H. Upmann Coronas Major – Cuban

The Cigar Nut

Here comes a guest review from our friend from the north, Daniel. Daniel Temos (a.k.a. Dalamscius) writes articles and cigar reviews with Tony Casas on www.casasfumando.com. Be sure to check out the site. He is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada and enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If Daniel’s not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter http://twitter.com/Dalamscius

H Upmann Coronas Major

When the average person thinks of Cuban cigars, H.Upmann is not typically the first name to come to mind. Even though it may not be as popular as Montecristo or Romeo y Julieta, it doesn’t mean that they haven’t been around for a long time. As an ironic fact, the H.Upmann name has actually been around longer than some of those popular names. The brand’s name can be traced back as far as 1844 when two brothers, August and Hermann, founded the brand. There is a very interesting back story to the H.Upmann name, the actual meaning of it seems to be debated but the common belief is that the ‘H’ stands for Hermanos which is the Spanish name for ‘Brothers’.

Throughout the 1800’s the recognition of the H.Upmann brand began to grow in popularity around the world. During this time, the brothers were awarded seven gold medals, it is the lithography from these medals that you see on the boxes today. In the early 1900’s the cigar industry suffered some downturn and the H.Upmann company changed hands a couple times. Part of the company ended up moving to the Canary Islands and finally settling in Dominican Republic while a portion of it stayed in Cuba.
The H.Upmann brand is available in a variety of sizes, ranging from an Epicure (4.375 x 35) to a Sir Winston, a.k.a. Churchill (7 x 47). H.Upmann also released to special limited editions that were available in 2005 and 2008. This particular cigar was picked up on a cruise and has been resting in my humidor since November 2008. I can assume they were sitting in the store for a few months as well so at the time of review this cigar was likely around 2 years old. I had purchased 5 of these and smoked one every few months. Today I am lighting up my last one out of the 5-pack I purchased, read on to hear my thoughts.

H Upmann Coronas Major

Cigar: H.Upmann Coronas Major (Cuban)
Drink: Graham’s 2003 Late Bottled Vintage Tawny Port
Vitola: Coronas Major
Wrapper: Cuban
Binder: Cuban
Filler: Cuban
Price: $3.50 – $4.00 in Cuba ($14 in Canada)
Burn Time: 1 Hour

H Upmann Coronas Major

Construction:
· Comes in an off-white tube with an orange cap
· Tube also has a layer of cedar inside
· Construction is classic Cuban, slightly bumpy with a couple medium veins
· Clean triple cap
· One crack near the cap and one near the foot, I don’t think it was stored properly before I purchased it
· One water spot on the wrapper just below the band
· Wrapper is a nice light brown
· Foot looks well packed
· Uneven firmness, some slightly soft spots and some really firm parts
· Cut was smooth and even
· Draw is perfect right off the start

H Upmann Coronas Major

Burn:
· Toasting was very even and quick
· Burn is a little wavy but no major problems in the first couple inches
· Burn is progressing a little fast through the first half, but slowed down near the end
· Any small burn errors have been corrected without my help
· Cigar staying lit easily with no extra draws required

Smoke & Ash:
· Nice mouthful of smoke from each draw
· Resting smoke is minimal and smells great
· Ash is medium grey in color
· Ash is very weak, fell off in less than half an inch
· Ash appears tight and no flaking, just doesn’t like to hang on for long
· Upside is the ash always falls in the ashtray a few seconds after sitting it down

H Upmann Coronas Major

Tasting Notes:
· Wrapper aroma is mostly cedar with an earthy undertone
· Foot also has a strong cedar aroma with a touch of sweetness
· Pre-light draw is more cedar and earthy notes
· As expected, flavors are cedar and earthy undertones
· Retro-hale has a small bite to it and a smooth cedar finish
· Leaving my mouth fairly dry
· Body is medium so far and I’m picking up a slight sweetness
· Approaching the half-way point I’m picking up a leathery flavor
· The flavors are very smooth and balanced, each one taking turns being the dominant one
· Last inch brought out a lot more leather flavors and a bit of harshness, cedar and earthy flavors are taking a back seat
· Body and retrohale has stayed consistent throughout
· Finished a little stronger in body but still close to medium

H Upmann Coronas Major

Final Thoughts:
This was a good medium bodied cigar and lasted much longer than I expected given it’s size. The price is quite good if you grab them while on vacation somewhere down south and they come in tubes which make them easy to transport without getting damaged. Since I purchased 5 on my cruise, I’ve had one every few months over the past year and a half. Unlike most Cuban’s, I found this one to be fairly consistent and the flavor/body did not change much over time. This is a good plus since it means you can pretty much smoke them straight from the store and don’t need to worry about the “young” profile that some Cuban’s have.

H Upmann Coronas Major

Pairings:
The LBV Tawny port was a great match for this cigar. The medium body and cedar/earth/leathery flavors made for a good counter-balance with the full bodied sweetness or the port. A good Scotch or Cognac, one with a bit of age and slight sweetness would also be a good match. For non-alcoholic choices, try a strong coffee such as Cuban or Americano. A full flavored sweet tea or perhaps a diet soda could match well but wouldn’t be my first choices.

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3 Thoughts to “H. Upmann Coronas Major – Cuban”

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