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Stogie Reviews: Macanudo Robust Duke of Devon

24 Mar 2009

While there are no doubt exceptions, seasoned cigar smokers mostly tend to steer clear of Macanudo. America’s top-selling brand is often viewed as a gateway cigar that should be dismissed for heartier, more complex creations as one graduates from occasional smoker status to a full-blown brother of the leaf.

Macanudo Robust Duke of DevonI have to admit my own cigar consumption has been affected by this stigma. So I recently challenged myself to reexamine Macanudo’s Robust line—something I hadn’t done for almost three years before I embarked upon this review.

Advertised as “more flavorful and complex” than the Café blend, Robust was launched in 1998 to “immediate success.” (Then again, what stogie introduction wasn’t successful at the height of the cigar boom?) Today’s eight-vitola version of the Daniel Nuñez-crafted line hit shelves in 2003 with a Connecticut shade wrapper, a Connecticut broadleaf binder, and filler tobaccos from Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.

The five and a half inch by 42 ring gauge Duke of Devon is a small, slender stick with a dry, coarse appearance. You’ll find plenty of wrinkles, veins, and bumps on the rustic wrapper. Fortunately, while this rugged cigar looks like a value smoke, it also sells like one (under $3.50 apiece when bought by the box of 25).

As the foot lights evenly and easily, the faint pre-light aroma of cedar turns into a taste of birch and paper that’s mild but not without a spicy aftertaste. The tobacco struggles to produce much flavor well into the first inch.

Dry cedar, salt, and cereals are dominant at the midway point, all of which are underscored by a molasses-like taste in the final third. This is where the 50-minute smoke is at its spiciest and best.

The Duke of Devon’s physical properties are excellent, especially for the low price range. I experienced a razor-sharp burn, a sturdy white ash, and a moderate draw across two samples.

All things considered, this cigar has its place. It’s well-constructed companion smoke that won’t get in the way of some other activity (golf, poker, reading, yard work, etc.). You shouldn’t pay much and you shouldn’t expect much either. That’s why the Macanudo Robust Duke of Devon earns two and a half stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

One Response to “Stogie Reviews: Macanudo Robust Duke of Devon”

  1. raul Tuesday, March 24, 2009 at 2:37 pm #

    The only Macanudo I like is the 1968 line