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Written by Puff Staff

Saturday, 16 March 2002

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h upmannh upmann connoisseur no. 1
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A rather non-descript little robusto, the H. Upmann Connoisseur No. 1 goes under the microscope for this review. A rather non-descript little robusto, the H. Upmann Connoisseur No. 1 goes under the microscope for this review. Not as famous as some of the other Cuban cigars, for that matter even some of the other Cuban H. Upmanns, the Connoisseur No. 1 does have it's merits. A German banker named Herman Upmann started this important Cuban brand in 1844. Upmann created specially made cigars with imprinted boxes that he used for business promotions. The promotions and cigars were a success and the H. Upmann brand was born. The brand and factory passed into the hands of the British firm, J. Frankau, and was eventually purchased in 1937 by Menendez, Garcia, & Cia. The company was nationalized in 1959 as a result of the Cuban Revolution and the formation of Cubatabaco. Our H. Upmann Connoisseur No. 1's sported a rather light wrapper when compared to some of the other H. Upmann cigars. There were tints of red, mixed among the predominant light brown. The Connoisseur No. 1 had a supple feel, bordering on soft. The picture to the right does not show it well, but there were some hard to miss veins running through this cigar. "...but this sucker looked like my grandmother’s legs-- there were a couple large and several small veins on this baby." Our reviewers seemed to enjoy the construction of this cigar more so than others. Many mentioned the classic Cuban gray and black color of the ash. B+'s and A-'s were not uncommon when folks spoke about the ash of this puro. "The construction on the little bulldog was awesome. It was very firm with no hard or soft spots. This baby had some nice weight, too! The cap was very well constructed. The draw was perfect— not too tight and not too loose— perfect! The burn was cool and even. The ash was astounding! A nice medium gray with black striations and very solid—every ash was at least one inch long and one was almost two inches!" Normally we see plenty of variations when the 5 reviewers start talking taste, but not with the H. Upmann Connoisseur No. 1. The consensus here was that this cigar was very good, but not as expected. A bitter initial taste started you downhill, but soon enough the cigar rallied, bringing you a creamier taste with some hints of that uber-adjective "spice". "The robusto was a little rough at the start with a spicy, slightly raw (harsh), earthy taste. The spice, although not strong, lies right on your tongue. I experienced the taste all the way to the top of my throat." "There was a slight harshness during the first inch, but the rich and creamy tobacco flavor made up for it. This medium-bodied smoke was very earthy throughout. I was surprised that this large ring cigar was so one-dimensional, but the earthy, Cuban tobacco flavor was excellent." The H. Upmann Connoisseur No. 1 is a rare bread coming from Cuba, a cigar that lacks a bit in taste. Often overpowering, Cuban cigars can be tough for the folk that enjoy a milder cigar. This one may work. The Connoisseur can't be classified as a letdown, as our reviewers enjoyed the cigar. At the same time, if we stated that people got what they expected, we would be less than truthful, as folks we're excited but wanted a bit more from this little guy.. A better than average cigar, worth keeping around. Vital Statistics: Shape = Robusto Length=5" RG =48 Wrapper = Cuba Filler = Cuba Binder = Cuba Estimated Cost = N/A



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