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.
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.
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.
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.