Several years ago, the General Cigar Company’s Cohiba division began a collaborative project with the rapper Shawn “Jay Z” Carter which resulted in a spin-off brand named “Comador Cigars.” These cigars were rolled in three sizes and featured proprietary tobaccos which were aged for a minimum of fours years, with the final year in rum barrels. The cigars shipped in the middle of 2014. Upon release, Dan Carr—former President of General Cigar—said,

As a visionary, artist and connoisseur, Jay Z is the epitome of modern luxury and the ideal partner for Cohiba. Jay brought tremendous creativity to the development of Comador, and we responded by leveraging Cohiba’s assets to deliver an amazing cigar using rare, proprietary tobaccos, with contemporary, urbane packaging.

While Jay Z added,

I worked with Cohiba because I knew they’d take my vision of a luxury cigar and bring it to life in the right way. We took our time working on this, to get the blend to exactly where I wanted it to be. Comador looks and tastes the way I think a cigar should.

While the Comador cigars are no longer in production, at last year’s IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas the General Cigar Company introduced the Cohiba Macassar. Like the Comador, the Macassar vitolas are also composed with tobaccos aged for a minimum of four years, with the final year in rum barrels. In a press release, the company stated:

Distant from even the most primitive modes of transportation, Indonesian Macassar is arguably the most difficult ebony in the world to procure and one of the world’s most beautiful exotic woods. In a fitting tribute to this extraordinary work of nature, the artisans of Cohiba have created Cohiba Macassar, a new collection that lends itself to extravagant smoking occasions as readily as it does to life’s most treasured moments.

Only the finest leaves were selected to meet the exacting standards of taste and aesthetics set forth for Macassar. As such, this super-premium expression is made solely of proprietary tobaccos, each aged for more than four years, including a year of finishing in Dominican rum barrels.

Cohiba Macassar cigar

Cohiba Macassar Toro Grande Breakdown

  • Wrapper: Connecticut Habano
  • Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Filler: Dominican (Mao) | Nicaraguan (Jalapa)
  • Factory: General Cigar Dominicana (Dominican Republic)
  • Production: Regular Production
  • Vitola: 6″ × 52 Toro Grande
  • Price: $21.99 MSPR

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The Cohiba Macassar is a new ultra-premium selection of cigars which were added to General Cigar’s portfolio in 2016. This line is offered in three sizes—Toro Grande (6” x 52, $21.99), Gigante (6” x 60, $23.99), and Double Corona (7¼” x 54, $24.99). The vitolas are shipped in beautiful, ten count, wooden boxes with the top crafted out of Macassar wood—a dark ebony wood containing distinctive stripes which originates from Indonesia. A large piano hinge secures the top to the bottom of the box. It is a striking presentation.

The composition of the cigars consists of heavily-aged tobaccos from Connecticut, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua. The Connecticut Habano wrapper and filler leaves were aged for a minimum of four years, while the Connecticut Broadleaf binder underwent six years of aging. In all three instances, the final year of aging occurred in Dominican rum barrels.

Appearance

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The Cohiba Macassar Toro Grande is a beefy and battered looking cigar, with a ring gauge two points larger than a cigar normally receiving the toro classification (52 instead of the normal 50). Its Connecticut Habano wrapper is quite rough—visible seams, two very large veins, assorted splotches, a haphazardly applied cap, minimal tooth, and small spider web veins scattered throughout. The color of the cigar is an equal mixture of beaver and burnt umber with contrasting splashes of taupe. A medium amount of oiliness produces a slick sensation when rolled between the fingers.

The toro is encased with a traditional, rectangular band, printed in the colors of black, red, and silver. The word “COHIBA” occupies the dominant position—with the “O” filled with the usual red dot—while the word “MACASSAR” resides underneath. Fairly loosely packed from the foot to the cap—like a closely-rolled terrycloth hand towel—the wrapper delivers a faint aroma of cardboard and natural tobacco, while the open foot smells of barnyard, earth, and a touch of milk chocolate sweetness.



After the cap of the toro is opened with a double guillotine cut—to ensure the maximum amount of taste from the wrapper, binder, and filler—the initial cold draw is quite open. Flavors of gingerbread and natural tobacco immediately touch the palate, while a bit of spiciness formulates on the upper and lower lips.

Smoking Experience

After toasting and lighting the cigar with a soft double-flame lighter, the first few draws produce a rather sour flavor, which slowly begins to dissipate as the toro settles into the burn. Shortly thereafter, primary notes of damp earth and vegetation appear, like an early-morning hike through a wooded area with surrounding patches of wildflowers.

The draw of the Cohiba Macassar is open, with practically zero resistance, generating an above average amount of smoke output from both the cap and the foot of the cigar. Subtle aromas and flavors of cinnamon, gingerbread, and tropical fruits flirt in and out of the mix, while white pepper with touches of prune are dominant on the retrohale. When the toro is carefully placed on a cigar holder, the first half inch of ash falls on the table.

Cohiba Macassar Toro Grande cigar smoking

As the Macassar enters into its second third, it starts to display the following general characteristics—medium in strength, medium in body, and medium-to-full in flavor. The woodsy taste continues to build in intensity as faint additional flavors and aromas of assorted nuts, bread, herbs, and a smidgen of licorice appear, adding a trace of complexity to the cigar. The smoking experience is relatively dry, requiring frequent sips of San Pellegrino water—my usual pairing when reviewing cigars.

Room aroma is reminiscent of freshly ignited Kingsford charcoal in a Weber grill at a Memorial Day gathering. The burn line is a bit wavy (but not requiring a touch-up), holding over one and one-quarter inches of dark battleship gray ash, highlighted with streaks of ebony between the stacks. On the retrohale, the initial notes present in the first third are enhanced by a mixture of black pepper and must, with trace amounts of flowers.

As it burns through its final third, the Cohiba’s slight complexity experienced in the second third begins to diminish, resulting in primary tasting notes of damp earth, natural tobacco, and vegetation. The draw becomes even more open, requiring only single puffs to produce a prodigious amount of smoke. Ash continues to fall off in over one and one-quarter inch increments, leaving a clean burn line. A touch of bitterness appears near the end of the cigar’s life, producing an unpleasant roughness at the top of the throat. After a few additional draws, the cigar is placed in an ashtray to naturally extinguish itself.

Cohiba Macassar Toro Grande review

Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?

The answer to that question is, “Probably not.” While the Cohiba Macassar is a very well-constructed cigar—providing an excellent draw and zero touch-ups—it does not have the complexity of other cigars in the ultra-premium price range. However, the cigar is sometimes heavily discounted on mail order sites and if you can get them at a reduced price, buying a five-pack or a box might be a good investment.

  • Smoke Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Pairing Recommendation: Espresso, Ale, Assam, Hot Rum Toddy, and Rye whiskey
  • Purchase Recommendation: Try one at regular price or a five-pack at discount

Cohiba Macassar Toro Grande cigar nubbed

Images without Cigar Dojo watermark were provided by General Cigar Co.

Cohiba Macassar Toro Grande
The Cohiba Macassar line of ultra-premium cigars was introduced to the market in the summer of 2016. Rolled in three sizes—the Gigante (6” x 60), the Double Corona (7¼” x 54), and the Toro Grande (6” x 52), which was smoked for the review—the cigars are composed with tobaccos that were aged for a minimum of four years, with the final year spent in rum barrels. Primary aromas and flavors of damp earth and vegetation are sporadically complemented by subtle notes of assorted nuts, bread, herbs, licorice, cinnamon, gingerbread, and tropical fruits. The burn and the draw are first-rate, and the cigar is approachable by both the novice and the more experienced cigar enthusiast. However, it is an expensive smoke and the overall score was effected by the lack of complexity expected by a cigar in its price range.
Appearance88%
Burn/Construction95%
Draw92%
Flavor86%
Complexity83%
Price/Value84%
Pros
  • Open draw
  • Great burn
  • Earthy flavors
Cons
  • Price point
  • Not very complex
88%Woodsy