Macanudo Vintage 1997 Demi

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Macanudo Vintage 1997 Demi

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.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 4 x 36
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade Vintage Selection 1997
Binder: Mexico
Filler: Dominican Republic, Mexico
Smoking Time: 1 hour
Beverage: Water
Price: ~$2.79

Pitter-patter of little feet

The Pre-Smoke
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.

The Burn
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 Flavor
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.

The Price
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.)

The Verdict
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.




enjoying cigars since 1997

7 thoughts on “Macanudo Vintage 1997 Demi

  1. Brian –
    Macanudo was the first brand I was introduced to when I started smoking cigars. A friend gave me an Ascot one evening while fly fishing for trout and I’m the one who became hooked.

    I smoked Ascots for a few days then thought I’d climb the ladder and try the ’97 Demi. Assuming I’d like them just by name alone, I bought two bricks (10 boxes).

    Second cigar, first mistake. Only able to compare them to one other cigar (Ascot), I found them to be on the harsh side and not delivering much flavor.
    I now have 9 boxes still in my humidor.

    Needless to say, since then I continued to climb the ladder reaching for other brands of full size cigars buying either singles at a local B&M or 5 packs online.

    After 2 years and many brands, I did settle on Macanudo Maduro as one of my top 3 cigars.
    Along with 5 other brands, I sent Macanudo Maduro in for review. Walt should have received them yesterday. I’ll be watching for a review of the Maduro just to compare notes.

  2. Hi Paul,

    I used to smoke a lot of those little Macanudo Maduro Ascots, probably around eight years ago when I was going through a cigarillo phase. Anyway, we’ll see abut getting that full sized Maduro reviewed. Thanks for sending in the cigars!

  3. Definitely looking forward to reviews of full size Macanudos! Too bad this one wasn’t good, but I’ve seen that brand in my local shop, and somehow it’s a very memorable name, even if I haven’t seen it here on SR and never bought it.

  4. Brian: thank you for hanging in there in reviewing this foul stick. I am sure that it is a pleasure to smoke through and talk about the good ones, and a chore to work through and sift out some kind of positive note for the dogs. I appreciate your honest comments on both.

  5. Will you please start doing video reviews? The tower of burn is cool and all, but, I don’t know, if I could offer one gentle note of encouragement, it kinda feels like “the Internets” are passing it by?

  6. Jon W,
    I’m waiting to hear from Walt on the Macanudo Maduro. I have another cigar lined up for next week right now, but we’ll see what happens after that.

    Thanks tcr,
    I was speaking with a tobacconist last night and mentioned the mustiness I got from this stick and he said, “hey, mustiness might taste good to some people!”

    Oh noes! The internets are passing me by!!! LOL (Where’s a lolcat when you need one?) I am thinking about a little video experimentation, we’ll see how it turns out. I wonder if we should put up a poll on the topic… Anyway, thanks for the encouragement.

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