Time once again to dig into the IPCPR goodie bags for another pioneering cigar review. This one’s brand new from H. Upmann, featuring an Ecuadorian Sungrown wrapper, Connecticut Broadleaf binder and Honduran/Nicaraguan filler. That’s all the info you’ll find on this cigar at the moment. I did a Google search found that I’m the first blogger to review it. That’s a lot of pressure, especially given the fact that cigar smoking is such a subjective experience. Nevertheless, here we go.
The first thing you notice about this new H. Upmann is its colorful and elegant band. The cigar itself is also very easy on the eyes, with minimal veins and perfect construction. The size I smoked was the Short Churchill, a 4½ x 54 that is obviously an attempt to join the Nub-style revolution. In fact, I got this in a sample pack of three handed out that were all this size — the other two were a Trinidad and a new A. Turrent Triple Play which I plan on smoking next.
Back to the smoke. It lit easily and drew well, and there was a nice upfront spiciness on the first few puffs and that trademark H. Upmann woodiness that makes you feel like you’re in a furniture shop. I like earthy, leathery cigars so I was a bit skeptical if this cigar was right for me. While the flavor was definitely dominated by a woody foundation, it was incredibly smooth. It very quickly became rather light on the palate as well, with a nice clean finish that hung around just a bit on the back of the palate.
The body of the cigar tamed down considerably after the first inch, wandering around medium-body territory. The spice also became more subdued but remained present in just the right amount. The rich woodiness gave off very fragrant hints of cedar and sandalwood. The sweetness of the cigar became apparent after a couple of inches, which for this size was about halfway through. The mouth feel became even smoother, and I’d say the middle of this cigar was definitely where it hit its stride.
I was very surprised to find some cocoa notes in the middle — fleeting but detectable. The perfect draw and burn continued into the last half, where the cigar picked up in strength a bit. The rich woodiness was met with a hint of earth, and before you knew it, I was holding a very hot nub. The taste never even came close to getting harsh, but with an inch to go it was hot enough to put down for good.
While this cigar confirmed that my personal tastes lean away from H. Upmann’s signature woodiness, the fact that I enjoyed it so much is testament to the quality of this smoke. For a taste profile that isn’t quite my thing, this cigar was still quite delicious and utterly smooth. If you’re a fan of H. Upmann, you’re definitely not going to want to miss their new Sun Grown line. We are awaiting our shipment of these fine premiums and we’ll let you know when they become available for purchase!