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Stogie Reviews: Macanudo Cru Royale Robusto

23 Aug 2010

Macanudo may be the best selling cigar brand in America but, like the late Rodney Dangerfield, the brand can’t get no respect. While odds are most cigar smokers made Macanudo their very first handmade smoke, it seems many experienced smokers shy away from the brand.

MacanudoCruRoyaleMaybe they see it as a beginner smoke—too mild or not complex enough. For whatever reason, the best selling premium cigar brand in America rarely has the buzz of its lower volume competitors. This despite General Cigar’s many attempts to introduce a more full-bodied smokes.

The last time a new Macanudo brand came out, at the 2008 IPCPR Trade Show, it was the Macanudo 1968, which I described as going “a long way towards combating Macanudo’s reputation among smokers as simplistic.” Two years later, at this year’s trade show, Macanudo followed up with the new Cru Royale blend, billed as a medium-bodied smoke.

Cru Royale featues an oily, deep brown Ecuadorian habano wrapper, Dominican binder, and filler made up of Dominican and Nicaraguan tobacco. It will come in four sizes—Gigante (6 x 60), Robsuto (5 x 50), Lonsdale (6.5 x 42), and Toro (6 x 54)—and sell for $6-7 dollars each when it hits cigar shops in October.

From the first puff, it’s pretty clear that this cigar is nothing like the green and white Macanudo Cafe line. The dominant flavors in the silver, black, and blue-banded Cru Royale are espresso, earth, chocolate, and cedary spice. It’s medium bodied as billed, and while there’s little variation from start to finish, my three IPCPR samples show impressive layers of taste. Underlying the dominant flavors are bready notes that occasionally reveal a slightly sour yeasty flavor. Adding to the complexity is a bit of red pepper spice.

Construction is flawless, a trait I’ve found common to all Macanudo smokes. The burn is even, the ash sturdy, and the draw has just a hint of resistance. Despite that, the most striking aspect of this cigar is how un-Macanudo-like the Cru Royale is.

This can be explained by the blend’s origin. As I was told at the General Cigar booth in New Orleans, the blend is primarily the work of cigar master Benji Menendez, who originally intended it as an extension of the Partagas line. (So, perhaps not coincidentally, Cru Royale reminds me a bit of the Benji Menendez Partagas Masters Series.) This new Macanudo gives seasoned smokers a good reason to revisit the brand, and I’d suggest doing so with a strong cup of coffee. But whatever pairing you choose, I think the newest Macanudo is worth a try, which is why the Macanudo Cru Royale Robusto earns four out of five stogies.

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

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

11 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Macanudo Cru Royale Robusto”

  1. tx_tuff Monday, August 23, 2010 at 5:20 am #

    I have heard good things about this cigar, thinking I will need to give it a chance. Nice that they are expanding what they do.

  2. Danny Monday, August 23, 2010 at 11:11 am #

    Nice review. I gotta give this 1 a try. I like good smokes that are easy to find 🙂

  3. Tripp Monday, August 23, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    I've always liked the Macanudo 1968 (even if it seems a few dollars overpriced) so I'm really looking forward to this new Macanudo.

  4. Mike Friday, August 27, 2010 at 3:34 am #

    I wasn't impressed with the 1968, but I still enjoy regular Mac maduros when I want a milder smoke. I was always a fan of their vintage line until it became hard to find.

    I like the Robust occasionally, although it is a misnomer.

  5. TriMarkC Tuesday, October 26, 2010 at 4:42 am #

    Like Tripp, I really like the Macanudo 1968's, and I'm looking forward to trying this new Macanudo!

  6. Phil Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 6:14 am #

    I enjoy the full Macanudo line, so I am looking forward to trying this cigar this evening. One of the local smoke shops is having a roll-out event. I don't have much of a problem with the fact that they have added Nicaraguan Viso and Brazilian Mata Fina to the filler. It depends on the blend. But I am somewhat concerned over the Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. I've never been a fan of the Habanos I have tried previously.

  7. Sam o Friday, November 19, 2010 at 5:00 am #

    I just smoked my first one last night at a local cigar shop event interducing them….although I have nothing bad to say about them I also have nothing good to say im a little disapointed I bought a box as they will sit mainly to give to frinds as I smoke my more fuller bodied sticks !

  8. Felix Saturday, November 20, 2010 at 6:10 am #

    Maybe I don't have a complex palate, or probably I'm just used to a stronger profile, but I'm smoking this very cigar as I type and I can tell you that even though it has a smooth draw, and has a nice white ash when lit properly, I can't taste a thing except for air, and a very miniscule hint of earth, no spice or frankly any other of the flavors you mention

  9. Jinby Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 12:17 pm #

    Usually I find the reviews you provide here to be spot on (especially with your awesome reviews of some lesser known brands such as Cuban Crafters, Tessa, El Tiante, etc.) but I strongly disagree with this review.

    General Cigar has a bad reputation for providing great initial samples to shops and at the trade show (having been in the 'biz for the past 6 years I can attest to this.) but this cigar was terriible all around.

    And I can also add, I didn't smoke 1, I smoked 4, 2 lonsdales, 1 robusto and 1 toro. All burned very hot, tunneled and burned like a cheap candle. There were hints of something that could have been good somwhere, but the terrible construction destroyed any of that.

    I hope others have better luck with this blend, but I give up.

  10. boomersooner Friday, January 7, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    enjoyed one of the toros last night and thought is was a very good smoke for the price. Had a little burn issue but cannot say for sure it was the cigar as i was in and around a drafty area most of the night. surprising spices, smooth draw and enjoyable. will probably be a go to daily type stick due to the price.

  11. Juanny Blanco Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

    Smoking one of these in the gigante vitola, pretty decent. Paired with red wine (Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre Blend), usually a miss with any cigar I smoke, but this one pairs well, the wine brings the spice that the cigar lacks. Not a mind blowing stick, but a solid B+.