H. Upmann – Legacy
I hope everyone had a great, and safe St. Patty’s day. I spend the weekend over at Jeremy’s throwing bean bags, smoking cigars, and drinking a few great beers. On Sunday, I completed my summer-prep yard work, and lite up an H. Upmann Legacy.
The Good Stuff: The Legacy is the newest H. Upmann offering from our friends over at Altadis U.S.A. The cigar was released this passed month and features a Ecuadorian Sumatran wrapper stuffed with vintage tobacco from 2008. The Legacy is manufactured in Honduras and is the first blend in the H. Upmann portfolio to feature Ecuadorian Sumatra tobacco. The Legacy comes in 3 size: Corona (5 ½ x 44), Robusto (5 x 54), and Toro (6 x 52). They are packaged in boxes of 20 ranging from $5.85 – $6.85 a stick. These samples were provided to us by Altadis.
Size: 6 x 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican
Pairing: Santa Fe Brewing Happy Camper IPA (6.6% ABV IPA)
Prelight: H. Upmann’s Legacy is a beauty. The wrapper on this bad boy is incredibly oily with a few larger veins, and runs a beautiful, medium brown with lots of orange, and darker brown spots. The construction on this cigar is, in a word, perfect. The cigar is heavy, and incredibly tightly packed. I could seriously knock someone out with this cigar if I had to. The wrapper is very thick, and very firm as the cigar gives absolutely nothing as I squeeze it between my fingers. The cigar is finished off with a perfectly round double cap. The Legacy sports a simple band with the H. Upmann crest in gold, orange, brown and greet ink, with the words “Legacy” printed on each side. If that wasn’t enough the cigar carries a foot band as well with the word “Legacy” once again printed in the front and “H. Upmann” printed on both side making for a total of 3 times for each combined on both bands. I doubt you will forget what cigar you are smoking.
The Legacy’s wrapper gives off a very slight tobacco and spice aroma while the foot of the cigar releases nothing more than a very subtle natural tobacco scent. The cap cut extremely easy using my double bladed Palio cutter. The cold draw started out with this crazy-strong black pepper taste I wasn’t expecting. In fact, it was potent enough to make my lips tingle. Underneath was some soft cedar and lots of straight up tobacco.
First Smoke: As I suspected from the cold draw, the H. Upmann Legacy started out with lots of black pepper which faded very quickly leaving behind some tobacco, spice, and char type flavors. At first, I suspected that I may have over-toasted the cigar when lighting up. But after I smoked through the samples I realized that char taste was evident on each one. The draw on this cigar was great. Each little puff pumped out tons of thick, white smoke. The Legacy gave off little, to no stationary smoke while it maintained a very sharp, very solid burnline through the first third of the cigar. The ash left behind was a bit flaky and bright white with mixed in greys which held on for an inch before falling into my ashtray.
Halfway There: Halfway through this H. Upmann Legacy and that char taste is still there. It almost tastes like burning cardboard. There is still some subtle spice, and natural tobacco but a bit of earthiness and cedar have started to show face. The retrohale is actually rather wonderful coating my nasal passage with a very sweet cedar and spice. I wish those flavors were more pronounced in the actual smoking experience. The cigar is still burning dead even while I am feeling nothing in the nicotine department while I close out the second third.
Finish: The cedar and spice that I enjoyed in the second third of the Legacy have dropped out leaving me with a very mild tobacco, slight sweetness, and that lingering cardboard type flavor. The cigar did however finish very clean and smooth with no harshness at all, all the way down to the nub. The Legacy took me about an hour and a half to take down and it didn’t need any touch ups or relights the entire time finishing the burnline just as clean as it started. I didn’t get any type of nicotine buzz from the experience either.
Overview: There are two ways of looking at this cigar. First of all, the important areas. The construction was a perfect as it gets. The Legacy is beautiful. The burn was flawless and continued to be the entire length of the cigar. Those are the most important considerations to any cigar experience given the fact that they are not subjective. No one wants to have a cigar fall apart, burn like crap, or relight the damn thing 100 times and the Legacy excels in all these areas. Now for the more subjective area. The flavors in the experience did absolutely nothing for me. First of all, I tend to lean towards full-bodied cigars with lots of flavors and lots of change-ups. The Legacy was quite the opposite. While the cigar was very mild, it carried very little flavor and the flavors that I did pick out did not appeal to me. The char-cardboard flavor was on the bottom of that list for sure. Now I have read a few reviews that have sang songs of praise for this cigar and I remind you that this is simply my opinion. Now if you like mild experience and shy away from cigars with too much flavor then I could see this cigar as one you might want to pick up. If you’re like me and crave that “Umph” in your experience then I would recommend you pass this one up.
Pairing: Having smoked a few of the Legacy’s, I went in knowing that the flavor profile wasn’t for me. It lacked, in my opinion so much. As I stated before, I am a more full-bodied smoker so I wanted to try and pair this cigar with a beer that could really help uplift the palate. An IPA was my first choice. I didn’t however, want a strong, piney, hoppy IPA cause that would have buried any chances to pick up the flavors in this smoke, so I reached for one of Santa Fe Brewing’s Happy Camper IPAs. Happy Camper is brewed at the Santa Fe Brewery in Santa Fe, New Mexico and comes in at 6.6% ABV. One of the reasons why I like this beer so much is instead of feeding off the piney hops, it boasts of strong, zesty citrus flavors with a hoppy and malty aftertaste. While those flavors really helped in adding a little something to the cigar experience, it wasn’t enough to either overpower the smoke, or bring it up to the next level.