H. Upmann cigars started with Herman Upmann, a German banker, who began producing cigars in Cuba in 1844. He used his cigars to promote his banking firm, and would gain a reputation of producing a quality product. Today H. Upmann cigars can be found from both Cuba and the Dominican Republic in a variety of lines and sizes, and is still known for high quality and great flavor profiles.
This particular cigar is an 1844 Reserve in a toro size, measuring in at 6 x 52. It uses a milk chocolate brown Ecuadorian Cubana wrapper with a Nicaraguan binder and Dominican filler. The wrapper has moderate veining, but nothing excessively large or unsightly. There is very little tooth to the wrapper; it’s there, but very slight unless looked at closely. The wrapper has a light oily shine and just looks like it’s going to have some good flavor to it. I pick it up and notice that the wrapper has a slightly rough texture, but at the same time has a smooth feel from the oils as well. It’s not unpleasant, just different from the definite rough or smooth textures I’m used to. Squeezing gently I notice that it’s firm to the touch and well packed. After getting a good look and feel for the cigar I bring it to my nose I get a sweet floral, cedary, and earthy scent. It’s a very pleasing scent, and that combination is what I look for in a good cigar.
Toasting the cigar is very easy and quick with a good torch lighter, and cutting the triple cap is just as simple with a good cutter. I take a slow easy puff and am greeted with smooth light-medium bodied smoke. It takes a little before the flavor really starts to develop and flesh out, but after the first quarter inch I get a good feel for the flavor profile. I pick up notes of sweet spices at the start that tease the tongue and give it a mild tingle. There’s a slight tanginess that mixes with the spiciness, and leads into notes of leather and wood that lasts into the finish. Citrus joins the tanginess, and provides an interesting but nice contrast to the flavors. Overall it’s a nice and subtle mix of flavors that provides some good complexity. There’s no dullness to the flavors, and while they’re more on the mild to medium bodied side, there’s little doubt as to what I taste.
The flavors don’t change too much, and mainly change in intensity rather than new ones developing. The changes are subtle from one to the other, with the spiciness building up gradually from start to finish, along with the tanginess. Despite the differing flavors, they mix and mingle together well. They find a way to come together in a way that doesn’t offer any off mixes, and the contrast is refreshing in that I can clearly pick up on the different flavors. Overall I quite enjoy the flavors, and am pleased from start to finish.
The construction on the cigar was top notch, and produced a burn that was slow, cool, and even. I was able to get well over two hours out of this one cigar, with no harshness, bitterness, or bite. I tend to understate the importance of having good construction like that, but it really is something that’s necessary for a good cigar. Without good construction, the wrapper may come apart or split, or the draw may end up getting plugged, and that all leads to an unsmokeable cigar. I had none of those issues whatsoever. Now here comes the final factor in whether or not this is a cigar that’s worth picking up: price. I received this cigar as a gift from a friend, but he was good enough to leave the price on the wrapper for the review. The price from a tobacconist is $6.50, a steal when you put everything together. Nice flavor profile, excellent construction, and over two hours of smoking enjoyment. That’s easily worth that price, and I’d gladly pick up another. I’d happily suggest you do the same if you get a chance.
Special thanks to Eddie at Tobacco Country USA for sending me this cigar to review. If you’re ever in Jacksonville, NC, then I highly recommend visiting one of his shops.