Right now you're probably scratching your head saying, "Mer.... what?" But don't write off this legit follow up to La Sirena, because it's a winner. A fusion of two of the best in the business - La Aurora (Guillermo Leon) and La Sirena (Don Pepin) – this half-mermaid half-lion handmade is all substance. Carefully crafted in the esteemed La Aurora factory in the Dominican, Merlion brings smooth, uber-complex flavors in spades.
What's most impressive about Merlion, other than the catchy band, is the rich blend comprised of six, count 'em six tobaccos. It all starts with a feisty, yet silky smooth Ecuadorian Corojo wrapper. This lovely leaf hugs a Brazilian Sumatra binder, housing an impressive long-filler bouquet of Dominican Corojo, Dominican Criollo 98', Nicaraguan ligero, and finally Brazilian Mata Fina. An adventurous blend no doubt, each brand's influence is evident, as the Merlion asserts a bold, well-balanced array of rich medium to full-bodied blend. Initially shying towards medium-bodied, each puff pulls closer to an inevitable fuller-flavored, fuller-bodied crescendo. Expect hints of pepper, oak, natural sweetness, and subtle floral notes to mingle, before a long toasty finish. Merlion's catchy name and band are all fine and good, but this follow-up is simply de-lish from start to finish.
Merlion garnered a well-deserve 90-rating noting: "A tawny colored robusto with some prominent veins and a bumpy cap. It's earthy and salty with leathery flavors and a warm woody finish."