How To Choose The Right H. Upmann Cigar
As a critically acclaimed Cuban cigar brand with history stretching all the way back to 1844 there’s never been a shortage of tremendous vitolas to be found in the prestigious H. Upmann portfolio, which can make choosing the right stogie for maximising your herfing enjoyment a minefield of trial and error as a newcomer to the brand’s trademark light-to-medium strength offerings.
As with previous “How To Choose” entries in our guides for new cigar smokers, we’re going to break these down into a couple of categories and take a gander at a handful of superb sticks well worth trying, with the categories once again as follows:
Hopefully by narrowing down the options into these two camps, we can guide you in a direction which nets you the right stick for the right occasion right off the bat!
As we’ve discussed before, thinner vitolas are always a top-notch option for afternoon herfing and an excellent choice for an after-dinner smoke; as a longer, slender stick will provide an elegant, more aromatic smoking experience for casual, relaxed occasions where a hefty ring gauge vitola would potentially run the risk of being ghoulish overkill.
As luck would have it however, H. Upmann have a tremendous wealth of these vitolas at their disposal, starting with:
H. Upmann Coronas Major
A time honoured classic and a mainstay of H. Upmann’s production since 1937, the Coronas Major is an excellent mid sized cigar booming with flavour without being too overpowering, making it an ideal vitola for taking your first steps with the brand. Known in the factories of Cuba as an ‘Eminentes,’ the Coronas Major shares this vitola with only one other Cuban cigar in production today: the tremendous Partagas Petit Coronas Especiales. However, the Coronas Major holds a distinctive advantage over its much stronger compatriot in that it comes packaged as standard in a cedar lined aluminium tube, allowing it to stay fresher for longer outwith a humidor and making it fantastically easy to transport without fear of damaging the wrapper leaf.
H. Upmann Majestic
Another fantastic Corona offshoot vitola, this iteration known in the factories of Cuba as a ‘Crema’ and currently shared only with the Romeo y Julieta Tubos No. 1, the H. Upmann Majestic is a sensationally elegant and well balanced stick brimming over with notes of sweet cedar wood, creamy coffee, nuts, dried fruit, almond and black pepper whilst also keeping the strength firmly reined in to the light-to-medium level, this combined with the excellent price point which it commands makes the Majestic an excellent option for new smokers looking to try something new, something a little leftfield from their usual preferences or perhaps even just something with a little more refinement and sophistication than the slew of heavy ring gauge offerings flooding the market in the modern era.
H. Upmann Regalias
Until its original discontinuation in 2002, the H. Upmann Regalias was a machine-made cigar not for sale in the UK. However in 2020, the vitola was resurrected by Habanos S.A. to form part of a quartet of similarly sized cigars released in tins reminiscent of 1970’s packaging known as “Linea Retro.” All four of these sticks were produced in the ever-popular Mareva format (see also: Montecristo No. 4, Punch Coronations, Romeo y Julieta No. 2, et al), historically one of the most popular cigar sizes due to its convenient smoking time and unobstructive intensity. Unlike the other options we’ll be listing in this article, the H. Upmann Regalias is something of an anomaly compared to the rest of the brand’s offerings, bringing a slightly higher level of strength and boldness of flavour than its compatriots, however this could very well be caused by its relative youth and the cigar may mellow and refine with a couple years of ageing.
Though they’ve been a little slower on the uptake than some of the other Cuban brands, H. Upmann is now home to a fine selection of heavier ring gauge offerings, notably in their Magnum and Connoisseur ranges, a couple of which we’ll be discussing in the next section of this guide!
H. Upmann Magnum 54
Released in 2017, H. Upmann’s Magnum 54 is the most recent addition to the brand’s “Magnum” range, and whilst being the shortest offering of the trio of vitolas in this range it does boast the girthiest ring gauge of the three and at the time of its release immediately became the chunkiest cigar produced in the brand’s standard production. To date, the eponymous 54 ring gauge of the Magnum 54 has only been matched in the brand by the H. Upmann Connoisseur B, but not surpassed.
Bringing all the characteristic H. Upmann flavours covered earlier in the guide, the Magnum 54 is a tremendous way to lose yourself for an hour, immersed in a sensational smoking experience that’s hard to match!
H. Upmann No. 2
As a Piramides (torpedo) cigar, the H. Upmann No. 2 is often sadly overshadowed by its more widely known peers such as the Montecristo No. 2 and Partagas Serie P No. 2, but thankfully is starting to receive the critical acclaim which it deserves, stepping out from the bounds of cult adoration to winning Cigar Aficionado’s Cigar of the Year for 2022!
Though dismissed by some as being too mild for the format, the H. Upmann No. 2 wins over many smokers with its fantastically aromatic character and notes of exotic spices, leather, wood and hints of grilled peanuts, demonstrating in stupendous style that a cigar doesn’t have to be blended for overpowering strength to deliver big on flavour and complexity, a reason why we find ourselves returning to H. Upmann stogies time after time throughout the years.
H. Upmann Connoisseur B
Featuring the largest overall dimensions of any cigar currently produced by the brand, the H. Upmann Connoisseur B is a veritable beast of a stick. Released mid-2018 as an exclusive for La Casa Del Habano and Havana Specialist retailers, this gentle giant has been thoroughly impressing smokers for a good few years now, and as the vitola approaches peak maturity is sure to impress even further.
Impeccably presented and masterfully constructed, it’s not too far outwith the realms of sensibility to suggest that in the modern era the Connoisseur B represents the current apex of what the H. Upmann brand can offer to smokers today, rewarding those not too intimidated by its considerable size with a truly incredible smoking experience that extends to well over an hour. For a good long herf on a balmy afternoon, the H. Upmann Connoisseur B is exactly the stick we’d recommend!
There are a multitude of excellent H. Upmann vitolas available, but we hope that with these recommendations you’ll be able to select the right stick for you and maximise your smoking experience in the right way.
As always, thanks for reading!