|H. Upmann Legacy|
The H. Upmann Legacy is a 2013 release by Altadis USA. This marks yet another brand by Altadis that is undergoing a facelift. One of our Top 12 Cigar Stories/Themes from 2012 was the movement by Altadis to reinvigorate some of their existing brands. In addition to jazzing up the blends, Altadis has also been providing some very modern-like packaging on these brands. This approach had already been done on the VegaFina, Montecristo, Trinidad, Romeo y Julieta, and Te-Amo brands. Now Altadis turns to the H. Upmann line and introduces the H. Upmann Legacy. With the case of this cigar, Altadis USA hits paydirt with this one. This cigar is nothing short of a home run and really is going to breath life into the H. Upmann line of Altadis.
The H. Upmann Legacy is the first new blend in Altadis’ H. Upmann line since the reblend was done on the H. Upmann 1844 Reserve. Back when we assessed that cigar, we provided some background into the H. Upmann line and how it came to Altadis:
The name H. Upmann is one of the classic names in the cigar industry. This cigar has its origins back in Cuba where founder Herman Upmann opened his first cigar factory in 1844 (thus the name of the cigar here). The company went bankrupt in 1922 and the name (and production) was eventually acquired by Menendez y Garcia co. – the company that made Montecristo. The Cuban Revolution led to the nationalization of Cuban cigar companies – including H. Upmann. As a result of this, Menendez and Garcia would move the brand to the Canary Islands, then to the Dominican Republic. The brand would eventually come under the ownership of Altadis. The end result is that this is why there is a Cuban H.Upmann and a Dominican H.Upmann.
Let’s take a closer look at the H. Upmann Legacy and see what this cigar brings to the table:
The H. Upmann Legacy is made in Honduras at the Flor de Copan factory. An Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper marks the first time this tobacco has been used as a wrapper on an H. Upmann cigar. All of the tobaccos are from a vintage 2008 crop (a similar strategy was employed on the Montecristo Epic Vintage 2007 – but that cigar used a 2007 crop).
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan
At this time, the H. Upmann Legacy is being launched in three frontmarks. Each are sold in boxes of 20.
Corona: 5 1/2 x 44
Toro: 6 x 52
Robusto: 5 x 54
For this cigar assessment, I smoked the Toro vitola. The H. Upmann Legacy was advertised as having a darker Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, but I found this particular Sumatra wrapper to not be much darker than average. The wrapper has a medium brown color and is somewhat on the thicker side. I would say the wrapper is not oily, and not coarse in texture. There are some visible veins and the wrapper seams can be seen upon close examination.
There are two bands to the H. Upmann Legacy. Both bands have a radically different color scheme than any H. Upmann previously released. The primary band has a brown background. It features a orange half-moon design with the text H. UPMANN (also in orange) arranged around it. The name “Legacy” is in orange cursive to the left and right. There are some additional green adornments to the band. The top and bottom have gold, orange, and green trim.
The secondary band is on the footer. It also has a brown background. In large orange cursive font is the text “Legacy”. The text H. UPMANN appears to the left and right of that cursive font in smaller orange font.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my smoke of the H. Upmann Legacy Toro, I went with a straight cut into the cap of the cigar. When I started the pre-light draw, I treated to some baker’s spice notes. I also detected an interesting sweetness on the dry draw that I could not put my finger on. Overall, this was a rather pleasing pre-light draw experience. At this point, it was time to light up the Legacy and see what this cigar would deliver.
The start to the H. Upmann Legacy Toro provided a blast of pepper. Once the pepper receded, some cocoa notes joined the pepper as a primary flavor. I also detected a floral note that became prominent on the retro-hale.
By the five percent point, the pepper became more of a secondary note. Some natural tobacco flavors joined the cocoa in the forefront. The floral notes remained prominent on the retro-hale.
By about the ten percent mark, the floral notes joined the natural tobacco and cocoa as primary notes. The flavors had a nice fusion together, yet each of the notes could be picked out individually. These flavors would hold right into the second third of the cigar. In that second third, the pepper notes picked up and became a key part of the retro-hale.
In the last third, the flavor profile became a combination of cocoa and pepper. The pepper was now more prominent on the full-draw of the cigar. While there was some spice toward the end, the cocoa notes countered them very nicely. The close to the cigar experience was flavorful and not harsh. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and slightly soft to the touch.
Burn and Draw
The H. Upmann Legacy scored extremely well in the area of burn and draw. The burn line remained sharp from start to finish. This was a low maintenance burn that required minimal touch-ups. The cigar produced abundant smoke along the way – thus this was a great cigar to retro-hale on. The resulting ash was tight with a classic salt and pepper color. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
The draw was outstanding. It was not too loose and not too tight. This made the Legacy a great cigar to puff on from start to finish.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, the H. Upmann Legacy starts out medium. In the first third, the strength does kick up a notch into the medium to full range. As for the flavors, this cigar provides some deep and robust notes. This is a full-bodied smoke from start to finish. I found the H. Upmann Legacy to be a cigar that definitely emphasizes flavor over strength. Yet, the Legacy also brings enough pop to satisfy most cigar enthusiasts who enjoy a cigar on the stronger side.
Of all of the lines that Altadis USA has reinvigorated, the H. Upmann Legacy might have provided one of the biggest boosts to date. This cigar really delivered an outstanding all-around smoking experience. While I really enjoyed the way the flavors hit my tongue, this cigar really provides an interesting experience when it comes to the retro-hale. The solid burn and draw also help this cigar score real well. All of these attributes will be very pleasing to an experienced cigar enthusiast. This is a great cigar for a novice cigar enthusiast looking to graduate to something a little stronger – namely medium to full in strength. As for myself, I very much enjoyed this cigar. Not only would I purchase this cigar again, but it is one that is worth purchasing a box of.
Strength: Medium to Full (Medium to Start)
Source: The cigars for this assessment were purchased from JR Cigars in Statesville, North Carolina.