H. Upmann cigars have long been associated with excellent ageing potential. With this in mind we decided our first Aged Cuban Review should be one of the flagship cigars from this wonderful brand.
The gorgeous light chocolate brown wrapper of this classic aged torpedo presented with some small bumps and plenty of stunning natural oils.
The aroma at cold offered up mostly light woody elements with some chocolate notes. The cold draw was quite open.
Upon lighting I was greeted by a kaleidoscope of exquisite subtlety ranging from milk chocolate and coffee to floral nuances, all the while aware of an undercurrent of delicate feminine character. There was no pepper, zing or spices anywhere - simply smooth, unadulterated balance and not a sharp corner in sight.
As the cigar got running I noted tea, vanilla, raisins (dates), and chocolate flavours. By the mid-way point it had gained some depth without any increased strength. All the flavours were now more robust and it was a totally different profile to the opening inch or so. The final third saw plenty of toffee and caramels with just the slightest hint of white pepper emerging towards the cigar's completion, in turn pushing the body towards medium without ever really getting there. One could only describe it as mild bodied.
The smoking characteristics were indicative of aged tobacco - Pure white ash with razor sharp burn requiring no touch up's. Perfect draw. This cigar practically smoked itself.
Such intense depth of subtle flavours. Truly outstanding.
Fingerburner Rating: 95
The double corona (or prominente) is the big boy of Cuban factory vitolas. Measuring an impressive 7 & 5/8" (19.4cm) with a 49 ring gage, it is a size renowned for unparalleled transitional development and has long been a favourite in the humidors of collectors around the world. Let's see how this Hoyo De Monterrey has held up after nearly 8 years in hibernation.
The first thing that struck me about the cigar was simply how good it looked. A beautiful light brown wrapper lightly coated in plume greeted me as I inspected the cigar closer. It was well filled, neither soft or firm, with no visible veins. Perfectly made.
The aroma at cold was predominantly woody in character with light tea and toasted bread components.
The opening was filled with very subtle yet attention grabbing flavours. Coffee and toasted breads were offset exquisitely by gentle spice through the nose, all balanced by a long velvety finish on the palate. It was certainly floral characters over earth tones yet it still managed to hit some leathery, savoury notes at times.
The second third saw the emergence of gorgeous honeyed tones, along with tea, shortbread, golden syrup, and butter. These flavours being totally balanced by the continued presence of soft spices - akin to sweet Spanish paprika.
The spice had all but gone by the final third as the profile shifted towards white chocolate and nougat, highlighted by a sustained nutty finish.
The draw was immaculate with an even burn that produced a light grey ash throughout, with each mouthful of smoke further heightening my sense of anticipation for the next.
For what it is, this Hoyo De Monterrey was a near perfect example of a Cuban double corona. Due to the abnormally long smoke time on a double corona one needs to be kept interested - this cigar did that, and some.
Incredible journey complimented by perfect performance.
Fingerburner Rating: 96