Macanudo Inspirado Red
Produced by: General Cigar Company
Filler: Honduran Jamastran (aged 10 years), Nicaraguan Ometepe (aged 12 years), and Nicaraguan Esteli (aged five years)
Size: (5 x 50) box-pressed Robusto, (6 x 60) Gigante, and (6 x 50) Toro
Time to smoke: 95 minutes
About the cigar:
Unveiled in March during Macanudo’s 50th anniversary celebration, the Inspirado Red is a worthy new addition to the trio of Inspirado White, Inspirado Black, and Inspirado Orange. The Inspirado Red is the biggest departure so far from the other cigars in the Inspirado line in that it’s the boldest and most full-bodied cigar, with the coolest part being that it’s made with aged tobaccos derived from volcanic soil. It’s also the first Macanudo cigar to be made in General Cigar Company’s factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.
“Nicaraguan cigars are hot right now,” says Steve Abbot, director of marketing for General Cigar’s Macanudo brand. “With Inspirado Red, we show how nimble the brand can be by introducing a unique, Nicaraguan-forward blend to the line, while highlighting the expertise of the torcedores [highly trained cigar rollers] from our cigar factory in Esteli.”
I first got to sample this cigar while at Procigar Festival in February, a month before it was officially released. It was hard to keep a lid on this release because it was just so dang good. Thankfully, the time has now come to “officially” review this perfectly aged beauty of a smoke.
What first jumps out is the gorgeous, bold, red band; it’s almost like a preview of the fiery (dare I say volcanic?) spice to come.
Side note: After cutting the cigar, the second cap fell off [pictured] which resulted in some unfortunate unraveling of the leaf, but I don’t attribute this to Macanudo. The blame goes to my humidor, which has been acting real funky ever since the humidity outside started creeping up.
The wrapper looks like chocolate and is just a little bit oily. The cold draw comes easily, and I can readily taste the pepper as well as some mocha. Upon light-up, the spices reign even more supreme—and I do mean spicy. Thankfully, notes of coffee, caramel, and nuts provide some counter. The smoke is thick and voluminous, the draw is nice and easy, and the ash is solid and dark, falling off at about an inch and a half.
As I smoke on, the tastes of pepper and spices back off a little bit and are replaced with more caramel and bits of chocolate. The burn line is a little on the wavy side, but I only had to touch it up once while smoking. One of my favorite parts of this cigar is the room note. It smells like baking dark chocolate chip cookies. I wish I could bottle this scent and make it into a candle.
Bulleit Bourbon Frontier Whiskey. This cigar needs a bourbon or a thick stout to help counteract the spices. This bourbon has a tiny bit of spice of its own, but I found that it complemented the Inspirado Red quite nicely, especially because this bourbon finished sweet and long.
I’ve been an enthusiastic fan of the Macanudo Inspirado line for quite some time, and I was intrigued to try a cigar that’s such a departure from the rest of the line. In fact, the best word to describe this cigar is “interesting,” in the best possible way. It’s spicy, spicy, spicy, but it is still a pleasurable smoke and agreeable to the senses, and I’m still trying to figure out a way to bottle the wonderful aroma. Let me know if you figure it out.