Cuba’s tiny and relatively new H. Upmann Half Corona, a 3 1/2-inch long, 44 ring gauge smoke, has been on the market for some time, but only in boxes of 25. Today, Habanos S.A., Cuba’s cigar export organization, announced that it was commencing shipments of the little smokes in metal tins, each containing five cigars.
The little H. Upmann made its first appearance in Havana, in February 2011, when it was previewed to attendees of the Habanos Festival. (I smoked a sample of the cigar at the opening dinner of the festival; for my first impressions that night you can read my blog.)
Cuba began making the little Upmanns later that year, and they went on sale at the end of 2011. The first rating appeared in the February 2012 issue of Cigar Insider, where the cigar (box date, July 2011) scored 91 points.
We called the Half Corona “a dark, oily little smoke whose first puffs deliver a bracing shot of up-front salty flavors, which are counterbalanced by walnut notes and hints of orange peel.”
Cuban officials say the cigars in metal tins will begin arriving in a few weeks.
Tins are a fine way to transport cigars—they offer protection from crushing, plus they look good. The Upmann case is decorated with gold medals on the lid; it swings open to reveal five cigars.
Cuban cigar packaging has grown increasingly ornate and professional, and includes such stylish creations as the Cohiba Pirmide Tubo, coming out later this year; the H. Upmann Noellas, packaged in an antique-style amatista jar, and the gorgeous and distinctive black-laquer boxes containing Cohiba Behike BHKs, some of the best Cuban cigars made in recent memory.