Allow me to introduce La Flor de Jose Suarez Murias y Ca, or to be a little less formal, Flor de Murias. This is a long defunct Cuban label that Cigars by Santa Clara appropriated and is now using for a mild blend made in the Dominican Republic.
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a thing about smoking the last cigar in a box. For some vague reason I always hesitate when it comes to smoking that last stick, as if it were the last of the tribe, which of course it isn’t. For this reason I tend to have a few finalists hanging around the humidor, so despite myself I always have a few aged sticks. This Sovereign was one of those.
Flor de Murias are available in natural (Connecticut Shade) and maduro (Connecticut Broadleaf) wrappers — the naturals come wrapped in white tissue paper, the maduros in black.
The very fine print on the band says: “Tabacos Superiores de las Mejores Vegas de Vuelta-Abajo Hechos Espresamente Para Personas de Gusto.” Presumably this is from the original Cuban lithography, but who knows. In any case, this particular cigar is certainly not from the Vuelta-Abajo; it is in fact from Santiago, made with a Mexican-Dominican blended filler, a Mexican binder, and a Connecticut Shade wrapper.
The Sovereign is a long corona measuring 6 3/4 by 45. Prelight, the wrapper smells slightly sweet, with a very mild spicy tang to it. I last reviewed this cigar in April 2005, when I said it was “a smooth and mild smoke with a good draw, subtle aroma, and decent price.” This particular cigar has been resting in my humidor for close to two years, so I was eager to see if I could detect any change in how it smoked, for better or worse.
The wrapper on this cigar is a fine example of Connecticut Shade — light spice and a pleasant floral aroma are in abundance. This is a very mild cigar with a grassy, somewhat papery flavor, and a touch of tannin. Very little aftertaste. I don’t think it has benefitted greatly from the humidor time; it performs pretty much the way I remember it did in late 2004, early 2005.
There were no construction flaws to speak of — a perfect draw and an even burn lasting a good 45 minutes. It forms a long ash and needs no special care. You could have your morning coffee and read the paper without a second thought while puffing away on this one.
Overall, this is a pretty decent morning or mid-day cigar. I can taste the Mexican leaf in this one, but it’s not overpowering. A nice blend, and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t care for Mexican cigars. One of the better sticks from Santa Clara.