Top 5 H. Upmann Cigars for New Smokers
Our previous series of guides for new cigar smokers have focussed on two brands which bring a fair amount of strength to the table with their vitolas, but the next brand we’ll be covering dials the strength back a fair bit down to the light-to-medium end of the spectrum and is one of our favourite brands to enjoy in our own time.
So without further ado, we’d love to introduce you to five tremendous vitolas to kickstart your journey into the wonderful world of H. Upmann cigars!
H. Upmann Half Corona
Only two Half Corona vitolas remaining in production across the Habanos portfolio in the current era, the H. Upmann Half Corona makes for a fantastic jumping on point for the brand. Championed by smokers at all levels of experience in cigar smoking, the H. Upmann Half Corona is a tremendous stick which manages to stuff a staggering amount of flavour and complexity into a diminutive package, bringing a creamy smoke to the fore brimming over with coffee, earthiness, light and tangy cedar wood spice and a tantalising hint of salinity. A huge part of what has made the H. Upmann Half Corona an enduring favourite over the years however; is their ubiquitous availability, very reasonable pricing and their overall accessibility taking most smokers on average between 15-25 minutes to smoke, making them a fantastic option for herfing while time is of the essence, i.e. as an accompaniment to a coffee break, walking the dog or during the colder months.
H. Upmann Coronas J
A delightful alternative to the Half Corona in terms of smaller vitolas, the Coronas J is slightly longer and thinner than its compact counterpart, bringing all the same aromas and flavours but with a slightly toasty finish thanks to its more slender ring gauge. The only downside to the Coronas J is its sporadic availability over the last couple of years, with batches of stock appearing once in a blue moon and being snapped up by eagle-eyed enthusiasts in quick succession. This particular vitola was formerly known as the Petit Upmann and has the historic distinction of being the cigar that John F. Kennedy had an aide procure a gross of before signing in the embargo against Cuba in the 1960’s, and we reckon if it’s good enough for JFK, then it’s good enough for you!
H. Upmann Magnum 46
Taking a step up into the larger sizes found in H. Upmann’s roster of tremendous stogies we now find ourselves looking at the Magnum 46, a sensational Coronas Gordas size vitola which has been a staple of the brand’s offerings since prior to the Cuban revolution. Though it has often historically found itself overshadowed by several of its Coronas Gordas contemporaries such as the Punch Punch, Hoyo De Monterrey Epicure No. 1 and Cohiba Siglo IV, the Magnum 46 has always been a diamond in the rough amongst H. Upmann’s roster of vitolas, bringing slightly sweeter flavours than would ordinarily be found in the brand’s mainstays, with notes of sweet cedar, creamy smooth cappuccino, nuts, dried fruit, almond and black pepper developing throughout the smoking experience and hints of gingerbread, toffee and brown sugar making brief appearances early on.
Throughout the years, there had been numerous rumours circulated that the Magnum 46, formerly the only cigar in the brand’s product range to feature the “Magnum” appellation, but as history has gone on to demonstrate: you can’t keep a good stick down! Before long it found itself with more stablemates, the first of all being the next cigar which we’ll be covering, a cigar which I would count in my own personal top three favourites of all time.
H.Upmann Magnum 50
Taking a step into a much chunkier realm of vitolas, we now move on to the H. Upmann Magnum 50. First revealed to the world as an Edicion Limitada release in 2005 dressed with a slick, oily Maduro wrapper. The Magnum 50 was an entirely new vitola at the time of its release and has since only been utilised for Regional Edition releases and one other Edicion Limitada cigar. Proving to be an enduring favourite with smokers in its original incarnation, the Magnum 50 was subsequently re-released as a standard production stick for the H. Upmann range in 2008 to much adulation from smokers worldwide thanks to it bearing a considerably girthier ring gauge than could be found across the vast majority of the brand’s other offerings, yet it still manages to deliver a tremendously well balanced, aromatic smoking experience. Resplendent with woody notes, creamy coffee, hints of zesty citrus, nuts and vanilla, the H. Upmann Magnum 50 is always a fantastic choice for those looking to sample something heftier from the brand!
H. Upmann Connoisseur No. 2
The newest addition to both the H. Upmann brand and their Connoisseur range, the Connoisseur No. 2 is another unique vitola introduced to the Habanos portfolio by the brand known in the factories of Cuba as a “Bohemios,” and the first cigar produced in Cuba to feature a 51 ring gauge!
One of the most interesting aspects of the H. Upmann Connoisseur No. 2 however, is the incredibly well balanced and poised delivery of flavour despite its youth. Where most Cuban cigars require a good deal of ageing to fully bloom into their full potential, the H. Upmann Connoisseur No. 2 is already a very smokeable vitola, brimming over with all of the woody, creamy, nutty and lightly earthy flavours one would expect to find in a H. Upmann cigar. It will be very interesting to document how this particular stick develops over the next few years as it reaches its peak smoking age, but we would highly recommend trying one out for yourself now as we’re sure you won’t be disappointed!