Don’t have any pictures for this cigar, unfortunately. Was lost in the transfer from the old webhost.

Herman Upmann, a member of a well-to-do German banking family, loved cigars. He loved them so much, in fact, he decided to leave the relative safety and comfort of late 19th century Europe for the swashbuckling shores of Cuba to open his own cigar company. In 1844, he made an investment in a Havana cigar factory and created one of the most famous brand names in Cuban cigar history: H. Upmann. Read this for a full history on the beginnings and evolution of this world-class brand.

A few days ago, i bought a H Upmann Coronas Major (“HUCM”) from Hemingway’s for a relatively modest RM28 – it came with a good recommendation for a light-bodied smoke. A perfect after dinner companion to bring out the full flavours of a meal? Let’s find out.

Unlighted, the HUCM smells sweet (almost in a cocoa-sugary manner) and very fresh. Running its length beneath my nose, i inhaled deeply and was mesmerized by the light tobacco. Its a Cuban alright, but the lightness was a bit uncharacteristic of most Cubans that tend to smell quite strong and rich. I paid particular attention to the scent of the filler from the open end of the cigar. There were very strong hints of dark cocoa in there – definite, yet not overpowering.

It lighted easily enough and by rotating the cigar in my fingers as the torch lit it, i got quite a good, even first burn. A couple of quick double draws later, and the cigar was lit.

After the first few draws, i found myself taking large, volumnious draws – the taste is so mild that only longs draws managed to “pull” out the rich flavours the H Upmann brand promises. While long draws made the cigar burn faster than say, a very tasteful Montecristo Petit Tubos, i can’t say i was disappointed with the taste experience. The flavour of the cigar is actually quite clever – while i thought the scent of the cigar was most certainly cocoa in nature, its actual taste consisted of a light woody sensation. The HUCM has lived up to its reputation – a light, delightful, uncomplicated smoke. The aftertaste is equally mild; just a few hours after my final draw, all that’s left of the aftertaste is a pleasant memory. Unlike the Monte Petit Tubos, the aftertaste of the HUCM won’t survive the assault of toothpaste and a cup of juice.

If there is a complaint against this otherwise good cigar, it would have to be in its build quality. Towards the middle of the cigar, i became slightly frustrated at the number of times i had to relight it – the burn was erratic and uneven, even after a careful lighting process that ensured a consistently spread lighting pattern. This detracted from the experience somewhat, but not terribly so.

Summary:

Smell: Very light, dark cocoa – almost sugary in its initial approach

Taste: Very mild, befitting its tag as a “Light” cigar. Woody composition. Short-lasting aftertaste, which fades away very quickly.

Verdict: For those who’re looking for an easy, uncomplicated cigar to enjoy after a good dinner that is relatively easy on the wallet, the HUCM is for you. Not difficult to enjoy, but frequent relighting can be a chore at times. Marrying the HUCM with a full bodied Cohibas might produce interesting results.