Thursday, July 31, 2014

Cigar Review: H. Upmann Magnum 46 (SVF MAY-05)


I am completely surprised that Catfish and I have not reviewed the H. Upmann Magnum 46. I mean, it is a personal favorite of us both and I seem to smoke through them quickly. I always age some, but the amount I age typically falls in numbers as I keep grabbing more and more of them to smoke. I should probably have automatic reorder put in place and get them every other month with how much I smoke them, and if you wonder why I don't always reach out for a lot of new smokes, it is because I found something I love. Today though, I am not going to be looking at "new Magnum 46," but rather look at one that has some age on it and has the old band in place as well. This is the original H. Upmann band and I love it. I think the new band is just as great, but there is something about this older band that is more Cuban and traditional. Enough of the introductions though, let's look at this classic smoke that is loved by many, and look at it with some nice age present.

The Magnum 46 is a vitola that has some history and has experienced a lot of growth over the years. For a long time, the Habano came with no band present but in 2005 Habanos S.A. decided to change that and introduce a band on the smoke. That band, the original band, would remain on the smoke till 2008 and in that year they introduced the new H. Upmann band. The smoke comes in three count packages and 25 count boxes, and for a period of time was available in 50 count cabinets. The tobacco used is all from Vuelta Abajo and it is a true corona gorda measuring 143mm (5.6") with a 45 ring gauge. The Habano is finished with a beautiful triple cap and it has a lovely wrapper that has a light Natural coloring with a hint of Colorado present. There are some veins present in the wrapper and for the most part, they are very small. There is an aroma of light hay, tobacco and cedar present with the smoke and it is present on the wrapper and on the foot. It is not powerful or very noticeable, but that is because the Habano has nine years of age on it.

The first third begins with some lovely soft notes and it is producing notes of hay grass and cedar. There are some light tobacco and spice notes present as well, some classic H. Upmann flavors, but not young flavors, mature and refined flavors. These Habano have been aging wonderfully since 2005 and this is what makes Habanos special. This right here is what makes them different and superior, nine years after they have been rolled. The construction is simply phenomenal throughout the third and it is producing an even burn line, a light charcoal ash that is holding on firmly to the end and a nice cool draw. The draw produces a nice bit of smoke and this Habano is nearly perfect. In terms of strength,I would rate this Habano at a medium level and I would classify the body as being a little bit more. Surprisingly enough, it still has some  body and strength behind it for being almost ten years old.

I am in the second third of the Habano now and it is beginning to produce this musty flavor and it has a nice tobacco and wood flavor profile going on. There are some grass and hay notes present as well, and this is a tame and unique Habano. I am getting some soft spice notes on the finish, with some hints of coffee beans, but overall it is showing some aged tobacco and wood flavors that I am really enjoying. The construction is absolutely perfect with the Habano and it is producing a dead even burn line with a nice charcoal ash on the end. This is a classic example of the fact that there are plenty of Habanos, no matter the vintage, that are rolled wonderfully and correctly. In terms of strength, the smoke continues to deliver that medium strength level and the body is right above it, but not by much. I would say it is between medium and medium-full and it is a smoke I could have all the time.  

When I get into the final third I find that the flavors have grown and are showing a lot of terrific notes. I am getting some coffee beans with bits of cocoa, and it has that nice musty wood flavor present as well. It has some nuts and tobacco notes present as well, and it is incredibly satisfying and a joy to smoke. A great Habano is a piece of art if you ask me, and this Habano is a piece of art. The flavors are so wonderful and they have shaped into something very special in the years aging. The construction continues to deliver wonderful qualities as well and it has a wonderful burn line with at nice ash holding on firmly to the end. It is smoking cool, producing a nice bit of smoke, and just shows true artwork with the construction. The strength continues to remain at that medium level which it had from the beginning and the body ended up there as well making it a lovely finish to a great Habano.

I loved this Habano and these sticks have aged wonderfully. Production right now is off the chart, I meant great, but it has some difference when compared with this stick. Of course, this has nine years of age on it and that means the world. I have said it over and over again, Habanos age well and that is what separates them from a lot of other cigars on the worldwide market. You can't age cigars the way you can age a Habanos. The Magnum 46 showed terrific construction, great body and strength and was flavorful from start to finish. You can tell that the tobacco has really aged together and made a flavor profile that has depth and complexity while not being all over the place. It has become smooth and easy over the years and made it a Habano that is marvelous. I am giving this smoke a rating between 94 and 96 right now, and I believe when it was younger it was nearly as good. With some more age, this Habano will get better and better.  

Young Rating: Inconclusive
With Age Rating: 94-96