Cigar Review: Macanudo Vintage Cabinet Selection 2000

MacVint1

Size: 6.5×43, Corona (No. II)

Wrapper: Connecticut

Binder: Dominican

Filler: Dominican Piloto Cubano and Mexican long-leaf

Strength: Mild

Price: Box of 20, $268.95

Grade: 8.9

Mac1Macanudo is distributed by General Cigar, who was kind enough to send us samples for this review. General Cigar is of course one of the giants and are responsible for the distribution of such brands as Punch, Cohiba, Bolivar, Hoyo de Monterrey, La Gloria Cubana, Partagas, Sancho Panza, and many more. General Cigar has been in operation for 50 years, with its flagship brand Macanudo around for 40 of those. A good history of the company is available at their website.

I’ve smoked through a few of these so far and have been impressed with this crop. Since 1979, Macanudo has only released six editions of the vintage line, and the 2000 is expected to be the final release (1979, 1984, 1988, 1993 and 1997). Each leaf used for this line was cultivated in 2000 and aged in Tercios, which are large bales wrapped in palm bark. I’m not sure on the production run, but when it’s out, it’s out.

The 2000 comes in four sizes, each in a glass tube: The No. I (Churchill, 7.5×49), No. II (Corona, 6.5×43), No. VIII (Robusto, 5.5×50), and the No. X (Toro, 6×54). They are presented in beautiful black lacquered cedar boxes with magnetic closing lids that are adequate for humidified storage.

Now, let’s get to the toast!

Pre-light, 1.8:
I am beginning to enjoy the thinner ring gauge more and more. At first, the Lancero craze was uninteresting to me and I stuck with a Robusto for the most part, but I’ve really been enjoying the Corona and Lancero size as of late. This No. II holds very well in the hand and has a great construction. It is packed tight from head to foot, with no soft spots, and has a very clean double cap. The light brown exterior is weathered and rugged with some definite tooth to it. The aroma is overly vegetal and floral and the draw is very open considering the tight pack.

Burn, 1.9:
I used a v-cut on this cigar, thinking that it would work well on a less oily and milder cigar – I was wrong. There was oil and other dark bubbly nastiness popping through the v, so I went back to a straight cut and it never surfaced again. The burn was solid on this smoke – a razor sharp burn line on each sample was complimented by a nice white ash that held very well considering the 43 ring gauge, though it did flower a bit along the edges. The true test for me is how much attention you have to give the smoke and the No. II took care of itself in between puffs.

Flavor, 2.6:
The flavor on the Macanudo Vintage 2000 was a new one for me; I don’t know that I’ve ever encountered a cigar as vegetal as the No. II. There were no real transitions in this smoke and the flavor remained vegetal (okra) and herbaceous (fern and a slight mint) throughout. The finish was very dry and short and a slight creaminess was present in the early goings but didn’t stick around. Had the cream stayed for longer this would have been a much more pleasing profile and would have drowned out some of the harshness that arrived in the back of the throat. Though not my favorite profile, the flavors were very intriguing and unique.

Overall, 2.6:
This is a specialty cigar in my opinion – not only is it limited in production and high in price, at around $14-16 a pop, but it also has a very unique and well defined flavor profile that I would definitely have to be in the mood for. The burn was excellent and the appearance was spot on, with the glass tube, double band, and excellent box. When you are paying the high price you expect a unique product and the Vintage 2000 definitely delivers in this category; the only question for me is, does it create too unique of a product and thus become looked over – I’m still not sure.

(Total: 8.9)

Question of the Day: What’s the most you are willing to spend on a non-special occasion cigar?