Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan
Size: 5.5 x 44 Corona
I must state it right here and now. Blenders! Please. Make something beside a Nicaraguan puro. Every review is cocoa, creaminess, nuttiness, earthiness and spiciness. The 5 basic food groups of a Nicaraguan cigar.
I had a La Flor Dominicana Air Bender last night and it was a nice change.
OK. Enough of an old man’s rants.
The name H. Upmann is an ancient and classic name in the cigar industry. This cigar has its origins Way back in 1844, founder, Herman Upmann, opened his first cigar factory in Cuba. The company went belly-up in 1922 and the name, and manufacturing, was eventually acquired by Menendez y Garcia Co. – the outfit that made Montecristo.
La Revolución led to the nationalization of Cuban cigar companies, including H. Upmann. As a result of going broke, Menendez and Garcia moved the brand to the Canary Islands, and then to the Dominican Republic. The brand would eventually come under the ownership of Altadis. And children, the end result is why there is a Cuban H.Upmann and a Dominican H.Upmann.
An Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper marks the first time this tobacco has been used as a wrapper on an H. Upmann cigar. All of the tobaccos, in this cigar, are from a vintage 2008 crop. Of course, we don’t know how long ago those leaves were used in production and how long they lay in cellophane in boxes, aging some more.
Construction of the cigar looks like it fell head first from the ugly tree. The wrapper has a nice medium brown hue. It is slightly oily and a bit of tooth. Now the veins….Some look like Frankenstein’s Monster’s stitch marks. The cigar is as solid as a rock. No soft spots.
I do the sniff, sniff around and detect an interesting sweetness that I cannot identify.
I V cut the end gently and light up. The lower band slides off easily.
I have some trouble lighting it up as the stick is so dense. But it’s done and while it is not a smoke parade, it does exude enough smoke from the foot to be bona fide.
Immediately, I touch up the foot with my lighter. Smoke now pours from the end.
I get a huge Garcia Pepper Blast…that almost knocks me over. I tried the cigar the day after I got the box and it was super blah. It’s been about 10 days and the small size has allowed the blender to get his punches in. The char line is perfect now.
And quickly after that, cocoa. I can taste and smell some floral components that make this alluring.
The stick starts out at medium bodied. No fooling around. This is a cigar that was designed for the discriminating palate and the experienced cigar smoker.
The red pepper continues to ramp up in a slow continuous motion. The sweetness I couldn’t identify is some caramel. With a touch of dried fruit, like raisins.
The stick burns very slowly. I foresee me Corona taking me a good hour. The other two sizes probably fill up an evening. Robusto 5 x 54, and Toro 6 x 52.
The cigar definitely needs more time in my humidor. A few more weeks at the minimum. Even longer is better. I am getting the flavors the blender intended; but not the finesse or complexity.
As I leave the first third, creaminess shows up and makes it a party. Soon after that, I can taste a mild coffee latte. The ash takes a dump at the 1” mark. But the char line is dead nuts. I read a few other reviews and they do what I do. They get the cigars, wait a couple days, and start writing. But they are smoking the toros. No way a cigar that big is going to divulge its blender’s secrets so they are missing shit.
This little corona is a flavor factory. Even at less than two weeks in my humidor. Speaking of which, I wish Altadis would be more open about who is blending what. They use that huge umbrella like the Cone of Silence.
The second half is pretty damn good. No new flavors; it’s burning on the aforementioned ones. But they are damn fine flavors. Not much complexity at this stage. Time, Time, Time.
“Time is on my side, yes it is
Time is on my side, yes it is
Now you always say
That you want to be free
But you’ll come running back (said you would baby)
You’ll come running back (I said so many times before)
You’ll come running back to me.”
It was time for some rock n roll. And a description of what this cigar needs.
The last third continues on its highway of singular flavors. The strength is most definitely full bodied.
The body really ramps up. And of course, I have nothing in my gut. So I grab a couple Atkins Shakes. It helped a bit.
The last bits of the cigar were in flavor overload. Still not complex but downright delicious.
At this price point, there is no reason not to snag a box or a 5 pack at Atlantic Cigar.
And now for something completely different:
The hard core punk band was rehearsing at my studio. We had a detached building where we rented out a room with a P.A. and time. About $12 an hour.
This band liked to record straight to two tracks. No mixing, no producing. And songs that lasted 20 seconds. They drew a big crowd of their fans. And it became a sea of tri colored spike hair dos.
I was scared shitless of them because they were tweakers. They always insisted on recording on Sunday mornings around 9am. Because they were up all night, so they were really belligerent.
I always carried a .38 pistol in my waist band.
This one night they rehearsed in the other building they advertised it as a huge party. They didn’t tell us that.
We had a lovely lounge and a big room for playing. The place filled up with weirdos quickly. There must have been close to a hundred of them. They drank heavily while the band played; and while the band trashed our studio. So the idiot followers started trashing the lounge. People puked on the couches. They peed on the walls, inside and out.
Enough. I call 911. Told them what was going on and in 2 minutes flat, at least 8 cruisers came to our rescue driving like it was an action film. Their cars splayed everywhere in the street, blocking it. There were some really big cops and I stood next to one with the dog the whole time. I was very clean cut back then. No long hair, no tattoos covering my body, etc.
They rousted everyone and threw them on the floor. The ones that escaped through the front and back doors were met with loads of cops throwing them to the ground. So many people, that a paddy wagon was called in to pack them in.
The place was a disaster and the band leader, while in hand cuffs, screamed at me he wanted a refund. All the cops laughed, even the dog, I think. I never told the cops I had a piece hidden in my jeans.
A week later, the band showed up to book recording time. I slammed the door in their faces while pointing a gun at them and told them never to come back. Even through the thick haze of drugs, a gun was something they understood.
And there my partner and I stood that night wondering how the hell were we going to clean this up?
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS