Brand: Macanudo (General Cigar)
Series: Cru Royale
Size: Robusto (5” x 50)
Origin: Ecuadoran Habano Wrapper, La Vega Especial Binder (Dominican Republic), and Dominican, Brazilian and Nicaraguan filler
A few days ago I forced myself to deliberately stray from my usual cigar preferences and reach for something I’d never tried before. As I pawed through the humidor, a metallic, silvery band stood out against a dark wrapper and caught my eye. Closer inspection revealed a Macanudo ‘Cru Royale, a cigar that I’d never tried, and had been quietly aging in my humidor for a few months. After deciding on a rum and coke to pair with the ‘Cru’, I headed for the garage and set fire to the uncharted smoke.
Construction: My Cru Royale was below average in the construction department. From the cap to one third of the way down the cigar was firm to hard. A large soft spot was noticeable in the middle of the cigar, and the foot was a little spongy. The unlit foot gave off a mild earthy aroma, and the cold draw didn’t offer any distinct flavours.
First Third: The Cru Royale fired up and offered an earthy, mildly woody taste. The finish had a slight sweetness to it, and I couldn’t really identify any distinct flavours. Near the end of the first third, a faint tinny or metallic flavor crept into the mix. The burn and draw were both good through the first third, and the strength of the cigar was a little past mild.
Second Third: Into the second third, the flavours from the Cru Royale seemed to thicken up a little. If it makes sense, the cigar started giving a little more punch to the palate midway through the draw, and the finish smoothed out. The faint metallic notes from the first third seemed to fade out. The flavours were mild and earthy through the middle, and a hint of cocoa was present on the finish. The draw became wide open, and was actually too wide open as the cigar burned through the soft spot I’d noted earlier. After several minutes, this passed, and the draw and burn became passable again. The strength was a bit shy of medium.
Final Third: It was in the final third that the Cru Royale took a nosedive. I’d spent most of the cigar trying to pick out flavours and hoping for a moment where the cigar would impress me. That moment never came. Instead, the cigar became muddy tasting, and the finish once again turned metallic on me. It’s worth noting that the cigar maintained a good draw and burn, but the taste was unpleasant, and it wasn’t worth finishing.
Overall: I had high hopes for the Macanudo ‘Cru Royale’ but the cigar fell short. The flavours started off muted, and became muddy and unpleasant as the cigar burned on. The draw and burn were passable, then became difficult due to a construction flaw, before returning to being somewhat normal again. Would I recommend this cigar? No. Unfortunately this experience didn’t justify trying the Cru Royale again, or recommending it to anyone else. I’m hoping for better luck with the next review and a few good cigars between now and then.