H. Upmann Habanos
H. Upmann, one of the oldest Habano brands on the market, was born in 1844 when brothers Hermann and August Hupmann opened their factory in the heart of La Habana. At its launch more than 170 years ago, the brand used tobacco from the Vuelta Abajo region of Cuba, home to some of the most exceptional tobacco in the world. Today, the tobacco that makes up H. Upmann Habanos still comes from this iconic region.
An Elusive Namesake
Though their legendary brand is named “Upmann,” many Cuban cigar historians believe that Hermann and August’s last names began with an “H.” After discovering that the letter “H” is silent in Spanish, the German-born brothers decided to remove it when naming the brand. Though it is often said that August got the short end of the stick, as the “H” in H. Upmann seems to be Hermann’s first initial, some believe the “H” actually stands for hermanos, the Spanish word for brothers.
An Illustrious History
With his connections in Europe, Hermann Hupmann was able to sell to the Western market with great success. He is rumored to have been the first to package cigars in cedar boxes to preserve them and formalize their delivery. In addition, printing his name on the box as branding caused the practice to spread throughout the industry.
In 1891, Hupmann commissioned a factory to be built that housed more than 200 workers. This was considered enormous at the time and speaks to how successful the brand was in the 19th century. This wave of success continues on today, despite a few speed bumps, including the infamous bankruptcy of the H.Upmann Bank in 1922.
Throughout the years, H.Upmann has landed many notable fans. One famous H. Upmann smoker was U.S. President John F. Kennedy. It is said that he secured over 1,000 of his favorite H. Upmann Petit Upmanns (Cadetes 36 x 4 1/2) just hours before signing the Cuban trade embargo in 1961. This size was discontinued in 2002. Lovers of this size can find it in H.Upmann Coronas Junior today.
H. Upmann Today
H. Upmanns are known for their smooth and light to medium flavor. The most popular sizes include the Magnum 46 (Coronas Gordas 46 x 5 5/8) and the Magnum 50 (50 x 6 3/8), which was introduced in 2008 after the tremendous popularity of the 46. The Magnum 46 is sweet, with notes of vanilla and hay and a smooth leathery finish. It is a signature within the H. Upmann brand and represents its full yet refined flavor. The Magnum 50 has similarly sweet flavor notes like dried fruit, cedar and coffee. It’s a mild smoke that burns consistently with medium draw.
Other popular sizes include Sir Winston (Julieta No. 2 47×7), Coronas Junior (36 x 4 1/2) and in recent days, the Half Corona (Half Corona 44 x 3 1/2).