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I've had all four from various gas stations in my local area. The Macanudos, by far, have given me the greatest of flavors. The freshness is surprising, being that most wrapped cigars tend to be a little bit dry. The Excalibur is right up there with the Macanudo, in my experience.
Here on CI, they're much cheaper than the $6-$9 price range that I find here, which is a much better deal. I believe they call them "convenience stores" for a reason... Anyhow, to those who are doubting the freshness of these sticks -- nothing wrong with giving them a chance next to your humidor! I find that there is a convenience here in the trapped humidity in and of itself which is far superior to most boxed or packaged cigars. I'm a beginner in the cigar aficionado world, and I can tell already that I prefer these to [machine made].
There's no denying that Macanudo cigars are a favorite of mine, and I've had fresh rolled cigars from little mom and pop cigar factories when we lived in Florida, and fresh rolled sounds nice and all that but when it's sealed in the packages like this it would at least to me seem like there's no additional aging because there's no cedar to help the tobaccos age and mellow and blend all the different tobacco flavors together. I decided to order a set of these in Macanudo and when my shipment came in I immediately opened one up and toasted the foot and lit er up at first there wasn't a lot of flavor but kept smoking and it didn't change a whole lot throughout the whole cigar, so if I buy these again they won't stay in the sealed pouches, I'll have to let them sit in my cedar lined humidor for a little while before smoking another one. They need to age a little which is what makes a good cigar even better.
It's always easy to tell how well aged a cigar is and you can pretty much see it in the cello wrapper, what I mean is if you take a fresh rolled cigar out of the cello wrapper it'll be clear as glass, but with a cigar that's been aging for a while and you remove the cello wrapper it'll have a golden hue to it, I've taken the exact same cigar side by side, one with a clear cello wrapper and one with that golden hue to it and smoked each cigar, the cigar that showed its age from the wrapper had a much more pronounced flavor where the clear cello wrapped cigar, while still pretty good just didn't taste nearly as good as the one with a lot more aging did.
While fresh rolled and sealed in a pouch sounds great it's actually not allowing the cigar to age in cedar like they do in a humidor, maybe if they stuck a thin sheet of cedar in the sealed pouch with each cigar they would be able to age a bit better while still keeping the moisture the tobacco leaves had when they were rolled? But for me Ill age mine in my humidor first.
If you like Macanudo's and travel then these are great! Take these whenever you travel. They are the easiest way to travel with a perfectly humidified cigar. I just wish that more cigars were sold with freshness packaging.
AWESOME! I love this cigar...and they are perfect every time out of their package...I wish more brands came like this!