The cigar up for review this week is one I picked up at a big local cigar event. But before I launch like a goateed surface-to-air missile into this review, I just want to say that if you aren’t taking advantage of the events in your area, you’re missing out. Not only are they a great way to socialize with fellow lovers of the leaf, they a great way to learn about the industry and to meet the people that make our favorite hobby possible. And every now and then you come across a cigar you didn’t know anything about. The H. Upmann Signature was just such a cigar for me.
Unlike the H. Upmann Cabinet Seleccion I reviewed a little while back, this cigar isn’t purly an Altadis production. Cuban Imports distributes this cigar as an “extension” of the H. Upmann brand. How is that possible, you ask? Cuban Imports worked out a deal with Altadis in order to bring this new cigar to the market with a familiar name. Not a bad idea, if you ask me. Now all that remains to be seen is if it lives up to the name. Onto the review!
Size: 5 5/8 x 45
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Connecticut
Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru
Smoking Time: 2 hours
Price: $6.00 – $7.50
The H. Upmann Signature is a fine looking smoke with light wrapper color that contrasts nicely with the black band. In my visual inspection of the two cigars smoked for this review, I noted that both had prominent, but light colored veins in the wrapper. Aside from the veins, I found nothing else visually notable about the cigars.
While the wrapper may not have been exciting to the eyes, it was to the nose. At least in the first cigar I smoked. That cigar had a surprisingly rich and unusual aroma. Not your common barnyard or compost scent. We’re talking about a very pronounced sweet cocoa and caramel scent. After clipping the cap with my flamboyantly-red Xikar, I noted something else unusual. A rich prune flavor in the cold taste. Having never smoked one of these cigars before, I was very intrigued. Would these pronounced aromas and flavors be apparent in the smoke?
I should note at this point that the second cigar did not have the same unusual aroma. The wrapper instead had a very mild buttery scent. And unfortunately, I forgot to take a cold taste before I fired it up. Another difference was that this second smoke had a soft spot in the middle third, while the first was nicely firm throughout.
The burn in both cigars was pretty good. Initially the burn line was a bit jagged, but only enough to look interesting, not enough to cause real trouble. As the burn progressed, it evened out nicely.
The first cigar did began with a draw that was slightly more firm than I prefer. Fortunately it loosened up a bit by the beginning of the second third. The soft spot in the second cigar never became presented a problem at all in the burn.
Other than those very minor points, the cigars performed nicely in the burn department and held respectably long ashes.
The cigars were both very mild at the beginning. A creamy, grainy and slightly earthy flavor dominated both the first and second third. This flavor was joined by a little bit of bitter paper and sweet coffee, all the while remaining very mild in body.
The body of the cigar picked up a bit in the final third, but didn’t get to be much more than medium. The creaminess was more velvety at this point and the slightly sweet, grainy flavor was also still present. The first, more aromatic cigar seemed to have a slightly better flavor than the second, but not so much that I think I would have noticed it if I weren’t taking notes.
I don’t recall the exact price I paid for these cigars, but they seem to go from around $6 to $7.50 a stick. Not exactly a budget priced stick, but not terribly expensive either.
I’d say the H. Upmann Signature is a solid smoke. The flavors are pretty subtle and would make for a good smoking experience for anyone looking for a mild to medium cigar. I could see smoking this cigar either in the morning with a little coffee, or perhaps on a relaxed Sunday afternoon. For me, I think this cigar may be a bit mild for a strong drink or a hearty meal.
According to Michael Argenti, president of Cuban Imports, “This limited extension of the illustrious H. Upmann brand is a delicate and complex smoking experience that carries great appeal for cigar beginners and seasoned aficionados alike.” I’d have to say they nailed it.
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: I might
Recommend It: Yes, to lovers of mild to medium cigars
The Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.