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In 2013, to honor the 45th anniversary of Macanudo, General Cigar Co. introduced the Estate Reserve Series, a limited edition release that would use rare tobaccos from the company’s vast array of stocks.

Last year, those rare tobaccos included Jamaican leaf, and it’s back again in this year’s version. General refers to the varietal as Silver Tongue, a type of tobacco grown in Montego Bay. The company says it’s the most expensive filler tobacco in the world and produced with relatively low yields; as such, the company doesn’t have plans to use the tobacco again in the series for at least a few years.

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As for the rest of the blend, there’s a 10-year-old Connecticut broadleaf wrapper, Mexican San Andrés binder and filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua. It will ship next month in four sizes: No. 7 (7 x 50, $17), No. 8 (6 x 57, $18) and No. 9 (5 x 50, $16).

General Cigar Co Macanudo Vintage Reserve

Each size is limited to 1,800 boxes of 10 with each cigar coming in a coffin.

Macanudo Estate Reserve 2015 No. 9 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Macanudo Estate Reserve 2015 No. 9
  • Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
  • Factory: General Cigar Dominicana
  • Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Binder: Mexican San Andrés
  • Filler: Dominican Republic, Jamaica & Nicaragua
  • Size: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $16 (Boxes of 10, $160)
  • Release Date: October 2015
  • Number of Cigars Released: 1.800 Boxes of 10 Cigars (18,000 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3

Given where this series started, and the general approach of the Macanudo brand, the dark and oily Connecticut broadleaf wrapper is both a bit of a surprise and a bit of fresh air. It’s not that Macanudo hasn’t used dark wrappers before–General has done that plenty for the brand–but it’s most certainly not the normal approach for the cigar. Aroma from the wrapper is woody with some earth and lemon grass. I pick up taco seasoning, woodiness, creaminess and leather from the foot. As for the cold draw, it’s substantially sweeter with leather, pistachio, sweet coffee and a bit of banana cream pie.

Things could start off a bit more positive, as the first puffs of the Estate Reserve 2015 are a bit tight. Flavor-wise, it’s not bad: citrus, creaminess, some earth and a nice hickory note. There’s a short, earthy finish and the medium profile works well. As the Macanudo burns a bit more, cherry cola, cedar and teriyaki sauce come to the front for a bizarre mixture. There’s lemon grass, some earthy toast and creaminess around it as well, which doesn’t make any more sense. It’s perhaps not a dish I would order at a restaurant, but I enjoy where the Macanudo is at flavor-wise. Burn-wise, things are great, but the draw is a bit tight, even for my liking.

Macanudo Estate Reserve 2015 No. 9 2

The cigar remains sweet in the second third, but it’s a completely different flavor profile. There’s some floral touches, a half and half-like creaminess and a bit of bubble gum. Fortunately, there’s also a bit to contrast it out: the first sign of pepper, a small amount of harshness and some of the generic woodsiness I smelled from the cigar early on. The draw opens up a bit, which is helpful, and the cigar remains medium in every category.

Macanudo Estate Reserve 2015 No. 9 3

An earthy leather emerges as the dominant force of the final third of the Estate Reserve. It’s a great way to begin the end of what has otherwise been a healthy serving of dessert. It’s not to say the sweetness has evaporated, there’s still a big bubble gum flavor though the nose, but the Macanudo is doing better. Unfortunately, at the inch mark things turn vegetal, forcing me to end the cigar a bit earlier than I anticipated.

Macanudo Estate Reserve 2015 No. 9 4

Final Notes

  • I normally like my draws a touch tight, hence my normal approach of taking off a bit less than the average cigar smoker. As long as you have a sharp cutter, making a second cut won’t be a problem. I would not recommend taking off anymore than you normally do, even if I found all three samples to be a bit tight.
  • The Estate Reserve was part of General Cigar Co.’s expansive trade show offerings at this year’s IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.
  • This year’s boxes of the Estate Reserve feature the colors of the Jamaican flag a bit more.
  • I would describe this in medium in body and strength and a bit over medium in flavor.
  • Cigars for this review were given to halfwheel by General Cigar Co. at the 2015 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show.
  • Final smoking time was one hour and 30 minutes on average.
  • Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co. and JR Cigar have the Macanudo Estate Reserve 2015 up for pre-order.
88 Overall Score

Whether or not this is the last time General uses this filler tobacco, this is a good cigar. It’s the best Macanudo I’ve ever smoked and the best cigar I’ve smoked from the company in quite a while. It’s not your typical Macanudo, it’s a bit pricey and it’s quite limited, but I really wouldn’t mind having this in my regular rotation. It’s a great anytime of the day cigar with a nice mixture of delicate sweeter flavors over a spicy earthier base.

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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.