Macanudo 1968 Robusto

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Macanudo 1968 Robusto

Some time ago it was brought to our attention that we didn’t have a single Macanudo review on the Stogie Review. I was sure that couldn’t be right, given the popularity of the cigar with the market at large. But as I reviewed our cigar review index, there was not a Macanudo to be found. The reason became clear as Walt, Jerry and I discussed who would blaze a path into Macanudo territory. It came down to whoever actually had one to review. In short order I lit up the Macanudo Vintage 1997 Demi (which I picked up on a whim on a cigar auction), the only kind I had, and Jerry smoked the Maduro a few days later.

My reason for telling you all this is that while the Macanudo is an incredibly well selling brand, it’s just not a line of cigars that a lot of really dedicated smokers enjoy with any frequency. That’s because many consider the Macanudo to be either a mild beginners cigar, or the cigar of the casual holiday smoker. So when Macanudo introduced a cigar at this year’s IPCPR targeting the fuller bodied cigar smoker, a lot of people were dubious. A full bodied Macanudo? Really? Even General Cigar president Angel Daniel Núñez acknowledges that the concept is “a departure” from what Macanudo has been about for its 40 years on the market.

So it’s time to see if this really is “rich, dark and unexpected” as the ads say, or if this is just good marketing. I have heard some interesting things about the cigar already, so, and I never thought I’d say this, I’m really looking forward smoking this Macanudo!

Cigar Stats:
Size: 5 x 50
Wrapper: Honduran San Agustin Havana Seed
Binder: Connecticut Habano
Filler: Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Ometepe
Smoking Time: 1 3/4 hours
Beverage: Water
Price: $8.50

The Pre-Smoke
From a presentation stand point, the Macanudo ’68 is a pretty cool looking cigar. The black and gold band is a clear improvement over green and gold or the Big M maduro bands. Under that sparkly band is a wrapper that’s kind of rustic looking and a little veiny. To the touch, the cigar is very firm and just a little lumpy. Looking the cigars over, I only saw one tiny flaw: a small white spot near the foot of one cigar.

The scent of the wrapper was the pretty standard compost with an extra bit of sweetness to it, and I found a bit of sweet chocolate in the cold taste.

The Burn
I can tell you that this cigar didn’t score big points in the burn department. The ash was generally light and solid, but the burn line was pretty erratic. In two of the three cigars I smoked for this review, I was graced with the infamous peninsula of unburned wrapper. While one of these cigars self corrected, the other couldn’t recover without a little supplemental fire.

I also had some trouble with the cigars going out toward the end of the second third and throughout the final third. I don’t think these cigars much care for my slower, review-speed smoking. I say that because I smoked one this weekend at a local shop, and didn’t recall having so much trouble with the cigar going out.

The Flavor
And now for the part you’ve been waiting for. Is this really a full bodied smoke? Is it rich, dark and unexpected? Here are my tasting notes.

The cigar started off with a surprisingly sweet, syprupy cocoa flavor. This quickly developed into a great caramel flavor with some coffee, and creamy sweet nuttiness that tasted like the center of a Reeses Peanut Butter cup. But the caramel really sticks around in the finish. In one of the cigars I also noticed a tiny bit of pepper here as well.

The caramel flavor continued into the second third, but kind of evolved into a rich coffee flavor as the burn progressed. Chocolate flavors also began to appear in this third. And pepper started to pick up just before the end of the third.

The final third was all about the pepper. Pepper and chocolate, pepper and coffee, and even pepper and cedar. (Though cedar flavor was missing from one cigar.)

The Price
I was talking about this cigar with a fellow stogie enthusiast and one of the things that come up was the price. He’s no fan of Macanudos, and had a hard time justifying the $8.50 MSRP for the cigar. True it is a few bucks more than what you’d pay for most other Macanudos, but these smokes are in a different class than those cheaper smokes. For that reason, I don’t really have a beef with the price.

The Verdict
As you can probably guess from my description of the flavor, I really enjoyed this cigar, in spite of the burn problems. To answer the questions posed at the beginning of the flavor section, yes, this is a fuller bodied cigar, and yes, it is a little unexpected. Though to be honest, my expectations weren’t all that high at the start. How many times have we read about cigars that are described as full bodied only to find them medium at best once we’ve lit up? And we are talking about Macanudo, king of mildness, here. Who would have expected a Macanudo like this?

I would recommend giving the 1968 a shot. Though the funny thing is that people who aren’t big fans of Macanudos may love it, while Macanudo lovers may find it a bit much.

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yeah, I think so.
Recommend It: Yes, especially if you aren’t a fan of Macanudo’s other lines. You might be surprised.

Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.




enjoying cigars since 1997

16 thoughts on “Macanudo 1968 Robusto

  1. In contrast, I have to say that I didn’t much care for the 1968. I got the $10 deal from Macanudo’s website and smoked one of the three I received (can’t remember the size). I found it to be pleasant at the beginning and end of the cigar, but sort of sour in the middle third–I almost let it go right before the flavor started getting good again. It is “fuller-bodied” than any other Macanudo, but is really only medium-bodied compared to many other stogies on the market. I put the other two sticks into my aging humidor and will re-visit them in a few years…

  2. Brian,

    I have to agree with dmjones. I took picked up on the $10 deal and when I smoked 2 of them for review they did absolutely nothing for me. I have 2 more in the humidor (1 was gifted in a bomb) and I was thinking of giving it another shot but I don’t know. There are so many other sticks in my humidors that are begging to be smoked that I keep putting it off.

    Barry
    acigarsmoker.com

  3. Brian,

    I skimmed over your review so it won’t influence my opinion when Ed & I review it on video. I almost thought we should just call off our review, but then figured ah why not have multiple opinions of the same cigar.

    Anyhow, your summary pretty much matches my feeling about the one I smoked. Wonder what Ed will think?

  4. I agree with dmjones, this smoke was medium bodied at best. I didn’t get much of a kick and the flavors were darker and more robust for a macanudo, but compared to other robust/full flavor cigars this one fell a little short. If I can get another 3-pack for 10 bucks it will be worth it, but for full price I would get something else.

    Great review Brian and great pics as always!

  5. We just got out of a Mac 68 event and got some good interviews with patrons (for their thoughts) as well as from General Cigar. We’ll have those up most likely this weekend on the show.

  6. dmjones and Barry-
    I’ll readily agree that the Mac ’68 doesn’t hold a candle to some of the other smokes out there in terms of fullness. (Particularly those that feature “Ligero” in the name! LOL) But I’m sticking to my guns. I think it’s just a little to full to peg at medium. Hey, different smokes for different folks!

    The Tom Half,
    Hey, glad someone agrees with me! LOL You absolutely should proceed with the review! Clearly, there isn’t a consensus on this cigar.

    Thanks Tony,
    Yeah, this isn’t a cigar to smoke if you’re looking for a good buzz. It just doesn’t have it. When I say “fuller”, I’m referring to the body, not the power. In terms of power, this is solidly medium.

    Nate,
    Sounds interesting, I’ll have to check that out once it’s up!

  7. Disappointed in the 1968 but wasn’t expecting anything either. I tend to stick to the mild/medium side of cigars because I love the complexities and nuances. However the 1968 was just bland and boring. I got the 1968 through the mail as well and probably won’t jump on thsoe types of offers again. With the 1968, I just felt like I was just blowing smoke – no flavor, just smoke in the air.

    I don’t smoke Macanudos anymore but I do keep some in the humidor to give out to folks – they’re great to give out at weddings, events, etc.

    I don’t mind the Maduro though – one of their better smokes. However there are too many excellent mild/medium cigars out there with great taste, finish and complexity.

  8. After receiving a key from Tuttles(Kentwood MI) for an event for the release of the ‘1968’,I thought sure-why not.The key was my chance to win a nice glass topped humidor filled with the Macanudo 1968’s and at least receive a complimentary smoke.
    So last week I showed up for my chance, no go on the humidor, but I did get my freebie. I had received another freebie from a Macanudo event a couple years before, back when I was still smoking infused sticks, so I wasnt that impressed the first time.
    I will say that the 1968 wasnt all that bad. I thought it seemed kind of ‘doctored up’ on the taste.As if the tabacco had more to offer. I guess I just expected a little more fullness. I rode out the entire smoke though. If these things are costing guys $10- I’ll stick to my Rocky Patel ‘Edge’ for $4 thank you kindly.

  9. I just smoked one tonight and it’s full of pepper and spice. Gets spicer near the end. This is very old leaf, but I find that if you let it age another year or 2 it should be very, very good. Just needs some more age.

    David

  10. Also jumped on the $10 mail order special. The Cigar is very nice to look at and I love the band. It looks the part of a good cigar anyway.

    Draw was a little tight on mine, I trimmed a little more off the cap and it seemed to help, could that be a stem I see?. Band slipped off easily enough but was not loose.

    Nothing really jumps out at me, no great flavors and nothing really bad. I can taste that trade mark Macanudo taste in the background. And to be fair I tend to like full flavored maduros and the like. Burn was pretty even, I may have touched it up one time but that is just me.

    Over all I would say 6.5-7/10 mostly because of the deal I got, If I paid 8-9 bones for this I would not be as generous.

  11. I actually enjoyed the Macanudo 1968! I’ve never been a Macanudo fan because I prefer full bodied cigars…I would have to say it’s medium at best. The first one I smoked was much better than the second one. The second one had some draw issues and while I cut it back further than normal it really didn’t help much. I became a bit frustrated because I like smoking cigars to relax & working through drawing issues isn’t my idea of relaxing! I have a several more so I will give those a try… Your review was really good ; )

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