If you haven’t checked out the newest Cigar Aficionado you really should pick one up. It is one of the finest issues they have published in some time, and the main feature throughout discusses the City of Cigars, Habana, Cuba. Well as you can imagine, after reading through the magazine I had to reach for one of my many Cubans and grab one I have not yet reviewed. The H. Upmann brand has always been one of my favorite Cuban brands, and just recently Habanos S.A. has done a lot to get it more attention. Habanos S.A. breaks down its brand in several ways, Global, Multi-Local, Niche and Local, and the higher up the cigar is on that scale, the more production of that cigar. H. Upmann use to be at the Multi-Local level, but it was in 2007 that it moved up to the top at the Global level. In 2008 they launched the new vitola in the brand, the Magnum 50, and the following year the launched two of the vitolas in new tubes, the Magnum 46 and Magnum 50. Both cigars are among my favorite of Cubans, and the same goes with the H. Upmann No. 2 and the Sir Winston.
The H. Upmann brand gets its name from Herman Upmann, who was a German banker that loved cigars so much that he moved to Habana in 1844. When he moved he set himself up in the city as a banker and a cigar maker, and though his bank ended in the 1920’s, his cigar brand has continued on. The H. Upmann brand is actually the first cigar I ever smoked, and the cigar I smoked was the Sir Winston. A year ago I purchased a box of Magnum 50’s, and I have been letting them rest, well mostly rest, for that time and I am now here to review the cigar. Like all of the H. Upmann cigars, the cigar is composed of tobacco from the Vuelta Abajo region of Cuba, and that is one of the best areas of Pinar del Rio. The cigar measures 160 mm, 6.3″, and has a 50 ring gauge. I imagine that was pretty obvious given that the name is Magnum 50. The cigar is great in hand, and it has a nice triple cap to it. The wrapper is very toothy in appearance, and just slightly oily. There are some definite veins present in the cigar and it has a nice Colorado color to it, hints of red in light brown. There are a few uneven blotches on the wrapper, but nothing to serious. Holding the foot of the cigar to my nose I get aromas of dark spices, wood, leather, and some natural sweetness. I have been dry-boxing this cigar for a couple days now, so I know it should be ready to smoke. I have often found that Cuban cigars, and others such as the Opus-X and Don Pepin’s stuff taste a lot better if you have dried them for sometime before smoking. The first third opens up really nicely, and I am picking up lovely flavors of cedar, spice, coffee and toast. It is a very balanced cigar, and the flavors it is giving are very pleasant and complex. It is really capturing a lot of those traditional H. Upmann flavors, and that is one of the reasons why I love this cigar so much. There is a nice burn line to the cigar, and I am getting a good amount of smoke. I would say the cigar is a little over medium in terms of strength, and it has a nice long finish to it. The smoke is just thick enough to give off great smoke rings, and it is very aromatic. I find this cigar to be a little bit more woody than the Magnum 46, and the Magnum 46 is a lot more spicy than this cigar. (If you were curious.) When I get into the second third the cigar is still delivering those great flavors from the first. It is still very complex and very rich. The coffee notes are very prominent in this this third, and there is an emergence of nuts as well. It still has those cedar/wood notes with the cigar, and it finishes very toasty and spicy. There are some leather notes present in this third, and it is really getting to the spot I love it at. The burn line is a little wavy in this third, and I do have to relight it once, but overall it is very nice. I would say this is my fourth favorite of the H. Upmann line, and it has been a great addition to the infamous brand. In the final third of the cigar it is very consistent with the second, and it has a great finish to the smoke. All the flavors pair with one another beautifully, and I am glad it is ending the way it is. The flavors of nuts, leather, spice are really great, and that coffee flavor in the cigar is amazing. The burn line has gotten a lot better in this third, and it now smoking the way it was in the first third. The smoke is very thick and aromatic to the end, and great rings are coming out with it. I would say it ends at a solid medium, and when I put it down at the nub it is still burning very cool. If you are looking for a great Cuban H. Upmann, and you are looking for a little bit thicker of a cigar, I would grab this smoke. The No. 2 is a little bit bigger in ring gauge, but it is also not as heavily produced as this smoke and therefore harder to get. This is a great afternoon and everyday cigar, and I love the box of these that I have. This is a cigar that I give a 91. There are times that I would give it a higher ratings, but there are times where it gets a little less. The last three I smoked were all delivering solid flavors, and showing the middle road of this smoke. I don’t think the H. Upmann line gets as much credit as it deserves, and I prefer it over the Cuban Cohiba in terms of the flavor profile. These are great cigars to pick up in the tubes, and great gifts to give out if you are overseas. Worth buying a couple when out of the country. If you asked me what my favorite Cuban H. Upmann is I would rate it by this.
- H. Upmann Sir Winston
- H. Upmann No. 2
- H. Upmann Magnum 46
- H. Upmann Magnum 50
All of these smokes show a similar flavor profile, but the Sir Winston has always been a classic, and the No. 2 is the best torpedo coming out of Cuba, followed by the Partagas Serie P No.2.
|H. Upmann Magnum 50|