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23
Jun

Origin : CubaH. Upmann
Format : Half Corona
Size : 3 1/2″ (90 mm) X 44
Hand-Made
Hand-Made : Light to Medium
Price : ~$6 each
More info about purchasing H. Upmann cigars…

H. Upmann cigars are classified by Habanos S.A. as light to medium strength and as a global brand in their portfolio.
The brand was first introduced in 1844.

Draw : 4.5 out of 6 stars
Burn : 3.5 out of 6 stars
Flavour : 3 out of 6 stars
Aroma : 3.5 out of 6 stars
Strength : 3 out of 6 stars

Overall : 3.5 out of 6 stars

As you may have seen on our Instagram account, we have bought a lovely box of H Upmann Half Corona. The Box is from 2016 and since we are all running around with very little time, the half Corona was chosen for our 20minutes break.

Tasting

1st Part
The H. Upmann half corona develops from the very beginning a soft blend. The strength is light at this stage. A slight bitterness stays on the palate. What really surprised me was this very fresh and cool smoke for such a short cigar. I was expecting more heat from that format.
Not too long to wait until the blend develops its typical sweetness and creaminess. The acidity is very low, therefore it is has short lasting flavour profile.

2nd Part
I am not so sure if such a short cigar can really be divided in 3 parts. the flavours remain easy. The draw and construction are good, developing a nice solid ash.
I enjoy more the aroma than the flavours sometimes and the H Upmann half corona is one of these cigars. The aroma is incredibly sweet and smooth.
There is not much development, only the bitterness level going down and hints of roasted coffee beans take slowly over the creaminess.

3rd Part
The intensity gets higher and the smoke richer. A lovely touch of cashew is taking the main flavour element. Still a short finish but no more bitterness at all.
The burn is impeccable and the aroma remains very sweet and gentle.

Overall Rating
If you are looking for a first full filler account or a 20minute morning smoke to go with your coffee the H Upmann Half corona is always a safe choice.
I also took a box with me a year ago to a wedding as it allows people to celebrate without feeling unwell and be unsociable by being outside in the smoking area for 1h30. It was a great wedding cigar knowing very few people were aficionados.

You might be interested in these articles too:

Cigar Review – H. Upmann Half Corona

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22
Jun

El SeptimoOrigin : Costa Rica
Size : 130 x 60
Hand-Made : 10 Years old tobacco
Price : ~$50
More info about purchasing El Septimo cigars…

Draw : 5 out of 6 stars
Burn : 4.5 out of 6 stars
Flavour : 5 out of 6 stars
Aroma : 4.5 out of 6 stars
Strength : 3.5 out of 6 stars

Overall : 4.5 out of 6 stars

Note from the Inspector

I have discovered El Septimo, Costa Rican Cigars, recently. This luxury brand impressed me with its high quality of tobacco. I have previously reviewed the Black Exception (click here to see the review) but thought I had to send some to other reviewers to have their feedbacks. Luca is a full time sommelier and has worked in many fine dining restaurant. He was the first one to get back to me with his review.
Happy Smokes,

Appearance

This is definitely a good looking cigar. Simply by looking at the wrapper you can understand the high quality leaves used to roll that stick.The colours is maduro. The cigar feel very good in my hand. It is extremely silky, oily with a nice moisture. Who said “size doesn’t matter! This is a cigar that makes you feel good just by holding it. The wrapper close the foot with a pigtail so we cannot appreciate the construction before cutting the cigar. However it feel firm all the way.

Tasting

1st Part

Due to the length of the cigar and the size of it, the very first puffs develop a high density of smoke but very fresh and cool. The spicy feeling, due to the wrapper burning at the beginning (the foot is closed), is very soft and gentle. The cigar surprisingly very elegant. Its look and feel would give you a sense of strength and power but it is the complete opposite.
The 10 years old leaves are an explosion of flavours yet fresh with a nice acidity balanced with a pleasant vegetal bitterness.
And this blue smoke is almost unreal!!

2nd Part

At this stage the cigar is very consistent, revealing beautiful flavours of hay and cocoa beans, nice touch of spices, such as white pepper. The flavours lingers on the palate due to the nice acidity allowing a cashew nuts finish. The cigar is light to medium and slowly develops a very nice creaminess. The balance between acidity and bitterness allow a complex spectrum of flavours to linger without overwhelming the palate. This is a cigar you can light in the morning and enjoy it all day long.

3rd Part

The final third is where the cigar is at its pick of strength (nothing crazy, still soft). The acidity and also the bitterness increase as the smoke hits the palate at a higher temperature. As I get closer to the end the draw opens up a bit more. The cigar slowly increases in intensity, delivering an elegant combination of cereals, chocolate and roasted coffee flavour and spices.

You might be interested in these articles too:

Cigar Review – El Septimo Exception White

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17
Jun

Origin : CubaH. Upmann
Format : Hermosos No.4
Size : 127 x 19.05 mm (5 x 48)
Hand-Made
Price : ~$12 each
More info about purchasing H. Upmann cigars…

H. Upmann cigars are classified by Habanos S.A. as light to medium strength and as a global brand in their portfolio.
The brand was first introduced in 1844.

Draw : 3.5 out of 6 stars
Burn : 3.5 out of 6 stars
Flavour : 4 out of 6 stars
Aroma : 5 out of 6 stars
Strength : 4 out of 6 stars

Overall : 4 out of 6 stars

Appearance : 5 out of 6 stars
The H Upmann Connoisseur No.1 is a beautiful looking cigar. Medium Colorado shade. Vey oily and silky with a great freshly cut wood aroma.
On the feeling you could guess the cigar was in a very humid humidor as it is packed of tobacco but very easy to press.

Tasting

1st Part
I have always liked H Upmann blends. They age fantastically well and as soon as the bitterness from a freshly rolled cigar is gone it can be pure magic.
The draw requires a bit a effort but the very first puff expresses the creaminess I was expecting. The cigar is light to medium and towards the end of that first part the creamy structure builds up very nicely. However a slight bitterness stays on the palate but it is a short finish so nothing to really bother.

2nd Part
The acidity level is very low therefore the cigar is short on the palate but what a great flavour expression. The white chocolate taste is really striking me. The cigar requires to be relit few times as the burn isn’t very easy due to the high humidity concentration.A good friend of mine always removes his cigars from his humidor few hours before he enjoys them… Maybe it would have helped in this case…

3rd Part
I always like great complexity in cigars and love the development of them. The Connoisseur No.1 is, however, very constant and doesn’t have much changes. Luckily the flavour profile is great. This makes it a very easy cigar to enjoy with rich flavours and aromas.
Towards the end the cigar can overheat and block the expression. When burning slowly, I could fully appreciate that creamy texture and sweet flavours until the very end.

Overall Rating
I was looking for a pre lunch cigar in my humidor and the choice wasn’t easy. I am extremely happy to have chosen this particular cigar. The draw was slightly tight and the burn not perfect but the flavours and aromas were present. Great aperitif cigar!

You might be interested in these articles too:

Cigar Review – H Upmann Connoisseur No.1

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14
Jun

Origin : CubaVegas Robaina
Format : Gordito
Size : 141 x 50
Ring : 50
Hand-Made
Price : ~$25 each
More info about purchasing Vegas Robaina cigars…

Vegas Robaina was created and first introduced on the market in 1997.
The Robaina family is settled in one of the best plantation of the country, Cuchillas de Barbacoa (San Luis – Vuelta Abajo). The family history begun in 1845, as printed on every single band of the brand. Their reputation for producing the best wrapper leaves is mainly due to Don Alejandro Robaina. He was considered as the best producer until he tragically passed away in 2010.
The Vegas Robaina Maestro is the first regional edition to be made for the Spanish market. I have purchased it from Sautters shop in London. It is also the first regional edition made with a Vegas Robaina’s blend.
Released in 2007, only 2000 boxes of 10 were produced at the time.

Draw : 5 out of 6 stars
Burn : 5.5 out of 6 stars
Flavour : 4.5 out of 6 stars
Aroma : 4.5 out of 6 stars
Strength : 2.5 out of 6 stars

Overall : 4.4 out of 6 stars (4.4)

Appearance
The wrapper is colorado claro, slightly oily on the touch and with a pleasant appearance all along.
Release a sweet tobacco smell but with no particular intensity.

Tasting

1st Third

As I cut the cigar and light it, I can directly enjoy a very easy draw. This type of draw can either be from being perfectly rolled but sometimes because the cigar is undefiled. So far it seems fine and the cigar has a good consistency at the touch. Some small parts are slightly softer than others, but nothing to worry about.
The cigar develops a light to medium strength thick smoke. The combustion is regular during this first part. Nothing unusual is striking me. The ash is solid and looks very pretty. Let’s not forget this cigar was release 10 years ago. This can explain why the strength is lighter than the brand’s classification.
The maestro develops nice grassy and slight woody notes. The acidity level is rather high and the flavours are very sharp in the palate. This gives a fresh feeling.
However towards the end a slight crack appears on the wrapper. This did not affect the combustion.


2nd Third

The second third really brings a different experience. The cigar develops a nice texture with hints of creaminess. The flavours are easier to distinct and stay longer on the palate leaving a nice smooth and long finish.
The taste turns to some pepper notes with a slight spiciness that brings back intensity in the palate.
The draw and construction remain the same. There are no issues regarding the burn and not even the small crack is affecting the smoke.
The strength does not increase and remains light to medium, surprisingly. Once again I believe this is due to the age of the cigar.

3rd Third

The flavours of the last part are so round and mellow. The cigar is so smooth and flavourful!
The cigar is still firm and well rolled, a sign of quality.
The wrapper is good again as the combustion passed the crack.
The intensity increased and bring a warm feeling on the palate.
Some sweet aromas appeared at the very end of the smoke: caramel, marshmallow or even toasty praline.
Well balanced, the last third is the ultimate Robaina experience with rich woody flavors and strength.

You might be interested in these articles too:

Cigar Review – Vegas Robaina Maestro RE España 2007

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13
Jun

Origin : CubaQuintero cigars
Format : Concha No.2
Size : 4.5 (115mm) x 50
Handmade – Short Filler Tobacco
Price : ~$6.00
More info about purchasing Quintero cigars…

Draw : 5 out of 6 stars
Burn : 5 out of 6 stars
Flavours : 3 out of 6 stars
Aromas : 3.5 out of 6 stars
Strength : 3 out of 6 stars

Overall Quality : 3.9 out of 6 stars (3.9)

Appearance : 4 out of 6 stars
The Quinteros Favoritos, wears a perfectly oily and silky wrapper. Its colour is very attractive and pleasant. I really like the format. Very similar to a petit robusto, which blended well, delivers flavours rapidly and form a high density of smoke! Looking at the foot and feeling the cigar can give you a good indication of the construction. From the visual perspective it looks perfectly rolled.
The band is the classic Quinteros red one, available on the whole range.I do not fancy the band much and think it could be slightly nicer. The band gives an old and outdated impression.

Flavor : 3 out of 6 stars

1st part
As I lit the cigar, my impression of a perfectly Rolled cigar was confirmed. Straight away, a big density of smoke comes out. The start is quite punchy and spicy. I was not expected such a powerful start. This was very enjoyable but can surprise some people. I don’t mind strong cigars when the flavours are here. Luckily I had both during the start.
The draw is great, smooth and easy revealing the great cigar construction.
A surprising sweetness takes over the palate as the man flavour element. Not the typical Cuban cigar sweetness. A caramel candy type of sweet. Last time I experienced it was in the Trinidad Topes. Towards the end of the 1st part, the cigar becomes lighter to give a long medium finish on the palate.

2nd Part
The flavours remain consistent from the end of the 1st part. The spiciness and strength from the beginning are completely gone. The Favoritos is getting lighter and the flavours are rounding up with a nice heat in the palate. There are nothing aggressive but there are not much complexity or excitement neither.
The sweetness is very present and give you a finish reminding of dried coconut.
The ash is beautiful, solid and light grey.

3rd Part
As expected for a short filler cigar the development isn’t present. Therefore the enjoyable sweetness, with a hint of coconut and slight woodiness remain present and constant. The cigar doesn’t over heat event until the very end. The finish is very light.
Throughout the cigar, the construction was great. The burn was very consistant and even, allowing the smoke to correctly express itself.

Overall Quality : 3.9 out of 6 stars (3.9)
When talking about value for money I believe the Quinteros Favoritos is almost unbeatable.
I enjoyed this cigar, Very easy to smoke, doesn’t require any smoking skills. The burn was perfect all the way and the flavours very easy to understand and appreciate. Of course nothing to do with a complex cigar that has important changes between the 3 parts. The Favoritos remains constant and linear throughout the smoke. It is is a great cigar for a first approach of Cubans, without spending much.

You might be interested in these articles too:

Cigar Review – Quinteros Favoritos

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