Vitola de Galera: Magnum 56
Vitola de Salida: Magnum 56
Dimensions: 56 RG / 5 inches / 150 mm
Presentation: Slide lid box / 25’s
Age When Tasted: New Release
Touch: Dense, substantial, muscular
Color: Colorado Maduro
Burn: Even and consistent
Progression: Cadenced, three distinct phases
Finish: Fireworks (youthful)
Smoking duration: 1 to 1 1/2 hours
Pre-Light: Dry soil, caramel, hazelnuts, hay
First Third: Earth, dry leather, slight spice
Second Third: Spice, cocoa, tanned leather, burnt sugar
Last Third: Grilled meat, pepper, truffle, earth
Earth (wet soil drying in the sun), black pepper, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, toasted chestnuts, animal, leather, barnyard.
This vitola will benefit greatly from ageing. Ideally enjoyed in the cooler months, after a meal of grilled meats, fowl, or rustic dishes like hunter style chicken (Cacciatore). A suggested beverage pairing might be an aged bourbon.
I had the honor to taste this very special cigar at El Aljibe restaurant in the Mirimar district of Habana, Cuba last week. My group was the guest of Leticia Cabrera Alonso, a well known cigar expert and sommelier that presides over the small, but very well appointed cigar shop adjacent to El Aljibe.
We arrived at the restaurant a few hours after flying in to Havana from Miami, and the air was moist and thick. After delicious meal featuring the house chicken recipe (which is quite famous) Leticia brought out 2 cigars for us to taste. The first being the H. Upmann Magnum 56 Edition Limitada 2015, and the second being the Montecristo 80 Anniversario (tasting notes to come soon).
The aroma of some of the best Cuban food in all of Havana, the tropical warmth surrounding us like a blanket, and the very fine Magnum 56 was at the ready. My mouth was full of the rich tastes of chicken, black beans, plantains and fried yucca. Stout Cuban coffee was brought to the table and our palates started watering.
A new vitola de galera was created for the Magnum 56, (Magnum 56)–and it is a generously proportioned cigar. This particular vitola had wide shoulders, a firm and taught body, and a nice, oily wrapper.
As expected with a new release, the cigar reflects its potential but lacks the finesse and development of age.
The aroma is robust and heady. Full and rich.
The predominant flavors I detect are earth (as in wet soil drying in the sun), spices including black pepper, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, toasted chestnuts, and animal characteristics including leather and barnyard.
No florals (although this is something I think may develop with time) and nothing very herbal or woody in the mix.
Maybe a bit similar to the Magnum 46.
H. Upmann is one of my favorite brands. I’ve written about my fondness for the Connoisseur No. 1. One of my favorite vitolas. Period. Discontinued in 1012. I am so lucky to to have a few cabinets on hand!
The Connoisseur No. 1 is a lightweight in comparison to the Magnum 56. They share some of the classic H. Upmann medium bodied, rich and round flavors, but the Magnum 56 is much the powerhouse.
Further in, this cigar develops in to a somewhat unruly and wild chap, a bit edgy (not uncomfortably so) and its youthfulness is completely untempered.
A product of youth.
But it has the good bones…
It delivers its panoply flavors very directly, aided by its ample ring gauge (something that I am not so used to, given that I prefer 42-50 RG cigars.
But I do like it.
Hell, it’s my first night in Havana and I am enjoying this special cigar among new friends.
I LOVE it.