In the cigar community, there is a phenomenon known as Macanudo. The Macanudo brand is one of the best sellers in the country, despite the fact that you probably know few people that smoke them.
I suspect that the magic lies in name recognition and branding. Think about it, when a non-smoker wants to celebrate with a cigar, what are they often directed towards? More often than not, this is when I hear the Macanudo name offered up as a cigar that is mild and unoffensive.
For this very same reason, the seasoned cigar smokers in the community have a tendency to stay away from them. This changed, in a way, back in 2008 when General Cigar introduced us to the Macanudo 1968.
I can remember sitting down in Kensington Tobacconist, listening to a cigar rep from another company go on and on about how the 1968 would damage the Macanudo image. “It isn’t really a Macanudo – it is too bold!”
Phrases like a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothings were tossed around and I grew to enjoy the new line. In fact, it was easily my favorite Macanudo and was becoming a regular in my rotation. It was an excellent smoke that was not at all what I expected.
As time passed, I drifted away from the 1968. I don’t even know if they are still being produced these days. I didn’t think much about Macanudo again until recently. General Cigar sent me a blogger pack made up of cigars from the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show. Inside that pack was the Macanudo Mao.
The Macanudo Mao was the very fist cigar I smoked from that package and, to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much. What I found in that cigar was astonishing. Bold flavors, creamy finish, solid construction, ample smoke volume – I was blown away!
As I sit here, typing up this blog post, I’m smoking my very last Macanudo Mao. For the first time since the Macanudo 1968, I’m actually excited about the prospect of smoking more Macanudo.
If you stumble onto the new Mao in your travels, I would urge you to pick one up. I think you’ll find it’s medium to full body, creamy finish, and complex flavors a welcome change from what you expect from your average Macanudo.
The literature on this cigar states that the blend uses a regenerated heirloom Dominican seed. I don’t know much about this, however, I suspect this is what gives the cigar its unique woody / peppery punch.