When most people think of cigars, their thoughts turn first to Cuban cigars, which are synonymous with style and a rich handmade tradition.
Time and time again, I’ve heard fellow aficionados refer to one particular Cuban cigar as their all-time favorite, and that’s the H. Upmann Magnum 46. Before I begin, I must admit that this cigar is also one of my preferred offerings from the Cuban terroir.
A Bit of H. Upmann History
The H. Upmann brand is among the oldest in the cigar industry, established back in 1844 by banker Herman Upmann in Havana. It is believed that Upmann may have pioneered the use of cedar boxes to package cigars. The Magnum 46 is one of the most popular cigars in the H. Upmann line. This cigar measures 5.6 inches long with a 46 ring gauge and is designed to offer a long, relaxing smoke.
Appearance and Construction
The H. Upmann Magnum 46 is a Cuban puro. You can tell on sight that a lot of effort was put into making this corona gorda as flawless as possible. The new H. Upmann red band (I was a fan of the old one though, as it looked more authentic) enclosed an oily, firm, consistently colored wrapper. A secondary band indicates what cigar you’re dealing with. You can scarcely see any veins in the leaf, which is very smooth. There are no obvious soft spots, and while the cigar feels firm to the touch, it doesn’t feel hard. The aroma emanating from the wrapper is sweet and slightly spicy, like cocoa sprinkled with cinnamon. In terms of the draw and burn, this cigar is practically perfection, and there’s a nice buildup of ash on the end. The perfection of the burn rarely wavers from start to end, which is impressive for any cigar.
How did it taste?
When I light up, I immediately get a dense cloud of aromatic smoke that is sweet and slightly spicy. The main notes I detect throughout are chocolate and coffee, both of which become more prominent around the halfway mark. The smoke is very creamy in the beginning; once the chocolate and coffee take over, I also get sweet wood and notes of leather. White pepper adds some spiciness. During the final third, the leather deepens and there is a musty note which calls to mind the initial burst of sweet spiciness and brings the experience full circle.
You can purchase the H. Upmann Magnum 46 for around $7.00-$10.00. That isn’t a bad price at all for something of this caliber, particularly considering how long the smoke lasts. It took more than an hour for the entire experience to unfold. That kind of relaxing experience is exactly what I look for in an evening cigar for everyday enjoyment. The medley of flavors is consistent but morphs throughout the smoke. Being a great value I can see why the H. Upmann Magnum 46 is such a popular cigar; this is also the reason you’ll always find one in my humidor!