If you take a look at our cigar review index, you might notice something’s missing. I’ll give you a clue, look under the M’s. Still don’t know? Well the answer is that we haven’t yet reviewed a single Macanudo cigar. Check it out, we seriously haven’t. I didn’t realize that myself until we got a request for a Macanudo review from one of our readers. How is it we don’t have a single review of one of the biggest selling (if not the biggest) cigars in the world? Well, I’m about to correct it.
I have to admit that I don’t smoke a lot of Macanudos. With the myriad of cigars available, and the new ones coming out all the time, it’s just not that attractive to me when I’m wandering through the B&M. So I turned to the cigar smokers on Twitter for an idea or a recommendation. The vintage line was mentioned, which reminded me, I picked up a little five pack of small Vintage ’97 Demis a while back that I wanted to check out. And then I realized that these were smaller short smoke sized cigars. We’ve had requests for reviews of short smokes too! Two birds, one stone, perfect. So let’s throw that stone.
Size: 4 x 36
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade Vintage Selection 1997
Filler: Dominican Republic, Mexico
Smoking Time: 1 hour
Pitter-patter of little feet
The first thing you notice about this cigar is its size. It’s just right for a quick lunch break, or commuter smoke. But it’s not too little. It’s not one of those cigarillo you don’t have to cut, that dust your teeth with short filler fragments. As small as it is, the cigar comes with two good looking bands. You can’t miss that this is a Vintage 1997 cigar.
The wrapper had a stretched, slightly twisted look to it, especially around the small veins in the cigar. And to the touch it was firm, but a bit lumpy. The scent on the elderly 1997 wrapper was a sickly sweet compost. I clipped the cigar to take a cold taste, but had a tough time getting a read on it. There was some sweetness, but that’s about as much as I could get out of this little guy.
These little cigars have a pretty impressive burn. Each one I smoked held onto a nicely solid ash for an inch without a problem. I smoked three of them for this review, and only one of the developed any sort of a burn problem. That one had some odd defect in the leaf that caused it to burn very rapidly on one side toward the end of the second third.
Aside from that one problem, I did also note these cigars go out like clockwork right around the beginning of the final third, without exception. However, they would continue to burn once relit, so it was a minor annoyance.
The Vintage 1997 started off with a woody, mineraly flavor that wasn’t that exciting, and developed some musty, dark chocolate and rich tobacco flavors that were alternately a little unpleasant and actually pretty tasty.
In the second third of one cigar, I got a rather unpleasant tar flavor. So I took a quick look at the clipped end of the cigar expecting to see that nasty dark stuff, but I didn’t see any. Otherwise, the second third had some leather and some interesting creamy acidic tingles. Additionally the mustiness I noted in the first third was present, but not as prominent.
The final third seemed to improve for all the cigars. I got a combination of creamy leather and savory earthiness that was actually pretty enjoyable. The cigar with the unpleasant tar flavors, really made up for it in this third with some toffee and creamy sweetness in little pockets.
These cigars come in little boxes of five for around $13.95, which is pretty competitive with the other mini cigars out there. So I can’t complain, other than to say that you can get those little Oliva Serie G perfectos for only 21 cents more a stick. (At least at a nearby shop.)
In my research for this review, I smoked the Vintage 1997 both while taking notes, and while working on other things. As you probably have noticed from your own experience, you get noticeably different experiences depending on what you’re doing while you’re smoking your and how much attention you pay to it. I found this to be a more enjoyable smoke while I wasn’t paying close attention to it. (Much like you might experience smoking it while doing the morning commute to the office.)
When I did pay closer attention, I couldn’t help but be a little turned off by the mustiness and mineraly flavors I got from the cigar. But at the same time, I did find some enjoyable flavors as well. So I won’t say I hated the cigar, but with all the other great options out there, I just can’t see myself taking the time find and smoke more of these.
Liked It: Not really.
Buy It Again: Probably not.
Recommend It: It’s not bad as a short, commuter smoke.
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.