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Marketing Driven Cigar Brands

Some of my dear readers know me quite well - I am pretty suspect to marketing. This is not 100% true - marketing is one part of everyones "corporate life" - but there is marketing of a product, which has been produced (and crafted) and then have to be communicated to consumers - and then there are companies, which have no true "roots" in the respective industry and try to "just" sell a product via more or less fancy marketing. I really dislike the second group (and well - there are a lot of shades of grey also - and depending on the shade, the products get also more or less "hate" from my side).

There is another level to it: a company which is not in the respective industry, can liaise with a company with a lot of history and a lot of expertise - this is absolutely decent as long as there are no "empty" marketing stories created for it. An example in the cigar business is Prometheus, which are producing humidors, cutters and other cigar accessories. They are cooperating with Arturo Fuente (one of the most precious producer of cigars in the business) and producing their "Gods of Fire" line (inclusive humidors). Personally I find there is no deception. It is a beautiful product, which I also like to smoke.
But then there are others. Which might or might not want to deceive you - but there are more than suspicious stories around the product - one of these brands are Meluha.

After quite a long time (probably two or three years) I have had (again) a meeting with their representative. They told me about their line of cigars and how premium they are. However there is no real history, no real heritage. Even the companies which are producing the product are rather faceless B2B companies in Puerto Rico. I guess it isn't bad, if you are asking a company to produce a product for you. What I rather dislike is, that they try to sell you the producer (and the country) instead of being honest and "sell" the intention of the founder of the company.

The issue here also is value for money. Even with a hefty 100% sin tax in the UAE, Cuban cigars are still "quite ok" priced (wouldn't call it reasonable anymore...). If you compare those cigars with a lot of other countries, we are getting into very "thin air" - what I mean is, that other cigars are offering less for more.

There are still non-Cuban expensive cigars which are worse their money. A. Fuente Opus X are not only unique (the first puro out of non-Cuban countries), they are not only beautiful constructed and presented - but they have also their very own character.

Back to Meluha - also a rather expensive cigar brand. Without the credibility of a heritage producer. The cigars looks ok (but for a premium price they are also not looking incredible).

I got one sample - let's try it and see how good it fares...

First of all:  If you would like to tell a cigar and give out samples, give it at the best condition possible. The guys handed out a sample and told me, that this is a sample and they are carrying the sample with them - and indeed the cigar was on the harder (dryer) side. Another point is generosity: I would purchase it for my bar - hence I like to try probably more than one format. 

Appearance: quite light brown - not candela colored - but it is a rather lighter shade of Connecticut Cut. The cigars  comes in cellophane. The banderole is black and gold, but doesn't have any trace of craftsmanship (not embossed, no structure - just industrial screen printed).

Smell: The smell is rather light - it has some hints of pencil shavings. Faint hints of tobacco tobacco.

...Good easy cut...

...initial lighting reveals a hint of vanilla... lights easily and quickly...

Smoke: Initial puff is light, too easy smoke and some bitterness. Some harshness reveals in the back of the throat. Very nice smoke - thick and white. Ash is also powdery and white. Next puffs are confusing: numbing palate with a bitterness as afterthought. The taste isn't particular pleasant, if compared to other premium cigars.
It is not that the tobacco needs more time to age and harmonize (some cigars are harsh, because they have too much extract, which needs to further develop - like tannins in wine). No this cigar seems to be just made with mediocre (or worse) tobaccos.

To be honest - I smoked this toro only for about 2 cm. It has been harsh and far too light. After that I have been curious and cut it open.

Construction: The wrapper has been thin and delicate (probably just a hint to light) - the binder had a nice dark (Cameroon) brown - quite a surprise. However the filler has been not so great - part of it has been real leaves - other parts were fragments (more like a medium filler).

Verdict: This is a cigar which is rather light and has some real uninteresting aromas. A Davidoff would be equally light - but smoother. A. Fuente (even the blends) would be more flavorful - Cubans would be indefinitely smoother - and all of the mentioned cigars (except of Davidoff) would be cheaper - and better.

Meluha is in my eyes a sham package - created for those, who like to pretend, but are not really in favor for good quality smokes.

IMHO: Don't buy!


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