At this years Total Product Expo (TPE), H. Upmann featured, an on the floor, barber giving haircuts to attendees at the show. This was part of their latest campaign for the company’s new cigar the H. Upmann 1844 Special Edition Barbier, a special edition, 5 vitola release.
Pedro Ventura, hand made operation and product development manager of Tabacalera de García noted:
“The use of these contrasting shades of wrappers makes for an eye-catching, barber-pole-like presentation, The wrappers work together to add an entirely new flavor profile to the cigar, making one’s smoking session a lot more interesting as well.”
The H. Upmann Special Edition Barbier blend uses two Ecuadorian wrapper leaves and is described as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade/Ecuadorian Sumatra
- Binder – Indonesia
- Filler – Dominican Republic, Nicaragua
The blend is expressed in five different vitolas, each packaged in 25-count boxes:
- Corona (5 x 44) – MSRP $7.25
- Robusto (5 x 50) – MSRP $8.47
- Belicoso (6 1/8 x 52) – MSRP $9.50
- Toro (6 x 54) – MSRP $9.62
- Churchill (7 x 50) – MSRP $9.75
For this review I sampled two of the Toro vitolas which I received from the company for the purpose of reviewing on Stogie Press.
The H. Upmann Special Edition Barbier is a beautifully constructed barber pole, with near invisible seams and brilliantly contrasting Connecticut and Sumatra colors. Each of the wrapper leaves are smooth to the touch and the are just a few veins running along the Sumatra component. The cigar is firm in the hand and with not soft spots. A well applied double cap completes the construction with the dark Sumatra leaf taking the top spot on the cap.
Two bands adorn the the cigar. The primary band uses a red, gold, and white motif and features the H. Upmann prominently in the center. The notation “Special Edition” is printed below. The secondary band, placed just below the primary, uses the same motif and denotes the cigar was the Barbier. The left and right uses thick diagonal red lines that give it is look of a barber pole.
Running the Barbier along the nose I detected a pungent fermented leaf aroma along the barrel while the foot exuded a sweet cracker/bready note.
Using my CigarMedics Baller cutter, I opened the cap perfectly and proceeded to give it some cold draw puffs. I found the draw to be a tad tighter than I prefer but not bad. The draw did offer a touch of black pepper, natural sweetness, and earth – I found this to be a pleasant introduction to the cigar.
Using my double flame torch, I warmed the foot to an even orange glow and drew in the first puffs of smoke that had a bit of a bite to it. Follow along a burn this one to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Bit of a bite to start
- Light grey ash forms on top of a clean, sharp , medium thick char line
- Smoke volume is medium at best to start
- A mild papery note enters as the blend is still trying to find its balance
- Slight jag forms in the burn
- There is a touch of saltiness at the end of the first inch
- This is where things start to develop as herbal notes swirl in with an added leather component
- Bitter dark chocolate notes develop in the second third
- Ash dropped in good chunk revelaing a decent burn cone
- Nuance of black pepper
- Pleasant nut aroma starts wafting off the foot
- Slight off burn forms that eventually required a touch-up
- Surprising anise notes enter in the final third
- Medium in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1hour and 40 minutes
The H. Upmann 1844 Special Edition Barbier starts with a noticeable bite, as a medium grey ash forms on a clean, sharp, and medium-thick char line. The smoke volume is average, and a mild papery note emerges while the blend is still trying to find its balance. As the cigar progresses, a slight jag forms in the burn, and there is a hint of saltiness at the end of the first inch.
However, things take a positive turn as herbal notes start to mix with a leather component, creating a pleasant aroma. In the second third, bitter dark chocolate notes become prominent, and the ash drops in a good chunk, revealing a decent burn cone. At this point, a pleasant nutty aroma starts wafting off the foot.
Unfortunately, a slight off burn develops and requires a touch-up. But the final third brings a surprising addition of anise notes. Overall, the cigar is of medium strength, with a developing complexity that makes it worth trying one. I rate this one an 87.
Point Deductions: (-1) Jagged Burn; (-1) Off Burn; (-1) Touch Up Required; (-2) Papery notes to start; (-1) Medium Volume of Smoke; (-1) May try another