The Macanudo brand has been around since 1968, when General Cigar Company purchased it and brought it to the U.S. At the time, Havana cigars and cigars made with Cuban tobacco were a thing of the past, and it was becoming apparent that the Cuban embargo wasn’t being lifted anytime soon. Cigar companies needed to fill the void. Macanudo was being produced in Jamaica, and continued to be made there until 2000, when production moved to the Dominican Republic.
The Macanudo Estate Reserve commemorates the 45th anniversary of what has become the largest selling brand in the United States. The cigar was produced in very limited quantities, just 3,000 boxes per size. Unlike other Macanudo cigars, the Estate Reserve uses Dominican tobacco for the binder and filler, which is aged eight to 10 years, and a proprietary wrapper leaf grown by a private grower in the Connecticut River Valley. The presentation of these cigars is very classy. Each cigar comes packaged in individual coffin boxes, sealed in gold foil, and then packed in mahogany boxes.
I selected the Estate Reserve No. III, a Robusto, from 2013 to try. It’s beautiful—the golden wrapper leaf is without flaw, and it’s difficult to even see the seams. The burn and draw are perfect, offering just the right draw resistance, and burning arrow straight. This is a mild cigar, typical of the Macanudo line, but the flavors are very pronounced. It is nutty and bright, with a very clean aftertaste. This 5 inch by 50 ring gauge Robusto is a slow-burning cigar, too; it lasted well over 90 minutes, where I generally finish a cigar this size in an hour.
The Macanudo line has always represented quality, and this cigar is the pinnacle of that quality in flavor, appearance and construction.
Macanudo Estate Reserve No. III
Size: 5” x 50 Ring Gauge
Wrapper: Connecticut Shade