Earlier this year, Scandinavian Tobacco Group (STG) announced that it was expanding the Macanudo Inspirado.
If you live in the U.S. and aren’t familiar with the Macanudo Inspirado, it’s not surprising; the line is sold exclusively outside of the U.S. It was introduced in May 2014 in Europe and Canada and while the name is familiar, the blend is quite different than what most American consumers will associate with Macanudo.
It uses a rosada leaf grown in San Agustin, Honduras, a binder from the Jamastran Valley in Honduras and filler tobaccos from the Dominican Republic, Honduras and Nicaragua. It launched with four sizes: Gigante (6 x 60), Minutos (4 3/8 x 42), Petit Piramide (4 1/2 x 50) and Robusto (5 x 50).
Earlier this year, the company added two new sizes, a 6 x 54 Piramide and a 4 1/2 x 38/60/44 double figurado known as the Diplomat. Four sizes are sold in boxes of 10, while the Minutos and Petit Piramide come in boxes of 20.
- Cigar Reviewed: Macanudo Inspirado Diplomat
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: STG Danlí
- Wrapper: Honduran Rosada (San Agustin)
- Binder: Honduras (Jamastran Valley)
- Filler: Dominican Republic, Honduras & Nicaragua
- Size: 4 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 38/60/44
- Vitola: Double Perfecto
- Est. Price: $8.70 (Box of 10, $87)[ref]Given the different markets this cigar is sold in, prices will vary wildly. This is based off German pricing, where the cigar is sold for €8.[/ref]
- Date Released: April 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
The Diplomat is the same vitola as the Punch Champion, which I’ll admit is not an everyday smoke of mine. Still, I am intrigued by the shape, even if it’s probably not going to be the purest representation of the blend. The Honduran wrapper does not look great in the cellophane the cigars are packed in, but once out, the oils are a lot more noticeable and the slightly red wrapper gains a lot more life. From the foot, I am able to detect milder notes of sweet floral, nuttiness and a bit of pine. The cold draw is actually a revelation: sweet floral flavors, some raw sugar, earth, jalapeño salt and a touch of nuttiness. The draw is somewhat tight, but I suspect that will be worked out once the cigar is lit.
It starts with some muted sweet earthiness before floral and cedar take over the profile. There’s some sea salt on the tongue as the finish begins, but it’s mainly cedar surrounded by some unripe strawberries and leather. The Diplomat settles into a core of oak and saw dust with some fruitiness behind it. There’s still some floral flavors, but they are extremely constrained. I could do without the damp earth that settles on the tongue in the finish, as well as the harshness towards the back. What I’m left with is a cigar that in many ways reminds me of a younger Cuban, which carries both good and bad qualities. Smoke production is great and the draw has worked itself out; a touch-up is needed, more on that in the final notes.
The medium-plus Macanudo continues in the second third in a very similar place as it was in the first. Creaminess has entered the profile as the saw dust fades, but otherwise the upfront flavors are very much the same. Midway through the cigar, an interesting flavor develops that I can best peg as watered-down Hoisin sauce. It’s not the main flavor, but it definitely has its place. Construction remains similar with one of the three samples requiring another touch-up.
There’s one last flavor transition before the end of the cigar. The Hoisin sauce continues to pick up in intensity, eventually overcoming the woody core. The fruitiness that had been very much a generic flavor finally transforms into a blackberry flavor, which helps the profile a lot. The floral notes do make one last attempt to enter the palate, but it’s with less than an inch left and by that point, while the Inspirado is not hot, the flavors are starting to fall apart. Strength remains where it had throughout the entire cigar, solidly medium-plus.
- I really like the boxes, the angled lip on the lid is a really nice touch, particularly given the execution. At first glance, the box appears to be cardboard, but then when you see the wood inside, it’s a nice perceived bump in value.
- General Cigar Co. tried the new age Macanudo concept at the 2010 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show with Macanudo Cru Royale. It was a decent cigar, although I much prefer the limited Inspirados I’ve had.
- This is also not the first Macanudo exclusive to be sold outside of the U.S., as STG added 4 x 60 sizes in the Café and Maduro lines that are not sold in the U.S.
- There’s definitely a bit of a trick to smoking this vitola: make sure you touch-up the burn as the cigar is making its way through the bulge. If you don’t, you’ll be punished with the need for constant relights throughout the cigar, but if you take care of it then, the remainder of the cigar burns just fine.
- Strength was medium-plus, not a bomb, but most certainly not a Café.
- Final smoking time was a lengthy hour and 40 minutes on average.
- Cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by STG.
- General Cigar Co., which is a subsidiary of STG, advertises on halfwheel.
As much as I enjoyed the Inspirado, I do not believe it would do well in the U.S. It’s nothing to do with the cigar and unfortunately everything to do with the name. I’m just not convinced that medium-bodied smokers would be willing to spend money on a Macanudo, something that is in many ways a testament to the extreme success General Cigar Co. has had with Macanudo Café. While the Diplomat is certainly unique, I’d recommend the Robusto vitola, which I found to be a bit more flavorful and without the burn issues.