Macanudo Gold Label — Duke of York

Vendor’s Claim: “Handcrafted with golden wrapper leaves from the first and second primings of Macanudo’s specially grown Connecticut Shade crop, Macanudo® Gold Label® cigars are blessed with a natural sweetness. The wrappers are elegantly thin, yet remarkably supple with fine veins. Their texture is especially smooth, without a hint of graininess. “Capa Especial” is the Spanish term for this wrapper of uncommon taste which, when combined with filler and binder tobacco of complementary character, results in a cigar that lives up to the tradition of quality that is Macanudo.”

The Stats:

Filler:                     Dominican & Mexican

Binder:                 Mexican

Wrapper:             Connecticut Shade

Size:                       5.25” x 54

The Experience:

Initial Impression— I didn’t get much of an initial impression on this cigar prior to it being lit, as it was chosen for me (other than me saying “I’ll take the Macanudo, please!”). I was in Grand Rapids to celebrate my 34th birthday with Jason, et al. and we dined at The Chop House (TCH), a truly fantastic meal. The neat thing about TCH is they have a cigar bar downstairs, a rareity in Grand Rapids, to be sure. Next thing I know, the waitress was prepping and lighting my cigar before I could even order my first round of drinks!

Appearance—It was a great looking cigar. I loved the ring gauge of 54, it really looks like a power broker’s cigar! Major “hat tip” to the establishment for keeping their humidor properly humidified. If anything, at 85%, it might have been a touch too humid. That said, tis better to keep it 10% too high than 10% too low.

Lighting/Burning/Ash— This stick was quality. I noticed that the gentlemen needed only to ash the cigar approximately 3-4 times total between when it was first lit to when it was finished. What this means is the cigar is so well constructed that the ash held to the stick until the smoker decided it was best to ash. The burn on this cigar was superb. It had just the right amount of draw yet didn’t over smoke when puffed upon nor in its resting position. I had zero issues with keeping it lit, neither did the other to chaps enjoying this smoke.

Consistency/Draw— From beginning to end, the consistency and draw were outstanding. It started off mild and maintained its delicious flavor til the end. I smoked this cigar all the way to the nub because it was so perfect. I couldn’t have had much more than ¾ to one inch of the stick left when I finally let it go. It was simply because it was burning my tongue and fingers that I stopped smoking it.

Maintenance/Flavor— As is typical of any Mac, this cigar is a newbie’s dream cigar. That was the reason I chose this cigar for the TRUE noob in our group. That said, he loved it. The cigar left no vile cigar aftertaste in the mouth. It’s not potent so there’s no need to worry about getting sick from the nicotine and I love it’s creamy flavor. Macs are just a mild, creamy smoke which I paired with a “fru-fru” martini. The sugar from the drink helped keep the blood-sugar levels where they should be.

Reflection & Rating

I’ve told you, faithful readers, that Macanudos are quality cigars. The Gold Label is no exception. I worried that maybe because it was a Gold Label the manufacturer might try something wonky with this line, but two puffs into the cigar and I knew it was top quality. I have nothing negative to say about this smoke. Was it slightly less potent than I might otherwise prefer? Perhaps. But it certainly wasn’t like smoking newspaper, which I’ve encountered before—to great dismay. This smoke was exactly what was needed for the evening: Mild, smooth, well constructed and just the length for the time we wanted to spend in the cigar bar.

For that reason, I would rate this smoke as an A.

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