At the 2016 IPCPR Trade Show, General Cigar Company introduced the Cohiba Macassar line. The Cohiba Macassar was a cigar meant to replace the Cohiba Comador, a line that had been discontinued. Introduced in late 2013, the Comador generated considerable attention because it was done as collaboration between General Cigar Company’s Cohiba brand and musician Shawn “Jay Z” Carter. Like the Comador, the Cohiba Macassar is positioned as an ultra-premium line. Recently, I’ve smoked the Cohiba Macassar in the Toro Grande line. While I don’t think this cigar was quite up to the level of the Cohiba Comador, I still found this to be an enjoyable addition to the brand’s portfolio.
The Macassar derives its name from Indonesian Ebony Macassar – the high-end wood that is considered one of the most difficult to procure. The packaging of the Cohiba Macassar reflects the theme of the Ebony Macassar wood.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Cohiba Macassar Toro Grande and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The blend for the Macassar is a new one, but was derived from the Comador blend. In particular, the wrapper for the Cohiba Macassar was grown in a different region of the Connecticut River Valley. The blend also incorporates a Connecticut Broadleaf binder and a filler consisting of proprietary Dominican Mao region and Nicaraguan Jalapa tobaccos.
Like the Cohiba Comador, the Macassar incorporates a rum barrel aging process for the tobacco. Most of the tobaccos are aged a minimum of four years, aging in a rum barrel the last year. The binder actually goes through a longer process, aging for six years.
Wrapper: Connecticut Grown Havano Seed (Seco)
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Proprietary Dominican Seed (Mao), Nicaraguan Jalapa
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (General Cigar Dominicana)
The Cohiba Macassar is available in three sizes. Each size is packaged in ten-count boxes.
Toro Grande: 6 x 52
Gigante: 6 x 60
Double Corona: 7 1/4 x 54
The Connecticut Havano wrapper of the Cohiba Macassar Toro Grande has a chocolate brown color to it. Upon closer examination, there is some darker mottling on the surface. There wasn’t much oil on this wrapper. There were some visible veins and some visible wrapper seams.
The band to the Cohiba Macassar is silver in color. Prominently displayed on the center of the band is the text “COHIBA” in black font with a Cohiba “red dot” inside the “O”. Just below that text is the text “MACASSAR” in smaller black font. Near the top and bottom of the band is a thick black stripe. There is also an additional Cohiba “red dot” toward the far right of the band.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normally do, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap of the Cohiba Macassar. Once the cap was removed, I commenced with the pre-light draw phase. The cold draw delivered a mix of cocoa powder, wood, and cedar. Overall, I considered this to be a very good pre-light draw. At this point, I was ready to light up the Cohiba Macassar Toro Grande and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The Cohiba Macassar Toro Grande started out with notes of cocoa powder, natural tobacco, and cedar. As the flavor profile evolved during the first third, the cocoa powder became a primary note early on and the natural tobacco and cedar notes moved into the background. The retro-hale produced an additional layer of cedar.
As the Cohiba Macassar Toro Grande moved into the second third, the natural tobacco notes increased in intensity. Just before the midway point the natural tobacco notes entered the forefront and alternated with the cocoa in the forefront. Toward the latter part of the second third, the natural tobacco notes assumed control as the primary note.
The last third of the Cohiba Macassar Toro Grande saw the cedar notes increase and close in on the natural tobacco. By this stage, the cocoa powder notes had greatly diminished and did not play much of a role in the flavor profile. This is the way the Cohiba Macassar Toro Grande came to a close. The resulting nub was cool in temperature, but soft the touch.
Burn and Draw
Overall, the Cohiba Macassar Toro Grande was a well-constructed cigar and this reflected nicely on the burn and draw. The burn path remained straight from start to finish. The burn line had a slight curvature to it, but the cigar itself wasn’t prone to meandering. The cigar required what I consider to be a normal amount of touch-ups. There was a salt and pepper color scheme to the resulting ash, which was on the firm side. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both were ideal.
The draw performed very well. This ash had the right amount of resistance to it, and as a result, this was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
The Cohiba Macassar Toro Grande started out with a medium strength, medium bodied profile. Both attributes slightly increased in intensity along the way. By the final third, I found both the strength and body to be in the medium to full range. I also found both of these attributes balanced each other very nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
Overall, I found the Cohiba Macassar Toro Grande to deliver very nice flavor and have excellent construction. I did find this cigar fell a little short when it came to complexity. I was hoping for more in the way of flavor nuances with this cigar. This is where I thought the Macassar’s predecessor, the Comador had an edge.
This is positioned as an ultra-premium line and the Toro Grande comes in at around $22.00. While price didn’t affect our numerical score (which is a solid 89), it did have more of an impact on our assessment rating. Still, since the flavors are very good, it’s a cigar I’d smoke again. It’s also a cigar I’d recommend either a novice or experienced one to try. However, I expected a little more from a $22.00 cigar.
Key Flavors: Cocoa Powder,
Complexity: Low to Medium
Strength: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last Third)
Body: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last Third)
Assessment: 2.5-Try One