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Staff Reviews

Macanudo Inspirado Black Robusto Staff Review

Tom O. O's picture

Tom O.

Today I’m smoking a Robusto from one of the most recognizable brands in the world – Macanudo – in the Inspirado Black blend, which was released exclusively for the European market in 2014, but has been distributed in the U.S. since 2016. Macanudo’s parent company, General Cigar Company, has invested much in recent years expanding the Inspirado portfolio, which includes three other lines: Orange, Red, and White.

Macanudo is many a newbies’ first cigar, especially the brand’s flagship blend, Macanudo Cafe, because it’s distributed nearly everywhere cigars are sold, and its creamy and mild profile doesn’t overwhelm novice cigar lovers. If you haven’t smoked a Macanudo, you’re missing out on one of the first non-Cuban cigars to become commercially successful in the U.S. following the Cuban trade embargo in the 1960s. Macanudo is an icon today due to its availability, affordability, and mild flavor.

Most Macanudo blends are handmade in the Dominican Republic, but the brand’s roots go back to 1969 in Jamaica when it was made in the Temple Hall factory. Today, a handful of Macanudo cigars are also produced in Nicaragua and Honduras. Macanudo Inspirado Black is unusual. Although it’s handcrafted in the Dominican Republic, it’s an intense, full-bodied cigar, bucking the brand’s mellow reputation. The cigars come in striking black-and-silver packaging with reflective bands that remind me of my favorite Raiders jersey and enhance the cigar’s oily, jet-black Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. Beneath it, a trio of Dominican, Nicaraguan, and Honduran long-filler tobaccos fill out a handful of classic shapes. At 4.875 inches with a 48 ring gauge, the Robusto I’m about to fire up is a tiny bit shorter and a tiny bit thinner than a traditional vitola.

Abundant aromas of coffee and toasted nuts erupt from the gorgeous, ultra-dark wrapper as soon as I shed the cellophane. Macanudo Black isn’t finished in your typical Connecticut Broadleaf – the wrapper is grown from Cuban seeds, which set it apart from other Maduros. Notes of chocolate and wood permeate the first few draws as I fire up the sleek and seductive cigar. A touch of sweetness is detectable as wisps of white smoke stream into the air over my backyard picnic table. The smell of fresh-cut grass mixes nicely as I puff on my reward for a solid day’s worth of pushing the mower around. An ice-cold Coors makes a fitting companion to the cool-burning but rich flavor gracing my palate as I smoke.

About halfway in, Inspirado Black is engaging and complex. The profile gets spicy and more intense while its sumptuous texture commands attention. I’m glad I ate dinner beforehand. I’ve never smoked a Macanudo before that made me wary of its strength. I believe the smaller stature of the Robusto ampifies the cigar’s intensity faster than expected. I sweep a few brisk swigs of beer down my esophagus and perk up like a peacock. Inspirado Black is beefy but not enough to give me the jitters.

Hints of orange peel and bittersweet chocolate chips hit the palate with a blast of spice before a creamy aftertaste settles over my tongue. I’m surprised by how much intricacy is packed into a Macanudo. It’s not perfectly refined, but it’s intriguing enough I’d smoke another one, especially with a can of icy suds to knock back. The finish is dark, spicy, and sweet. I recommend smoking it just a touch past the band but not too far because the nub heats up a bit much for my comfort. The last puffs resonate with notes of hickory and pepper.

Macanudo Inspirado Black is consistent from start to finish. It’s well-constructed with an easy draw and captivating aroma. I’m happy to recommend it if you’re looking for a classic brand with beefy taste for a decent price. It did make my nose hairs twitch a few times, but I think I was puffing too fast. Toss a few silver bullets on ice and fire up an Inspirado Black when you’re craving a stiffer Macanudo than usual, but find a place to sit down beforehand. Cheers!

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