It’s no secret that many cigar brands have reputations that precede them, and one of the first that comes to mind is Macanudo.
With a history of more than 50 years, this should come as no surprise. The Café line, what many would most likely think of as a typical Macanudo is best known for being one of the mildest cigars on the market, and has some of the broadest availability of any cigar.
That doesn’t mean that the Macanudo has stayed static over all those years. Over the past decade or so, new lines have come along in hopes of expanding the brand’s reach, and introducing new generations to one of the most iconic cigar brands. From the Macanudo 1968, a bolder blend that came out in the late 2000s as a celebration of the brand’s 40th anniversary, to more recent additions such as the M Coffee and M Bourbon that have sought to infuse distinctive flavors into the blend, the brand has probably seen a good bit of evolution in recent years.
That includes the addition of a new line that has gone on to introduce several extensions of its own: the Macanudo Inspirado.
It was in 2014 that the Inspirado brand first appeared, though it was limited to markets outside of the U.S. until 2016. The first cigar to be offered domestically was the Macanudo Inspirado Orange, and since that time the company has added the Inspirado Black, Inspirado White, Inspirado Red, Inspirado Palladium and most recently the Inspirado Green.
The line uses a Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper over an Indonesian binder and fillers from Colombia and the Dominican Republic, with production handled by General Cigar Dominicana. It is available in three vitolas.
- Macanudo Inspirado Green Robusto (5 x 52) — $6.89 (Box of 25, $172.25)
- Macanudo Inspirado Green Toro (6 x 50) — $7.39 (Box of 25, $184.50)
- Macanudo Inspirado Green Churchill (7 x 48) — $7.69 (Box of 25, $192.25)
While easily the most minor of hiccups experienced in 2020, the Macanudo Inspirado Green got a bit of a false start, with some retailers offering it for sale in late April and early May before General Cigar Co. asked them to stop sales so as to allow for the wider launch in August, though the cigar would officially go on sale in July via several select accounts.
- Cigar Reviewed: Macanudo Inspirado Green Churchill
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: General Cigar Dominicana
- Wrapper: Brazil (Arapiraca)
- Binder: Indonesia
- Filler: Colombia & Dominican Republic
- Length: 7 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 48
- Vitola: Churchill
- MSRP: $7.69 (Box of 25, $192.25)
- Release Date: July 2020
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
For some reason, the dark color of the wrapper doesn’t lead me to think this is a Churchill vitola, though my eyes should suggest otherwise as it’s only a single ring gauge bigger than the traditional Cuban size. It’s a meaty brown with a bit of mottling, some visible veins and a texture that feels just oily enough to merit the word, with one cigar particularly supple. Unfortunately, it also has some problems. One cigar has a noticeable frog’s eye, or water spot, while another cigar clearly has a patch job above the band. The first and third samples are softer and spongier than I would expect, almost feeling like what I think of when it comes to underfilled Cuban cigars. The second is firmer but has a soft spot around the midpoint that catches my attention. A sweetness is the first thing I pick up from the foot, though I can’t quite place it, as it quickly segues into a juicy meatiness with pepper behind that. It’s not quite spicy, but there is something about the aroma that makes me think of something cool yet spicy, and one cigar has an aroma developed enough to make me think of the tobaccos that the cigar contains. Air movement has a Goldilocks problem: one is a bit too loose, one a bit too firm, and the third is just fine. The flavor is more docile and nowhere near as sweet or peppery than what the aroma offered, but still enjoyable.
There’s no problem getting a good amount of smoke from the Macanudo Inspirado Green Churchill once it’s lit; it’s no smokestack but it’s not shy about filling the air. As for flavor, it’s also not shy, but it’s by no means a pepper or flavor bomb. There’s a bit of hearty woodiness and black pepper out of the gate, though the latter is tame and gently tingles the tongue on the way out of the mouth. There is also just a bit of Turbinado sugar crystals, though it stops short of really offering distinctive sweetness. Retrohales are a different story, however, as there’s a very upfront white pepper enveloped in a fairly full-bodied smoke. It’s an interesting duality of the cigar, and one that I’d put between medium-plus and medium-full, and certainly more than one might expect from a cigar wearing the Macanudo name. As the first third comes to a close, the cigar mellows out just a bit on the palate and a bit more through the nose, as the smoke picks up a bit of sweet creaminess but also shows the first steps of a move away from pepper and towards spice, a subtle but significant change in how the smoke hits the nostrils and olfactory nerves. The technical performance is very good with smoke production still impressive, while flavor and body are medium-plus and strength a building medium.
The change in the retrohale at the end of the first third has me optimistic that the taste buds will start getting some of the sweet and spicy notes that Brazilian tobacco can offer, even though Arapiraca is generally milder than mata fina. The change doesn’t materialize as quickly or abundantly as I had hoped, but earthiness has begun to emerge a bit more and works well with the woodiness and subtle sweetness. The one aspect I can’t quite resolve is the finish, which lingers a good bit but is also notably lighter than the flavor. There is also a slight bit of something I want to call harshness or sharpness, though neither seems the most fitting term. By the midway point, the cigar has picked up a more complex flavor centered around woods; there’s bark and a bit of sweet sap, the latter very subtle but important in the overall profile. A big pepper hit returns to retrohales in the back half of the second third, though now it is much more black pepper dominant. It’s the first hint that the cigar is beginning to ramp up its flavor, something that becomes more apparent with each subsequent puff. Construction is still fantastic, and even with the varied air movement on the cold draws, each cigar has smoked near perfectly thus far. Flavor is medium-plus to just shy of full, body is near full as well, and strength is building into medium-full territory.
As hinted earlier, the final third of the Macanudo Inspirado Green Churchill sees the flavor pick up some intensity, with the wood becoming more pronounced and expressive on the senses, expanding out into something that isn’t a neatly contained flavor but one that hits the taste buds with big hits of flavor. Unfortunately, there is also an increasing harshness building, and it comes with a newfound mint flavor, which I really want to love as I enjoy the flavor, but it is too tightly wound with the harshness. Pepper has subsided a bit, and what sweetness the profile had is also largely gone. There is still plenty of body left in the smoke, though it’s a bit of an afterthought to the change in flavor. It’s a profile that takes the cigar to its conclusion, finishing full-flavored, full-bodied and nearly full in strength. Construction is still fantastic and problem-free.
- The name Macanudo is said to come from an Argentine stang meaning something along the lines of magnificent, as well as a good person or friend.
- As should be no surprise, the Macanudo brand has a long history dating back to the late 1960s. It was originally the name of a size of a cigar made in Guatemala by the owners of the Cuban Punch brand before being acquired by General Cigar Co. in 1969 and being produced in Jamaica. This history is one of the best I have found online.
- I’m willing to let the occasional water spot slide, but a patch job on a premium cigar will always get called out. See for yourself.
- I’ve smoked a few of the other blends in the Macanudo Inspirado collection, though I can’t say I have vivid memories of them.
- There is definitely some strength to be found in the Macanudo Inspirado Green Churchill, enough that at least one cigar had me feeling a bit woozy after smoking it.
- General Cigar Co. advertises on halfwheel.
- The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 45 minutes on average.
- Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co., Famous Smoke Shop and JR Cigar carry the Macanudo Inspirado Green Churchill.
First and foremost, the Macanudo Inspirado Green Churchill is nothing like any other Macanudo I have ever smoked. It is full-bodied, big, bold and even brash at times, and it’s ultimately what holds this cigar back. While there’s nothing wrong with a full-bodied cigar, it still has to be friendly to the palate, which the final third of the cigar is pretty much anything but. Construction is near flawless, even with some softness and varied cold draws, but I never found myself even considering any problems in that regard. If you want a different take on what the Macanudo brand can offer, the Inspirado Green is worth a try. Yet I fear that an attempt to be different, it oversteps a bit too much and leaves me thinking that the blend isn’t suited for my palate or anyone’s looking for a full-flavored cigar.