greek: “Μοῦσαι.” I think you pronounce it something like, “I don’t know, get away from me.”

From Wikipedia:
“According to Pausanias in the later 2nd century AD, there were three original Muses, worshiped on Mount Helicon in Boeotia. In later tradition, four Muses were recognized: Thelxinoë, Aoedē, Arche, and Meletē, said to be daughters of Zeus and Plusia or of Uranus.”

OK. Enough of your Greek mythology lesson for today. On to the cigar.

Yesterday, I compiled a list of “60 Excellent $5.00-$6.00 cigars”. From March 2012 through the present day. I want you to know I will be posting another list which starts with released dates going back to 2010 shortly. But I want to let you know that this cigar can be had in the $6.00 range if you shop around. Let’s see if it is worth your dough.

Construction is very good. The wrapper is a chocolate brown with a bit of oil and a smooth feel. Seams are invisible. And there is a small amount of veins. The triple cap is flawless. The cigar is fairly solid but with a couple soft spots.

And of course, the simple cigar band of white with gold lettering simply says La Musa on top and the Greek word, “Μοῦσαι” for Muse in the middle.

I clip the cap and find aromas of cocoa, sweet cedar, spice, raisin, and leather.
Time to light up.

Very sweet and earthy. Cedar. Spice punches me in the puss out of nowhere. Wow. This is tasty. The raisin aroma turns into a very strong flavor. Big plump raisins. Both dark and golden. Nice.

I am getting a hint of cinnamon that complements the spice.

The draw is spot on as it blinds me while I chomp and write. The char line is a bit wavy but I shall leave it alone.

The strength hits classic medium body right away. At the half inch mark, the cigar is muy flavorful. Hope this is a portent of the cigar’s future.

The char line straightens itself out and is now almost razor sharp.

Here are the flavors, in order: Spice, raisins, sweetness, cedar, leather, and some cocoa.

I fully expect to get all the Nicaraguan puro flavor profile. You know what that is. But let’s see if it does anything special with those elements are just like every other good Nic puro. Which can be had for less. LOL!

The biggest thing going for this blend is that if became very flavorful right from the start. This will mean a couple things. First, flavors will be able to evolve. And second, complexity is in its future. If, in fact, these things happen, it will well be worth the $7 price ticket.

As I move towards the second third, the flavor profile makes a right turn.

The profile is: Spice, raisin, sweetness, cocoa, creaminess, cedar, a wonderful graham cracker component, earthy, and a cup of Joe.

The strength hits me in the gut as it moves to medium/full at just past the beginning of the second third.

The graham cracker moves to third place behind the spice and creaminess. For a nice change, the spice is black pepper instead of the usual red pepper.

As I hit the halfway mark, complexity settles in. For me, complexity can only be described in analogy form. It is as if the flavors roll up in a spinning disco ball. And as the ball spins, different flavors shoot out like beams of light. And these light beams are very dense and intense. It also seems as if the flavors morph into one giant all-encompassing flavor that has its turns up to bat. I know, the ramblings of an old man.

Flavors are just wonderful now. The creaminess is smooth and buttery. The cocoa becomes a dark, bittersweet variety. The spice never relents. The graham cracker is sweet and buttery. And the raisin element is sweet and sticky.

This is an excellent cigar but not unlike many of the cigars on my list of 60. So the price point then becomes the issue. Take Atlantic Cigars for example. The MSRP is $7.81. Atlantic sells it for $7.03 as a single. But if you buy a box, the price falls to $7.00 even. But if you join their VIP Club for $60 a year, the price falls even further to $5.68 per stick by the box. And no change at the single price.

The cigar band comes off easily. I love it when that happens.

The last third sees flavors go nuts. A new element presents itself: toasty. The flavors are so intense now that I want to eat it.

Here they are, in order: Toastiness, creaminess, raisin, sweetness, graham cracker, cocoa, coffee, cedar, and very earthy.
I would buy this cigar in a heartbeat. Regardless of what it is called. It could be called Curly Joe and Shemp in Mesopotamian for all I care. I could not afford a box but a 5 pack would be nice.

The construction has held up beautifully. No loose wrapper. No loose tobacco at the cap. And a perfect char line needing just the one minor touch up at the beginning.

The strength moves up to full body now. My vision blurs. My hands shake. And I see all my dead relatives motioning me to enter the light tunnel.

The nicotine settles down quite a bit. I can handle this.

The cigar finishes smooth and balanced. Very flavorful. Lots of character and nuance.
Get this cigar.

And now for something completely different:

I had my own TV show back in 1983. OK. It was on Public Access. But it was a well produced show. My partner was a big L.A. radio DJ named Marshall Thomas. We came up with the idea of getting some rock veterans on and interview them within a 30 minute framework.

Our first show was a disaster. We had 3 guests. Two of the original members of the band, “The Larks.” They had a hit in 1964 with “The Jerk.” It went on to be a big dance step in the 60’s. One that almost popped the discs out of your back. And they had a new song they wanted to promote on some obscure label.

The second guest was Richard Berry who wrote “Louie, Louie,” made famous by The Kingsmen in 1963. What we didn’t know was that Berry suffered from narcolepsy and who constantly fell asleep during the interview.

We had a simple, but cool, set. We bought sheets of plywood and lots of singles attached to them. We had a small riser with chairs.

Here is what still cracks me up today. Both The Larks and Berry lip synced songs. The Larks were first. Marshall said, “So fellas, would you like to set the song up for us?”

Clearly confused, the two men got up out of their seats and started to move the furniture.

I came out from the booth and explained that Marshall wanted them to explain the song and how it came about, not move furniture. That’s not what “Set the song up for us” means.

Then it was Richard Berry’s turn and he lip synced to his original version of “Louis, Louis.” He was barely awake during the song. There were times that his chin was resting on his chest and his lips were still moving.

Our second show was classier. We had Darlene Love and Hall of Fame drummer, Hal Blaine.

As it turns out, Darlene was in the girl group, “The Blossoms” during the 1960s. Hal has a resume that is, to this day, unbelievable and who later became my mentor. In 1967, Ed Sullivan had a show completely dedicated to Nancy Sinatra. It was taped from her Las Vegas show. Big band behind her. Hal was on drums. The Blossoms sang back up.

In order to watch the show, Hal had to go out and buy a $2500 Sony video recorder/player. It was reel to reel video. It also came with a heavy black and white monitor that was heavy enough to be used as an anchor for an aircraft carrier.

So, the show was on a reel. We had to transfer it to professional ¾” video. Hal was separated from his wife at the time and living on his yacht in Marina Del Rey, CA. He got the video equipment out of storage and brought it to his boat. I then went to the boat to pick it up. Of course, the damn boat seemed like a mile from the parking lot. And this shit weighed a ton. I felt like my arms stretched a foot carrying it to my car.

The transfer was made. I took the equipment back to his boat and Hal said, “Phil. Would you please do me a favor and hold on to it? There is no room on my boat.”

I shivered and tried to move my arms. No response.
“OK Hal.”
And I dragged it back to my car. To this day, I still have a pristine Sony reel to reel video player and recorder.

The show went well and Darlene and Hal were lively guests. We showed a few clips from the show.

Hal and I bonded,and like I said, became my mentor for a couple of years doing me favors I would have never expected. If you want to check out his discography, go to It will stun you. He even played on some Beatles tracks.

We did a few more shows and then we just got busy doing other things. But I still have the shows on VHS and haven’t watched them in years. Someday, I will transfer them to DVD and not ruin my back by doing so.



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2 replies

  1. LOLOLOLOL! I laughed through the whole last section and spilled ash all over myself again. Poor Mr. Berry and his narcolepsy…unbelievable! If there were live skits for every “And now for something completely different” you would be the Lorne Michaels of cigar reviews.