A few years ago, General Cigar Co. unveiled a collaborative cigar between the Cohiba brand and rapper Jay Z. The cigar featured innovating packaging and a blend that saw the filler tobaccos aged for four years, including the final year in rum barrels.
While the limited Comador partnership has come to an end, the process of aging tobaccos in rum barrels has not. At this summer’s IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, the company launched the Cohiba Macassar, a cigar that featured a Connecticut habano binder, a Connecticut broadleaf binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers that were aged for at least four years, including the final year of aging in rum barrels.
Macassar is a reference to Makassar ebony, a dark ebony wood with distinctive stripes that is found in Indonesia. Ebony is used for the boxes and the company uses a special band for the line, which is offered in three sizes:
- Cohiba Macassar Toro Grande (6 x 52) — $21.99 (Boxes of 10, $219.90)
- Cohiba Macassar Gigante (6 x 60) — $23.99 (Boxes of 10, $239.90)
- Cohiba Macassar Double Corona (7 1/4 x 54) — $24.99 (Boxes of 10, $249.90)
- Cigar Reviewed: Cohiba Macassar Toro Grande
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: General Cigar Dominicana
- Wrapper: Connecticut Habano
- Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
- Length: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: $21.99 (Boxes of 10, $219.90)
- Release Date: August 2016
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Other than the fact that red dot1 Cohibas are generally pretty expensive, it would be hard-pressed for me to understand this as a $25 cigar, particularly once it leaves the box. It’s well rolled, albeit in a pretty common shape, and while the wrapper is really pretty, it’s a long way from the Cohiba Comador presentation and that of many other $20+ cigars. Off the wrapper, I get chocolate brownies, some barnyard and pita bread. The foot is much more pungent with leather, barnyard and some gingerbread providing a very aggressive smell. There’s really not a ton of flavor on the cold draw other than some gingerbread and cinnamon; in fact, the most notable sensation is my nose picking up the acidity from the wrapper.
The Cohiba Macassar Toro Grande begins with some sour oak and a cinnamon that reminds me of that found in an Atomic FireBall, the candy. Interestingly, that departs almost immediately and the flavor instead is a relatively smooth woody flavor surrounded by some floral and mango sweetness. The finish is odd, some soggy flavors—like a wet paper towel—and some dryness, an interesting combination of contrasts. It’s medium-plus flavor-wise, mild-medium strength-wise and medium in body. Construction is great and the cigar is able to stay lit at painstakingly slow paces.
Calm is the word that comes to mind when describing the flavors in the second third. The Cohiba Macassar shows faint hints of black licorice, some wheat flavors and nuttiness on the tongue. Through the nose, there’s lemon cake and some mild Dr. Pepper sweetness, though both are extremely delicate and only really accents on the nutty and wheat profile. On one cigar I get faint hints of the herbal olor characteristic, but much like the rest of the cigar, everything is very light and delicate. Construction-wise, two cigars have incredible construction while another cigar tunnels and needs a relight. Strength remains mild-medium.
The delicate flavors continue into the final third with lemon cake, nuttiness and oak as the primary flavors. There’s a return of the cinnamon along with some harshness towards the top of the mouth. Unfortunately, I still get a bit of the soggy flavors, now intertwined with some of the bready flavors on the tongue, though the herbs are fortunately gone. As for the finish, it’s extremely starchy–almost like what I imagine my mouth would taste like after chugging a carton of french fries. Construction remains great until the final inch, meaning two samples have gone start to finish with no touch-ups.
- The bands have this weird halo-like effect around the font that make them look slightly out of focus regardless of how well I shoot them. Or maybe I just never got them in focus.
- While the boxes are nice, the bands could use some embossing. At $22-25 per cigar, a slightly improved presentation would go along way when it comes to perceived value.
- (Site sponsor) Cigar.com has boxes listed for 40 percent off. I really don’t understand this tactic from General Cigar Co. While it’s great for consumers, I cannot imagine being thrilled by this as a retailer.
- Looking down at my ashtray and I see nice two-thirds of an inch chunks of ash that looks like stacks of nickels.
- General Cigar Co. just announced a price increase, but products introduced at the 2016 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show were among the very few items not affected by said increase.
- Cigars for this review were given to halfwheel by General Cigar Co. at the 2016 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.
- Final smoking time is a lengthy three hours.
- Site sponsors Cigar.com and JR Cigar have the Macassar in stock.
This is a medium cigar with a host of delicate flavors. Much like the Cohiba Comador, the Macassar is a good cigar, but it’s also quite pricey. If I was given my choice of General’s Cohiba offerings, I’d probably still choose the Comador, but not by much. If you haven’t particularly cared for Cohiba in the past, I’m not sure this will change your mind as the flavor is still very much medium, but it’s a positive experience from General’s Dominican factory, which isn’t always the case for me.