Cigar Aficionado

Tasting H. Upmann’s Heavy Ring Gauges

There are 13 cigars (not counting special releases and limited editions) that make up the Cuban H. Upmann portfolio. Five of those cigars are classified as "heavy ring gauge" smokes by the Cuban cigar industry, meaning they are 46 ring and fatter. Last week, Cigar Insider rated all five H. Upmann heavy ring gauge cigars to test their quality.

The H. Upmann brand has a long history. Created in 1844 by German banker Herman Upmann, whose family also founded a bank in Cuba, the brand was acquired in the 1930s by Menendez, Garcia y Cia., the company that owned and manufactured the Montecristo brand in pre-Castro Cuba. Because of Montecristo's huge success, the company was able to put its resources into H. Upmann and subsequently revitalize the brand. It has been commercially successful ever since.

Habanos S.A., which controls distribution of Cuban cigars on a worldwide basis, classifies H. Upmann as one of its "national brands," meaning that it can be found wherever Cuban cigars are sold.

Most of the H. Upmann heavy ring gauge cigars scored quite well, but none performed better than the pyramid-shaped No. 2, which scored 92 points. The 6 1/8-inch long cigar, which has a 52 ring gauge and is a doppelganger to the far more famous Montecristo No. 2, came from a box dated April 2012.

Want to see how the rest of the line fared? Read the August 27 Cigar Insider.