Sunday, August 10, 2008

Macanudo 1968 (robusto)

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As a cigar smoking novice, I never really went through a "Macanudo phase". Macanudo seems to be most known for their mild cigars. Now the company is trying to evolve into more richer and darker cigars. Their latest offering is called Macanudo 1968. It was created to celebrate Macanudo's 40 year legacy. If you go on their websiteyou can get three different vitolas of Macanudo 1968's for about $10 including shipping. I received the robusto, toro, and churchill size which normally would retail for about $28 all together minus shipping.


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The robusto is the traditional 50 ring gauge by 5 inches. The cigar is composed of a Honduran San Augustin Havana seed wrapper, a Habano Connecticut binder and a filler of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco plus a proprietary tobacco from the volcanic island of Ometepe made exclusively for General Cigar.


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The cigar looks fairly attractive with it's deep reddish brown wrapper and brand spanking new cigar band. No old school affiliations for the design of this band. It looks as shiny as a brand new Cadillac with it's bright gold and red accents over black and flat gold background. Upon closer inspection, the wrapper had some minor inconsistencies. There appeared to be a toothy portion up near the cap, while the area below the band looked smooth with a few medium veins. The scent of the cigar was consistently earthy on the wrapper and at the foot. The cigar felt nicely packed and after clipping with a cutter, the draw was firm but free. The pre-light draw exhibited a taste of sun-dried raisins.


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The flavor of the cigar was pretty consistent and one-dimensional. You get some nice cinnamon spice initially along with a mild leather flavor. As you continue smoking, the leather flavor becomes more rich and chewy with a bitter and tannic finish. I found the bitterness to be a distraction in the enjoyment of this cigar. The leather flavor seemed overwhelming and the spice component was pretty mild. The body is medium to full and the strength a weak medium.


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The Macanudo website says that the cigars are aged in tercios (thirds) and charcoal-ed wooden barrels to enrich it's flavor. My opinion is they should "char" less and do something to sweeten this cigar. Maybe some long resting time in my humidor will improve the taste of my remaining vitolas of Macanudo 1968s. The positive aspects of this cigar is it's burn quality. It burned mostly even and sharp and the ash is a really pretty light gray with intermittent layers of dark carbon streaks. The ash stayed nice and compact until I was ready to tap it off.



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As much as I want to love this cigar, (named for the same year as my birth) I find it difficult to justify spending $8.50 for a cigar with bitterness and no complexity. Unfortunately I can't honestly recommend this robusto. Hopefully the other vitolas will fare better with age. I will keep you up to date.

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