Sunday, September 19, 2010
Macanudo Maduro Vintage 1997
I see guys in my local shop who smoke the same exact cigar, day in and day out. The majority of guys tend to stick with three to four "go-to" smokes. Then there are ADHD smokers like myself, who smoke different cigars every day- and can be seen pacing back and forth through the humidor....picking up a cigar walking half way to the door and seeing another cigar - grabbing that one - putting the other back and so on. I don't know what it is I'm looking for.
In my defense - my local shop probably carries over 100 different cigars and seems to get a new release every week or two. This process can be fun and exciting - other days it can be tedious and miserable. The most difficult - and sometimes enjoyable part - is turning down the shopworker's recommendation. Usually the shopworker's idea of something I might like is the last thing I would consider smoking.
Today when the worker started saying..."Hey we just got a new Macanudo in..." I was 99% sure that I was going to shoot down his offer yet again.
Then I laid eyes on the masterfully presented - Macanudo Maduro Vintage 1997 - A bold, metal band is the first thing that caught my attention. Frankly, I dislike Macanudo's so much, that anything shy of such a gawdy band would have left me turning away from the box. Next, on the underside of lid, the word Broadleaf drew me in closer to the box. You have to see what happens next....
Prelight - Shocked that Macanudo is making a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapped cigar, I had to try one. Broadleaf is the new black - and speaking of black, this wrapper was almost an Oscuro. It was damn near black. I've never seen a broadleaf this dark, but I'm not making a big deal about it.
The shop had two sizes, a figuardo which was so shapely I was concerned there might be draw issues - and a Toro. I liked the ring gauge of the figuardo, but I felt a conventional vitola would be better suited for trying this new smoke.
At $9.50, I felt myself a little disturbed I was paying so much for a Macanudo, a brand I swore off a long time ago - but if its good it may be well worth the price.
The cigar felt solid, heavy and had a nice draw to it. The wrapper had a little oil shining on it, but nothing to jump up and down about. Lets smoke....
Sparking it - I figured that I would know whether or not I wasted my money within a few puffs and I was right. Relieved, the first few drags produced copious clouds of bluish smoke. The blend tasted full yet smooth. It tastes very similar to a cigar I've smoked many times and I find myself trying to figure out exactly which cigar that is.
Thankfully, the cigar seems promising. I'm not blown away - nor did I expect to be, but I like it so far. The first third of the cigar smokes nicely and burns without issue. While there is a lot of flavor, the cigar leans towards the lighter side of full. At this point I would say this a medium bodied cigar. Not bad for a brand that produces the cigar equivalent of Marlboro Ultra-Lights. So far so good.
Smoking it - I don't know if the fact that I don't hate a Macanudo has my feelings on this cigar a little skewed. Basically, I'm thinking I might be giving it too much credit since I'm basing my comparison to the brand's other products.
After careful consideration - I decide that I'm over-thinking this whole situation.
The cigar picks up a little as it burns past the half-way point, but it never really evolves far from its starting point. This cigar is made with 13 year aged tobacco, and it seems they should've put these on the market a few years ago. The lack of complexity has me thinking the tobacco has passed its prime. On a more positive note the cigar is good at its one-dimension flavor profile. Smooth, bold and slightly sweet - the Vintage 1997 produces a rich dark chocolate and leathery profile.
The cigar burned nicely throughout and the blend had some nicotine to back up the bold look put on by the metal band. The lack of complexity has me thinking this cigar will be great with some rest. I know that sounds crazy....the idea of resting a cigar with 13 year old tobacco in it. But I think it would do alot for this blend.
I recommend giving this cigar a try - especially if you hate Macanudos. Their weak ass attempts at medium and full cigars are not even comparable to this line. Again, I only smoked one - but I think Macanudo put some effort into putting out a cigar with some power behind it.
Overall - B