Starting with La Gloria Cubana, Michael Giannini has worked shoulder-to-shoulder with many of the best people in the premium cigar business – so which cigars have had the most impact on his nearly 40-year career? Watch Michael count them back to Gary Korb in this Advisor exclusive.
My Weekend Cigar: May 14, 2018 – Macanudo Inspirado Red Robusto
MY WEEKEND CIGAR: Macanudo Inspirado Red Cigar Review
By Gary Korb
How Long Aged Tobaccos Can Tame Even the Boldest Blend
In recent years, Macanudo cigars has ventured into boutique cigar territory with complex blends that are light years beyond the Macs our Dads and Grandads smoked. Case in point: The Macanudo Inspirado cigars range, blended with select tobaccos grown outside of the Dominican Republic, like the Macanudo Inspirado Red Robusto Box Pressed. Moreover, the Inspirado Red line is rolled in Nicaragua, another first for the legendary brand, but that’s only half the story. . .
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Size: 5″ x 50, box pressed
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Ligero
Filler: Nicaraguan Ometepe (aged 12 yrs.), Honduran Jamastran (aged 10 yrs.), Nicaraguan Estelí (aged 5 yrs.)
Binder: Nicaraguan Jalapa
My Experience: The Macanudo Inspirado Red line is also allegedly “the most full-bodied Macanudo” to-date, and although strength is subjective, they weren’t kidding with this one. The blend is chock-full of extra-long aged tobaccos starting with 12-year-aged Nicaraguan Ometepe, 5-year-aged Estelí Ligero, and 10-year-aged Honduran Jamastran bound in a Nicaraguan Jalapa leaf, and finished with a flawless Ecuadorian Habano Ligero capa. The box pressing is beautifully done with sharp corners and the wrapper is so even in hue, it looks like they dipped it in milk chocolate.
Although the pre-light draw was unexpectedly nondescript, once lit, the first few puffs offered a mellow and creamy smoke that was somewhat charry with some light pepper on the finish. Yet, it didn’t take long before those Nicaraguan tobaccos woke up and delivered a big spoonful of peppery spice. (Imagine a swig of creamy, woody flavors chased with a shot of Tabasco.)
Paired with coffee, this cigar was outside my usual sweet cigar comfort zone, but herein lies the secret of this full-bodied fiesta – the smoke is so ultra-smooth and creamy that the peppery spice doesn’t pound your palate, but it’s right up front. I attribute this to the extra-long-age tobaccos, yet not every puff is a blitz of spice. The pepper lays-off occasionally allowing more of the wood notes to come through, but in the final third the cigar finishes strong.
Suffice it to say. . . . the Macanudo Inspirado Red Robusto is right up there with the best Nicaraguan cigars, issuing an ample volume of velvety smoke that’s simultaneously muscular and sublime. I wouldn’t recommend it to new cigar smokers, but for those who love rich, hearty cigars, I suggest pairing this Robusto with a fine Port or dark añejo rum if you want a little sweetness; otherwise, this cigar should go nicely with a top-notch single malt after dinner.
If you’ve had an experience with this cigar, please share it by leaving a comment.
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