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Stogie Reviews: Macanudo 1968 Trompeta

23 Sep 2009

Released last summer to commemorate the year Ramón Cifuentes began producing what is now America’s most popular premium cigar brand, Macanudo 1968 originally included four sizes. But last month, at the IPCPR Trade Show in New Orleans, General Cigar expanded the line with a fifth, less traditional vitola.

Macanudo 1968 TrompetaCalled “Trompeta,” it measures five inches long with a ring gauge of 60 at the foot and 40 at the head. According to a company press release, the idea is to “maximize the flavor of the critically-acclaimed blend while providing a quicker smoking experience.” It carries an MSRP of $6.99 and is intended for sale at brick and mortars only.

Like its Churchill, Gigante, Robusto, and Toro predecessors, Trompeta features a Dominican and Nicaraguan filler that includes tobacco grown on Ometepe, a volcanic island rising out of Lake Nicaragua. The binder is Connecticut habano and the wrapper is Havana-seed Honduran. As reported by the Macanudo 1968 website, the tobacco is “aged in tercios and charcoaled wooden barrels to further enrich its flavor.”

What strikes me about this cigar, other than its unusual shape, is its uniquely firm feel, pre-light notes of leather, and absence of obvious veins. The cap clips neatly to reveal a smooth draw.

Not surprisingly, it takes some work to establish an even light—especially if you’re using wooden matches. That effort is rewarded with a chalky flavor of firewood, black licorice, and spice. Tasty and interesting, but not particularly balanced or complex.

As the ring gauge narrows to 50, notes of steak, cocoa, and damp earth gain prominence. What was once a somewhat harsh and chewy profile settles into a lighter taste with nuance and cream. This subtler transformation is a welcome change that lasts until the final third when the smoke takes on a charred meat character.

The physical properties, typical of Macanudo, are exceptional. The gray, well-layered ash builds sturdily off the foot and the burn is straight and true.

I expect this cigar to strike a chord with those who enjoyed the first four 1968 vitolas and perhaps attract those who had previously ignored the blend. While the Trompeta is no masterpiece, you should consider picking one up when the frontmark hits retailer shelves in the coming week. For its good construction and flavor that flirts with both excellence and mediocrity, this new release earns three and a half stogies out of five.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

8 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Macanudo 1968 Trompeta”

  1. Dave Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 9:53 am #

    Is this shape a limited production? Would you expect it to age well?

  2. Patrick A Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 10:45 am #

    I haven't tried to age this vitola or any other in the line. In fact, I smoked the two examples I obtained for this review only a month after bringing them back from New Orleans. Something tells me, however, that time might round off some of this blend's edges.

    As for production, I didn't come across anything in General Cigar's press release or elsewhere to indicate the Trompeta wouldn't be a permanent addition to the 1968 lineup.

  3. Dave Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 1:46 pm #

    Thanks Patrick. I only saw the previous 4 shapes on the Macanudo site, so I wasn't sure. Is it me, or is it frustratingly difficult to obtain solid information about cigars? Almost seems like it's intentional.

  4. George E. Wednesday, September 23, 2009 at 6:53 pm #

    Dave – You’re not alone. I’m constantly amazed at how some cigar makers don’t even put all their offerings on their Web site. It can be very annoying.

  5. Marc E. Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 9:24 am #

    I can attest to the aging potential of the Macanudo 1968. I smoked them without any aging the first time and the smoke was unbalanced and harsh at times. After more than a year in the humidor they became quite a medium bodied treat.

  6. Mark Y Friday, November 20, 2009 at 3:52 pm #

    This is the first 1968 I have tried and I was both pleased and disappointed with this cigar. I cut my teeth smoking Macanudo’s 10 years ago and have been hoping for something a little more complex from them, but that retained some of those classic Mac flavors.

    The initial flavor was classic Macanudo albiet a little more intense. Unfortunately by the half way point it became very earthy, even mushroom like. The flavor reminded me of the Don Pepin Garcia My Father line, which I know has recieved great reviews, but of which I am no fan. Additionally, it started to tunnel on me and required me to relight it twice.

    The last third was very nice and the aroma reminded me of a good scotch. I have another stick I will try in a week or so to see if this one was a outlier but, if it’s not better, I wouldn’t buy it again.

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