H. Upmann – Reserve Maduro
A few myths about cigars
After surfing Bullz-Eye.com one day, I did a little surfing of the Web to check into a couple of other Web sites. I came across an article that was soliciting input from cigar smokers regarding some of the more popular myths associated with cigars. There were certainly too many for me to list, but I thought I would peruse them and pick out a few to share with the Bulls-Eye faithful -- the ones with which I could strongly agree. I considered my top four myths and I offer them below. (There will not be a quiz.)
Myth #1: Cubans are much better than other cigars.
Not always the case! I have discussed this in detail through this blog in the past. Cuba is the origin of the truly fine, handcrafted cigar trade and it is no surprise that some of their products are nothing short of excellent. But today Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic have significantly closed the gap. Depending on your flavor and strength preferences, they can be judged to be even better at times. Factor in the exorbitant price of Cuban cigars, the large number of cheap counterfeit Cubans on the market, and the fact that they are illegal to own or smoke, and I believe the cigar smoker can survive without them. (Unless you have a trusted source, and the means to enjoy them).
Myth #2: The higher the price, the better the cigar.
You are only cheating yourself if you buy into this myth.
Myth #3: Darker cigars are stronger, more powerful smokes.
This is somewhat true. There is some correlation between color and flavor strength, but it is not a rule by any means. Rely on your tobacconist or trusted reviews for guidance.
Myth #4: The storage rule of 70/70 (70 degrees Fahrenheit and 70 percent humidity) is too high.
Dial it down to 65/65. The setting of 70/70 can lead to over-humidification and mold, and potentially cigar beetle parasites. At or under 60/60 and you risk a dry, more acidic cigar that can create a harsh flavor, due to an overheated burn. It is a matter of personal preference, so experiment.
Consider the above and expand your cigar horizon, while we get smokin’!
H. Upmann – Reserve Maduro
Size: Robusto (5 inches long, 52 Ring Gauge)
Price: Likely to be priced at or around $6.50
Again, I am proud to bring you one of the first reviews on a brand new cigar hitting the market, H. Upmann’s Reserve Maduro. H. Upmann is another venerable brand from Altadis, the maker of Romeo y Julieta (RyJ), Macanudo and others. H. Upmann, like Romeo y Julieta, is a name originally associated with a Cuban cigar company and brand. In this case, I am referring to the non-Cuban smoke, and the Reserve Maduro is the latest release of Altadis’ H. Upmann line.
- Wrapper: Mexico
- Binder: Honduras
- Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua
This is a brand new cigar that has yet to be fully distributed in the market, so they may be hard to find. The cigar was given to me, along with all others present, at its introduction into the market. This was done with much fanfare in conjunction with a live broadcast of the Cigar Dave radio show in early June in Charlotte, N.C. (For those of you who don’t know me, I rarely pass up anything free, especially a cigar.) For those of you who don’t know Cigar Dave, check out his Web site (www.cigardave.com), where you can listen to past shows on topics that tend to be cigar-centric, but include other “good life for males” themes, much like Bullz-Eye.
Look and feel
The dark (maduro) cigars continue to be popular with the cigar smoking public, so Altadis is answering the market demand with smokes like this one (and the recently reviewed RyJ Viejo). The Upmann Reserve Maduro is a fitting entry into the maduro cigar segment. The cigar, with its classy banding, looks to be more expensive than what it will be priced, likely in the $6 $6.50 range. The construction appears to be very fine, and its hefty-yet-balanced feel makes this a fitting “occasion” cigar.
Aroma and Taste
While many in the crowd blazed up this fine cigar upon receiving it at the event, I waited a couple of days so I could focus a little more of my attention on it. The pre-smoke aroma was fairly rich, with a tasty pre-lit draw. The draw was easy and provided a rich amount of smoke. The cigar was flavorful, but was not as rich in flavor as the Viejo. Neither good, nor bad – just the subtle differences between the mild-to-medium flavor profile vs. a medium flavor profile of the Viejo. The slightly chocolate/coffee flavor was welcome and never harsh.
RATING: 9.2 (on a scale of 1 to 10) – I could not find anything wrong with this cigar. It was priced fairly and the strength and flavor allows one to smoke this at any time. It is affordable enough to smoke casually, but it is also handsome enough and constructed of such quality that it can be used as an occasion cigar. I was impressed and would recommend this to both the occasional and regular cigar smoker.
Keep the comments and recommendations coming – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
"If you sit down at a poker table and you don't see a fish...you are it." - Unknown