H. Upmann Magnum 46
Size: 5-5/8 x 46
Vitola: Corona Gorda
Box Code: OPA ENE 10
The H. Upmann is a classic Cuban Corona Gorda that started production prior to 1960, and is still in current production. In “An Illustrated Guide to Post-Revolution Havana Cigars”, author Min Ron Nee describes the Magnum 46 as having the “Typical Upmann taste, with subtle pleasant complex flavours of every kind”. He also has the opinion that these need a minimum of 7-8 years of age to begin to reveal their full potential.
The cigar had a nice-looking caramel brown wrapper that was very smooth in appearance. There was a very slight chip above the band, but it would have been very easy to overlook if you weren't looking very closely. The cigar was very well packed, and I didn't find any with hard or soft spots at all.
AROMA: The prelight aroma had some light cedar and cinnamon notes, along with a healthy dose of saltiness and barnyard.
TASTE: The prelight taste reminded me of dried fruit, especially raisins, and there was a pleasant allspice-like component as well. The draw was perfect, with just the right amount of resistance.
Upon lighting, the cigar immediately developed two separate flavor layers. The background had a very understated yet complex smooth creamy character with some leather and tannin-like qualities as well. At the forefront, there was a slight touch of pepper at the tip of my tongue that was very subtle. There was a slight bitter edge to the flavor profile as well - not a bad bitter - more like the bitter flavor one gets from a food product. The retrohale reminded me of green peppercorns.
The ash was a little flaky and a very dark grey on the outside. The core of the ash was very light gray to white in color.
In the second third, the creamy background started to fall away, and at the same time a slight grassiness emerged in the retrohale. The bitterness started to evolve into a mushroom-like earthiness, and the leathery flavors remained. The ash continued to be slightly flaky, and the burn was razor sharp.
The flavor profile from the second third continued and intensified in the final third. The mushroom-like earthiness became a little deeper in character, and an almost moss-like quality just started to make its way into the back of my palate. At the same time, the leathery flavors started to taste more like wet leather. I was able to smoke this cigar down to the last half inch before it stated to heat up to the point where I had to put it down.
Overall, I can't help but think that this cigar was a victim of its own youth. Though the individual flavors were diverse and interesting, they ultimately failed to come together as one unified and evolving flavor profile. I think that another 2-3 years of age would do wonders for the cigar, and I am basing this prediction both on the flavors presented in this sample, and my experience smoking several Magnum 46s with 5-ish years of age on them. These can be quite sublime.
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Edited by MaytagMan, 12 March 2012 - 12:56 AM.