In case you haven’t noticed the cigar industry has gone through a growth spurt again and that brings along with it merges, acquisitions, and collaborations. To understand the size one has to look no further than the General Cigar Company that has operations in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Nicaragua. They also have a joint partnership with the Plasencia Group to grow and process leaf and manufacture cigars. Late in 2010 the company merged with Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG) to form a global company focused on cigars. They also acquired CAO and secured the rights to manufacture, market and distribute Dunhill cigars in the U.S. It is safe to say, the company is on a roll and riding the wave of cigars enjoyment worldwide.
Most recently they moved into collaboration with some of the best in the business including AJ Fernandez who collaborated with them on the Diesel Grind and the Hoyo La Amistad Gold and Silver, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo collaborated in the La Gloria Cubano Coleccion Reserva. You may not know this, but Ernesto was the longtime maker of La Gloria Cubana cigars for General Cigars and left the company in 2009 to create his own company.
With the current FDA regulations and user fees hitting the cigar world, it is making it harder for smaller companies to stay the course and I expect to see more collaborations and acquisitions in the future. Personally,I like the idea of collaboration over acquisition but as they say – “business is business”.
The company portfolio contains some of the most popular cigars on the market including Cohiba, Partagas, La Gloria Cubana, CAO, Hoyo de Monterrey, Excalibur, and Macanudo. It was Macanudo that really propelled the company starting in 1971 when they introduced the Jamaican cigar that featured a new and unique blend of Jamaican leaf exclusively grown by General Cigar. That has since changed over the years, but the Macanudo brand is till the largest selling premium brand in the United States.
There is a good chance that you may have been introduced to a Macanudo by a friend who golfs, or perhaps your father or grand pappy. That has kept the line running for all these years, but as years go by, times change. In the cigar world, palates have changed along the way, especially as the boutique cigar market surged. Just like the craft beer market offered bolder and tastier brews, the boutique cigar market offered bolder and more flavorful blends that treated the cigar smoker to new experiences. The General Cigar company has obviously taken note of this and at this years IPCPR they introduced the world to something bold and exciting – the new Macanudo Inspirado – that comes in two different blends; Black and White.
The Macanudo Inspirado White.
Today I am pleased to offer you a review of the Macanudo Inspirado White. Before I get into the review, I will tell you, I have smoked a half-dozen of these and each time I smoked one my reaction was the same. This is not your Pappy’s cigar.
The Macanudo Inspirado White blend is described as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper (aged for six years)
- Binder – Indonesian
- Filler – Nicaragua (Condega & Jalapa) , Mexican San Andrés
The are available in 3 popular vitolas and packed in 20-count boxes
- Robusto (5 x 50) MSRP $6.49 USD
- Toro (6 1/2 x 50) MSRP $6.99 USD
- Churchill (7 x 48) MSRP $7.29 USD
For this review I sampled the Macanudo Inspirado White robusto which I received from the company for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press
The Macanudo Inspirado White is a beautiful, well crafted, cigar. The aged Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper is light tan in color with minimal veins and some noticeable seams. It is finished with a classic rounded cap. The cigar is solidly packed with a decent weight in the hand.
Running it along the nose, I picked up a grassy hay off the foot and a natural tobacco sweetness along the barrel.
The band on the new Macanudo Inspirado White is as bold as the cigar itself. It uses a white, silver, and black motif with the word “MACANUDO” prominently displayed in the center of a silver bar running across the band. The Macanudu Logo is printed in silver in the background and over enlarged and tilted to the left. The word Inspirado is printed in black near the bottom. I think this stand out on the shelf in a humidor.
Once the cap is clipped, the cold draw delivered notes of earth and light pepper through a restricted draw. I was bit concerned about the tight restriction but as you will learn that provided no issue as it opened up nicely once lit.
Cigar Review Notes
- First light offered spice and butter
- There is a soft pepper burn on the retro-hale
- Smoke starts off at medium volume
- Solid white ash develops
- Natural tobacco sweetness develops on the tongue
- Thick char line with a nice even burn
- Cocoa notes enter after an inch
- Ash fell after 2 inches revealing a slightly off centered pointed burn cone
- The cocoa is getting more pronounced moving into the second third more of a dry cocoa powder
- Gentle pepper rests in the background
- Smoke is increased in volume and getting creamy in texture
- Spice building near end of second third
- Final third shifts the profile a little to cedar, dry leather, and a delicate spice component
- Medium Strength
- Total Smoking Time was just over one hour
Overall, the Macanudo Inspirado White is undeniably a bolder Macanudu and stands on its own with its core spice and cocoa components and rich creamy smoke texture. If you are a Macanudo smoker, you may want to consider checking this out as it will open your palate to new flavors. If you have stayed away from Macanudu cigars because you are into bold and flavorful boutiques, you may want to give the Macanudo Inspirado White a spin. Either way, this is an excellent Connecticut cigar with a solid medium strength.The price point on these make them an easy buy on the shelf. I found this is a great cigar to enjoy in the morning and pairs very well with a cup of caffe mocha. I need to get my hands on the churchill vitola to see how it carries the flavors.
On a side note, General Cigar Company owns and operates the luxury cigar bar – Club Macanudo – in New York City, which was established in 1996 and remains one of the country’s most successful cigar bars.