I smoke a lot of cigars, and most days I’ll have anywhere from 3 to 5 good stogies. One of my most asked questions from a customer when they come into the shop is, “What is your favorite cigar?” That’s a very hard question for me to answer most of the time. I usually tell them when I select a cigar to smoke I try to complement what I’m eating, drinking and doing at that moment. Very rarely does my palate yearn for a mild cigar, and I tend to steer more towards the fuller and stronger smokes. So when I learned that Macanudo had made a brand new spicy, full-bodied Maduro, I knew that I had to at least try it to see if I would like a brand of cigar that is usually a milder, creamier smoke on one’s palate.
The Macanudo Story –
One of the most recognized lines of cigars in the retail market today is the Macanudo from General Cigars. Not only will you be able to find this cigar in most of your mom-and-pop shops, you will also find it plastered all over the Internet. The Macanudo brand name is very well-known and has been built on the reputation of being a very mild cigar. I often recommend this line to the novice or to someone who has just started smoking cigars so that they are assured a pleasant experience and a premium blended Habano. The natural line of Macanudo is a favorite of mine for a morning cigar, because it dissipates quickly off one’s palate and has a creamy smooth smoke.
The vintage Macanudo Maduro 1997 has a lot to offer when it comes to the variety of tobacco that is used in its production. General Cigar took its time when they brought together a blend of Nicaraguan, Brazilian, and Dominican filler that is wrapped in a Cuban seed binder that comes from the Talanga Valley in Honduras. More impressive still is a very well-aged Connecticut Maduro Wrapper from 1997 that adds that little extra to the exclusivity of this cigar. Then to add to the over-the-top extravagance of this exclusive smoke, the folks at General have slipped the stogie into a one-of-a-kind stainless steel cigar band that can be used ether as a cigar holder or a pinky ring if you are so inclined.
Name: Vintage Macanudo Maduro 1997
Produced by: General Cigar
Country: Dominican Republic
Factory: General Cigar Dominicana
Filler: Nicaraguan, Brazilian and Dominican
Binder: Honduras (Havana Talanga)
Wrapper: USA Connecticut Maduro
Ring Gauge: 54
Length: 6 Inches
At first glance the gleaming silver band overshadows a soft light brown wrapper of tobacco that looks paper thin. It is clear that the 1997 wrapper has almost no imperfections and is crafted very well to the cigar. Also there is a very small amount of earthiness in the aroma that comes off the foot of the smoke. I tried for a few minutes to hold the cigar with the metal band left on, but I didn’t like the weight on the fingers, so I decided to remove it before I lit up the smoke.
Close inspection revealed an array of tiny spider veins that covered the entirety of the thin, dry wrapper. There was also one very noticeable hard spot right below where the band was that made a detectable ridge in the center of the cigar. After cutting, the draw was smooth and ready to smoke.
A clean and consistent burn that lasted very well over an hour was definitely a plus for this cigar. There was very little maintenance to the stogie as I slowly puffed along. The ash was white and the smoke was even.
There was plenty of sweetness and a very well defined Maduro flavor as I smoked this stick. From the immediate start of this stogie, a subdued spice worked its way across my palate. Developing slowly (and I mean slow-ly), the earthiness never really took over and made itself known to my taste buds. It was a good taste, but just “good.”
As I smoked I must have been hypnotized by the age of this 15-year-old Maduro wrapper, because I was lured into burning this cigar to the nub. Maybe I was holding out for some big finish, or maybe I just wanted to see if I could actually nub a Macanudo. Either way, I kept smoking and smoking until the brittle wrapper just gave out and made it too hard to hold. The Macanudo Maduro 1997 did not live up to its hype of being a full-bodied spicy cigar, in my humble opinion. But, it was a good smoke all the same, and I would smoke it from time to time just to increase my Macanudo metal cigar ban collection.
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