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Stogie Reviews: H. Upmann Reserve Maduro Corona

15 Jun 2010

Too many smokes, too little time. With the industry vibrant, creative, and—for better or worse—always in search of the next best thing, one man simply can’t effectively sample everything. I suppose that’s a good problem to have.

H. Upmann Reserve Maduro CoronaI’m never surprised when I completely miss the boat on new cigars, even those produced by tobacco giant Altadis. Such has been the case with the H. Upmann Reserve Maduro. This blend was introduced two years ago to diversify the non-Cuban H. Upmann portfolio.

Called “the darkside of one Upmannship” by Altadis, it is intended to add a “rich and savory maduro to the legendary line of cigars.” The Reserve Maduro recipe includes a Nicaraguan binder, a filler blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos, and a toothy San Andreas morrón wrapper. It is handmade at the La Flor de Copan factory in Honduras.

Six vitolas are available: Belicoso (6.1 x 52), Corona (5 x 44), Robusto (5 x 54), Sir Winston (7 x 50), Titan (6 x 60), and Toro (6 x 54). I recently found a stash of Coronas at the bottom of one of my humidors—probably gifts from my colleagues when they covered the 2008 IPCPR Trade Show.

Each clean cigar boasts an oily, lightly veined appearance with a neat cap. The feel is hard in some places and soft in others, but the overall impression is one of quality and care. I snipped the very edge of the cap to reveal a smooth draw.

Once an even burn is established, soft pre-light notes of cocoa transition into a powerful blast of peppercorn and espresso. Don’t let this bold, spicy intro scare you off. Just as soon as it arrives, it moves over to make way for a much softer profile of dark chocolate, nuts, and sweet wood.

That’s about where the Reserve Maduro stays through the midway point and beyond. Sure, you can pick up other, subtler flavors if you really put your mind to it, but don’t try to over-think this straightforward cigar. If you do so you’ll miss out on its sugary, charming simplicity.

That said, and notwithstanding the Corona’s near-perfect combustion qualities, this $5 cigar smokes like a $5 cigar. It delivers consistent, user-friendly enjoyment with none of the thrills of more complex, more balanced cigars. Somewhere between captivating and disappointing, the H. Upmann Reserve Maduro Corona earns three stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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