H. Upmann Connoisseur No. 1

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THE VITOLA

Vitola de Galera:  Hermoso No. 4
Vitola de Salida:  Connoisseur No. 1
Shape: Parejo
Body: Round
Dimensions:  48 RG /  5 inches
Presentation: Slide lid box / 25’s
Vintage:  Aug 2011 / POS
Age When Tasted:  3 yrs, 7 months

 

CHARACTERISTICS

Strength:  4
Body:  Light to medium
Touch:  Soft, yielding
Color:  Colorado
Wrapper:  Matte
Draw:  Perfect
Burn:  Fast
Progression: Linear
Finish:  Smooth, friendly
Smoking duration: 45 minutes

AROMAS

Pre-Light:  Cinnamon, almonds, toast and coffee, cream.
First Third:  Nuts, cream, lightly tanned leather and  spice.
Second Third:  
Morel mushroom, dry earth.
Last Third:  Caramel, herbs (thyme), lightly toasted nuts.

 

FLAVORS

Nuts, grass, light cocoa, caramel, butter.


ENJOYMENT

Draw slowly, take your time, handle with care.  Pay attention.   This vitola will overheat and you will ruin its delicate flavors if you manhandle it.  Age it for about 3-4 years before smoking.

I tend to smoke these in warmer months due to their delicate flavors..  This vitola works well following a meal of grilled fowl or fish, and paired with a dry white wine.  Or try it with a vintage champagne on a hot summer’s day.


MY EXPERIENCE

One of my favorite vitolas.

Subtle, sexy and super refined when well aged.

Boxed in a slide lid box of 25’s, the H. Upmann Connnoisseur No. 1 is referred to as a “robusto” in marketing terms, but in truth it is a Hermoso No. 4–it has a slightly smaller ring gauge and is just a little bit longer than a robusto vitola.   This difference means a lot in terms of feel in the hand and mouth–it is a subtle difference–but impactful.

Given a choice between a true robusto and a Hermoso No. 4, I’ll always go for the latter.

I like to enjoy the Connoisseur No. 1 with a glass of chilled sparkling water most of the time–it doesn’t compete with the delicate flavors of this cigar, and the combo is really refreshing.

This particular vitola has a delicate looking wrapper–colorado, but on the lighter side.   Lightly veined.  When cut, the draw is just perfect.  The red and gold band looks great–love it.

Pre-light aroma is all cinnamon, almonds, toast and coffee and cream.

These cigars tend to feel very light in the hand–almost ethereal–and this one is no difference.  It is  pliable but not too soft.

Once lit, it releases a  delicate, pleasing aroma that reminds me alot of a Sancho Panza Non Plus–really classy, slightly grassy–and subtle.   I’ll do a tasting of that cigar soon–it is one of my favorites.

The burn is good–the Connoisseur No. 1 tends to burn pretty quickly because it is rolled with a light hand–air really gets through it.  You need to be really careful to draw slowly at the right pace or you will ruin this cigar.  This goes for when you light it too–do it gently.  Don’t get it hot from the beginning–which is how all cigars should be treated.  When I see guys taking huge pulls at a cigar when lighting (making a huge flame at the end of the cigar accompanied by a billow of smoke) it makes me cringe.  If you do it right, you don’t even need to draw to get the cigar lit. Just toast the end completely till it is glowing slightly–do this carefully.  Gently.  Don’t burn the end…toast it.  Then blow on it gently while rotate it–and you are good to go.  Your cigar is lit.

Then take that first soft puff…

About a third of the way in,  nuts, cream, lightly tanned leather and  spice emerge.  Slightly flora. I have a feeling this won’t change much further in to the cigar–which is one of the reasons I keep coming back to this cigar.  Consistency.

Ok-more of the same good thing as I move through it.  And the burn has turned out to be perfect–the roller got it right.  It takes no effort on my part to keep this one burning perfectly–no finger roll needed.

More than 1/2 the way in, a subtle mushroom flavor develops–morel mushroom.  Slightly earthy–tastes like spring to me.  Morel’s grow beneath the trees each spring and I always look forward to sauteing them in butter with just a little bit of chopped fresh thyme sprinkled on top to finish them.

As  I start to wind down, all is good.  I am treated to the same wonderful subtlety and class to the end.

Glad I have a few more cabinets in stock.

 

 

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