For this week’s group cigar review, Terry, Darren, and I smoked the Macanudo Maduro in an imposing big ring vitola. This beast of a cigar is 6×54. We loved what we saw from the start. It smelled, looked, and felt great. Unfortunately it did not smoke that great. Terry and I’s samples tended to turn bitter. Purging the cigar helped, but the problems continued through the cigar. There were some good flavors, but the bitterness overpowered them. We also suspect that the wrapper may be dyed. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but I personally do not like it. At this price point, it really is not worth your purchase. We wanted to like it, but in this case looks were deceiving. Below are our ratings and the full chat text from our review.
Flavor and Taste: 13/20
Price Point: 5/10
Would I buy a Box: 1/5
Flavor and Taste: 11/20
Price Point: 5/10
Would I buy a Box: 1/5
Flavor and Taste: 11/20
Price Point: 5/10
Would I buy a Box: 1/5
Oct 18 2011, 7:39 PM
Terry1: All right I picked the Macanudo Maduro. It’s been saying smoke me next for weeks. If we don’t do it soon it may go missing.
Oct 18 2011, 7:40 PM
Matt: Great I’ll be back
Oct 18 2011, 7:41 PM
Terry1: I’m going to set up outside. Be back in a minute.
IamDarren: wow this thing is huge! breaking out the big rings.
IamDarren: any bets on smoke time with this stick?
Matt: This thing is a beast. Smells like a chocolate bar.
Terry1: This is one I wish I had a punch for. Time to buy that lighter you reviewed.
IamDarren: i’m surprised they didn’t call it Oscuro, its jet black.
Terry1: Might be dyed it’s so dark.
Matt: I have to go get a different cutter. It’s huge. I suspect the same thing Terry.
Terry1: Don’t cut much off. I have a small hole in mine and the draw is loose.
IamDarren: going outside
Terry1: Cold draw is as chocolatey as the cigar looks.
Matt: Yeah. Very nice look, feel, smell, taste to this one.
Terry1: Takes a lot of butane to light this one up!
Matt: I will light up too.
Terry1: Do you know what the dimension are?
Matt: I don’t. I think it is either 6×54 or 6×56
Matt: Not sure how to describe what
Matt: I am tasting so far.
Terry1: I’m getting some earth, a bitter chocolate and some cream on the first few draws. Very nice. Not as sweet as I thought it would be.
Terry1: Mine has a draw that’s looser than I like and the smoke output is on the light side. Finish is pretty short.
Matt: I am getting a sour flavor along with the earthiness and cream. Kind of like bum grapes. Not sure I am convinced yet.
Matt: It’s funny, a lot of smoke is pouring off the tip, but not as much is coming through the stick.
Terry1: That’s what mine is doing. I think this cigar will smoke faster than what we think it should.
Terry1: I can get a little of that sourness you mentioned when I retrohale. Kind of burns.
Matt: That sourness dominated for the first inch, but it is fading now.
Matt: That sweetness and chocolate flavor is finally creeping in.
Terry1: Did Darren drop his cigar on his way outside and is now looking for it?
Matt: I think he accidently walked into the combine…
IamDarren: no he just had some internet issues
IamDarren: my cigar is quite bland so far
Terry1: I’d like to try this in a smaller ring guage. The pack is too loose and I’m having a hard time getting emough smoke to taste it.
IamDarren: some light chocolate notes with a hint of cream. Very little sweetness. Kinda dry actually.
Matt: Mine is certainly no flavor powerhouse, but I like what I am tasting after the bad start. I am now getting a chewy, earthy core flavor with a sweet chocalaty and creamy finish. The sour grapes are still there, but fading.
Terry1: Yeah I’m about an inch in and all I’m getting is a light chocolate flaver, maybe some coffee and a touch of sweetness. Flavor fades quickly.
IamDarren: ok, i am tasting that bitterness now but only on the retrohale
IamDarren: similar to the cigar we reviewed that had the grapefruit taste.
Matt: Completely agree on the smaller ring gauge, but these huge ones LOOK so cool!
Terry1: Burn is doing well. It started off kind of wonky but all sides seem to have caught up now.
IamDarren: i don’t mind the size, i just wish they continued the wrapper leaf on into the filler.
IamDarren: needs more body…
Terry1: Yeah this is what I’d want to take at an anti-cigar smoking rally.
Terry1: Needs a lot more body. More air than smoke.
IamDarren: i think it heard me, gonig into the second third it is starting to pick up. More smoke and more creaminess coming through now.
Terry1: Damn, careful with the ash. It’s barely hanging on. I just ashed myself with a one inch ash.
Matt: Classy, Terry, classy.
IamDarren: sorry, i was gonna say something earlier. Mine has already fallen off twice.
Matt: I have pretty good construction overall. Smoke is coming more freely now and the burn is even for such a large cigar. My light gray ash has held on ok, it seems like it will be 1 ash per inch.
IamDarren: ok, i’m starting to pick up some sort of spice that is building. It started on the finish and has gotten stronger.
IamDarren: i keep thinking of bread, maybe some sort of baking spice.?.
Matt: Now you are into a realm that I know nothing about… baking.
IamDarren: lol, i was just thinking that i need to do more research and refine my palate more.
Terry1: I’m picking up some kind of spice too. Can’t identify it. Mine has lost all sweetness and the chocolate. Now it’s mostly earth and coffee. The flavors went in the wrong direction for me. I was hoping for more sweetness to go with the chocolate.
IamDarren: yeah, im getting the coffee too. But I like the spice. It adds a little kick without changing the other flavors.
IamDarren: however, the coffee i’m tasting is even lighter than the chocolate flavor that dominated the first half. I think the body is still very light.
Matt: I think this is a fairly strong cigar. I can feel it atleast. For me, this cigar is definitely medium bodied. I think the vitola may have more to do with that than the blend itself.
Terry1: I’m about half way and I’m getting a lot of bitterness off the wrapper. It’s killing any other flavors I was getting.
IamDarren: seems very incosistent between the three cigars. Mine has lost most of the bitterness and I would call it mild in body. Heck, i can inhale the resting smoke and it does nothing to me.
Matt: Hmm, I have tried a purge. Gonna let it rest a min and see if that does away with the bitterness.\
Matt: That worked, but I also lost some flavor and body
IamDarren: it turns out that one of the dominant flavors of beer is baking spice. After a few more puffs I think I may have been right. I can taste a hint of dark beer in there.
Terry1: I wonder with the loose draw and all the air going through, it’s causing tar build up. A strong bitter coffee is all I’m tasting now.
Terry1: I want Darren’s cigar. It sounds better than what I have.
IamDarren: maybe you should try to purge yours Terry. Mine is still very mellow.
Terry1: Purging away. Stand back.
IamDarren: don’t blow the ash off in your lap..
Terry1: lol I just about did. Started to blow before ashing. Luckily I caught myself.
IamDarren: im really enjoying mine right now. Lots of baking spice with a nice creamy undertone.
Terry1: Huh, that actually helped. I might be drawing too much and heating the cigar up.
Matt: I just got a burst of chocolate flavor… think there was an M&M in mine.
IamDarren: Ha… for once I am not the one speed smoking!
IamDarren: have you guys noticed that the wrapper just before the burn line is quite a bit lighter colored.
Matt: I am due for my first burn correction at a little voer the halfway point.
IamDarren: That is usually a sign of a dyed wrapper or a lot of oil in the wrapper.
Terry1: Smoking slower now and the chocolate and a bit of sweetness is returning. Blam the smoker. Although I wouldn’t be puffing on it so much if the draw wasn’t so loose.
Matt: Mine is the same way, darren. I am pretty much positive this is a dyed wrapper.
IamDarren: thats sad, great looks without the great aging.
Matt: I am curious if any of the bitterness I am getting can be attributed to dyes.
IamDarren: i would lean more tword tar. If you were able to drasticly improve the flavor with a purge i would say it was a problem with the filler.
Matt: You know, this cigar is virtually the same color as the Serie N, another General cigar product. I am pretty sire it has been established that the Serie N is dyed.
Terry1: It it’s dyed it’s staying on the cigar. I don’t have any stains on my fingers.
Matt: My fingers feel awfully sticky…
IamDarren: I wonder if the Vintage 1997 was dyed. It was so thin and fragile that i could have sworn it was fermented so long it almost became unusable.
IamDarren: well, mine aren’t sticky….. so what were you doing earlier in the evening…
Matt: I was waiting for that one…
IamDarren: into the last third now, flavors are still great. Creamy with some earth and spice. Burn is going great also.
Matt: My flavors are still decent too, although I find myself purging every 10 minutes. It really helps though. I am getting a lot more ocffee than I was before.
IamDarren: I wonder if it makes a difference how fast you draw on the cigar. I have been taking slow, long draws.
Terry1: I purged again. The flavors pick up right after then go bitter again in a few minutes. I still might be drawing too much.
IamDarren: i hope i make it to the end. My fingers are starting to get stiff. I think its like 40 degrees outside.
Matt: I am not doing anything different that normal. Just kind of a butter smoke. I still have enjoyed it though, just way more work than a Mac should need.
IamDarren: nothing worse than bitter butter.
Matt: except for a bitter cigar…
IamDarren: 1 out of 3 aren’t very good odds. I don’t think i would take the chance to smoke another and have it turn out like yours.
IamDarren: YUCK!, I think i just got some tar on my tounge! Nothing but bitterness on that draw.
Matt: So your fingers really don’t have any crap on them? I definitely do.
Terry1: Like you I’m not looking to try another unless it’s a much smaller size. I don’t think the large ring guage works for this blend.
IamDarren: oh yeah, the next draw had an either taste to it. Defenitely a dead giveaway. TAR. I’m putting mine down with over an inch left.
IamDarren: going inside.
Matt: This cigar is coming to a bitter end… literally.
Terry1: This cigar is a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde. Not sure what your going to get. It can have some decent flavors then the bitterness rears it’s ugly head.
Matt: Yeah. I really did not like it much. Maybe the next one we review will be good (we have been hearing that too much lately.)
Terry1: I’m setting mine down with an inch to go. No burn issues with mine and I’d say the strength built to a medium. Stronger than most Macs.
IamDarren: a little tar really ramps up the flavor.
Matt: Definitely stronger than most macs. This one really left a bitter taste in my mouth… literally.
Matt: I’ve got more if you want to hear them.
IamDarren: I feel bad, they were kind enough to send you all those free samples. I have just never had that good of luck with Macs in general.
Terry1: If I can get my group of cigars out tomorrow we can try one of the new releases. Maybe we’ll have better luck.
Matt: This cigar was really bittersweet for me.
Matt: Yeah, poor General. Not much luck with them thus far, except for the LGC line. We also have those Sols to smoke. We need to light up one of Darren’s next, though.
IamDarren: never put bitter butter in your filler.
IamDarren: lol, yeah i have a good rep to uphold. Better stick to one of AJs sticks.
Terry1: Good idea. Mine will need some rest time with all the shipping they’ve gone through.
Matt: To answer your previous question Terry, I want a surprise!
Matt: Don’t tell us what you sent.
IamDarren: me too
Terry1: I hope you like them. I’m excited to try them.
IamDarren: i’m hoping we can find some mild flavor bombs!
Matt: That would be nice. I thought that’s what this would be.
IamDarren: how about we do the Core next time. I think you guys will really like it.
Matt: Fair enough. Well, I am gonna run fellas. Core it is, see you next week!