Group Review: Macanudo Estate Reserve 2015 No. 9

The Macanudo Estate Reserve 2015 No. 9 is the follow up to the to the 2014 Estate Reserve which commemorated Macanudo’s 45th anniversary. The 2015 release is a re-blend with a more modern packaging design incorporating Jamaican flag colors.

The cigar itself has a 10 year aged Connecticut Broadleaf. The filler incorporates Jamaican silver tongue tobacco which Gus says is one of the most expensive in the world.

Available in 10 count boxes, as individual coffins, they are available in 3 vitolas.

The No. 9 (Robusto, 5x50), No 7 (Churchill, 7x50), and the No. 8 (Gordo, 6x57).


Check out our interview with Gus Martinez here:


Vitola: Robusto

Size: 5” x 50 Ring Gauge

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf

Binder: San Andres Mexican

Filler: Jamaica, Nicaragua, Dominican

Cigars Smoked for this Review: One each

Price Point: $16 MSRP

Cigar Purchased: Manufacturer’s Samples

Quick Note: For this review we used Logan’s rating system. You can view it in detail here.


The Macanudo Jamaica Reserve 2015 No. 9 is an easy cigar to choose for a box split.”


  “The cigar started off very good, but quickly dropped off. “




Check out my video review here:


Surgeon’s Rating: 93 AKA “Box Split”

The nose on the Macanudo Estate Reserve is spicy cedar on the wrapper and fermented prunes or raisin in the foot.
The first third starts out with light cedar, creaminess with a subdued retrohale. Some light plus spices on the retrohale develop as the first third settles in. I also start to taste a rich raisin on the draw. At the 20 minute mark there are some rich toasted nuts. At the 30 minute mark some cedar starts to enter into the mix.


The raisin increases in complexity in the middle third, and up to a medium minus almost medium strength with a cedar chaser on the post draw. Some stewed fruit for the majority of the middle third with hints of spice. Cedar picks up to medium to medium minus strength as the middle third winds down.

In the last third the cedar becomes a sweet creamy cedar and has overtaken the raisin notes. Retrohale is primarily the sweet cedar.

Total smoking time was 1 hour and 24 minutes.

This was an outstanding smoking experience. The Macanudo Jamaica Reserve 2015 No. 9 is an easy cigar to choose for a box split.


Surgeon’s Pairing Recommendation:

Rob and I featured the Macanudo Estate Reserve for our 45th Sharing Our Pairings:


Matt’s Rating: 83 AKA “If I had them”

The wrapper is extremely dark brown - almost black. The seams from the wrapper are very obvious at a glance, but that is partially because the wrapper is so oily that its glistening in the lights in my shop. The band is sharp looking with gold writing on greys and blacks. A sniff of the foot gives me some sweet wood notes as well as some chocolate.  I clip the cap with a table cutter and the cap rips a bit.  Prelight draws are smooth and open with a bit of wood and moss.

Immediately off the light, my first thoughts are that I'm surprised this is a Macanudo. Full-flavored off the light with flavors that are reminiscent of the woods after a thunderstorm with a significant amount of pepper and power on the back of the tongue.  Construction, even 1/4 of an inch in seems superb. Literally as I type that, the wrapper splits on me. Almost in parallel, a lot of the flavor I was initially getting on the front of the tongue is gone, though I'm still getting some power and pepper on the back.  Draw and smoke output is still fantastic.  Also, while the flavor isn't nearly as good an inch in as it was off the light, the cigar is still outperforming my expectations.

I'm firmly in the middle and I haven't written much down because the cigar has been consistent and unremarkable. The cigar isn't bad or objectionable, but there is nothing about it that excites me - it just seems to be there.

As I am now in the final third, the tear of the cap on the cut is becoming problematic as the entire cigar is beginning to unravel.  I'm not sure the cigar is worth continuing to smoke so I put it out with just under an inch left.

The cigar started off very good, but quickly dropped off.  Even into the 2nd third, I enjoyed it, but as we hit the second half, I quickly lost interest.  At $16+, I can't imagine buying this again, but I'll smoke it again if someone handed me one!

Group Rating: 88 AKA “5 Pack”

I’m not sure if we’ve ever had a group review where we were this far apart on rating. This Macanudo Estate Reserve ended up being #4 in my top 10 cigars of 2015.

Views: 87

Comment by Docwill on February 2, 2016 at 8:22am

Matt, I really enjoyed the one you sent me. My experience was more in line with John's and I had no construction issues. However, I do agree, at $16-$17 a pop, it wasn't that good.

Comment by Cigar Surgeon on February 2, 2016 at 9:57am

Definitely raises the question about pricing. If a cigar is priced in the premium category, it seems to add a lot more pressure for that cigar to be a top performer.

Comment by Matt Ross on February 2, 2016 at 10:11am

Real interesting. Looking back, its obvious how much I enjoyed the first third and how it fell off as I was very verbose and then had practically nothing to say about the middle of finale.

I'm not surprised that John rated it so high as I seem to be in the minority on my opinions of this cigar based off of what I have read, but I also believe my score is weighed heavily by the price. If you're telling me I can get a Liga or a Padron-level cigar for the same price, I'm taking them every day of the week.

Comment by Charlie on February 2, 2016 at 4:58pm

Must have gotten a bad stick??

Comment by Matt Ross on February 2, 2016 at 6:28pm

@Charlie - I smoked 2 or 3 of these (I'll have to go back and look), and felt the same way about all of them.  It starts off surprisingly good, but then they stagnated for me.  As I said previously, my low score is based primarily on the price (which I think our scoring system takes into account).  At $16-17/pop, I'm not buying more of these.  If I'm not factoring in price, the cigar would score much higher albeit still not as high as John scored it.

Comment by Charlie on February 2, 2016 at 6:35pm

But the construction wasn't as bad on all the samples like the one pictured right?

Comment by Matt Ross on February 3, 2016 at 9:29am

No, the construction issue only occurred on the cigar photographed and that I used for the "stream of conscious" review. As noted, however, the wrapper issues didn't impact the smoking experience outside of me deciding to pitch it a few minutes earlier because I was losing interest.


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