The meaning of "macanudo" in Spanish is "best of the best," or "first-rate." This definition is appropriate for the General Cigar line of the same name. The Macanudo Vintage Cabinet Selection line goes quite a bit beyond the brand’s normally high standards. The cigar makers at Macanudo look for the very best tobacco for the Vintage Cabinet line. In the world of Macanudo cigars, a vintage year comes along only when a harvest yields small quantities of filler, binder and wrapper leaves whose qualities are superior. Those quantities, which total less than one in one thousand leaves, are then set aside for a given year's Macanudo Vintage Cabinet Selection. The cigar makers' standards are so high that the Macanudo Vintage Cabinet line has only been produced four times; 1979, 1984, 1988 (this month’s selection) and 1993. The filler for this mild stogie is from the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Mexico. The binder is Mexican San Andrés Valley tobacco chosen for tensile strength, flavor, and long, slow, even burning characteristics. The wrapper is a Connecticut Shade which was considered among the best seen in literal decades at the time of harvest. If that wasn’t enough, the wrapper then went through a process called “medio tiempo” during which the leaves were aged for 50% longer than most other tobaccos. Expect creamy flavors of earth and smoked wood. Perfect for any time of day, pair it with something simple like water.
Though tobacco is indigenous to Hispaniola, the tobacco industry in the Dominican Republic existed in the shadow of Cuba’s dominance through the 1960s. When the exodus of Cuban cigar makers began in the wake of the revolution, many decided the Dominican Republic would be ideal for the resumption of their livelihoods. Unrest in Nicaragua in the 1980s fueled the Dominican cigar industry further. The country now makes more than half of the premium cigars imported into the U.S.
The Cibao Valley and the nearby city of Santiago are the center of cigar production in the Dominican Republic. Three main varieties are grown here: the mild and native Olor Dominicano; the intense Piloto Cubano, brought from the Vuelta Abajo of Cuba; and San Vicente, a milder and more acidic Piloto hybrid. Dominican puros were once unheard of as it was widely thought impossible to grow quality wrapper leaf on the island, but new growing techniques are now allowing some exceptional puros to be produced.
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