Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Cigar Review: H. Upmann Sir Winston (2012)


Habanos S.A. has mastered many vitolas in my opinion, and what they do that is great is limit the number of brands for specific vitolas. They don't flood the market with every brand having the same vitolas, but give some brand certain vitolas and others not. Not every brand has a Julieta No. 2, and not every brand has a Coronas Gordas. With that being said, there is one brand that has almost every vitola offering, and it should be no surprise that it is the Cohiba brand. All the other brands have their roles to play in the world of Habanos S.A., and the role of the H. Upmann brand is to master the 40 ring gauge market. You think of any vitola that is produced, and is produced with a ring gauge in the 40's, and I guarantee H. Upmann has it. From Petit Coronas to Hermoso No. 4s, Habanos S.A. has H. Upmann with an offering, and within that ring gauge is the famous Julieta No. 2. More often than not, smokers look at the Romeo y Julieta Churchill or Cohiba Esplendidos as their Julieta No. 2 offering, but the greatest lies with the H. Upmann Sir Winston.


The H. Upmann brand was established in 1844 and is one of the older brands in the world. It continued to be produced through the Revolution, and in 2007 the brand went from being a Multi-Local brand to being a Global brand. Many of the vitolas in production are pre-Revolution vitolas, but it is also a brand that is continuously being added on to. The Sir Winston is one of the older vitolas, and it is a vitola that has been in production since before the Revolution. The Habano measures 178 mm (7.0"), an it has a 47 ring gauge. All tobacco hails from Vuelta Abajo, and production is coming out of the H. Upmann Factory. It is rolled beautifully and has a perfect triple cap placed on the head. The wrapper is silky and smooth in texture, and it has a light Colorado wrapper that has some Natural and Claro like colors. It is firm throughout, and it gives off an aroma of spices, leather, tobacco and wood on the wrapper, with some aromas of spices, coffee, fruit, and earth on the foot. 

The Sir Winston opens up by showing some awesome flavors, and they are classic H. Upmann flavors with some additional notes as well. I am getting some nice Asian spice notes that are paired with some earthy and salted wood flavors, and it has some cocoa and coffee bean notes on top of that. There are some vanilla and oak notes present as well, and it is a complex smoke that shows some fruity qualities on the finish. It is very smooth and a flavor bomb for a Churchill. I would classify the Habano as being between medium and medium-full in terms of strength and body, and it is a Habano that I could enjoy in the morning or evening. The construction is dead on thus far and it is showing a razor sharp burn line with a lovely light charcoal ash on the end. The draw is cool and this is a smooth smoke. 

When I get into the second third I find that is continues to show those flavors from before, and it is producing a lovely cocoa flavors on top of the fruit notes. There are still some spices present, and it has that coffee bean flavor profile that is a nice touch. The oak and vanilla notes are still present, but they are softer than before and the finish is that of salt and leather. The construction continues to be top notch in this third and it is showing that even burn line with lovely charcoal ash on the end. The ash is firm and there is a good amount of smoke coming off the Habano. It is not an annoying amount of smoke, but rather the perfect amount. I would still say that the Habano is smoking at a level that is between medium and medium-full in body and strength, and this is a great smoke for anytime of the day. 

I am in the final third of the Habano now and the Habano continues to show those amazing flavors from the first and second third. It is a complex bouquet of flavors, and it is one that shows the H. Upmann flavors and so much more. There is a nice balance between earthy, cocoa, and coffee flavors, and it is heightened by qualities of fruit, spices, and vanilla. There is a reason this is one the most loved Churchills in the world, and it is because it is that great. Habanos has mastered Churchills, and this proves that. The construction is dead on in the final third and it smokes wonderfully down to the nub. It is cool and smooth, and it is showing a razor sharp burn line with a lovely charcoal ash on the end. I would say that the strength and body are finishing at a medium-full level, and it is smooth and flavorful to the finish. 

I believe the Sir Winston is one greatest Habanos that is being produced, and easily the best Julieta No. 2. The H. Upmann is a great brand because it gets a lot of attention from smokers so Habanos treats it very well, and keeps it at a great price level. The Sir Winston is definitely one of the most well known vitolas in the brand, that and the No. 2, so production is monitored closely and that improves the vitolas. The construction on the Sir Winston was phenomenal from beginning to end, and it showed a burn line that was even throughout with a cool draw. The ash held on firmly and it has a nice light charcoal coloring with that. It is a medium to medium-full Habano, and it is a smoke that can be enjoyed by many but truly appreciated by the aficionado. The flavors produced are always great, and the only thing this Habano needs is time, and when I say time I mean time for enjoyment. It ages wonderfully, but it is good young as well. I am giving the Habano a young rating of 92-94 and with age it gets a 96-99.

Young Rating: 92-94
With Age Rating: 96-99