Cigar Blog 101

Cigars and cigar aficionados discuss their favorite cigars, humidors, cigar accessories and more.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

3 Regular Guys Review: Macanudo Vintage 2000 VIII

So, if there were to be a Coca-Cola of cigars and it not to be Cohiba –madly popular because of the acclaimed reputation of its Cuban cousin being Fidel’s personal blend- what would it be? My vote goes for none other than Macanudo. You can buy them almost anywhere; you can ask anyone if they’ve heard of Macanudo and they’ll likely think it synonymous with the word “cigar” itself. Not only for its consistency and approachable mildness but also because its name is out there do 9 out of 10 cigar connoisseur newbies reference it when answering the venerable opening question of tobacconists “so, what do you smoke?”

There we have it…a mass market cigar known essentially the world over. Don’t get me wrong though. This is still a hand made creation and worthy of the myriad accolades that Mac has received over time –including the due praise from its corporate parent by gracing the name of General Cigar’s “Club Macanudo” cigar bars. It’s a good safe stick. Consistent in quality, at a fair value and it’s readily available. Let me give you one great reason to go back and smoke a Macanudo you veteran discerning cigar appreciator you- the Macanudo Vintage 2000.

What’s the Macanudo Vintage 2000? It’s a blend of tobacco rolled into a very limited supply cigar that is acclaimed for the virtues which it exemplifies- most notably a crop of wrapper leaf that cigar wizard Daniel Nunez proclaims as being beyond exceptional. That’s what makes it eligible to be dubbed Vintage for the 2000 crop and find its way surrounding the Vintage 2000 sticks.

Rather like how it works with Champagne –the real stuff from the valley of the same name- in that certain years are declared vintages due to exceptional growing conditions and the highest promise of the grapes, Macanudo has done this with tobacco only six times (1979 being the first). This Connecticut shade wrapper, combined with a San Andrean Mexican binder and filled with Dominican Piloto Cubano and Mexican San Andrean tobaccos yield the Macanudo Vintage 2000 (the year being certified as that of when the wrapper leaf was grown).

We 3 Regular Guys have of course smoked quite an assortment of the Macanudo line in our time and we really don’t mind them. They’re not a mainstay smoke for any of us though as we tend to branch out to whichever more obscure locales and tobaccos we can find. But, dutiful as we are, when Corona Chris bestowed upon each of us a No. VIII in a crystal tube we set about our work. Since we know Mac personally as a very balanced and even smoke we thought we knew what we’d be in for: something pleasant, likely not too noteworthy, and possibly less eventful than our palates aim for these days.

Unanimously we 3 Regular Guys enjoyed this stick. Colm, in almost standard form, settled in to smoking his and nearly forgot to scribble any useful notes. He did find it to be rather balanced and a gentle smoke. Dave conjured up a very vague initial taste of lemongrass and found the smoke to be slightly creamy. Scott touched on a subtle toastiness to the aroma, thought the taste was a little bitter initially and then mellowed after 1” becoming creamy but not too well developed. The finish had a white pepper note just before it falls off your palate.

This was a slow smoke with an even burn that converted itself into a dark brown layered ash that easily held to 2”. The risk of over-smoking it is present however and it can edge toward harsh. This wrapper leaf is still pretty lazy and has no interest in being rushed. To prevent over-smoking it and ensure you get the most from this Macanudo take your time –and you’ll need a while at the ring gauge we smoked. Delve around and try to pick apart the nuances of this cigar. They’re in there if you look.

If you’re a dedicated Macanudo smoker, then here’s your crème de la crème. If you used to be a Mac smoker, you still are. He or she is still in there, I promise, and this is a darn good stick to go back and catch up with an old friend. The Vintage 2000 is eternally approachable, worth a closer inspection, and more subtle than you realize. This is a humble cigar…a really good stick but it doesn’t feel the need to brag about itself.

And now for something completely different- the 2nd Regular Guy of the 3 Regular Guys has moved from the ranks of the purveyor of cigars to consumer of cigars camp. Dave has returned to the world of banking from which he originally hailed. We wish him tremendous professional fortune; good luck in compelling his new senior management to accept his lengthy afternoon cigar breaks; and are sure that some of our best discoveries of new favorite sticks will still be coming to us remaining 2 Regular Guys from Dave’s personal humidor. Best of luck Dave!

Click Here To Order The Macanudo Vintage 2000!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

"Blog Special": $29.95

I’m going to be honest with you this sampler will not last long. Our “Blog Special” sampler could last 1 day or 1 month. I have seen “Blog Specials” sell out in less than 24 hours. Where else can you buy 13 premium brand cigars for only $2.30 each? This is a $70 sampler, which has been discounted 57% for our blog readers.

Here is a breakdown of this amazing selection: Macanudo Robust, Arturo Fuente, Hoyo de Monterrey, Punch, Carlos Torano Exodus 1959 Silver, Rocky Patel Vintage 1992, Ancient Warrior by Gurkha, Partagas, La Perla Habana, C.A.O. Brazilia, La Gloria Cubana, Padron, and the brand new C.A.O. Gold Maduro.

At $29.95 load your humidor up with more than one “Blog Special”, and enjoy some premium cigars all summer long.

Product Review by Corona Chris, Thompson Cigar product specialist

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

New Packaging

It has been said, “That Packaging Sells.”

That being the case, then the “new” packaging for the cigar industry, is very exciting, and different. The traditional box, as we know it, is always a staple in its history and presentation; and we doubt that will ever change.

However, the new presentations, some resembling a lighted box, a car trunk lid, an old looking chest with gold straps, an ammo case, highly lacquered boxes with attractive embossing, all pointing to a cigar smoker that sees a second use for “the box” other than for children’s pencils.

Cigar manufacturers are now presenting some products in a humidor box, that is a “true” humidor. What can be derived from this “new” presentation(s) is that an attractive-different type design, is their version of the 21st century box.

Certainly the cigars within any box is a manufacturer’s signature, to go to the next look is exciting. Does it sell more cigars? They would not invest in a change from traditional to the “new” look, or present an inferior cigar in a “glitzy” box.

Click here for more information on the Gurkha Black Beauty (pictured).

By Al Remp, product specialist and trainer, Thompson Cigar.

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