I think the last Macanudo we reviewed here on Stogie Review was the Macanudo Mao back at the end of 2016. It’s been even longer since I reviewed one. So when these samples of the new Macanudo Inspirado Red showed up at my door a few days ago, I decided on the spot I’d review them next- like ’em or not. Of course, I always hope to like a cigar I’m about to review, because it’s committing to smoking it a number of times over the course of the coming days.
The press release that came with the cigars sounds promising:
The evolution of Macanudo continues with Macanudo Inspirado Red, a fiery new addition to the top-rated Inspirado portfolio. This bold, full-bodied offering represents the marriage of rich volcanic soil and profound aging techniques to achieve unmatched strength and refinement.
Steve Abbot, director of marketing for General Cigar’s Macanudo brand said, “As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Macanudo, we created Macanudo Inspirado Red to speak to the brand’s unique ability to adapt to the preferences of today’s cigar lovers. Nicaraguan cigars are hot right now. With ‘Inspirado Red,’ we show how nimble the brand can be by introducing a unique, Nicaraguan-forward blend to the line, while highlighting the expertise of the torcederos from our cigar factory in Esteli.”
Dressed in Ecuadoran Habano ligero and blended with rarefied tobaccos including twelve-year aged Nicaraguan Ometepe, ten-year aged Honduran Jamastran and five-year-aged Nicaraguan Esteli, Macanudo Inspirado Red is bound with hearty Nicaraguan Jalapa. Enticing notes of pepper and spice reign, transending the experience of Central American tobaccos to the point of sublime.
Macanudo Inspirado Red is handcrafted at STG Esteli in Nicaragua and will be available throughout the U.S. in all channels beginning in late March.
Well-aged tobaccos in a Nicaraguan-forward blend? Count me in. Let’s see if it lives up to newly set expectations.
Size: 5 x 50 (box pressed)
Source: STG Esteli in Nicaragua, samples
Wrapper: Ecuadoran Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Jalapa
Filler: Nicaraguan Ometepe, Honduran Jamastran, Nicaraguan Esteli
Price: $6.49 MSRP
The Pre Light
I like box-pressed cigars, so the format of this stick is a plus in my book. Looking the cigars over, they were pretty rustic, some of them a little more mottled and dark-streaked than others. Most of the veins were few and fine, but a few sticks had a larger one running part of the length of the cigar. In a couple cases, I found some nicks or holes in the wrapper leaf. In the hand, the cigars didn’t feel particularly heavy, and were about as firm as you’d expect a box-pressed smoke to be. On cutting them, I did have some issues with the cap, but a little moistening generally kept everything in place.
The First Third
The Inspirado Red got off to a good start with big array of coffee, roasted nuts, pepper, a touch of sweetness and some lingering dark chocolate. Notes of caramel appeared not long after, and I got a good amount of oakiness in the retrohale in this third. Across the board, the burn properties were good: a little unevenness in some cases, and a solid, darker ash grew as the cigar burned.
The Second Third
The second third had more earth, almond and cocoa notes than the preceding part. Pepper and spice backed off a bit, but never really went away. Wood, caramel and some leather made appearances as well. The draw was still flawless across the board, but the burn line tended to be less even here than before. It never needed a touch up, though.
The Final Third
Unsurprisingly, pepper grew here at the end, but was joined by a sweet cinnamon spice. Lingering notes of almond and dark chocolate presented themselves more subtly. Any issues in the burn, which were mostly cosmetic, had generally righted themselves at this point.
As with many good cigars, I liked it a little more each time I lit one. I smoked the first before I even looked at the press release, and immediately thought “that’s pretty bold for a Macanudo.” As I got to know the cigar, it became clear that it really shines in the retrohale. You can enjoy it without doing that, but you’re missing out if you do. It really adds a dimension to the flavor. At the time of this writing, I have one sample left, and I’m looking forward to smoking it. I’d recommend giving this Macanudo a shot when you have a chance. It’s a good blend at a great price.