A Morning Full of Little Cigars

Ginseng

Banned
Due to the bizarre and unseasonably warm weather (embedded between 10 inches of snow and a 26F daytime high) I had the opportunity to enjoy a pair of easy smokes out on the porch. These were both recent acquisitions and fresh off the truck. They are also both tubos. For some reason, I'm tubos crazy right now. I am just loving the protective and convenience aspects of these thingies. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)

First up: H. Upmann Singulares
This machine-made Upmann is a small cigar. Of the Coronitas vitola de galera, at 4 5/8" x 40 rg it is closest in size to the Trinidad Reyes (unique to the Reyes vdg, 4 3/8" x 40 rg). It's also close in size to Minutos like the Bolívar Coronas Junior and SCdLH Principe and Perlas like the Cohiba Siglo I and Montecristo No.5. You get the idea, it's a small cigar (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

This particular stick is short filler and machine-made as can be discerned by the conical head topped by a twisted cap. Overall construction appears just on the neat side of rustic. It's no Cohiba, but neither is it "rugged" like Jose L. Piedras. The tube, with its thin cedar liner provides a nice measure of physical protection but I noticed that there is no consistency to the mechanism that might provide an airtight seal. At the open, end some tubes are square, some are flared out and some are flared slightly inward. Not all tubes use a gasketing material in the cap such as cork, cedar or paper as is common in NC tubos. So far, I have not been able to tease out a pattern to what I've found.

Prelight and Initial Stage
Twisting off the cap and tapping out the cigar a bit at a time is a singular pleasure that you get only with tubos. As the diminutive cigar slipped out, its silky, dusky wrapper was revealed in the bright morning sun. The bunch appeared a tad loose and the barrel of the cigar a bit spongy. A distinct feel that is characteristic to sticks containing short filler. The aroma was cedary, woody and tinged with light sweetness. Unfortunately, this stick had a damaged head. A substantial crack was present from the tip of the cap to well below the shoulder where the sides become parallel. This would have been a tragedy in an expensive "a mano" cigar, but in a $3 MM, hey, you roll with the punches.

Light-up was uneventful and from the very first puffs, massive amounts of thick white smoke could be drawn with a deep pull. Initial impressions were of straightforward medium bodied tobacco with a curious sweetness. Though richer and fuller than a Ramone Allones 898 Varnished I recently smoked, the sweetness was very similar to the fresh sugarcane I detected in that cigar. Primary overtones were light and fresh, but not green, wood. There was a distinct lack of harshness, pepperiness or rich earthiness.

Shortly after I started smoking this stick, the split at the head started to get ugly. Apparently the crack extended down through the binder leaves as well and I was starting to lose the ability to pull through the cigar. I found that one rather inelegant solution was to stick the cigar farther into my mouth. In fact, my lips almost touched the top of the band. Now Linda Lovelace I'm not, but as long as there was no one around to give me the funny looks, I figured I was going to do my best to get my $3 worth from this cigar. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/tongue.gif)

Finish and Final Impressions
The cigar did not display much complexity but rather provided good medium-bodied, woody sweet tobacco for much of its length. There were no meaningful transitions to speak of until the final third. At that point, almond and nutty flavors started to present and the smoke started heating up and taking on a bit of wet leather character. Sort of a warm musty aroma that is nicer than the description sounds.

The ash was the darkest gray that I've ever seen in a cigar. It was light and fluffy but dark and also unexpectedly strong holding for 1.5 inches at a time. I'd consider that outstanding for a short filler cigar. Smoke remained plentiful with each easy draw rewarding the smoker with a mouthful of straight up flavor, distinctly Cuban and quite tasty.

In summation:
For the money, the Upmann Singulares is hard to beat and the convenience of the tubos presentation simply adds to the attraction. Though not at all complex, nor deeply flavorful, this modest little stick provides a tasty and easy experience that doesn't demand your full attention to smoke or to enjoy. I had mine on the porch with a cup of freshly brewed coffee and a paper and in this context, the Singulares excels with singular precision.

(IMG:http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h73/Gins...nSingulares.jpg)

Last up: Montecristo Petit Tubos
Some tubos cigars are machine made and some are hand made. The Monte Petit Tubos falls into the latter category. In fact, the PT is essentially a Montecristo No.4 presented in a tube. As such, it is of the Marevas vitola de galera, or factory name, measuring 5 1/8" x 42 rg. This is one of the most popular vitolas and includes such standouts as the Cohiba Siglo II, Punch Royal Selection No.12, Bolívar Petit Coronas and Por Larrañaga Petit Coronas.

Before we get into the review, one point I'd like to make is that some of the cigars in this vitola are called "petit coronas" but that this is part of their vitola de salida or "commercial" or model name. Some formalists take umbrage when a newbie asks for "the best petit corona" while really meaning one of the popular cigars in the totalmente a mano Marevas vitola de galera. In my opinion, this is unwarranted. True, there is a Petit Coronas vitola de galera for machine made Habanos of the exact same dimensions, but when was the last time anyone reported having smoked a Hoyo de Monterrey Souveniers de Luxe or Por Larrañaga Lolas en Cedro?

All "Petit Coronas" are in fact Marevas. Well, except for the uncommon La Flor de Cano PC. But not all the cigars in the Marevas vdg have "Petit Coronas" as their commercial name, vitola de salida or frontmark. So, as far as colloquial usage goes, I automatically interpret inquiries about "petit coronas" to mean the Marevas vdg, while providing a little extra info to help make the distinction clear.

Prelight and Initial Stage
Removing the cigar from the tube revealed a quite unusual wrapper. The color was fine but the leaf appeared completely matte, soft and suede-like with no appearance of glossiness or oils. The texture was supple and compliant suggesting proper moisture level and good quality in general, but I'd never seen a cigar wrapper with such a dull, suede-like appearance. Initial aromas were of cedar (what else? these things are against cedar sleeves in the tubes) and a very light and delicate tobacco aroma.

Light-up was trouble free and soon, the cigar was producing moderate amounts of light-medium bodied, clean but not drying smoke. In fact, it was reasonably creamy in mouth feel. The flavors were of light tobacco with a faint tanginess. There was also a delicate, toasty bread type of overtone. The draw was dead on medium. This certainly seemed lighter than I had expected. The ash was medium to dark gray and held for 2 inches.

Finish and Final Impressions
The cigar got marginally stronger and slightly more full, but did not develop much. Tobacco became more pronounced and that clean, clear flavor style remained. Double pulling unearthed a bit more tanginess and spicy assertiveness but at the cost of some harshness. The aftertaste was pleasant with a slightly tangy character.

In summation:
Overall, I expected more from the classic Monte No.4. It is said that storage in tubes retards development and this might well be the case. Whether this cigar was genuinely "sick" or still substantially muted because of its youth, I don' t have the experience to say. It turned out to be a cigar that kept making me want more. More tobacco, more creaminess, more tang. In the end, while not a bad cigar, it was far from compelling.

(IMG:http://i61.photobucket.com/albums/h73/Gins...ePetitTubos.jpg)

Wilkey
 

jstrat

New Member
Wilkey, while the Monte #4 and Petit Tubos are essentialy the same cigar, I've always had better luck with the #4. I think, as you pointed out, that the tube makes a difference. But hey, where is the snack??

Anyway, nice review! :D
 

Wurm

Bratwurst and Beer
jstrat said:
But hey, where is the snack??


[snapback]289697[/snapback]​
I think his wife put him on a diet... since starting to post reviews here hes gained about 10 pounds :p

Nice review Wilkey.
 

Wurm

Bratwurst and Beer
EzTheFix said:
Nice review... I'll be heading to my cigar shop a bit later; I might pick up a couple of these. :cool:
[snapback]289739[/snapback]​
Where do you live again? :p

If your in the US of A I don't think you'll be picking any of the cigars Wilkey reviewed up at your B&M.
 

Ginseng

Banned
Wurm said:
I think his wife put him on a diet... since starting to post reviews here hes gained about 10 pounds :p
[snapback]289736[/snapback]​
Well,

I've gained 6 pounds and I've been trying to avoid extra snacks. :p It doesn't help that the wife and I have wine, cheese and bread each night while watching the olympics. :whistling:

Wilkey
 

EzTheFix

New Member
If your in the US of A I don't think you'll be picking any of the cigars Wilkey reviewed up at your B&M.
hehehe... well i'm in France... I spent over 90 euros today. I looked for the petit tubos, but they weren't there. So, got a couple of Cohiba siglo III's, a couple of Tirinidad Robutos, some Punch Punch, a couple of RASS's and two Partagas Serie P's. I also got a Flor de Copan torpedo from Nicaragua to try out.
 

Sunward

another brother
very nice review Wilkey. i picked up one at the local shop of HUp Coronas minor (mm)tube, and enjoyed it. It had some age however. It inspired me to buy a box of Coronas major (hm), very reasonable for the price, and very nice cgar. :thumbs:
 

Wurm

Bratwurst and Beer
EzTheFix said:
If your in the US of A I don't think you'll be picking any of the cigars Wilkey reviewed up at your B&M.
hehehe... well I'm in France... I spent over 90 euros today. I looked for the petite tubos, but they weren't there. So, got a couple of Cohiba siglo III's, a couple of Tirinidad Robutos, some Punch Punch, a couple of RASS's and two Partagas Serie P's. I also got a Flor de Copan torpedo from Nicaragua to try out.
[snapback]289852[/snapback]​

LOL alright then :thumbs: , I was at the B&M today and ended dropping about 40 bucks for 2 cigars. Pretty sure the brothers who are getting them are going to like them though :)
 
Top