Country: Dominican Republic
Filler / Binder: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Brazil
Background: Macanudo has been a staple in the cigar industry for over 40 years. Consistency took them through the cigar boom of the 90s where a number of other companies sacrificed quality in order to pump out a ton of cigars. But consistency does not always equate to the bold risks that some cigar lines have to take to stay relevant. Has Macanudo been able to reinvent itself to keep from being passed by completely? I believe it has begun that process, and the Cru Royale is one of the flagships of that change.
Appearance (0-20): One of the first things a company has to do in order to reinvent itself is to change its image. The blue and silver band set against a nice dark wrapper is a step in the right direction as it diverts from the typical plain nature that Macanudo puts out there. In fact it’s enough that I would personally select the Cru Royale above many other cigars, from an aesthetic standpoint alone. Looking across the length of the stick there are no real blemishes of note, save for a small imperfection or two.
Construction (0-20): The wrapper was very silky to the touch with a little bit of an oily feel. Both the wrapper and the binder / filler is soft but relatively well packed. Mid-stick there was a pocket of tobacco that felt a bit under stuffed. A small amount of debris was resident upon cutting, but not an excessive amount. The burn was a little uneven, which is a shame since the ash held for a decent clip. Despite some of the minor issues, the draw was perfect throughout.
Strength (0-20): This one sticks nearly right down the middle in terms of strength, meeting the medium spectrum that it’s billed at.
Flavor (0-20): Initially, you are greeted by a nice spicy kick that quickly levels off and melds in with a creaminess. It doesn’t take too much time before there is a nice sweet, rich tobacco flavor that intertwines with creamy nature and almost completely eradicates the spice. In the second third of the cigar it settles in to a nutty / earthy kind of flavor, which picks up in intensity through the rest of the stick. There are small variations that come in and out (a dash of cocoa, some bitter coffee, etc) but nothing lasting.
Value (0-20): $7.50 is a bit on the high end for the cigar, but it isn’t out of the realm of what I would possibly pay. That being said, I would prefer to snag these in a deal than to pay full MSRP.
Additional Notes: Paired with water on my deck. The cigars were provided by Famous Smoke Shop.
Overall (0-100): Let me preempt the summary here by saying that overall there are very few Macanudo cigars that I truly enjoy. I have always found Macanudo to be a more or less boring brand. Aka it’s a decent middle of the road kind of cigar that is hard to hate but equally hard to love. With all that being said, there is a lot about the cigar that didn’t wow me – the complexity is somewhat mediocre, the construction left me wanting something a little more, and the value isn’t quite at the point where I would consider it a must buy. But I won’t write this one as off completely. It hits directly in the medium realm, exactly as it’s billed. And the flavor combinations are harmonious and consistent throughout. Couple the flavors with the strides they made in rebranding and the Cru Royale spells a step in the right direction for Macanudo if they want to continue to thrive in an ever changing cigar market.