A lot of people unfortunately don’t know the history of the Meerapfel family and their importance to the cigar industry. In 1876 Meir II Meerapfel opened a cigar factory in Untergrombach, Germany. But the contribution the family is most known began in 1969 when Richard Meerapfel traveled Cameroon. It was Richard who created what the family calls the miracle of Cameroon tobacco. He established unique relationships with the local growers, families, and communities while bringing unprecedented opportunity, hope and salvation to the people of Central Africa and Cameroon.
In 1984 Richard Meerapfel’s relationship with Carlos Fuente Sr. and his son Carlito goes far beyond friendship. Together, the Fuente and Meerapfel families deploy the Fuente Don Carlos blend, with a particular focus on the European market and palette. This cigar changes the premium cigar world and features Cameroon tobacco grown by the family.
In 2003 tragedy would hit the family in when Richard passed, but his passing ignited the Meerapfel cigar project.
In 2022 the inception of the Meerapfel Richard cigar marks a new chapter in the family history and the creation of the Uber Luxury segment in premium cigars.
Cigar Review: Meerapfel Richard
Wrapper: Vintage Cameroon
Binder: Not Disclosed
Filler: Not Disclosed
Ring Gauge: 52
Size: Double Robusto
The Look: If you haven’t smoked authentic Cameroon it might be hard to convince you to try it. It lacks the oils that cigar smokes romanticize over. It lacks the tooth of Maduro cigars, or the beauty of a Connecticut wrapper. However, Cameroon done the right way is tough to beat. The cigars come packaged in an absolutely stunning keepsake ashtray where they are laid out in one row of 10. The band of the cigar has the family named spelled out in 3 rows with 3 letters on each row. The band is absolutely stunning and the beauty of it is even more so once removed from the cigar. As far at the cigar, it is light in the hand , the foot slightly porous, but it is firm with no voids of tobacco.
The Notes: The cold draw serves up notes of Cameroon sweetness with subtle bits of earth and wheat. The foot of the cigar serves up a combination of wood and nuts that are extremely subtle with nuances of cream. Once the foot is toasted and lit the cigar offers up an incredible Cameroon sweetness that somewhat reminds of the original Partagas 160 from 2011. As we smoke the first third there are wonderful notes of Cameroon sweetness, allspice, toffee and toasted (roasted?) cedar.
Moving into the second third of this cigar a subtle cinnamon begins to appear in the background behind notes of caramel, cedar, earth and continued all spice. This medium bodied cigar is a Cameroon masterpiece and at this point better than I could have hoped for. The retrohale adds an incredible creaminess to the cigar with hints of vanilla.
The last third of the Meerapfel continues with notes of toffee, caramel, cedar and earth. There is a lot of flavor in this cigar, with a subtle nuttiness developing on the finish. The retrohale continues to add some creaminess with hint of vanilla and allspice.
The Finish: There has been a lot of debate on social media regarding the price of this cigar. When I posted I was smoking one, I was asked by many people if it is worth it. I’ll answer the question this way, I have zero buyers remorse as this comes to a close. It was outstanding reminded me of the original Partagas 160 when it came out perhaps in 2008. I definitely see more in my future. This cigar embodies everything a Cameroon wrapper can deliver, and deliver it does.
Price: $85.99 / $774.99 (Box of 10)