General Cigar Co. debuted their 2015 edition of the luxurious Macanudo Estate Reserve at their IPCPR booth in New Orleans last July. The Estate Reserve series has become one of their more premium offerings, sitting in the company of the Partagas 170 and Cohiba Luxury Selection at General’s 2015 booth.
For the 2015 release, the cigars pay tribute to Macanudo’s beginnings in Jamaica, where the cigars were produced until General moved operations to the DR in 2000. For Estate Reserve 2015, the cigars feature not only a specially aged, 10-year-old Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, but a Jamaican tobacco known as “Silver Tongue”, which is proprietary to General.
Macanudo Estate Reserve 2015 Breakdown
- Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf (10-year-aged)
- Binder: Mexican San Andrés
- Filler: Jamaican “Silver Tongue” | Nicaraguan | Dominican
- Factory: General Cigar Dominicana S.A.S. (Dominican Republic)
- Production: Limited edition (1,800 boxes of 10 cigars)
- Vitola: 5″ × 50 “No. 9” robusto
- Price: $9.75 ($16 SRP)
Estate Reserve arrives in packaging as luxurious as the SRP suggests (interesting, the cigars sell for nearly half the SRP at almost all retailers); decked out with individual coffins, sporting the Jamaican flag colors. Under the coffin hood lies one of the darkest maduro cigars you’ll ever lay eyes on. It’s easily oscuro, a shade I’d describe as “espresso black”. The wrapper is surprisingly uniform in color, having a light fuzziness and a seemingly solid pack. The only downside I can find is the band, which feels out-classed by the packaging and construction—also, the small stripe pattern makes it fairly difficult to photograph…
On the nose: wet earth, cinnamon, clove, and a little manure.
The first thing I noticed when lighting up was the taste of the freshly cut tobacco against my tongue—it was very sweet and had notes of bourbon-soaked oak—throughout the smoking experience, this was one of my favorite aspects of this cigar. On the palate, the smoke is equally sweet (to say the least), with a hint of pepper in the retrohale. The draw is about medium-firm, it may actually be slightly tight, but that doesn’t stop copious amounts of smoke from pouring out of each puff.
Moving along, the smoke picks up notes of bold, chicory coffee, earth, and a creamy finish. The retrohale tones down on spiciness, rounding out to a clean, decadent profile—to call it a dessert smoke would be an understatement. One very interesting and very pleasing quality of this smoke is a distinct flavor of chocolate covered cherries—it drives a large portion of the profile on the Estate Reserve.
The construction is on point throughout most of the cigar, I did need one or two touchups, but nothing serious. The ash is straight, solid, and chalk-white, with no flakes—a pretty impressive sight—holding on in two-inch-plus segments. While the flavors are rich and sweet, most of the developments com in the first 2.5 inches. The remaining changes come in the form of wet wood notes (oak and a little cedar), barbecue smokiness, and aged tobaccos in the background. To sum up the Estate Reserve’s profile in one sentence: baking spices, wood, and earth—baked into a chocolate cake—with cherry jam filling and coffee-infused chocolate frosting…
Would I smoke this cigar again?
Yes—of course, it would depend on the price. But as I mentioned, these can be found in the $9 range quite easily—if we’re talking the $16 SRP? Probably not. This was a very surprising smoke for me, I can easily say it’s the best Macanudo I’ve ever had and I’d suggest you give it a try.
- Dessert-like sweet flavors, lead by a distinct chocolate-covered cherry profile
- Good construction
- Lovely sweetness of tobacco against your tongue
- Lacks complexity/progression
- Dull banding
- Can be too expensive