The Macanudo Mao Limited Edition 2016 is the latest cigar to be released under the Macanudo brand by General Cigar Co.. General reached way back to the 60’s to create a new blend utilizing tobaccos grown from the same seed type found in the original Macanudo cigar. The seed type that bought the Macanudo name to fame. You can find some great details on the changes the seed underwent over at Cigar Aficionado.
Featured at the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show, the Mao Limited Edition 2016 carries a premium price tag and will run you between $16 and $18 per stick. Three sizes are currently produced to include the No. 10 (5 by 50), No. 11 (7 by 50), and No. 12 (6 by 57). Production is limited to 1,800 10-count boxes per -size.
Vitola: No. 10 (Robusto)
Size: 5 by 50
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan, and Columbian
The medium tan Connecticut wrapper leaf has a couple of medium veins that are easily seen and some scattered bumps. There are no soft spots as I examine the cigar. From head to foot, the cigar is evenly filled.
The wrapper aroma is very sweet and rich with a big caramel aroma. The foot aroma is milder with prunes, some woodsy notes, and some of that same sweetness. A snug draw is revealed after I clip through the double cap. The cold draw is rich with notes of cedar, cinnamon, and prune. A second, deeper cut opens up a freer draw.
The Macanudo Mao No. 10 quickly starts off with a rich, medium profile with notes of pencil shavings, black pepper, and an exotic fruit flavor. The pepper is fuller than expected and a warmth is felt in the back of my throat. The flavors and spice quickly calm as the tropical fruitiness takes center stage with the pencil shavings still peaking through and a darker coffee note joining in. There is thick burn-line as the cigar burns mostly even forming a light gray ash i. The first ash held easily past an inch.
Pulling into the second third of the cigar, the draw has opened up considerably. Rich, dark flavors of earth and coffee are pushing back the pencil shavings and fruit sweetness. The pepper has stepped up its game and is sharp as it passes through the sinuses. A jagged burn is resulting a flaky looking ash, but it is nowhere near a place of requiring any kind of attention.
There is not a whole lot of progression in the Macanudo Mao N0. 10 as it burns its way into the final third. The tropical fruitiness is mild at this point, along with the earlier wood flavor. However, the spice has picked up and is keeping my attention. A major crack has formed that runs nearly an inch. It does not seem to be impacting the smoke production or flavors.
Overall, the Macanudo Mao No. 10 was a pleasant cigar that offered bigger flavors and fuller body than the appearance, or the brand, lets onto. The first two-thirds of the cigar showed a decent amount of complexity with the tropical sweetness, medium to full spice, and some evolution in the other flavors. The cigar fizzled out a bit in the last third, but there was enough spice that kept my palate engaged in the experience. The tight draw at the start and the large crack at the end are not ideal for a $16 cigar. But I do have to mention that no such issues existed in the other sample smoked for review. It actually smoked rather perfectly. With all of that said, even with how much I enjoyed the Macanudo Mao, I would be hard-pressed to smoke it again with the $16 price tag.