General Cigar has begun shipping this year's Macanudo Estate Reserve, a limited-edition series that features Jamaican tobacco and a 10-year-old broadleaf wrapper from Connecticut.
The Jamaican tobacco is the main attraction of this new release, primarily for its nostalgic quality—original Macanudos were made with tobacco from Jamaica. It's been about 15 years, however, since regular-production Macanudos have had any Jamaican leaf in the blend.
Jamaica and Macanudo are closely aligned. The brand was originally produced in Jamaica at the Temple Hall factory in Kingston using local tobaccos as one of the ingredients. General Cigar closed Temple Hall in the year 2000, and moved the entire production of Macanudo to the Dominican Republic. The Jamaican tobacco was eventually phased out of the blend.
Last year, General resurrected the Jamaican blend for the first time with its limited-edition Estate Reserve. It was so popular that General has reissued the line for 2015, this time with a dark broadleaf wrapper. The rest of the blend consists of a Mexican binder and filler from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
The tobacco used for the Macanudo Estate Reserve is a native Jamaican varietal called Silver Tongue, and was planted especially for this project. This year's release comes in three sizes: No. 7, measuring 7 inches by 50 ring; No. 8 at 6 by 57; and No. 9, a 5 by 50 robusto. Each cigar comes in its own individual coffin and retails for $16 to $18.
The Macanudo Estate Reserves come in 10-count boxes, but because of the Jamaican tobacco's low agricultural yield, General was only able to produce 1,800 boxes of each size. The cigars are made in the Dominican Republic.