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Cigar Review – H. Upmann 1844 Reserve Toro

H. Upmann 1844 Reserve Toro (6x54)

Since its release at last years ICPCR, the H. Upmann 1844 Reserve, the new blend from the classic H. Upmann brand,  has been met with pretty much unanimous praise within the cigar industry. The 1844 Reserve frontmark is a tribute to the year that H. Upmann was founded in Cuba, where they first gained their reputation as one of the finest hand-rolled smokes on the planet. The blend contains filler tobaccos from Peru, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic, a Connecticut Broadleaf maduro binder, and an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. Having heard many good things about this new stogie I set out this morning to spark up the Toro (6×54), to see just what the buzz was all about.

The stick  looked promising, cloaked in an oily, veiny, and toothy Sumatra wrapper. Pre-light notes were woody, sweet, and pungent, with a slight hint of cocoa. Worth mentioning was the solid feel of the cigar; it had a nice dense weight to it, and felt comfortable in my hand. Without further ado, I put the flame to the foot.

Bold, smoky cedar and just the right amount of black pepper were the first notes to emerge. The draw was nice and easy, and what had started off as a slightly crooked burn corrected itself with no help on my part during the course of the first 3rd of the smoke. The peppery and piquant cedar taste remained consistent for this portion of the cigar.

In the 2nd third, the pepper took a backseat, making room for notes of nuts, cocoa, and a subtle malty sweetness. The stogie was burning even and cool and I started to really appreciate the clean taste of the quality tobaccos in the blend. I also really dug the contrast of the stark white ash against the reddish-brown wrapper, even though on this particular cigar it was a bit flakey and only held on for about an inch at a time.

For me, the final third was easily the most enjoyable part of this cigar. Once the oils from the binder and filler tobaccos had a chance to build and mingle, the flavors really started to shine. The malty caramel sweetness ramped up, notes of coffee and dried fruit appeared, and the crisp pepper returned to the mix, culminating in a delicious and nuanced taste-combination. I ended up smoking this one down a little further than I usually do for a review, as it seemed to get better and better as I burned closer to the nub.

The overall high-quality of this cigar was evident from the first look at the wrapper right on through to the last puff. The kind of smooth and clean flavors this stick produced are only found in higher-end tobaccos. I found the 1844 Reserve to be an enjoyable smoke overall, with a nice taste that seemed to build and get more interesting the longer I smoked. Fans of H. Upmann are sure to love this stogie, as it is just as rich and smooth as their more established blends, but brings a bit more complexity to the table. After smoking this cigar I understand why it received so many glowing reviews; it was hard to find anything bad to say about it. The H. Upmann 1844 Reserve gets a triumphant A grade in my book, as well as a hearty recommendation that anyone who appreciates fine stogies needs to try it.

 

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