Last year A.J. Fernandez was all over the cigar map with collaborations with the largest to the smallest of brands, not to mention his own product releases. Today I would like to offer a review of one of those big box collaborations – H. Upmann. Now when you think about the H. Upmann cigar company you would not think a 170 year old cigar brand would need to do a collaboration with anyone, but that is exactly what they did and A.J. Fernandez was the man they went to.
The cigar that came out of this partnership is aptly called the H. Upmann by A.J. Fernandez. It is billed as a blend that offers H. Upmann fans a bolder experience than they may be familiar with. You know I like this concept of marketing bolder spicer cigars under big name brands.
The full blend profile is described as:
- Wrapper -Ecuadorian Sumatra
- Binder -Nicaraguan Corojo ’99
- Filler -Nicaragua and Dominican Republic
The H. Upmann by AJ Fernandez is offered in three sizes and comes packaged in 20-count boxes:
- Churchill 7 x 54
- Toro 6 x 54
- Robusto 5 x 52
The MSRP is set between $7.25 to $7.75.
The H. Upmann by AJ Fernandez was shipped to 30 key retail tobacconists nationwide on May 8, 2017 and the national roll out started May 22, 2017. It was on display at the 2017 IPCPR in Las Vegas in the Altidas booth.
I received the Toro vitola of H. Upmann by A.J. Fernandez at the Smoke Inn – Great Smoke event last weekend. It was certainly one of those cigars that caught my eye from the stash I brought home.
The H. Upmann by A.J. Fernandez is just what you would expect from A.J. Fernandez. It has a medium brown wrapper with a beautiful oily sheen. Finished with a double cap, this beauty had just a few veins and settled with a heavy weight in the hand. The packing was solid and it had the looks of a solidly crafted cigar.
The are two bands on this cigar. The primary band uses an aqua blue and gold motif and basically is basically the traditional H. Upmann logo with the date 1844 but includes the origin of Nicaragua on it. The secondary band uses the same motif and simply states A.J. Fernandez.
The pre-light aromas had me wanting to light this right up, with a rich pepper and light fruit on the foot and a mild curing barn aroma along the barrel.
But before I lit it up, I sliced the cap and gave it some cold draw puffs. Ok, maybe a few more than normal, as the cold draw was quite enticing, with notes of light earth, fruit, and an ever-growing pepper . Oh my, this is shaping up to be a nice journey.
Cigar Review Notes
- First light offers a peppery nasal burn
- Sweet cinnamon spice grows on the palate
- Touch of vanilla joins the profile
- Light grey ash with a solid form
- Pepper fades after inch
- Thick char line and even burn
- Mild spice and smoothing smoke
- Sweet roasted nut end of first third
- Ash fell after first third with a fairly well centered slightly pointed burn cone
- Oils start building on the barrel – slightly sticky to the touch
- Ultra smooth at this point
- Thick creamy smoke
- Coffee notes enter
- Spice core is maintained
- Touch of earth
- Stays lit even after being rested for a bit
- Medium plus in Strength
- Total Smoking Time was one hour and forty minutes
Overall, the H. Upmann by A.J. Fernandez was certainly an excellent collaboration between a new age and old age brand. This is a cigar i would more of and the price is spot on. The can easily be enjoyed with a rich cup of sweet coffee. I hope to see more collaborations with A.J. this year.