Macanudo Estate Reserve 2015
Fourteen years after Macanudo cigar production departed from Jamaica, General Cigar Company paid tribute to the brand’s Jamaican roots by utilizing Jamaican tobacco in its Estate Reserve line. Macanudo Estate Reserve 2015 marks the second release under the Estate Reserve line that features Jamaican tobacco following the Estate Reserve 2014. In August, William Cooper of cigar-coop.com reported on the specific Jamaican tobacco used in the 2015 blend:
Silver Tongue is native to Jamaica organically grown in the Montego Bay region. It is described as a low yield tobacco that is one of the most expensive filler tobaccos in the world. This is an exclusive proprietary leaf to General Cigar.
Production is limited to 18,000 cigars or 1,800 10-count boxes of the Macanudo Estate Reserve 2015 that consists of tobaccos from five counties. Based on the blend alone, the cigar intrigues me as it has a 10-year aged Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, San Andres binder, and the exotic Silver Tongue tobacco from Jamaica in the filler next to Nicaraguan and Dominican tobaccos. Three vitolas will be available in the 2015 release to include: No. 9 (5 by 50 Robusto), No. 8 (6 by 57 Belicoso), and No. 7 (7 by 50 Churchill). The Estate Reserve line carries a premium price tag ranging from $16.00 for the Robusto to $18.00 for the Belicoso.
Samples Provided by General Cigar Co.
Vitola: No.9 Robusto
Size: 5 by 50
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Mexican San Andres
Filler: Dominican, Jamaican (Silver Tongue), and Nicaraguan
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 5 Minutes
The silver, gold, and black band is eye catching against the oscuro, almost black, wrapper that has a nice oily sheen and a fine tooth. Mainly small veins web the cigar with a couple of medium-sized veins that are hard to see on the dark leaf. A pugent barnyard aroma is found on the wrapper, while the foot shows off some natural sweet tobacco and woodsy notes, with just a hint of cooking spices.
Clipping through the beautifully applied double cap, the cigar is jam packed with tobacco making it difficult to cut through the beautifully applied double cap. My worries are quickly relieved as I find an easy draw with just the righ amount of resistance. The dry draw flavors are rich with more of the cooking spices, clove, and woodsy notes.
As the cigar warms up, I note common flavors of wood, dirt, and black pepper. However, there is a very interesting sour and floral essence to the flavors. As I pass a small amount of smoke through the sinuses expecting a black pepper hit, a cocoa sweetness peaks through and really compliments the other flavors. Quickly, the sweetness makes its way into the main profile. A white ash is being formed as the cigar burns evenly with a thick burn-line.
Transitioning into the middle third, the black pepper and spice heat are gaining in intensity. The darker flavor of earth (dirt) is playing a more dominant role, while the woodsy notes have moved to the background and the sweetness has exited but the an unsweetened cocoa is found on the finish. The sour quality is still hanging around but difficult to pinpoint somewhere between floral and grapefruit.
The smoke is drying out my palate and the flavors remain similar to the previous third. The deep earth notes are heavy on the palate. The sweetness is trying to make a reemergence but is unable to cut through. Without the sweetness, the profile is off-balanced. The floral and cocoa linger on the finish for a long time. Closing out the cigar, the strength is at the high-end of medium.
Macanudo Estate Reserve 2015 delivers medium flavors, body, and strength, sometimes pushing full, with an effortless performance. The sweetness noted in the first third brought a nice balance to the dark and sour/floral flavors and was sorely missed once it exited in the middle third and never made a return. The sour floral or grapefruit essence held my interest throughout but I longed for the return of the sweetness. $16 for a Robusto is a steep price, and even though there were some things left to be desired, the cigar is most certainly unique in terms of flavor and worth giving a shot.
Note: the cigar pictured in the pre-light photos had a much lighter wrapper leaf, with more visible veins, and hardly any tooth compared to the cigar smoked for review. While the cigars appeared quite different, both samples smoked the same.