Posted by Jack | in Macanudo | on 07 Feb 2013 | at 1:25 PM | 5425 views
I have to start this review by thanking Dion Lange - one of the regulars at The Wharf - for gifting this cigar my way for a review.  I believe this is his cigar of choice, so his handing me one really means a lot.  So, thanks a ton, Dion!  The subject of this review is the Macanudo Especialé .  Macanudo is one of those brands you can find in most cigar stores across the US.  It's an institutional brand, having been around since 1868, like Punch, Romeo y Julietta, and the like.  I have had a couple of the very cool vintage brand - the ones with the metal ring for a band - and they are a really good cigar.  Other than that, I have not hit the Macanudo label in a very long time.  So, this Especialé had my interest up a bit.  From what I can tell, they are a Thompson Cigar exclusive - can't seem to find them anywhere else online.  So how does it smoke?  Let's see....
Construction: The Especialé is a hefty rustic looking cigar.  The wrapper is a nice red brown affair with very minimal veins and a pretty mottled appearance.  While they call this cigar a torpedo it really is more like a pyramid.  The classic shape of a torpedo should be a sharp point and straight sides - this one has a gradual taper from head to foot in a true pyramid fashion.
Pre-light Aroma and Draw: I get a nice rich hay-like aroma to the wrapper and the foot gives off a rather nice chocolaty smell.  The draw is perfect as well.
Light and Burn: With a couple of matches the Especialé comes to life.  I had a spot that I had to coax with my jet lighter but after that the burn starts off nice and even.  I am about an inch in now and the burn is a little ragged but still holding pretty true.  No real issues.
Tasting: Off the start the Especialé is medium bodied and no spicy blast - which I am almost too accustomed to now.  There is a nice creamy smooth woody flavor with a nice graham cracker note as the first third begins.  Into the second third I am getting more of that graham cracker flavor with some moderate spice, wood, and toasty sweetness.  As I get into the final third the flavors stay pretty much the same.  The only addition is a nice metallic sweetness that is reminiscent of Cuban tobacco.  This cigar really is Especialé .
Value: The asking price for one of these on Thompson's site is just over $9.  I would certainly consider getting more of them too.  They are a very nice smoke somewhere between a mild and medium with a nice level of complexity that was quite a surprise for such a major brand.  It's nice to see that the big boys are paying attention to what the boutique boys are doing these days.
Final Thoughts: I completely enjoyed this cigar.  As a nice change of pace from the firecrackers I usually smoke, I can highly recommend this cigar.
Wrapper: Habano (rosado?)
Binder: Honduran double
Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican, Mexico
Strength: mild to medium
Size: 6 1/4 x 54
Nice looking rustic cigar
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