The Difference Between a Cuban H. Upmann And Dominican H. Upmann Cigar

December 7, 2018

Hailed as one of the most famous Cuban heritage brands, the H. Upmann marque was founded in 1844 by Hermann Upmann. Hermann was a banker from Germany who arrived in Cuba a year earlier to set up a banking business for tobacco dealers and cigar makers.  By the end of the 19th century, H. Upmann cigars had achieved international acclaim. The company changed hands many times up until the time it was sold to Menendez, Garcia y Cia in 1935, who continued to produce the brand until 1960. That year the Castro regime nationalized the Cuban tobacco industry, so Menendez y Garcia moved production to the Canary Islands. From there they moved to the Dominican Republic, and much later branch factories were established in Honduras, and Nicaragua, where all styles of H. Upmann cigars are now produced by Altadis U.S.A. As for the Cuban H. Upmann cigars, they are now made in Havana by Habanos, S.A.

So, what’s the difference between A Cuban H. Upmann And Dominican H. Upmann Cigar? Let’s take a close-up look at both selections. On a side note, we’ve excluded the Nicaraguan and Honduran H. Upmann cigars from this comparison due to their more powerful strength profile that matches up better with some of the stronger and heartier Cuban brands.

The Cuban H. Upmann cigar is a blend comprised exclusively of premium tobaccos grown in the Vuelta Abajo zone— a region north of Havana highly regarded for its rich fertile soil and the perfect climate for growing cigar tobacco. The Cuban H. Upmann cigar is a rather plain looking stick with a slightly mottled EMS wrapper, however, pristine construction, amazing taste, and a slow even burn from beginning to end fully compensates for its lack of beauty. After toasting and lighting, you can expect a sweet-smelling smoke with smooth and creamy layers of cocoa, toasted almonds, subtle spices, along with some core leathery notes.  This inherent smoothness and medium body strength make it one of the few genuine Habanos that can easily be enjoyed by both novice and well-seasoned cigar connoisseur alike.

Due to the wider range of tobaccos available in the Dominican Republic, today the company can offer a greater variety of blends, shapes, and sizes than their Cuban cousins. Dominican H. Upmann cigars come in a top-quality assortment of line extensions that include the Banker, the Legacy, 1844 Reserve, Special Seleccion, Reserve Maduro, Connoisseur, and Vintage Cameroon.  However, the closest blend in both taste and strength profile comes from a nostalgic line extension called  H. Upmann Original cigars— a four vitola line made to closely emulate the flavor nuances and quality of the famous Cuban H. Upmann.

Upmann Original cigars mark the return of the company’s first brand rolled outside of Cuba. Handmade in the Dominican Republic, this is the inaugural blend that introduced American smokers to the outstanding quality and super-delicious flavors that H. Upmann has been famous for since 1844. This original blend quickly became a hot-selling commodity then eventually disappeared in the early 1990s’ due to a shortage of Indonesian wrappers, however, the brand soon returned with an Ecuadorian wrapper that was received with the same popularity as its predecessor. Today, this prized Indonesian leaf has become more readily available, so the talented artisans at H. Upmann decided to return to this nostalgic smoke using the same premium blend of Dominican and Brazilian tobaccos for the binder and fillers.

Cigar aficionados looking for a spot-on alternative to the Cuban variety will find that the H. Upmann Original cigars deliver almost identical medium-bodied flavors of cocoa, nuts, leather, and soft spice that fans of the Cuban H. Upmann cigars love so well. Best of all, you won’t need a passport and plane ticket to buy H. Upmann Original cigars, because unlike their illegal counterparts, these Dominican gems are readily available right here on the JR Cigar website.


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