Cigar Ratings & Reviews

Cigar Advisor Panel: Macanudo Inspirado Cigar Review – Video

CA Review Panel: Macanudo Inspirado White & Black Cigars Review (2 Videos)

By the Cigar Advisor Staff

And now for something a little different…as Macanudo Cigars has debuted two editions of their Inspirado Series, we’re doing a 2-fer-1 and reviewing each of the Robustos from the White and the Black lines. Macanudo Inspirado cigars – at least, the name – were actually introduced in 2016, with selections made available for both the American cigar market, and smokers in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. These White & Black blends represent an expansion of the Inspirado offerings, and as you’ll find out – come with an uptick in flavor and complexity from their tobaccos.

The Macanudo Inspirado White Cigars Back Story

Macanudo Inspirado White cigars make a bold move away from the brand’s traditional past toward a more complex smoke, while maintaining that classic Macanudo creaminess. Master blender, Jhonys Diaz, used a recipe consisting an all long-aged Nicaraguan and Mexican core, Indonesian binder and a proprietary Ecuadoran Connecticut wrapper.

“We spent several years developing this blend, using tobaccos we refined and aged to perfection,” said Diaz. “Think of the most creamy, alluring cigar you’ve ever had, amplify the complexity and you have Macanudo Inspirado White.”

To get a feel for these new Macanudo blends, a marathon smoke session ensued…and how did it turn out? Well, you can get our tasting notes and see the highlights of each cigar in the video below. We reviewed the Macanudo Inspirado White Robusto first; the notes and video for the Inspirado Black follow below.

The Stats: Macanudo Inspirado White Robusto

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: 5″ x 50
Strength: Medium
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut (aged 6 years)
Filler: Nicaraguan Condega and Mexican San Andres (aged 4 years), plus Nicaraguan Jalapa (aged 2 years)
Binder: Indonesian
Presentation: Box of 20 cigars.

Macanudo Inspirado White cigars reviewGary Korb’s Tasting Notes…

Construction and Overall Appearance: A solidly built cigar with a silky Ecuadorian wrapper that had a slight sheen to it and a well-applied triple seam cap. Some veins were more visible than others, but that didn’t distract from its overall appearance.
Draw (airflow): Very good.
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Salt, leather.
First few puffs: Sweet and lightly peppery.
Base flavors: Salt, cedar, leather, caramel, charred oak.
Aroma: Excellent.
Burn / Ash Quality: Excellent. Burn is even with a thin carbon line. Ash is mostly dark grey and quite firm. The first ash dropped at just about an inch.
Balance of flavors: Excellent.

Observations

  • One of the first things I picked up from this cigar was its aroma, which I found very appealing and relaxing.
  • Some salty notes along with leather, cedar and caramel were among the early flavors revealed. (Think of salted caramel.)
  • By the midsection, the sweetness had left the building as the flavors turned darker with some sharp, acidic notes and charred wood.
  • The final inches rounded-out to smooth flavors of dark, earthy tobacco. Only a modicum of sweetness remained at this point.

Summary

A really solid, medium-bodied smoke with multiple layers of flavor that are revealed as this cigar goes through its paces. Between the baseline sample and the cigar I smoked in the video, I would conclude that the Macanudo Inspirado White Robusto has a lot to offer cigar smokers at every level of experience, especially for newer cigar smokers who want an excellent example of how complex a cigar is supposed to taste.

macanudo inspirado white cigar review 5pk shot
Three out of four Advisors found this Macanudo to have a satisfying bite of pepper. That’s different…Click for more.

Fred Lunt’s Tasting Notes…

Construction and Overall Appearance: Sun-kissed brown with fine veins. The white and silver band is a nice touch.
Draw: Very easy, loads of smoke came pouring out.
Pre-light flavor: Wrapper: cedar, pepper, leather. Foot: Cedar, pepper, rich leather, toast. Cold draw has a mineral type-taste, with a smoked salmon type hint as well as oak.
Toasting & Light: Initial puffs are very buttery and toasty with hints of leather, cream, a slight pepper on the aftertaste.
Base flavors: Cream, butter, oak, leather, white pepper.
Retrohale: A honey sweetness with leather, oak and spice.
Aroma: Coffee and cedar.
Burn / Ash Quality: Snow white ash that holds tight as well as a flawless burn.
Balance of flavors: The flavors of the cigar outshined the body.
Consistency: The baseline was very mild, the cigar in our video was much stronger, though balanced.

Observations:

  • The cigar is opening up a bit, overall very creamy, with hints of white pepper.
  • Towards the end of the first third there’s some oak chiming in.
  • Retrohale has a mild peppery tang with wood, butter, and cream.
  • Farther in and still very buttery with notes of cream, oak, leather, and a slight tang.
  • Retrohale brings a honey sweetness with a little tang, wood, and pepper.
  • Moving into the last third, notes of leather and sweetness shine through with oak.
  • A balance of creamy, sweet, and spice with woody notes to boot. Salt and leather from the cold draw reappear.

Summary:

Inspirado White starts with an interesting cold draw that vaguely reminds me of smoked salmon; a salty, smoky combination of salt, leather, and oak. While the baseline was very mild, the cigar we reviewed started and held out as a medium-bodied smoke, loaded with creamy and buttery flavors. The first through second third was heavily layered with cream, butter, oak, leather, and a healthy bite of white pepper.

As the second third moved into the last, a honey-like sweetness pronounced itself as well as a subtle tanginess. The construction was perfect, razor sharp burn line and the ash held firm.

 

John Pullo’s Tasting Notes…

Construction and Overall Appearance: tightly packed, with a consistent toasty beige color and barely a visible seam.
Draw: Excellent.
Pre-light flavor: Coffee, chopped firewood, sunflower seed.
Toasting & Light: Easy to light; musky and leathery to start.
Base flavors: Pepper, malted barley, wood and leather.
Aroma: Sweet, slightly dry.
Burn / Ash Quality: Nice straight bun, decent ash with a few flakes.
Balance of flavors: Very layered and complex.

Summary:

Flavors from the Macanudo Inspirado White begin to bloom almost immediately: somewhat bitey, with a roasted/charred character…almost wheaty and hoppy, like a malted barley. Flavors go into a bit of a lull halfway, settling into a thinner, more manageable toastiness – and takes on a bit of sweet herb sensation.

Later on, intensity ramps us again with big layers reminiscent of ginger, a slight light earth plus leather in the background; the first two layers drop away, and this Macanudo stays leathery. The retrohale didn’t do anything out of the ordinary for me. Put itself out at 2” left with a minty finish, so I think it’s done.

Overall, this version of Macanudo Inspirado is oddly and interestingly complex – the White assumes a much darker kind of creaminess than that “typical” Macanudo flavor, and lays in some pepper that pinpricks the tongue from time to time. If you’re looking for a medium-bodied smoke whose intensity of flavors outpaces the strength of the cigar, I think it’s definitely worth a try.

 

macanudo inspirado white cigar review box shot
“…a medium-bodied smoke whose intensity of flavors outpaces the strength of the cigar.” Sound like your kind of smoke? Click the box above for more info.

Tommy Zman’s Tasting Notes…

Draw: Excellent.
Pre-Light: Sweet wood.
First Few Puffs: Slightly peppery.
Aroma: Woody.
Burn-Ash Quality: Solid, perfect, light gray.
Balance of Flavors: Complex with a number of flavors coming through.

Summary

First off, do not let the Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper leaf fool you because this is NOT a mild cigar. Secondly, PLEASE do not let the brand name of Macanudo fool you because this cigar is cut from a different cloth from what you might have pre-conceived notions about in the past. Now let’s cut to the chase – this is one hell of a tasty and well-made cigar. While it’s very creamy, there are several notes of black pepper, earth and coffee that smack your palate pretty hard, and I mean that in a good way. It’s complex and balanced as the flavors change and meld as you get a third to halfway through. It pairs wonderfully with a good cup of coffee and I could smoke it any time of the day. The White is a damned good smoke and definitely worth a try.

 

 

The Macanudo Inspirado Black Cigars Back Story

Macanudo Inspirado Black cigars represent another Jhonys Diaz creation that also moves away from the traditional Dominican long-filler blends normally associated with Macanudo cigars. Using only proprietary Nicaraguan tobaccos from Estelí at the core, an Ecuadorian Sumatra binder and a toothy, stalk-cured U.S. Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, Diaz says, “Macanudo Inspirado Black represents sophistication, and is truly for the initiated smoker,” says Diaz. “It’s about tobaccos that deliver incredible full-bodied flavor and complexity in a cigar that’s balanced and pleasurable.”

How’s it rate with the Advisors? Watch and see…

The Stats: Macanudo Inspirado Black Robusto

Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Size: 4 7/8″ x 48
Strength: Full
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaraguan Estelí (proprietary seed)
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Presentation: Box of 20 cigars.

Macanudo Inspirado Black Cigars ReviewGary Korb’s Tasting Notes…

Construction and Overall Appearance: Well made, with a solid feel in the hand. Wrapper was dark-chocolatey in hue with some areas a bit darker than others upon closer inspection, no visible veins, and an attractive triple seam cap. No soft spots.
Draw (airflow): Good, but a little tighter than I like.
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Salt. Licorice.
First few puffs: Salty and earthy with notes of charred wood.
Base flavors: Earth, anise and other spices, charred wood, sweet tobacco.
Aroma: Excellent.
Burn / Ash Quality: Excellent. The burn is true all the way down exposing an extremely firm, grey ash.
Balance of flavors: Excellent.

Observations

  • The flavors in the first third were earthy, salty and spicy with a licorice-like flavor that reminded me of a very refined Parodi or Tosconello.
  • This Robusto had an entirely different character than its White counterpart. Much sharper, earthier, and sweeter with more peppery-spice mixed in.
  • By the final third, the cigar was full-bodied and full-flavored with charier notes, while a modicum of sweetness remained in the mix.

Summary

If you love Nicaraguan tobacco and Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, this cigar has your name on it. While my baseline cigar was heavier overall in flavor, when compared with the cigar in the video, I concluded that it was much more “focused” in how it issued lots of thick, creamy smoke with a mix of sharp, spicy-peppery notes, charred wood and a pleasant, inherent sweetness from the wrapper. The Macanudo Inspirado Black range proves that Macanudo can play ball with the best Nicaraguan cigars. Although “the initiated smoker” may find this cigar more agreeable to their palate, I think newer cigar smokers will get a lot of pleasure from this cigar, as well.

macanudo inspirado black cigar review 5pk shot
We all agree this Inspirado Black is an incredibly well-crafted cigar: a fantastic Broadleaf at work here, and it’s well-packed, too. Click to see more.

Fred Lunt’s Tasting Notes…

Construction and Overall Appearance: This cigar is exceptionally clean and smooth looking, especially for having a Broadleaf wrapper; it’s dark, oily, and slightly veiny.
Draw: easy, a little tight.
Pre-light flavor: Wrapper: earthy and chocolatey; Foot: Mild chocolate and earth with raisins; Cold draw: coffee, raisins, and fig with a dark chocolate.
Toasting & Light: Initial puffs have a very smoky taste with coffee, cedar, and a creamy and earthy aftertaste.
Base flavors: Chocolate, coffee, oak, charred wood, earth, and dark fruits.
Retrohale: retrohale is full of black pepper but not overpowering, charred wood, cedar, coffee, slightly chocolate, and earthy.
Aroma: A bit funky, it smells faintly of earth and leather.
Burn / Ash Quality: The ash is extremely white while the burn line was mostly straight but it did veer off once or twice.
Balance of flavors: While full-bodied, the Black favored balance of flavor over strength.

Observations:

  • The initial puffs are very woody, a slight coffee and chocolate note and a very creamy aftertaste that stays on my tongue and lips.
  • While the profile is very woody, there’s chocolate, coffee, and earth as main notes plus a buttery creaminess.
  • After the first inch, a slight smoky flavor comes back, like charred wood.
  • The last third starts peppery and tangy while notes of coffee and, cedar, and charred wood hang in there.

Summary

Once again, these Inspirados start with a very interesting cold draw; the Black has a very distinct dried fruit flavor with raisins and figs but there are also plenty of dark flavors to be detected here as chocolate, coffee, earth, and oak are also present. The toasting kicks off with a dark fruity sweetness, charred wood, oak, chocolate, coffee, and toast.

While this was a full-bodied smoke, I found the flavors to be well balanced and far from over-powering. A retrohale brought sweet fruity notes with coffee, oak and a general creaminess. This would make an excellent pairing with a dark stout or bourbon.

 

John Pullo’s Tasting Notes…

Construction and Overall Appearance: Small for a robusto, but for a broadleaf, it’s one of the best looking examples I’ve ever seen…toothiness is very evident up close. Firmly packed, too.
Draw: Incredibly great draw given how tightly it was packed.
Pre-light flavor: Butter, citrus peel and nougat…straight up delicious.
Toasting & Light: a huge sensation of dried fruit raisin up front, promptly replaced by espresso after a few puffs.
Base flavors: Dry, toasty and dark – thick like molasses, but less sweet.
Retrohale: This is where the sweetness is hidden…like the outside of a roasted marshmallow.
Aroma: Nice and warm, but can’t identify…let’s go with “interesting.”
Burn / Ash Quality: Micro-thin carbon line, slightly wavy burn; the ash holds really well.
Balance of flavors: Less diverse than the Macanudo Inspirado White, but very balanced.

Summary

Love me some Broadleaf. Salty flavors come and go here, along with some feisty pepper shots and a hint of earth. It’s not until the second half that the Inspirado Black gets rich, along with a little sweetness coming in towards the end. I even found some of that black licorice flavor Tommy always raves about.

To sum up this edition of the Macanudo Inspirado…definitely medium plus, and definitely a switch from the Macanudo Maduro. Smoke is thick and creamy across the tongue, full of charred and “campfire-y” wood flavors. The sweet notes that everyone talks about are more noticeable if you burn this one low and slow. A lip-smackingly full smoke that should appeal to those who like a beefier Maduro. If that’s you, don’t hesitate.

macanudo inspirado black cigar review box shot
“…you really want to smoke this one slow as the different flavors of espresso and dark chocolate continue to slowly build.” ~ Tommy Zman

Tommy Zman’s Tasting Notes…

Draw: Perfect.
Pre-Light: Spicy, almost a hint of raisins.
First Few Puffs: Pepper & black licorice.
Aroma: Charry.
Burn-Ash Quality: Solid, partial grey & white.
Balance of Flavors: Great balance of different flavors.

Summary

I am a sucker for a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper leaf and they have done this one right. Now, first let me say that the following bears repeating: just like the Inspirado White, if you have pre-conceived notions about the Macanudo brand, it’s time to let that go. This cigar is rocking with flavor as the Nicaraguan leaf inside complements the brawny outer Maduro wrapper. Right off the bat there’s a hint of pepper but there’s also a very pleasant hit of black licorice on the taste buds. Now you really want to smoke this one slow as the different flavors of espresso and dark chocolate continue to slowly build. The Black has a nice long finish and those delicious flavors stay with you long afterwards. What a nice treat for those who like ‘em bold and flavorful.

As always, your comments are welcome – leave us a note below.

 

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Cigar Advisor Staff

Cigar Advisor Staff

The Cigar Advisor Staff is comprised of three good-humored, yet dangerously unpredictable writers who share over 75 years of premium cigar smoking experience. Traversing the tobacco landscape like smoke-shrouded Avengers, they wander (mostly because the fat one ate the map) in search of new leaf adventures armed with nothing but torch lighters and runcible spoons as their weapons. Each is equally knowledgeable on the matters and pursuits of the cigar lifestyle, with his own unique and capricious insights on various luxury, sports, automobiles and entertainment affairs - all served with good counsel for your reading pleasure.

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