The next cigar I will try as part of my cigar challenge is from the Macanudo cigar brand. I will be smoking the Macanudo Vintage 2006 Toro.
Ring Gauge: 54
Country of origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: USA/Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaragua, Brazil, Dominican Republic
The Macanudo cigar brand was founded in Jamacia in 1968.
Why Jamacia? In 1960, Fidel Castro’s government nationalised many things, including cigar companies, factories and brands, forcing many folks to leave Cuba and start anew elsewhere.
There are two names associated to this cigar.
The first is the late great Ramón Cifuente, who is seen as a bit of a cigar legend (his family owned the Partagas factory before Castro took over). Cifuente was a visionary and led the cigars establishment in Jamaica.
The second is Benjamin Menendez, the guy who helped develop the cigar brand under the ownership of General Cigar Company in the Dominican Republic. According to his LinkedIn, it looks like he has retired now. Menendez was associated with Partagas, La Gloria Cubana and many more cigars. Cigar Aficionado magazine interviewed Menendez in 2010.
The word macanudo means fine, dandy, or a good thing, in Spanish.
Macanudo became an early adopter of producing a cigar with an aged wrapper, at a time when few other premium cigar makers were into ageing. This brand became very popular with the American consumer and was hailed as the best mild cigar the world had yet seen.
This cigar on first looks stands out from others as it has a big metal cigar band. This doubles up as a cigar holder, which I didn’t realise until afterwards. It has the words ‘Macanudo Vintage’ attached to it.
I realised very quickly that there was no way I would smoke this cigar with its band attached. It wasn’t practical in that sense.
I am also starting to notice a trend of these types of cigar, with unusual quirks added to them, e.g. like the cedar wrapper attached to the outside of the cigar like the Flor De Cano. I suppose this is to make a cigar stand out from its competitors.
At the bottom of the cigar is a second cigar band. This is not metal and reads ‘Macanudo Vintage 2006’.
Upon lighting this cigar, I was pleasantly surprised at how strong and full-flavoured this felt, considering it is marketed as being a mild cigar.
I found it quite an enjoyable smoke, smooth, a good burn and sweet.
My rating: 6.5 out of 10
Next up… a Montecristo!