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What is a Macanudo Cigar?

Sonal Panse
Sonal Panse

A Macanudo cigar is a premium brand of cigar made by the General Cigar Company. The classic hallmark of a Macanudo cigar is a rounded crown, but there is also a pointed Piramide version. Macanudo cigars are amongst the top-selling cigar brands in the United States.

The General Cigar Company, a Connecticut-based company, is owned by the Cullman family. The Cullmans have a long history of cigar-making, starting with Ferdinand Cullman who landed up on American shores in 1848. His grandson Joseph Cullman Jr. started a tobacco plantation in Connecticut and grew the finest Havanese tobacco there.

Macanudo Cigars are made with Havanese tobacco.
Macanudo Cigars are made with Havanese tobacco.

Edgar Cullman, Joseph Cullman Jr.'s son, studied the cigar-making business and acquired the General Cigar Company in 1960. In 1968, he bought the Macanudo cigars that were until then being made as frontmarks by a small family-run enterprise in Jamaica. Working with two master cigar experts, Ramon Cifuentes and Daniel Nunez, Edgar Cullman introduced the Macanudo cigar as a well-crafted cigar brand in 1971.

Macanudo cigars are one of the top-selling cigars in the U.S.
Macanudo cigars are one of the top-selling cigars in the U.S.

Ramon Cifuentes, who had worked on the Partagas cigars in Cuba, migrated to the United States after the Communist take-over of Cuba. He designed the early lines of the Macanudo cigars. Daniel Nunez joined the General Cigar Company in 1974 and trained under Cifuentes.

By combining specially grown, selected and cured tobacco with skillful cigar-making techniques, they created a brand that has proved popular with cigar connoisseurs around the world. Connecticut Shade is used for wrapper and Jamaican and Dominican tobaccos are used for fillers. The binder comes from Mexico's St. Andres Tuxtla Valley.

In some cases, the tobacco leaves may have undergone an aging process for two or three years or more. Most of the Macanudo cigars are rolled by hand. The company has shifted production from Jamaica to the Dominican Republic.

Most Macanudo cigars are rolled by hand.
Most Macanudo cigars are rolled by hand.

The Macanudo line principally consists of five premium brand series. These include the Macanudo Robust cigar, the Macanudo Maduro cigar, the Macanudo Cafe Cigar, the Macanudo Vintage cigar and the Macanudo Gold cigar. Each series contains different named cigars with unique flavors.

Some of these include the Macanudo Robust Baron de Rothschild, the Macanudo Robust Petit Corona and the Macanudo Robust Prince Philip from the Macanudo Robust series. Originally introduced in 1998, a new verion of this cigar was crafted by Daniel Nunez in 2003. It uses a Cuban seed binder and a well-matured dark Connecticut Shade wrapper.

The Macanudo Maduro cigar, created in 1999, uses a sweet Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. Cigars in this series include Macanudo Maduro Diplomat, Macanudo Maduro Duke of Devon and Macanudo Maduro Hampton Court. Some examples of the Macanudo Cafe cigar series are the Macanudo Cafe Claybourne, the Macanudo Cafe 8-9-8 and Macanudo Cafe Crystal.

The Vintage cigars are made only from vintage quality tobacco harvests. Such a harvest has occurred so far in 1979, 1984, 1988, 1993, and 1997. These cigars are rare and therefore quite valuable.

Thin and elegant, the Gold series are a limited edition line. They made from pale gold Connecticut Shade tobacco leaves. The series include Macanudo Gold Label Shakespeare, Macanudo Gold Label Tudor and Macanudo Gold Label Somerset.

A Macanudo cigar can be purchased in a cigar store and from online cigar websites. The cigars can be bought singly or in boxes of ten to two dozen. Prices vary according to the Macanudo cigar type.

Discussion Comments


@Leonidas226: You are 100 percent absolutely right. The amount of work and time it takes to make great cigars is immense. In some lines, tobacco is aged for 10 years or longer! Imagine the Wall Street guys being told, "Oh no, we won't be seeing a profit on this batch for the next 10 years!"


The filler is often made from less important leaves, which are wrapped around a workers wrist and have the stem pulled from them to produce smaller fragments of the leaves and eliminate the bump effect from a central stem. Each worker often has a specific task in the process of making the cigar, and functions like a large body executing a predetermined task set in motion by guiding principles and methods.


Cigar makers in Nicaragua spend the entire day picking small strings out of leaves in a meticulous process for which they get paid pretty much nothing, compared with what a worker in America would make. The sheer magnitude of the operation to make a single cigar would make you truly appreciate the fact that when you are smoking a well-made cigar, you are experiencing the yield and reward of a magnificent work of art.


The reason that many cigar companies are owned by classically wealthy and well-to-do families is that the process of making cigars can take a few years and be very costly, yielding no initial profit. When it starts to generate profit, then it more than pays for itself, but the money needed to start the business in the first place can be immense. There is so much work that goes into every aspect of making a single cigar, and a stack of fermenting tobacco can be worth millions of dollars.

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    • Macanudo Cigars are made with Havanese tobacco.
      By: Klaus Eppele
      Macanudo Cigars are made with Havanese tobacco.
    • Macanudo cigars are one of the top-selling cigars in the U.S.
      By: Marco Mayer
      Macanudo cigars are one of the top-selling cigars in the U.S.
    • Most Macanudo cigars are rolled by hand.
      By: nyul
      Most Macanudo cigars are rolled by hand.