I've been smoking cigars regularly for about 9 years. Prior to that, a cigar would be enjoyed during a round of golf or maybe while mowing the lawn. Since 2006, I've enjoyed some very fine domestic and cuban expressions and like whiskey, I know what I like and what I don't like.
Macanudo comes from General Cigar Company who makes other brands like Punch, Hoyo de Monterrey (non cuban offerings) and CAO. Macanudo's are produced in the Dominican Republic and offer a couple different bands with Hyde Park being the most familiar. Back in October 2010, General Cigar released the Macanudo Cru Royale. This cigar features Dominican, Brazilian and Nicaraguan filler and a Ecuadoran Habano wrapper. Eyeballing this stick reveals nearly flawless construction and a wrapper that leans Maduro in color.
I smoked the Gigante at 6 inches with a 60 ring gauge. Over the course of about two weeks I smoked two of these cigars in order to check my impressions. The first cigar seemed too one dimensional to me and while it smoked very nice with a razor sharp burn, the profile was maybe average but the second cigar smoked better over the first. At times ones palate can play with impressions and this may have been the case with the first stick as the second one I enjoyed more. The cigar featured a profile layered with cedar, dark chocolate and dark earth. As the cigar burned down, coffee and some spice kicked in. The burn on this stick was similar to the first; nice and even. The ash held form and didn't drop even after burning down about 1.5 inches. For me I would have preferred something with more pronounced transitions as the cigar burned down.
Overall, I would rate this above average and definitely a step up in flavor and quality over the regular Macanudo offerings. This cigar would be for the individual looking to expand their experience with something a bit stronger and more flavorful than a pure Dominican stick. For those looking for cigars with more power and flavor, this may be too mild for you but for those looking for a cigar with good construction and a moderately flavored smoke, this may your huckleberry.
The cigar came from Famous Smoke Shop and runs around $6. From their website:
"Macanudo Cru Royale cigars are a medium-bodied, full-flavored selection
from one of the cigar world's most highly-acclaimed brands. Crafted
under the direction of the legendary Benji Menendez, each cigar has a
core of Nicaraguan & Dominican Viso longfiller with Brazilian Mata
Fina, plus a proprietary Dominican La Vega Especiale binder rolled in an
Ecuadorian Habano seed wrapper. Expect a well-balanced, aromatic smoke
brimming with rich, complex flavors on a savory finish."