Today, we take a look at the second cigar in the Meerapfel Master Series, the Meerapfel Meir. The Meerapfel family has over 150 years of experience in various aspects of the tobacco business. The family is best known for being tobacco brokers, particularly for brokering tobacco out of Cameroon, Africa. In addition, the Meerapfels work with Arturo Fuente Cigar Company on its international distribution outside the U.S. In 2021, Jeremiah Meerapfel announced he was creating a new ultra-premium cigar brand with the Meerapfel name. In this case, it wasn’t just an ultra-premium brand but one he calls UberLuxury. UberLuxury involves using the highest quality of materials with the highest level of craftsmanship – much like Patek Philippe does when making watches. In the case of this new Meerapfel UberLuxury line, the cigars pay homage to past generations of the Meerapfel family. The Meerapfel Meir is a cigar that pays homage to Jeremiah’s great-great-grandfather. Today, we take a closer look at the Meerapfel Meir in the Robusto format.
Four lines are being planned in the Meerapfel Master Series. Each is an ultra-premium UberLuxury line done in small-batch, limited production releases. Each will pay homage to different generations of the Meerapfel family, starting with Richard Meerapfel and going back to Jeremiah Meerapfel’s great-great-grandfather, Meir Meerapfel. At press time, the Richard and Meir lines have been released. The Ernest line is scheduled to be released in the few weeks following this cigar assessment.
While Richard Meerapfel played a central role in the Meerapfel family, getting involved with the export of Cameroon tobacco, the Meerapfel family’s involvement in the tobacco world goes back to 1876. That was the year Meir Meerapfel built the first Meerapfel Cigar Factory (known as MMS today).
Let’s break down the Meerapfel Meir Robusto without further ado and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
Regarding the blend profile and origins of this cigar, Meerapfel Cigars has been pretty tight-lipped. The company has not disclosed the tobaccos, country of origin, or factory for this cigar.
Country of Origin: Undisclosed
Currently, the Meir is offered in four sizes:
Robusto: 4 7/8 x 50
Double Robusto: 5 3/4 x 52
Pyramide: 6 1/8 x 52
Churchill: 7 x 57
All sizes will be presented in 25-count chests except the Double Robusto, which is presented in a ten-count chest with an ornamented casket. The ornamented cask contains a tray that can be used as an ashtray. A total of 613 boxes per size is planned on an annual basis.
The wrapper of the Meerapfel Meir Robusto had a color shade that resembled a darker piece of wood. There was a light coating of oil present on this wrapper. Upon closer examination of the wrapper, some mottling could be seen on the surface. The surface of the wrapper had some visible veins. The darker color of this wrapper also did an excellent job of hiding the wrapper seams.
A straight cut was used to remove the cap of the Meerapfel Meir Robusto. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw stage. The cold draw delivered a combination of wood and cedar. This wasn’t a very exciting pre-light draw. Since the pre-light draw is not scored or factored into our value rating, there was no loss of points here. Now, it was time to toast up the footer of the Meerapfel Meir Robusto and see what the smoking phase would deliver.
The Meerapfel Meir Robusto opened up with wood, cedar, earth, and natural tobacco notes. The wood notes moved into the forefront quite early on. Notes of fruit joined the cedar, earth, and natural tobacco. As the cigar moved through the first half, the natural tobacco notes increased and became the second-most prominent note behind the wood notes. Meanwhile, there was an additional layer of wood and cedar on the retro-hale.
Around the start of the second third of the Meerapfel Meir Robusto, some additional secondary notes of pepper and baker’s spice surfaced. Throughout the second third, the wood notes remained primary. The secondary notes were various flavors, including cedar, earth, natural tobacco, fruit, pepper, and baker’s spice. During this stage, the secondary notes alternated in intensity and generated different permutations of flavors to complement the wood notes.
There wasn’t much change going into the final third. The wood notes remained primary.The secondary notes were of cedar, earth, natural tobacco, fruit, pepper, and baker’s spice. The cedar and the pepper notes were a little more prominent here.The cigar finished with a soft, cool nub as the Meerapfel Meir Robusto came to a close.
The Meerapfel Meir Robusto required multiple touch-ups to maintain a straight burn line and a straight burn path. While the touch-ups did the trick, more were needed than preferred. The resulting ash was silver-gray. This was an ash skewed toward the firmer side. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both maintained ideal levels.
Regarding its draw, I found the Meerapfel Meir Robusto had a tighter draw than I prefer. If you have followed my assessments on this website, you will know I like a slight resistance on the draw. The problem is the resistance was past the sweet spot, and ultimately, this cigar had to be worked hard.
Strength and Body
The Meerapfel Meir Robusto started out with mild strength and mild to medium-bodied flavors. Both attributes increased in intensity along the way. It rose in strength to mild to medium in the first third, and by the second third, it progressed to medium, where it stayed for the duration of the smoking experience. Meanwhile, by the end of the first third, the flavors also progressed to medium-bodied – and remained in that range for the remainder of the smoking experience. Regarding strength versus body, the body maintained a slight edge throughout the smoking experience.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
The Meerapfel Meir Robusto comes packaged in an elongated 25-count unit called a “chest.” The chest has a simple but elegant look to it. The Robusto does not come with the casket (ashtray). That is reserved for the Double Robusto size in the Meir.
The Meerapfel Master Series has some of the most impressive-looking bands. The Meir has a sunburst-like design with the Meerapfel logo in the center.
When I smoked the Meerapfel Richard in the Double Robusto size, it easily was one of the top cigars of 2023. The Meerapfel Meir Robusto is a different blend and a different size. As a result, I was pretty excited to smoke the Meir. Ultimately, different blend, different size – and a very different result. The Meir didn’t have the wow factor that the Richard had. While there were plenty of flavor nuances, this was still a very wood-centric profile – and any of the complementary notes couldn’t elevate the flavor profile. Is the Meir Robusto a bad cigar? Certainly not, but it’s not a flavor profile I would typically endorse. In the end, at $46.00 this is an investment in a cigar, and if you can, I would recommend trying a sample first (This will be difficult because this is a very limited, ultra-premium cigar) and seeing if it’s in your wheelhouse.
Key Flavors: Wood, Earth, Natural Tobacco, Fruit, Cedar, Baker’s Spice, Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Draw: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Strength: Mild (Start), Mild to Medium (1st Third), Medium (Remainder)
Body: Mild to Medium (1st Third), Medium (Remainder)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
News: Meerapfel Meir Master Blend Unveiled on Eve of InterTabac 2022
Brand Reference: Meerapfel
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted
Originally posted on October 17, 2023 @ 2:20 pm