When I went to try the H Upmann Banker Annuity, I felt like Scrooge McDuck, the cartoon character who liked to smoke cigars and sleep on a bed of money. I suspect the character has since been pulled from the annals of history or at least gone through the political-correctness washing machine. I on the other hand felt like I should be lighting this cigar with a $20 bill. I enjoyed it that much. It looked classy…it was well-made…it had an evolving taste…and it made me feel superior. What else could you ask for in a cigar?
The original brand founder Herman Upmann, was a German banker who in 1844 went to Havana Cuba and invested in a cigar factory – which became the H. Upmann brand. This cigar is meant to honor Herman and the special blend he created to honor his most favored clients. I’m not sure what the 1844 version tasted like, but this is just as good as I hoped it would be.
This cigar is part of the H. Upmann reset with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, Nicaraguan (Jalapa) binder, and Nicaraguan and Dominican filler. From the start there is a slight peppery taste, followed by a chocolate hint. As the smoke progressed, a stronger earthy flavor emerged. Spicy notes float in the background. The draw was excellent throughout with an even burn. The H Upmann Banker Annuity is as solid of a smoke as I could hope for in this price range.
|Construction||Fresh out of the humidor, how does the cigar look? Are large veins evident in the wrapper? Does the cigar have a firm feel to it?||1-15||13|
|Band||Is the band an embarrassment that you wouldn’t want to smoke in public?||1-5||5|
|First Puff||How satisfying is the very first puff of the cigar?||1-10||8|
|Draw||Can the cigar be smoked without strain? Does it burn up too quickly?||1-15||14|
|Flavor||Does it achieve all three notes? Does the flavor come through to the smoker sufficiently?||1-20||18|
|Aroma||Is the aroma of the cigar while burning fragrant or offensive?||1-10||8|
|Ash/Burn||Does the cigar produce a solid ash? Is it flaky? Does it canoe?||1-10||8|
|Value||Bucks per puff. For the enjoyment is the cigar reasonably priced?||1-15||15|