On the eve of the opening of the 2017 IPCPR Trade Show and Convention, General Cigar showcased two new additions to its Macanudo Inspirado line at the event’s opening night reception. These cigars were the Macanudo Inspirado White (a Connecticut Shade cigar) and an all-new version of the Macanudo Inspirado Black (a Connecticut Broadleaf maduro cigar). The release of these cigars gave these two Macanudo cigars a high profile launch even before the doors of the trade show opened. Today, we dive deeper and take a closer look at the Macanudo Black in the Robusto size.
The Macanudo Black that was released last year is actually the second version of this cigar. Back in 2014, the Macanudo Inspirado made its debut with the Macanudo Inspirado Orange (featuring General Cigar’s signature Honduran OSA wrapper). At the time, Inspirado was positioned specifically for the European market. A year later came the first Macanudo Inspirado Black. This cigar featured General Cigar’s signature Connecticut Habano wrapper. It was also a cigar that was positioned for the European market.
By 2016, General Cigar made the decision to bring Macanudo Inspirado Orange and the original Macanudo Inspirado Black to the U.S. market. At that time a decision was made to position Macanudo Inspirado Orange as a brick and mortar exclusive offering while the original Macanudo Inspirado Black became an internet/catalog exclusive. Since the release of the Inspirado White and the new Inspirado Black, a fourth installment has been added – the Macanudo Inspirado Red.
The new Macanudo Inspirado Black utilizes a completely different blend. With the launch of the new Inspirado Black, a decision was made to offer this cigar to the brick and mortar segment. Macanudo Inspirado is a line designed to offer cigars that (for the most part) are outside the traditional milder cigars the Macanudo brand is known for. Macanudo Inspirado Black fits into this category.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Macanudo Black Robusto and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The blend for the 2017 version of the Macanudo Inspirado Black uses completely different components for the wrapper, binder, and filler from the original Macanudo Inspirado Black.
According to General Cigar, the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper was grown under a proprietary and experimental process where the plant was allowed to ripen on the stalk. The new Macanudo Black also utilizes an Ecuadorian Sumatra binder and Nicaraguan filler featuring tobacco from proprietary seeds grown in Estelí that were uniquely fermented.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (General Cigar Dominicana)
The Macanudo Inspirado Black is available in three sizes. Each is presented in 20-count boxes.
Robusto: 4 7/8 x 48
Toro: 5 7/8 x 54
Churchill: 7 x 48
The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper of the Macanudo Inspirado Black Robusto had a dark espresso roast color. Despite the darker color, on closer examination, there was some light mottling on the surface. The wrapper also had a very light coat of oil on it. This is a wrapper that had a bumpy feel to it. There were some thin visible veins, but most of the wrapper seams were well hidden
As one would expect, the band of the Macanudo Inspirado Black has a primarily black color. The band itself has a silver trim. There also is a thick silver stripe going through the center of the band. On the center of the band is the text “MACANUDO” in black font. Just below the silver stripe is the text “Inspirado” in white scripted font. Behind the band is the new Macanudo logo in silver font. The band also has some additional older Macanudo logos in a watermark stamp-like design.
Prior to lighting the Macanudo Inspirado Black Robusto, a straight cut was used to remove the cap. It was then on to the pre-light draw ritual. The dry draw of the Inspirado Black Robusto delivered a mix of mocha and wood notes. Mocha is a term I use to describe a fusion between chocolate and coffee notes. Overall the pre-light draw experience of the Macanudo Inspirado Robusto was satisfactory. It was now time to light up this cigar and see what the smoking phase would deliver.
Out of the gate, the Macanudo Inspirado Black Robusto delivered short burst of white pepper. This gave way to notes of mocha, berry, classic wood, and white pepper. The mocha notes moved to the forefront early on with the other flavors settling in the background. There was an additional layer of pepper on the retro-hale.
Throughout the first third, the chocolate component of the mocha seemed to be the prominent note. There was some nice sweetness early on. Sometimes it came from the chocolate, sometimes it came from the berry in the background, and sometimes it was a combination of both notes.
As the Macanudo Inspirado Black Robusto moved into the second third, the overall sweetness began to diminish. Concurrently the coffee component of the mocha became more prominent than the chocolate. By the midway point, the chocolate component was not much of a factor. Meanwhile, the wood, pepper, and berry notes remained in the background. Later in the second third, the pepper notes started to increase.
By the last third, some classic earth notes mixed in with the coffee notes. There still were some notes of wood and pepper in the background. Meanwhile, the berry and chocolate sweetness were nearly a non-factor. This is the way the cigar experience of the Macanudo Inspirado Black Robusto came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
While from time to time there was a slight bit of waviness on the burn line of the Macanudo Inspirado Black Robusto, overall I found this was still a low maintenance burn. The burn path remained straight from start to finish and the cigar did not require a large number of touch-ups. The resulting ash was firm with a silver gray color. The burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to Macanudo Inspirado Black Robusto was ideal. It had a touch of resistance to it – which is something that I like. At the same time, this was still a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
While I think the recently released Macanudo Inspirado Red had more boldness than the Macanudo Inspirado Black, I still would consider the Black to offer more in the way of strength and body than most Macanudo lines. The Macanudo Inspirado Black Robusto maintained a medium strength level from start to finish and there was little in the way of variance.
As for the body, the Macanudo Inspirado Black Robusto also started out medium. By the end of the second third, there was an increase in the depth of the flavors. By the final third, the Inspirado Black Robusto progressed to medium to full-bodied territory.
Throughout the smoking experience, when it came to strength versus body, I gave a slight edge to the body.
While the Macanudo Inspirado Black is not the first Macanudo in the medium/medium plus range, the one thing that is unique about it is that is the first Macanudo maduro cigar to fall into this category. The old school guy in me still feels Macanudo should stick to the core competency of the brand – namely mild and mild-to-medium cigars. That being said, the Macanudo Inspirado Black is not a bad cigar. It delivers a solid smoking experience at a competitive price. This is a cigar I would recommend to a seasoned cigar enthusiast, but at the same time, I would not discourage a novice from trying this cigar. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again – and pick up multiples for my humidor.
Key Flavors: Mocha (Coffee/Chocolate), Pepper, Wood, Berry
Body: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Remainder)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy Multiples
News: Macanudo Inspirado White and Black Get High Profile Launch at 2017 IPCPR
Source: General Cigar Company
Brand Reference: Macanudo
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop