Posts Tagged With: Cuban

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: , , , , ,

La Estancia Robusto

In 2014 a new cigar came to the market, amongst many others, but this one had a story that made cigar aficionado’s very excited and the cigar was highly anticipated. Why you might ask? Well, for two different reasons, first of Meerapfel family all it was a cigar from the Meerapfel family, a well known and respected family in the cigar industry with a 140 year old history. If you smoke Cameroon tobacco, it is most likely grown by the Meerapfel family and they also distribute brands like Padron and Fuente in Europe for decades now. The second reason to be excited was the tobacco used. The Meerapfels are not just tobacco growers but also tobacco traders and since they are not an American business they have been able to buy Cuban tobacco not bothered by the embargo, and they did! The older generations of Meerapfels stored the tobacco to sell once the embargo was lifted but the new generation, Joshua & Jeremiah, decided it was time to use that tobacco.


They found a Honduran factory, undisclosed to the public, and created a blend of a Nicaraguan wrapper and filler tobacco from Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic and aged Cuban tobacco, dating back to the 1970’s. Now call me a cigar geek, but just that fact makes me excited and curious. Jeremiah Meerapfel did state that they used a Nicaraguan wrapper instead of a Cameroon wrapper from their own farms because of the price of Cameroon tobacco, which is much higher than Caribbean tobacco.


The box is cubanesque, styled after the Partagas boxes but just a little nicer finished, and the ring is also very Cuban inspired with the same star you find on the Cuban flag on the ring. If you look further you will see a drawing in the style of old maps of Cuba and a picture of Havana, add that to the text ‘Tabacco Cubano’ and you almost forget that this is in fact a Honduran cigar with some Cuban tobacco. The ring is very detailed though and much nicer than you think at first glance. The wrapper is medium brown, mild shiny and not the best looking wrapper ever with the long veins but it’s also not an ugly wrapper. The construction feels good, no hard or soft spots. When it comes to aroma this cigar scores bad, I hardly smell anything.


I decided to go with a straight cut with my Xikar x2 cutter and use my Ronson soft flame to light the cigar, I prefer a soft flame over a torch except when smoking outdoors. Right from the start this cigar is spicy with espresso, all quite dry tasting though. After a few puffs the espresso turns to coffee with pepper. The pepper is getting a little stronger but after a centimeter the aged Cuban tobacco shows up and a very subtle flavor you only find in Cuban cigars shows up. It’s not easy to describe it, but it’s something I only tasted in Cuban cigars.

Soon after the coffee is replaced by some chocolate. Halfway I taste oak with a little chocolate, pepper and a citrus aftertaste but still with that Cuban touch. Slowly the pepper is getting stronger. After two thirds the proper slowed down again and that aged Cuban tobacco shows up again. At the end I taste a nice nutty flavor.


The smoke is ok, white and plentiful but it could be a little thicker. It was too much for my cat though, she was sleeping on my lap, saw the smoke and went outside. The ash is pepper and salt colored and beautifully layered. The burn is good but a little crooked. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time was about 80 minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, I really liked these when they just came out but age didn’t do the blend good.

Score: 86

86

Categories: 86, Honduran cigars, La Estancia | Tags: , , ,

Partagas Corona Grande

Each month there is a ‘cigar of the month’ on sigarenliefhebber.nl where we all smoke a certain cigar and compare our reviews. Member Jeroen was kind enough to offer us a trade, he would send all who were interested 2 Partagas corona grande (size 152mm long and a 42 ring) and we would send 2 cigars of our own choice to Jeroen in return. As the Partagas corona grande is discontinued it was a once in a lifetime opportunity to smoke this cigar, so I gratefully accepted Jeroen’s offer.

The cigar is quite long, but to slim in my opinion. I like thick cigars, and for a cigar this long a ring 42 is too small. It is a corona size ring, but the cigar is quite longer then a corona. And I am not a fan of box-pressed square cigars and this cigar is a bit square. When I smelled the cigar I discovered mainly straw with a hint of wood and leather. The predraw was a bit hard. The first flavor is distinct leather which continued throughout the cigar. Halfway a pepper flavor kicks in and at the end I could taste mint with a hint of cacao.

I was afraid that the draw would be hard as the predraw was, but fortunately not, the draw was fine, but the burn wasn’t. In the beginning it was crooked until I corrected it. The ash was dark and not really firm. The smoke was pretty but not too thick.

Would I buy this cigar again? Probably not, it is a nice cigar but I smoked better

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 6.5 / 10
Burn: 6 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 6 / 10
Aroma second part: 6 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Cuban cigars, Partagas (Habanos), Partagas Factory | Tags: , ,

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