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Cigar Review: Macanudo Cru Royale

Can you tell that I'm enjoying this?

Today we’re excited to give you a very exclusive sneak peek at a new cigar from Macanudo. Get ready to throw away all your preconceptions of the brand as a mild and easy-going. The Cru Royale is medium- to full-bodied luxury at its finest, and I for one will never look at the brand the same way.

First let me say that it was very exciting to review a cigar with no preconceptions. Though we occasionally do blind taste tests here for the exclusive brands we develop, most of our reviews (and reviews in general) are tainted by one’s idea of what the cigar is supposed to taste like. We had no idea what to expect, though the dark, oily wrapper suggested a stronger smoke.

Besides a couple of noticeable veins the construction was perfect. The Cru Royale was tightly packed and the foot revealed a blend of several different long fillers, ranging in color from light to dark brown. Again, we had no prior knowledge of what this cigar was constructed from, so our assessment was based on experience alone.

We were a little worked up on smoking this blue-banded beauty, so we skipped the pre-light draw and went right to work. Immediately we were hit with a full-body blast of pepper, realizing right away this is not your father’s Macanudo. A few puffs mellowed the body down a notch and a rich sweetness emerged along with a distinctively woody core. The cigar became smooth and creamy after just an inch of pure white ash, and the nicotine buzz was already beginning to hum.

The pepper notes held strong as the cigar burned on, and I had a fun little game of directing the spice to different parts of my palate. Light draws tickled the tongue with delicious spice, while deeper draws pulled the peppery power back to the edge of the sinuses, where the long finish resulted in a very pleasurable cayenne sensation.

The spice was definitely the highlight of this stick, making it a very exciting and dynamic cigar to smoke. But the underlying complexity is what pushed it over the edge into 90+ rating territory. Just before the halfway mark I started detecting more subtle flavor notes: and ever so slightly floral aroma weaved in and out, dancing with a hint of sweetbread and caramel. These lighter flavors perfectly complimented the stronger body of the cigar, fulfilling all ranges of flavor in a single stick.

Past the halfway point I was met with more chocolaty accents, including just the slightest bit of licorice. The cigar continued to stay creamy and smooth as the general sweet woodiness took on a hint of earth. And yet, the spice was still kickin’ and the pepper on my palate made it impossible not to focus on the cigar. I feel like if I was on the golf course smoking this, I might get yelled at by the people playing behind for standing on the green staring at this cigar.

My only regret as I set down the nub to extinguish itself was that I didn’t have a nice glass of bourbon to go with it. The flavor-packed Macanudo Cru Royale can certainly be enjoyed by itself, but a fine spirit would be a heavenly companion.