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Connoisseur's Corner

Connoisseur's Corner: Three Classic Cubans

(From the February 2015 issue of Cigar Aficionado) Cigars can be delicate things. Leave one naked on your desk for a few hours and the wrapper will begin to go dry. Forget one in your golf bag for months and the cigar might be stripped of its humidity and flavor, never the same. But give your cigars some care, keep them in their boxes in a proper walk-in humidor, checking on them regularly, cracking open the boxes, inspecting, test smoking on occasion, making sure all is well, then things can get truly interesting. Cigars crafted with care from vibrant, quality tobaccos will improve with age, as this quintet of older Cubans and one well-aged Miami smoke shows. Three earned a rating of classic on our 100-point scale, two of them stately Cuban double coronas made right around the time this magazine first came into existence.

 

Punch Double Corona (1990)

98

Punch Double Corona (1990)

This lovely, large smoke has a smooth and mellow draw. The cigar brims with chocolate notes, complemented by hints of cinnamon and bracing licorice. Absolutely delicious.

— Marvin R. Shanken

Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona (1993)

97

Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona (1993)

While the draw on this large, gorgeous cigar is a bit tight, boy is it delicious. It has classic Cuban flavors along with plenty of cinnamon and nutmeg that come alive on the palate. A truly flavorful smoke made a year after the launch of Cigar Aficionado magazine.

— Marvin R. Shanken

H. Upmann No. 1 (1993)

96

H. Upmann No. 1 (1993)

A slow starter that rewards your patience with an emerging nutty character, followed by a pleasant note of cinnamon-sprinkled graham cracker and a touch of creamy coffee. A nuanced, balanced and elegant cigar with a beautiful performance.

— David Savona

Saint Luis Rey Serie A (1993)

94

Saint Luis Rey Serie A (1993)

This chunky smoke is flavorful right from the first puff, with tasty notes of baker's chocolate and vanilla. It’s tasty, and a delightful performer, with a great draw and a smooth, even burn, but the character of the cigar doesn’t change very much, and the finish lacks some of the intensity one would expect.

— David Savona

Sancho Panza Non Plus (1994)

94

Sancho Panza Non Plus (1994)

Copious, polished and silky in texture, the smoke of this petit corona layers the palate with sophisticated nutty impressions that range from cashews and pistachios to hazelnuts and almonds. Traces of brown sugar on the floral finish balance out the cigar.

— Gregory Mottola

Tatuaje Reserva “A” Uno (2009)

93

Tatuaje Reserva “A” Uno (2009)

This Miami-made smoke showcases the early cigarmaking talent of José “Pepin” Garcia. This nine-inch-long smoke is impeccably crafted, and the cigar has an elegant draw and even burn. It’s aged well. The cigar has a pleasant medium body, with rich notes of milk chocolate, lots of vanilla bean and a slightly floral, easygoing finish.

— David Savona

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