H. Upmann Factory

H. Upmann, Habana, Cuba. Does not exist anymore, moved into RyJ Factory

H. Upmann magnum 46

Some time ago my buddy Nasier, who works at one of the best tobacconists in Amsterdam and the one with the coolest lounge Van Lookeren, came to dinner (red lentil soup, chicken fajitas and a mango puree with whipped cream and roasted almond shavings if you wondered what I prepared) and we smoked a few cigars. He gifted me this H. Upmann 46 from July 2014 that I saved for a review and a Ramon Allones Specially Selected Robusto Corto Edicion Regionales Paises Bajos which I smoked on the spot.

 


Now many of you don’t know this, and might not even expect this since I’ve shown a preference to Nicaraguan tobacco on almost every occasion I get, but I started out with Cuban cigars on a trip to Asia, at Singapore Changi airport I bought some Cohiba, Montrecristo and Romeo y Julieta cigars that I all smoked during my stay in Indonesia and on my way back I maxed out my creditcard on singles and fivers at the airport again on Cuban cigars. Once I smoked all them I went online and bought my first full box: H. Upmann Coroja Major, the ones in the silver tubes before they restyled them. I still have a soft spot for that brand, even thought I hardly smoke Cubans anymore and think they are overrated and overpriced. There is no denying that Cuban cigars once were the best but that ship has sailed for now and as a lover of the leaf I dislike that a lot, it would be better for everybody if the Cubans raised to the level they once reached.

 


Now back to this cigar, it has a milk chocolate brown colored wapper with a mild shine. And I am worried since there is a little bulge near the head of the cigar that could possibly be a plug. The aroma is faint, a bit of a forrest in the fall aroma with lots of intensity. The cigar has a double ring, the bottom ring is a bright red ring with white pinstripes and white lettering saying Magnum 46 and some gold colored decorative figures. The top ring is white with golden outlines and a red circle that shows the H Upmann logo with white letters and gold colored decoration. The gold really pops, its a well printed ring and since they used the same red in both rings they match very well.

 


I punched the cigar and the cold draw is good, a little on the tight side but still good so my fear that there would be a plug was unfounded. I can’t get a real taste from the cold draw. My trusted vintage Ronson helped me light the cigar. The first thing I taste is leather with some coffee. After a centimeter I also taste a honey like sweetness with the leather and the coffee.

The wrapper cracks open in one side which hasn’t happened to me for a long time, must be a construction error. The flavor has changed to cedar with leather and a herbal flavor. Halfway the cigar gets a little stronger with leather with a little spice and a fresh aftertaste. After three quarters I taste a mild chocolate and freshness on a bed of cedar and a little bit of pepper.

 


The cigar produces a medium amount of quite thin smoke. The ash is light gray with black smears. The ash is also dense and firm. The burn is razor sharp. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The cigar is subtle and well balanced. The smoke time is an hour and ten minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Nah, it’s a good cigar but Cubans aren’t my thing anymore.

Score: 89

89

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Categories: 89, Cuban cigars, H. Upmann (Habanos), H. Upmann Factory | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

H. Upmann Half Corona

In 2011 Habanos released a new H. Upmann vitola, and since H. Upmann is my favorite Cuban brand I was excited to hear the news, especially since it wasn’t a 55+ ring release but a small cigar, a 3 1/2×44 Half Corona. At first they came in dress boxes of 25 cigars but the big boom came a year later when they released the same cigar in beautiful tins of 5 cigars each. The tins were perfect to take cigars with you and fitted right into your shirts pocket. The tins were so popular that they sold out quickly and it took a long time for Habanos to restock the Dutch market.


Now I don’t smoke a lot of Cubans, there is too much to complain about when it comes to the aging of tobacco, the quality of the rollers, the quality of tobacco and especially the myth that the Cuban cigars are the best in the world. They used to be, there is no denying that and yes, Cuban tobacco has a specific flavor you won’t find in tobacco elsewhere just like Ometepe tobacco has specific characteristics, like Pennsylvania Broadleaf has specific characteristics and so on, but hardliners only talk about the characteristics of the Cubans like Cuban tobacco is divine and I happen to have another opinion. My take is that yes, Cubans used to be the best and I even think that Cuban cigars have the potential to be the best again but right now they are not and if the regime and mentality on Cuba doesn’t change they won’t be the best ever again. They rush the tobacco and cigars out, the fermentation of the tobacco and the aging of the cigars are not properly done, the quality control is poor (only 4% of the Cuban cigars are tested for quality) and the land is depleted due to mono culture and a lack of fertilizer. And it’s a shame, the quality of Cuban cigars could be out of this world if everything was done right. I could write a whole editorial about this if I want, but then again, this is a review blog so let stick to reviewing and hope that that Habanos sees their problems and deals with them accordingly.


The Half Corona that i’m smoking for this review comes from a box with the box code of april 2013. Now stamping the boxes with a code is something I love about the Cuban cigar industry. If I owned a factory or brand I would do the same, of go even a step further with a stamp that mentions the month and year the cigars are rolled but also the year of the crop of the wrapper, binder and filler just to inform the consumer on the age of the tobacco and cigars. The wrapper is a nice medium brown, like milky chocolate, with few minor veins and the triple cap is beautiful. What I do notice about the cigar is the way the foot has been cut, its not straight, if I put the cigar on its foot the cigar had the same tilt as the leaning tower of Pisa as you can see in the picture above. When I touch the cigar I feel a soft spot at the head of the cigar, which actually doesn’t surprise me considering the low quality control on Cuba. The band is the regular H. Upmann band, not fancy, very classic. The cigar has a manure aroma to it, medium strong. I punched the cigar and the cold draw is a bit on the tough side.


I light the cigar with my trusted Ronson varaflame which is older than I am.  I taste coffee and a wooden flavor but it’s mild to medium. After a short time I taste a very mild peanut flavor, unsalted peanuts. Slowly the flavors are a little bit stronger and I taste now some earthy flavors with the peanut. After two thirds I taste earthy flavors with some white pepper on my lips. The flavor than changes to nuts. At the end i alsof taste some citrus.


The draw has a little more resistance than I like, but I’ve had worse, especially in Cubans. The smoke is thin, gray and not a lot of volume. The ash is light gray, firm and dense. The burn is quite good, not razor sharp but good enough. This cigar is mild to medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is about 50 minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? I still have half a box and even though I love the size I rather smoke the Joya Red Half Corona if I want this vitola.

Score: 85

85

Categories: 85, Cuban cigars, H. Upmann (Habanos), H. Upmann Factory | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

H. Upmann julieta #2

I’ve been smoking Cubans from the first day I started to smoke, but then again, for a European it is easier to get Cubans than non Cubans, although that seems to be shifting a bit in The Netherlands now due to the good work of The Longfiller Company who distributes, Fuente, Ashton, Don Pepin Garcia, Liga Privada, Padron and Oliva, to a decent amount of brick & mortars here. I’ve smoked every Cuban brand that is still in production and slowly I discovered that the H. Upmann marca never disappointed me, it became my favorite Cuban marca. This Julieta #2 is a 7×47 cigar, I don’t know the box code of this specific specimen.
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The wrapper is chocolate brown, mild oily and brittle. There are some softer spots in the construction, and the predraw is hard. I taste a mild spicy tobacco and I smell a mild barnyard aroma.
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I taste a complex but smooth leather flavor and after an inch and a half I get some sweetness and wood too, still smooth and complex. The draw is horrible, so after a third I decide to use my draw tool and draw a smoke channel, which transforms the cigar a lot, all of a sudden I get a lot of smoke and lots of flavor, leather, wood and nuts, all mild sweet and full but balanced.
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After two thirds I taste leather and earth, with a mild sweetness and on the background I taste nuts and toast. Some puffs later I taste some pepper too, and then it is time to rest the nub in the ashtray. I wish that the cigar wasn’t so plugged, it would have been much nicer if the flavors and draw were so full from the start.
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I smoked on this great cigar for an hour and twenty minutes. In the beginning I got a poor amount of thin smoke, until I used my draw tool, then I got a lot of thick smoked. The draw was hard until I fixed it. The ash is medium gray and firm. This cigar is full flavored and medium bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? It’s an H.Upmann, so yes, love the marca.

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 6 / 10
Draw: 6 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 6 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Cuban cigars, H. Upmann (Habanos), H. Upmann Factory | Tags: , | Leave a comment

H. Upmann #2

This particular H. Upmann #2, a 6⅛ x 52 torpedo has the same name as his Montecristo brother and that is because before the revolution both the H.Upmann brand and the Montecristo brand were owned by the same company, Menendez Y Carcia. This particular cigar had a 2006 box code and comes from a torpedo sampler I bought a few years ago and has been stored in my humidor since.
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The cigar has a raw, rough and bumpy wrapper, which is chocolate brown colored and oily. The band is simple and looks like the famous Montecristo band, but that has probably to do with the old ties between the brands. The cigar has a barnyard aroma that is so unique to Cuba that you can tell that this is a Cuban cigar just by the smell. The construction is a bit off, I feel a few somewhat softer spots, not really soft, but there is a difference in construction. The predraw is a bit loose.
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I taste a dry leather flavor, full but smooth and soon I get some earth too. After a quarter of an inch I already taste the typical Cuban flavors. After an inch I also taste some chocolate. The flavors are dry and mild creamy. The chocolate disappears again and I taste leather, earth and some hay.
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The flavors are full, complex, well balanced, typical Cuban and superb. After ⅝ I get a hint of chocolate again and the flavors are now dry but not creamy anymore. After two thirds I get some pepper, a mix of black and red peppers.
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This cigar had a smoke duration of an hour and thirty minutes. I got a decent amount of smoke, which was reasonably thick. The draw is just a nudge on the loose side. I had to correct the burn one or two times. The ash is light colored with some dark spots and it is firm. This cigar is full flavored and medium bodied.

Would I buy this cigar again? Hell yeah!

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7/ 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 9 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Cuban cigars, H. Upmann (Habanos), H. Upmann Factory | Tags: , | Leave a comment

H. Upmann Connaisseur #1

3 years ago I bought a nice sampler with several Cuban robustos. The sampler ended up under a pile of other cigars I bought afterwards and when I rediscovered this sampler I decided to try the 5×48 robusto from my favorite marca, H.Upmann. This cigar isn’t called ‘robusto’ but connoisseur No.1 and the ring is 48 instead of the classic 50. I bought this sampler early 2007, so I guess that the cigar is from 2006.
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The cigar has a beautiful but veiny and oily wrapper and a mild barnyard smell. The construction feels good and the predraw confirms the good construction. I taste a dry tobacco flavor.
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I get a full coffee flavor which morphs into a mild spicy and full earth flavor.
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After an inch I also taste leather. The flavors are well balanced and complex. The cigar has the typical H. Upmann flavors including a hint of chocolate and nuts. Halfway the cigar gets a little spicy.
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This robusto lasted me for an hour. I got a lot of thick white smoke. The ash is firm and dark. The draw is good but I had to correct the burn a few times. This cigar is medium flavored and medium bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? I think I rather smoke the Magnum 46 than this cigar

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 6 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Cuban cigars, H. Upmann (Habanos), H. Upmann Factory | Tags: , | Leave a comment

H. Upmann Magnum 50

The H. Upmann magnum 50 is originally the 2005 Limited Edition but became so in demand that Habanos decided to put it into regular production and I don’t blame them. Although this stick isn’t cheap in The Netherlands with a price tag of € 12.40, this is the stick that I always pick when I walk in my favorite cigarshop in Amsterdam, Hartman Cigars at the Beethovenstraat.
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The H. Upmann magnum 50 is a 6¼x50 stick with a Cuban barnyard aroma and a pale brown wrapper with a few veins and some waterspots. The construction feels a bit soft, but the predraw after punching the cigar is fine. The predraw leaves a mild peppery flavor on my palate. I like the fact that the extra band actually fits with the normal H.Upmann band, it’s nothing like the crap color scheme from the Montecristo Open series.
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I can taste some earthy flavors and lots of leather, classic Cuban flavors in my book. The flavors are medium full of strength. The leather is the dominant flavor but it’s all well balanced. After almost 2 inch I get a little bit of chocolate on the background.
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Halfway I also taste wood, the leather becomes the aftertaste and the flavors are held together by the earth flavors that create a nice base for the wood and leather. The chocolate is gone. Right at the end I van taste some walnut on the background. The feeling in my mouth is quite dry.
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This cigar only lasted me 80 minutes, which isn’t that long considering the size. The draw is good and so is the burn, although that was crooked in the beginning, but it corrected itself. The ash is quite firm and has a pepper and salt color. I would rate this cigar medium to full in both body and flavor. The smoke is quite thick and there is plenty of it.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, as I said at the start of the review, this is my go to stick at the local B&M.

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Cuban cigars, H. Upmann (Habanos), H. Upmann Factory | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

H. Upmann Corona Major

This particular cigar was one of my first loves and actually my first box I bought when I knew what I was doing. I started to smoke on a vacation in Indonesia late 2005, and on the way back at Singapore airport I bought a box of Montecristo #4 and some singles including a H. Upmann Corona Major. I don’t count the Montecristo as a box purchase, because I didn’t knew what I was buying, I just wanted cigars. Once I smoked this H.Upmann Corona Major I knew I wanted a box of those, so I got me a box online with a boxdate of november 2006. I reviewed one before, but 3 years later I decided to revisit the cigar, my last from the box, to see if my tastes have changed.
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Once I open the tubo, an old one, soon after I bought the box Habanos restyled the tubos, I see a nice 5¼ x 42 corona with a chocolate brown silky wrapper with just one vein. The construction feels good and the cigar has a nice mild barnyard aroma. After punching I get a good predraw that tastes dry and has a raisin flavor with a peppery aftertaste.
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I can taste leather with just a hint of chocolate, full flavored. The chocolate soon turns into a sugar like sweetness and that sweetness becomes the main flavor. The leather is just a support flavor and after one and a half inch some earth joins the leather to support the sweetness.
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The sweetness becomes less strong and the leather is a bit stronger than the earth flavor. After ⅔ I also taste a herbal flavor, mild spicy. At the end the herbal flavors are mild fresh too.
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This cigar lasted me almost 90 minutes and in those 90 minutes I enjoyed a good amount of reasonable thick smoke. The draw is fine and I can’t complain about the burn either. The as has a pepper and salt color scheme and is quite firm. I would say that this cigar is full flavored but yet medium bodied. If the sweetness was a little less overpowering, I would have rated this cigar a bit higher.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, they are very nice priced and it is a good quality stick.

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Cuban cigars, H. Upmann (Habanos), H. Upmann Factory | Tags: , | Leave a comment

H. Upmann Corona Major

This is one of the cigars that I bought on Singapore airport as a starting aficionado, and even though I had a terrible lack of knowledge I instantly loved this 129mm long ring 42 cigar. I went straight to my local reseller but unfortunately this cigar wasn’t sold in The Netherlands so after a while I ordered a box at Zigarren Discount and just a few months after I received my cigars word got out that the H.Upmann corona major would be available for the Dutch market.
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The box H.Upmann I have is from November 06, so the cigars are still a bit young, but I could not control myself anymore and decided to light one tonight. The cigar has a nice silky wrapper with just a few veins, it looks and feels good and it smells nice, a bit like dried hay. The predraw and the draw were a bit hard though.
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Right after lighting the cigar my mouth was filled with a warm sweet flavor and after about one centimeter that sweet taste got companied by creamy leather. Especially the sweet taste is unique, I never tasted that in any other cigar I tried. After about a third of the cigar some light pepper was noticeable. About halfway the leather and the sweetness disappeared and the cigar got a beautiful pallet of herbs. At the end I could briefly taste some cacao, but that was gone in two puffs.
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The burn was close to perfect, only right at the end the cigar lost the straight burn but it was very close to the cigar band, so I let the burn die. The smoke started a bit light but it got thicker and stronger as the cigar progressed. The ash was firm and beautifully silver gray.
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Will I buy this cigar again? Yes I will
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Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: Cuban cigars, H. Upmann (Habanos), H. Upmann Factory | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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