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Stogie Reviews: Macanudo 1968 Robusto

9 Sep 2008

“Rich, dark, and unexpected.” That’s the tag line of the new Macanudo 1968.  The newest extension of General Cigar’s best-selling Macanudo brand was introduced at the IPCPR trade show in July and began hitting cigar stores in mid-August. The blend celebrates 40 years since Ramón Cifuentes began developing Macanudo, which was eventually released in 1971.

This five inch by 50 ring gauge Robusto retails for $8.50, and is one of four sizes. The line also comes in a Toro (6x 54), a Churchill (7x 49) , and a Gigante (6x 60)—a size being emphasized by General in a number of different blends.

According to General Cigar’s promotional materials, the 1968 features tobacco “grown by General Cigar or cultivated for the company under an agreement of exclusivity…aged in tercios and charcoaled wooden barrels to further enrich its flavor.”

The blend features a Dominican and Nicaraguan filler that includes tobacco grown on the Nicaraguan island of Ometepe, volcanic land known for its rich soil that rises out of Lake Nicaragua. The binder is Connecticut Habano, wrapped in a Honduran San Agustin leaf.

Before lighting the classically proportioned Robusto, I find a highly aromatic cigar filled with leather and earth. The wrapper is oily with only a few small veins, and with classic Macanudo construction the cigar is firm to the touch with no soft or spongy areas.

Once lit, I was greeted with lots of leather, burnt cedar, and roasted coffee. The taste is distinctly chewy, and the finish had muted licorice flavors with a very subtle pepper spice. There is also an underlying salty characteristic to the 1968 that leaves your mouth dry.

Like most Macanudo sticks I’ve smoked, the physical properties are nearly flawless. The burn was even, the ash steady, and the draw firm but never difficult. The only construction complaint I have is that a few times the Macanudo 1968s I sampled for this review seemed to go out prematurely, requiring relights to enjoy the cigar as the burn neared the attractive black band.

Despite being billed as the fullest Macanudo, I would be more inclined to call the Macanudo 1968 medium- to medium-full. It reminded me of a slightly toned down Partagas Black, although the 1968 is a far more complex smoke.

Overall the Macanudo 1968 is a nice addition to the line. It will go a long way towards combating Macanudo’s reputation among smokers as simplistic or as a beginner’s cigar (a reputation I don’t think is always deserved.) The flavors won’t be enjoyed by all, but it is a unique, interesting, and complex profile that I found quite pleasant. The Macanudo 1968 Robusto earns a rating of four out of five stogies.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

15 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Macanudo 1968 Robusto”

  1. dmjones Tuesday, September 9, 2008 at 4:26 am #

    I got the 3-pack from the Macanudo website so I could say I at least tried it. I smoked one of the 3 (can't remember which size) and was mostly disappointed. It's definitely the best Macanudo I've ever had (only about 2 or 3 previous to this), but it's still not something I can heartily recommend. It started off pretty good and ended pretty good, but got a weird funky flavor in the middle. If it hadn't unexpectedly gotten better near the end, I would have tossed it early and written it off completely.

    I put the other two sticks in my aging humidor and hope that they will even out and be a more pleasurable smoking experience in 2 or 3 years.

    If you can get in on the 3 for $10 deal online, I say go for it; for $8 (or more) each, I can't say it's worth the money. But…that's just one man's opinion.

  2. furious Tuesday, September 9, 2008 at 7:07 am #

    I thought that it was quite good especially for a Mac, but nothing to write home about when compared to other Nic puros, i.e. Cuban Crafters.

  3. Marc E Tuesday, September 9, 2008 at 8:21 am #

    I agree with "furious" and "dmjones". Although I enjoyed and appreciated the good construction, the actual taste was nothing I would pay $8 a piece for. I too got the online deal for 10 bucks and for that price I would consider them a decent smoke. Overall opinion, they look and feel better than they taste.

  4. tdtall70 Tuesday, September 9, 2008 at 10:04 am #

    Tried out the 3 pack introductory offer for $7.95- of course you can't go wrong with that price! I agree that it was a great stick (for the price) but at $8 each? I don't know. I have to agree with your assessment of a "4 out of 5 stogies", and that it was complex enough.

  5. Zeke Monday, September 15, 2008 at 5:45 am #

    I'm not a cigar snob. I enjoyed the one with the smallest ring gauge the best. It paired well with

    the Pedroncelli cabernet I was drinking.

    It was worth the $10 bucks for the 3.

  6. Eric Luffy Wednesday, September 24, 2008 at 3:11 pm #

    I very much liked the 1968.Was a very good smoke for the price. Got 5 of the smokes for 25.50 @ my local humidor @ an opning. A little robust and a hint of coffee and no runners up the side. An even smoke. As an enjoyer of Cohiba and Rocky Patell I would have another of this fine cigar. ANTYIME!



  7. xjvpastor Monday, October 6, 2008 at 1:41 pm #

    Paired nicely with 12 year glenfiddich

  8. Beringer Thursday, October 30, 2008 at 1:53 am #

    I'm late to this post. But, the Mac 1968 is the exact same cigar as the Bolivar (Dominican Republic). It is no coincidence that Bolivar has discontinued to make these under their name, but you can still find them sold on closeouts. Here are the descriptions from their respective websites:

    Macanudo 1968

    Wrapper – Honduran San Augustin Havana Seed

    Binder – Connecticut Habano

    Filler – Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Ometepe

    Bolivar cigars (Dominican Republic) present a hearty, smooth and perfectly-balanced smoke for lovers of full-bodied cigars. Designed to reflect the original 1901 Cuban blend, this edition has a complex mix of Dominican filler and two Nicaraguan filler leaves (one from Esteli, the other grown in the volcanic island soil of Ometepe), plus an extra rich-tasting Connecticut Havano Medio Tiempo binder, and a dark, spicy, Honduran-grown San Augustin Ligero wrapper. An intense, but not-overpowering 'must-smoke' cigar.

  9. todd Tuesday, April 7, 2009 at 1:54 pm #

    this is one of the smoothest stoges i puffed on ,this is my choice can drink beer with it or coffie with it

  10. Dallas Barr Friday, January 15, 2010 at 4:58 am #

    I recently smoked the Gigante, and as stated, the Outside of the cigar is near perfect, as the smell. My smoke of choice is still a Padron Maduro of the 6X60 size, I prefer the Padron 7000, despite what may or may not be said about it.. Of course the 1964 & 1926 Maduro Anniversary smokes are somewhat better, the size I dislike. *Back to the 1968 Macanudo Gigante, I found it to be at first Flavorful and rather Smooth, was thinking about buying some more…but as I continued to smoke it, the flavor and intensity continued to die down… I thought I was smoking a Mild cigar, up until the band, when it still didn’t reach the intensity of the beginning first few draws…. I would NOT recommend this to a Maduro smoker, but it may be more appealing to those with a finer palate than mine… It’s not what’s on the outside, it’s what’s on the Inside that turns my gears… but then again, I bought this Cigar, by what it Appeared to Represent on the Inside…a Full to Medium bodied smoke… this it was not. Enough said.

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