H. Upmann No. 2

If Cuba’s best-known torpedo is the Montecristo No. 2, perhaps the country’s best-kept secret is the H. Upmann No. 2. An insider’s cigar, the H. Upmann No. 2 is a carbon copy of the ubiquitous Monte, sharing the same stately appearance, with its proud, pointed head and substantial 52 ring gauge. Cuba makes fewer H. Upmanns than Montecristos, so the Upmann is a harder find, but well worth the search, with a solid core of earthy flavor, nuts and coffee beans. These are hearty smokes, and for the past three years they have performed consistently well in our blind tastings. The H. Upmann brand is one of the oldest in the cigar world, dating back to 1844. The brand was born as the brainchild of a German banker named Herman Upmann (or Hupmann, depending on what you read). From his legacy, it seems that Mr. Upmann was a better cigar man than he was a banker, something that the cigar world truly appreciates.

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