H. Upmann 1844 Anejo Cigar Review

August 3, 2020

Upmann is one of the most storied brands in the history of the cigar industry. From the humble beginnings by two German brothers in Cuba, to the modern-day juggernaut of AUSA, H. Upmann has always been a mainstay of the cigar community. The Cuban variation was even a favorite of President Kennedy, who had over 1,000 H. Upmann Cuban Petite Coronas delivered to him right before he signed the Cuban embargo.

With such a long history, the brand has seen its share of ups and downs.  The Dominican variation came out heavy during the boom and post-boom market.  Lines such as the Vintage Cameroon and the Reserve Maduro were favorites of that generation.  However, over the next decade or so, the brand seemed to fall from prominence.  As the small batch and boutique market started gaining more and more traction, the newer H.Upmann offerings, while solid cigars, failed to grab the attention of consumers.

Enter Rafael Nodal, the founder of Aging Room and the Head of Product Capability for AUSA.  He sought to revolutionize the brand and saw early success by teaming up with legendary Nicaraguan Manufacturer AJ Fernandez.  This started a period of dominance for the line with such renowned hits as the H.Upmann by AJ, and of course the #10 cigar of the year, the H. Upmann 175th.  Rafael also wanted to restore glory to his companies own factories and released the H. Upmann Hispaniola to much praise and fanfare.

So in early 2020, when they announced a brand new cigar for the brand, there was much anticipation.  With such great success in the brand over the past few years, the pressure was on to keep that momentum going.  That pressure fell to the often forgotten Flor de Copan, the AUSA factory based in Honduras.  On top of that, this cigar was being blended by a younger member of the team, Ernesto Kranwinkle who had never blended a major release on his own before.

This project came to be called the H.Upmann 1844 Anejo.  Anejo, as many cigar smokers know is a Spanish word for aged, which fits perfectly with this cigar.  The cigar uses five different tobaccos, and each leaf is aged up to five years.  The filler is a blend of tobaccos from Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua.  The team took the unique step of using a Pennsylvania broadleaf tobacco for the binder, before finishing it up with an oily Ecuadorian Habano wrapper.

As you will see in these more detailed reviews, we will examine each aspect of the cigar, starting with its appearance.  The cigar itself looks phenomenal, with very few imperfections on the wrapper and just the right amount of oil.  The band could use some updating, as it has that more traditional H. Upmann look but with a much more modern blend.  It has a slight sponginess to it so it is definitely fresh and the cold draw was nice and open so I expect no draw issues.

Upon lighting it up, the first third gets the flavor going right away.  Immediately you begin tasting a combination of all the tobaccos.  There is a black pepper spice for the first few puffs before a sudden inflex of cream and some dried fruit notes.  This is due to the combination of the spicy Habano wrapper along with that rich broadleaf binder.  This cigar has a lot of flavors already but due to the age, the flavors aren’t overbearing.  In terms of construction, the ash was white and tight and required no touchups at all.

As we get into the 2nd third, the strength really starts to ramp up.  Whereas the beginning was on that medium to full border, we have now entered a straight full-bodied smoke.  While the original combination of spicy, sweet, and creamy is still present, there is also an influx of darker richer flavors like coffee and even a hint of dark chocolate. The ash remained solid and while the burn did get slightly wonky it was able to correct itself in no time, a testament to its construction.

The final third is what can make or break a cigar.  Even if it’s perfectly up to then, a bad finale can leave a bad taste in your mouth, literally.  Thankfully, the Anejo was spot on through its final puffs, even adding slightly more spice but remaining well balanced and smooth.  I did need to do a slight touch up towards the end, but nothing major.

The H.Upmann Anejo is an outstanding cigar and is successful in keeping the forward momentum of the brand.  Its use of unique tobaccos with a solid amount of age creates a wonderful profile that is both intense, flavorful yet remarkably well-balanced.  This is yet another top-notch offering from AUSA and one I expect customers to be buying by the box for years to come.

Buy Now


One response to “H. Upmann 1844 Anejo Cigar Review”

  1. Enrique sanchez says:

    Didn’t know that JFK bought cigars right before his embargo against Cuba. That was a smart idea. Wow. There are photos of him smoking on a boat with his secret service detail. Cool

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What's trending now...