In February 2012, the General Cigar Company released two Macanudo cigars in a new Gigante size. Both the Macanudo Cafe Gigante and Macanudo Maduro Gigante measure six inches in length with a 60 ring gauge. Macanudo is one of the top selling cigar brands in the United States, and has a reputation of being the top mild-to-medium cigar that appeals to newer cigar smokers. However, the large Gigante size is usually preferred by more experienced smokers, and may win back a few of those advanced smokers who have moved on from Macanudo to other fuller bodied and/or more potent brands. Even connoisseurs enjoy milder cigars on occasion, and the large volume of smoke that can be drawn from a huge cigar like the Gigante might be enough to satisfy an aficionado's desire for "something more" that is not overpowering nor intimidating.
Both the Macanudo Cafe and Maduro Gigante cigars are mild-to-medium, but have different taste profiles. Other than having different wrappers, the Cafe also uses a blend of Dominican Piloto Cubano and Mexican filler tobaccos, while the Maduro uses only the Dominican fillers. The Cafe is a just little bit sweet and a little bit spicy. It is not too complex, but still very tasty and enjoyable. The Maduro is noticeably sweeter at the beginning, but then becomes more earthy after about 10-15 minutes. The Maduro does not have the same spicy flavor as the Cafe, and actually becomes a bit leathery at the half-way point. I enjoyed the Maduro more at the beginning and less near the end, but the Cafe was pretty much consistent throughout. Although each version of the cigar has its own unique tastes, I enjoyed them both about the same. It is important to note that the Maduro version of the Macanudo Gigante cigar does not use the same tobaccos (nor is it as enjoyable) as the Macanudo 1997 Vintage Maduro Cigar, which we previously reviewed during 2011.
Draw and Construction
Both the Macanudo Cafe and Maduro Gigante cigars were well made and had great draws that provided a nice volume of smoke. Both held a long ash. However, the Maduro burned much better and more evenly than the Cafe, and did not require any relights nor touch-ups. The Cafe did not require any relights, but several touch-up lights were needed throughout the smoke to keep the burn even. It took me a full hour to smoke the Maduro down to two inches remaining, but the Cafe lasted a few minutes longer.
Suggested retail prices for either version of the Macanudo Cafe or Maduro Gigante cigars are $7.99 for single sticks and $199.75 for boxes of 25 cigars. If you are a newer cigar smoker, the Macanudo Cafe is available in several smaller sizes at lower price points, and would probably be a better choice. Check out our review of the Macanudo Hyde Park Cafe Cigar for comparison. More experienced smokers might prefer the Maduro version, but for a buck a stick more, you can move up to the Vintage Maduro. It is not quite as large, but the Macanudo 1997 Vintage Maduro is a superior smoke that will still last for about an hour.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.