If you have spent any significant amount of time smoking premium cigars, you have smoked a Macanudo (just taking a wild guess here). Whenever I reflect on the nostalgic nature of cigars, I’m reminded of Macanudo; but its not my story I like to recant. My ex-college roommate is a habitual Macanudo smoker because of the powerful memories the cigars retrieve for him, as well as the brand’s consistency over the decades. My friend shared his very first cigar, a Macanudo Ascot, with his father. Every time he smokes, he’s reminded of that beautiful memory.
Macanudo has a storied history. The Cuban manufacturers of Punch originally produced the brand in Guatemala. In 1971, Ramón Cifuentes, under General Cigar, began to manufacture the cigar after it acquired the rights to the name for the American market. Originally produced in Jamaica, General moved manufacturing to the Dominican Republic in 2000.
However, the Inspirado Black line is not your grandpa’s Macanudo. Crafted by a proprietary and experimental processes, General Cigar President Régis Broersma declares, “Cigar lovers who now see Macanudo in a new light should be prepared to be wowed yet again.” The line, along with its counterpart, Inspirado White, was released at the 2017 IPCPR trade show and helped usher in a new, craft-like era for Macanudo.
Inspirado Black Robusto Breakdown
- Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Binder: Ecuadoran Sumatra
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Factory: General Cigar Dominicana (Dominican Republic)
- Production: Regular Production
- Vitola: 4⅞″ × 48 (Robusto)
- Price: $6.99 (SRP)
The Macanudo Inspirado Black sports a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper leaf that was left to ripen on the stalk. The proprietary wrapper is complemented with a Sumatran binder from Ecuador and Nicaraguan filler from Estelí.
Macanudo’s label has always donned the crowned, classic “M” on its label. The Inspirado line builds on this classic look with “Inspirado” inscribed below the “M,” as well as “Macanudo” emblazened on top of the “M.” Its broadleaf wrapper has a rustic look and texture that is very toothy. The black hue of the wrapper leaf nearly matches its label in tone, only differentiated by the tooth of the cigar.
The wrapper offers subtle aromatic notes of prunes and Alligator Juniper tree sap. Alligator what??? Let me explain. I grew up climbing Alligator Juniper trees as a child. And, as the resin would end up on my clothes and hands, I remember the scent very clearly. So, just like my college roommate, it seems that Macanudo has a lot to offer in terms of nostalgic memory.
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This is my seventh Inspirado Black, but only my second of the robusto vitola. I’m a firm believer in smoking a cigar multiple times in several vitolas to render a truly precise opinion of any given cigar. I use a guillotine cutter to shave the cap of the cigar and light it after a solid charring from my S.T. Dupont miniJet. The cigar’s initial impressions, although subtle, disappear in the first third of the cigar. Floral notes and pepper appear through the retrohale, creating the first unique/interesting notes within this cigar. The draw, for me, is ideal, with a slight resistance and each puff bringing copious amounts of smoke to my palate. This is typically the start to a great cigar for me, but the Inspirado Black’s flavor profile is subtle and difficult to pin down.
As the halfway point of the cigar draws near, it finally opens up as the body intensifies to a more medium to medium-plus distinction. Pepper flavors continue to develop and I am left with the interesting floral finish on my palate as well as in the retrohale. The ash and burn of the cigar, for a smaller vitola no less, is impressive and held strong throughout. As the profile continues to develop, I begin to pick up notes of leather and charred oak on the retrohale. I always lament overusing the term “pepper” in my cigar descriptions, because it inevitably leads one to believe that a cigar with “pepper” notes is overly spicy. Despite pepper being the dominant flavor and aroma, this cigar is not spicy (having the actual flavor component of peppercorn, as opposed to the fiery sensation often associated with the spice). Construction-wise, the combustibility of this cigar is consistent and strong.
The finale of the Inspirado Black leads me to the conclusion that this is not a complex cigar. Some of the plum sweetness returns with little flare and the pepper and floral notes remain consistent. The body of the cigar has remained steadfast at the medium/medium-full range and does not lower or increase as I finish this cigar.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
Probably, but it’s not one I would seek high and low for. The Inspirado Black leaves me with the conclusion of wanting to return to its counterpart—the Inspirado White, which I definitely favor between the two.
- Flavor: Medium
- Strength: Medium
- Body: Medium-Plus
- Smoke Time: 45 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Milk stout, Bourbon (something sweet), Latté, Black licorice, Melba toast & black caviar
- Purchase Recommendation: Worth a try—grab 1 – 3
Macanudo’s iconic consistency remains true as each Inspirado Black I have smoked was very consistent from burn to flavor. Complexity is overrated with a lot of smokers. You don’t have to take a ride on a “flavor coaster” with every cigar, in my opinion. The draw and the burn are above standard and the unique floral notes are enough to capture one’s attention. Finally, with the exception of classic Macanudo lines, I do enjoy age experimentation with this brand and I am intrigued to see what some time in the humidor will do to this cigar.
Note: cigars used for review had one year of age at the time of review.
- Unique floral notes
- Excellent draw and construction is solid (long ash)
- Good price point
- Lacks complexity
- One to two-dimensional flavors (may need more than one year's time in the humidor)