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H. Upmann Cigars Taste Test

H. Upmann Magnum 46
Reviewed by Steve Smith

H Upmann Magnum 46 CigarIntroduction: This head spinning tasty stick arrived via stealth bomber when I made a wish from across the Ohio river. Thank you DonJefe. Anyone want to buy some really nice domestics cheap? This is ridiculous I have been smoking cigars for 20 years and feel like an idiot not going dark earlier.

Pre-Light Ruminations: Smelled nice a lot like the permanent resonant smell from my mustache. No matter what I do always that cigar smell in the short hairs. This kind of flavors any pre light thoughts. Looks like a rough triple cap. Nice firm cigar - but without exception in my limited experience Cubans seem firmer than the domestics. Pre light draw was slightly tight but good.

Initial Thoughts: This stick started out raspy and settled in after about a ½ inch. For its ring size it was not as strong as I expected medium to full with a little sharp nose. Kept my interest, got some twang, not ethereal, but good at this price point.

Mid Burn Experience Settled in to that nice leather, coffee zone got a little 3D as the buzz set in. Burn was great. Stopped at a Walgreen's for more nicorette and left the stick on the mirror. This yappy little dog in the car next door shut up and just stared at the smoke. Was still staring when I came back out. I felt the same way. Got that nice subtle nutty flavor and more so a what the hell is that flavor kind of feeling tying to put to words the sensation.

Last Third Got a bit stronger towards the end. Spice came forward. Not ultra smooth but good. Nutty spice some tongue twang and a real good buzz. Smoked it to the nub.

Conclusion: Nice smoke a little different than the ones I've had so far. Liked it, seems like a decent value and deserving of some more attention. More on the way.

I don't think we needed to know about the moustache effect on the aroma of cigars. A little to innocuous but some good comments in between the by play.
Score: 6/10
Reviewed by: Joe Mazloom

After an interesting (?) start that almost switched me off, this review settles down to a really nice straightforward set of easy to understand descriptives completely different from the previous two. Good work.
Score: 8/10
Reviewed by: Richard Whitwell

An good review. This would be my second place choice. The author organized the review well; however, he did not pay attention to the details in this cigar. He could have left out the part where he went into a store and left the cigar burning in the car.
Score: 7/10
Reviewed by: Heike Billy


H. Upmann Tubed Coronas Junior
Reviewed by Martin Cooper

h. upmann tubed coronas junior A beginners Epiphany
(Subtitled: Not a particularly 'flowery' review, and devoid of any great adjectives, but one which I thought I should share).

I'm a relative newcomer to the cigar scene having been gradually introduced, and cajoled, into the delights of Cubans by my good friend Kev over the past few years. Often a visit to his house would involve a series of long chats into the early hours, a bottle or two of sensuous dark rum, and of course a couple of cigars. Cigars handed to me with names which i cannot remember and descriptions of tastes that, I'm afraid to admit, I just didn't get.

To me, the tastes were easily categorised into those I did like and those I didn't. What was I missing? I was even beginning to feel there was a massive conspiracy against me, and that all mention of spices, cream, etc were invented by unscrupulous cigar merchants to rob the unwitting of their hard earned cash!!

Afraid of stretching my friend's patience too far, I took the plunge and ordered a couple of sampler packs from C.GARS Ltd. With eager anticipation, I received the package and over the next few days smoked a variety of cigars in the hope that I would find that missing link.

Alas, nothing.

I was determined not to give up. I persuaded some colleagues at work to join me in making a purchase from C.GARS Ltd, and with some advice from Kev and trepidation on my part, (after all, I'm no expert) I suggested to them the purchase of, amongst others, a handful of H. Upmann Tubed Coronas Junior

The box arrived and I put them to one side, not tempted to delve into them for the first couple of weeks. Until............

A gorgeous late-Spring evening in May, temperature still in the 70's even as the sun was setting over the house. I arrived home from work, kicked off my shoes and loosened my tie and spooned some ground coffee into the cafeteria. As I settled into the garden chair and sipped my coffee I got the overwhelming urge to try one more time to find those tastes that had eluded me.

Opening the humijar (supplied free by C.GARS Ltd, thank you!), I chose a H. Upmann Tubed Coronas Junior and returned to the garden. Snipping the end and taking in the aroma, I was as hopeful as ever, but would I end up as disappointed as before?

It lit perfectly, as all cubans do, but the first few puffs left me feeling deflated and dejected. Was I EVER going to appreciate cigars properly?

Then it happened.

An overwhelming taste that made my taste buds jump to attention! A smooth caressing creamy feeling inside my mouth as I held the smoke there for a split second! Was that nuts?? I think it was!, but sweet! perhaps coconut, but with a slight kick! - pistachio?!? I wasn't sure - but I liked it!! An indefinable spicy taste that made the sides of my tongue tingle! Even the feel of the thing as I rolled it between my fingers was something I'd never experienced before!

And it lasted!... right down to the very last puff. I smoked it down to the band and beyond, I just didn't want to stop!

You'll be pleased to learn, (as I was), this was no isolated incident, and has been repeated on every occasion since, with a variety of brands. I've even revisited my first purchases and can now enjoy them as they should be.

Although my taste buds have finally acclimatised themselves to the delights of fine smoking, the H. Upmann Tubed Coronas Junior will always be my favourite and remembered fondly as the smoke that opened the door and ushered me into the realm of true appreciation.

If you have a 'novice' friend who is struggling to appreciate your taste in fine cigars, hand them a H. Upmann Tubed Coronas Junior, tell them my story, and let them know that it IS true, good things DO come to those who wait !!!

P.S I still don't 'get' the 'chocolate' taste !! - Give me a nice bar of Bourneville any day !!

Well done.
Score: 7/10
Reviewed by: Robert Williams

It was a nice story. I was reminiscing of when I first started smoking cigars way back then. I too was searching for that spectacular flavour profile that I was reading. And then I had the one special smoke and boom I was getting all kinds of nuance and subtleties of the smoke. The review it self lacked a bit more info about the cigar being smoked.
Score: 7/10
Reviewed by: Steve Smith

What a great review, this captured my exact thoughts when I was but a newbie stogie stubber ! When will those taste buds pick up cream…is it really there or is there someone cleverly coming up with these tastes to sell more? Whilst I am sure this does happen in this case it does not, Nice cigar, well reviewed and great to see a newbie not afraid to persevere with discovering one of lifes great pleasures. !
Score: 8/10 Reviewed by: Mat Nicholls


H. Upmann Connoisseur No. 1
Reviewed by Van Vandermeer (October 2003)

H. Upmann Connoisseur No. 1 Cigar - Cab of 25 Around Christmas time last year, I bought a sampler of fifty different single Cuban cigars from CGarsLtd along with a great bookshelf humidor. It has been an interesting adventure to experience these cigars -- most of which I would probably never have tried if they hadn't been in the shipment. Cuaba and Juan Lopez and Por Larranaga are three examples of brands that I doubt I would have taken a chance to try. In addition, each of the cigars in the sampler was reported to have a minimum of six years of age on it. No factory codes or boxing dates were provided.

The other night I pulled from the few remaining cigars of the sampler one that had the H. Upmann red band. At first look, I thought it was a Petit Corona. I took it out to the garage with a glass of Sam Adams Lager, turned on the DVD player ("Punch-Drunk Love" starring Adam Sandler -- give it a miss!) and sat down in my antique rocking chair.

I examined the cigar. It had excellent construction with almost no veins and no hard or soft spots. The triple cap was perfect. The wrapper was just a half shade lighter than they typical Cuban cigar. The cigar had that unmistakeable "barnyard aroma" pre-light.

I clipped the cigar cleanly with my Zino double-bladed cutter. The pre-light draw was ideal -- just firm enough and tasting of great things to come.

I torched the foot of the cigar with my Colibri Edge lighter (perfect for a pocket carry). It lit evenly. My first impression was that this was a very mild smoke with not much to offer. However, after a few tokes, the flavor developed incredibly. The smoke was smooth, creamy and spicy with hints of nutmeg. The volume of smoke was huge, and the aroma of the exhaled smoke was fabulous. Even non-smokers would probably not take too much offense at the second-hand smoke that billowed around my head and drifted softly in the hot, humid air of the night.

After smoking about half an inch of the cigar, I decided that I didn't want to leave its identification to guesswork. I measured both the length (just under 130 mm) and diameter (about 19 mm). It was too thick to be a Petite Corona. I would have to do a bit of research after I finished.

I continued enjoying the cigar. As with most Cuban's, each new puff carried a different nuance from the last. The sweetness and cream persisted, but the spices and undertones varied in subtle ways so that there wasn't a moment of boredom -- a bit of coffee here, perhaps some coriander there, a hint of chocolate a suspicion of rosemary?

The light-gray ash was firm, bespeaking a very well-rolled cigar. It dropped in my lap after just over 2 inches. The burn was razor sharp, and after the ash fell, there was no evidence of tunneling.

Despite the fact that the movie I was watching was terrible, I didn't want the cigar to disappear. When there was only a bit over an inch of it left, I skewered it with my Petroglyph Designs Cigar Poker and smoked it to the very last 3/4 inch. Even then the smoke was not unbearably hot.

After sadly dropping the remains into my ashtray, I went back inside the house and quickly looked up the website of my favorite vendor to find out for sure just what it was that I had smoked. The measurements that I had taken were a near-perfect match for the H. Upmann Connoisseur No. 1 (127 mm X 19.05mm).

I usually favor "stronger" cigars, such as RASS, PSD4 and BBF. This cigar wasn't powerful in the sense that those are. However, it was enormously flavorful and full of smoke. If I hadn't been smoking it, I would have turned off the stupid movie and gone to bed. As it was, even a bad movie couldn't spoil a great cigar experience. All it needed to be better was a good friend or two to share the experience with. Sharing this review will have to suffice for that.

There's a box of H.Upmann Connies in my future.

Now we're talking! Insightful, easy to read and to the point, I had to agree with both the cigar review AND the movie review. LOL! I love the Conn #1's and this nailed it to a tee. I especially liked the very last sentence. Kind of summed up how I felt when I finished reading this one.
Score: 10/10
Reviewed by Pete G

Nice review with good details. Very descriptive notes throughout about how the cigar actually tasted, without going overboard, very well written and about the perfect amount of reading time. Explaining your 'normal smokes' helps out considerably (something I am not good at doing).
Score: 8/10
Reviewed by Jody B

Now this is the kind of review that I like! This guy(?) truly enjoyed this smoke and even researched to find its make and size. We have all been there when a cigar peaked our interest enough to delve into its mysteries. He(?) didn't overwhelm me with nuances that I've never detected in a cigar, just a straight forward review that had me wanting to try one myself.
Rating: 10/10
Reviewed by Mike W

The H. Upmann Connoisseur No 1 reviewer is much closer to home and seems to enjoy new experiences. I can definitely relate to smoking an untried cigar for the first time and having an incredible experience. It is never the same after the first time.
Score: 6/10
Reviewed by Barry V


H. Upmann Coronas
Reviewed by Matt Beliveau (May 2002)

I'm now a 26 year old former military officer and married to another former military officer. After nearly 4 years abroad while in the Army, I returned to civilian life and the United States a little over a year ago. I took a job in a management development program with a global consumer product (food) company. I'm currently living and working in the mid-western US.

It was rather difficult moving back to the US after several years of great access to Cuban cigars, while living in Germany. Fortunately I was able to fill up both of my humidors with my favorite Cuban vitolas prior to my move. I packed them away carefully prior to the movers arrival and marked the packages as antique wooden boxes. They didn't seem care, though that may have been a result of letting them take the remainder of the bottles in my liquor cabinet with them at the end of the day!

I've been rationing my supply over the last year while augmenting it from time to time with purchases from C.Gars Ltd. Needless to say it was a great surprise when a recent Saturday trip to the mailbox yielded a package from England. My wife and I had just walked tot he corner post box to drop off some bills we had paid and walked back towards our own post box to check the mail. She saw the package as soon as I did. As I pulled it out she said to me Ordering cigars again dear?

Actually no, I replied. These ones came for free! I then explained the Taste Test Challenge to her. I'm not sure that she really cared at that point, she was happy that I had not been sending dollars after Cuban cigars again. I guess what she doesn't know won't hurt her!

I went inside and immediately opened my package to find a trio of H. Upmann coronas. Much to my delight they had a nice bit of bloom on them. Obviously aged, they visibly appeared to have suffered from their long journey. I put them down to rest for a few days in a humidor prior to smoking.

A few days later I pulled the first one out and settled in on the back porch after dinner with a glass Sangiovese. The appearance of the cigar was near perfect. It had a great triple cap on it, a good wrapper with few, small veins. A sniff of it yielded a heady aroma, a surprise for a small cigar. My mouth began to water in anticipation. A quick clip of the cap, a toast and torch of the foot from the lighter, and the taste test was on! From the first intake of smoke the cigar drew like a dream, immediately filling my mouth with earthy tones. It stayed like this for the first inch or so and then subtly developed into a slight coffee/mocha-like taste. It was full-flavored, no doubt about that. However, there was nothing overpowering about it. In fact it had an almost soothing quality to it. As the sun drew down over the horizon, the cigar grew shorter and more enjoyable with each puff. I carefully removed the band as the glowing foot inched closer. I did not want to give this cigar up! I will swear that it had been aged several years and represented all that is good and right about quality Havanas. I finally had to put it down so as not to burn my fingers. I found myself yearning for another one like this but in a churchill size. I thought about going right for one of the remaining two but decided that the perfection of the moment should be enjoyed. The other two would have to wait their turn.

The second corona was brought with me a few days later for a round of golf after work. After the first one I was really looking forward to this one. Appearance-wise it wasn't as pleasing as the first. The cap was somewhat crooked and the wrapper had some larger veins running through it. Pre-light aroma though was still fantastic with a dark chocolate and cinnamon aroma. Again I used a guillotine style cutter to cut the head and a torch lighter for the foot. I teed off and away we went! Now walking and smoking a cigar is one of my favorite ways to enjoy a smoke and this proved no differently. It drew well at the first puff, though I did have some burn inconsistencies as it inched towards the band. This was due more to the high winds on the links than a construction problem in my mind. It drew a little tighter about halfway through the cigar. The flavor was consistent throughout, though not nearly as pronounced as in the first one. I may have been distracted by a poor game of golf on my part though. One thing I did notice that differed significantly from the first corona was that it didn't produce a lot of smoke while the other did. While it didn't disappoint, it didn't provide the same fulfilling experience as the first one. However, it had the distinct Havana taste that Cuban cigars do and that put a smile on my face for the entire front nine holes.

The final H. Upmann was removed from the humidor a few days later. Its appearance was similar to the first with a solid cap and smooth wrapper. It also had a bit of bloom on it, again an indication that these have been properly stored and well aged. The vitola was firm to the touch, with no signs of being under or over filled. I poured myself a glass of Talisker single malt scotch and retired to the back deck for a pleasant evening. Again I used a double-bladed cutter to snip the top and a Blazer torch lighter for a flame. From the first intake I knew that this was a great cigar. It had that Cuban twang in its taste and a rich earthy flavor filled my mouth. It was rather strong for the first inch or so and then settled into a smooth, rich taste for the remainder. Similar to the other two it left a perfect gray-white ash that clung to the remainder of the cigar as it burnt. It produced a good amount of smoke and drew well. It was also well complemented by the scotch. As the sun set I felt bittersweet having enjoyed three fabulous cigars this week but knowing that they were now gone. I recommend these highly to all cigar smokers, whether novice or connoisseur. Buy some and lay them down for a year or two. They are a great smoke with a wonderful flavor in a relatively small size. I will be adding some to my humidor in the near future. Thank you C.Gars LTD for the opportunity to be a taste tester!

H. Upmann
Reviewed by Richard Whitwell (December 2001)

Cigar #1 Cut easily, lit easily. Smoked whilst strolling around the local footpaths. Perfect draw, burn and smoke quantity. Pleasant fragrant smoke (in my opinion). 40 minutes to smoke. No harsh tastes throughout. Finished at 1 inch left. Amazingly, it didn't get bitter at all! Smoked without a drink which is not something I normally do!

Cigar #2 lit well and smoked well to half way. Good volume of smoke and aroma. Great taste to start, subtle with undertones of the more complex cigars but without the power. Unlike the 1st it got quite gnarly after half way and then got bitter. Wine with meal before and a small Aberlour malt during. May be this was a bit too much for the cigar? On the whole good with enough interest to continue smoking until the bitterness...

Cigar #3 this was exactly the same as cigar #2 except I smoked it with a pint of cider. Again, after half way it got to be a little too rough for me. Pity as the first half was light and enjoyable.

Summary Pleasant, smooth and consistent throughout. Good daytime smoke without any great residual taste (aka long finish) and no need to wash it down with alki. Taste did vary slightly throughout the smoke but not to the complexity of a heavier cigar. There was an under tow of a particular taste but just couldn't quite nail it down. OK, the Upmann range probably just isn't for me but I couldn't possibly fault the overall quality.

Thanks C.Gars, for the pleasure of trying these.

H. Upmann Connoisseur No. 1
Reviewed by Michael Griffith (November 2000)

A few weeks ago I went to check the mail and eureka! A package from my favorite travel book club had arrived. Inside were three H Upmann Connoisseur No. 1s . I wanted to light one right there on the street but decided that about a week in the humidor would give them the chance to settle down a little after their long journey. It wasn't easy. Everyday as I would pick out a daily smoke there they were tempting me. But I was strong and waited until the right opportunity presented itself.

The cigars appeared a little rough, all three having veins down the length of a rich brown wrapper. The pre-smoke aroma was very pleasant yet mild. One of the cigars had a slightly smaller diameter along with a slight reddish hue to the wrapper. I measured all three. Two were identical at 127mm x 19.05mm, the third measured at 127mm x 17.5mm. I assumed they were pulled from different boxes. A very solid construction. The caps were not the perfect triple cap that I have noted on most Cuban cigars. All three cut without a problem.

The first cigar I smoked while sitting in the den while my wife was doing some work on the computer one evening. I tested the pre-light draw and found it a little tight. The amount of smoke while not what I expected from this diameter was adequate. There was plenty of flavor but it was very mild. I found the finish to be short. My wife's comments on the aroma were positive, "kind of mellow". About an inch down a very notable bulge formed and the cigar began to burn uneven. Several splits in the wrapper and I thought I would have to retire this soldier early. The bulge lasted about another inch but the burn never corrected. The ash was a solid gray color that held well despite the uneven burn. I could detect a little nutty flavor in the first half with overtones of cocoa during the latter.

The second cigar I smoked midafternoon while everyone was out of the house. Total quite. It was nice. The draw on this cigar was not as tight as the first. It lit without a problem providing just slightly more smoke than the first. Just like the first a very mild smoke with plenty of flavor. Again an uneven burn but no bulging this time. The wrapper started to come loose but this stopped after about 3/4 an inch. The burn while uneven was no deterrent in enjoying this smoke. It stayed firm, ashed well and provided for a very relaxing afternoon. Like the first a somewhat nutty taste that kicked in with cocoa at half-time. The body was consistent from start to end. Very mild but good flavor and a short finish.

The final sample was the one that measured at the smaller diameter than its companions. As I expected the draw on this cigar was very tight. I tried in earnest but it just wouldn't go. As disappointing as it was I gave up on this bugger about halfway through. I would guess that it was just rolled to tight.

I was a little disappointed in the burning characteristics of this cigar but everything else gave the indication of a good mild cigar perfect for the morning or midday smoke. Something that I could enjoy after a noon meal or a light dinner. Or with the a good cup of coffee and the Sunday paper on a crisp autumn morning.

H. Upmann No. 2
Reviewed by Pat Hamilton (December 2000)

Fast. The one word that best describes the time between my acceptance in the Taste Test and the package's arrival. If I didn't know better I'd swear my friends sent the package first and notified me later. Impressive enough but more so since this took place during the Christmas rush.

The cigars themselves were in great shape. The Upmann No. 2's featured a golden reddish-brown wrapper much like those from the H-2000 wrapper. Very few veins were evident except for one of medium size on one cigar. Not a large, ugly, "varicose" if you will, this noticeable vein actually added to the overall beauty of the cigar. In fact, if this one cigar was taken from a separate box as the other two, then that's the box I'd want in my humidor. Construction on all three was great, the caps on a Pyramid from Cuba are exceptional. Only Havana's finest rollers could produce this vitola. The initial aroma out of the package was deep....rich and earthy. I had the feeling they were going to be awesome smokes. But first I laid them to rest for several weeks.

Once rested up, both myself and the cigars, we were ready. The pre-light aroma is like it was on arrival, only sweeter. Like a fine steak marinating, the time in the humidor has brought out hidden treasures within. Slightly box pressed, the cigars are firm to the touch with no soft spots.

The first cigar I chose was the one with "the vein". Accompanying me was a nice strong pot of fresh French Roast. A clip and a light and a few minutes later volumes of blue smoke. It's amazing the amount of tobacco packed into this cigar could still produce such a nice clean draw. The aromas of a good cigar mixing with those of a good coffee filled the air. Is there a better way to start the day? Initial flavors were strong, spicy, and earthy. This is a bold cigar not unlike a Montecristo No. 2. The spice gives way to a more complex sweet earthiness about midway through with a hint of anis.

The ash is medium grey and firm. It doesn't want to let go. The burn is only slightly uneven, more than acceptable. It finishes long and well but the ultimate salute to this cigar came from my wife. She never left the room. She seemed to savor the aromas as much as I the cigar.

Cigar two was very much like the first. This time the coffee was Kona and I smoked alone. The only noticeable difference was a slightly flaky ash and uneven burn which was quickly rectified by my trusty Blazer. It never detracted from my enjoyment or the taste which was once again pure Havana Heaven.

The third cigar was enjoyed in the evening after a heavy meal and with some Fonseca Vintage Port. Not surprisingly, this added a bit of fruitiness to the flavors. The result was a rich and creamy treat with that long earthy finish.

I would recommend this cigar. IMHO, It's equally as tasty as the famed Monte No. 2 and only slightly less full bodied. And a big thank you to C.GARS for the smokes and the challenge!

H. Upmann Connoisseur No. 1
Reviewed by Joe Gellman

A box of cigars was deposited on my desk a few minutes ago. I was not expecting a shipment from C.GARS Ltd for another week and I was surprised by the delivery. I opened the box and was met by 25 dark, rich, cocoa brown wrapped cigars. It did not take me long to notice that this was the box I had been anticipating for over one-month.

When C.GARS Ltd suggested I buy the box I thought their description of the No. 1s was a bit over ebullient but, knowing them, I simply said "Send it."

While the aroma from the box gave the impression of a young cigar, the oils on the wrappers belied this fact. This box looked better than what I was expecting.

The construction of these cigars lacked a little finesse, all showing veins on the wrapper. While this did not detract from the enjoyment of the cigar, I always like to say what a gorgeous finish a cigar has (in my mind it adds to the smoking experience). The cigar I chose was the roughest looking one in the box.

All the cigars measured approximately 48 x 5; the variance in the length of the cigars was mainly due to the finish of the cap, some being flat, others rounder. Various tome on Cuban cigars measure it from 4 3/4 to 5 7/16 (the last, from Rudman's has got to be a printing error since I seriously doubt Upmann would produce such a long Robusto. The cigar shape is more correctly designated a Hermosos No. 4, and I enjoy this diameter more so that a 50 gauge cigar.

The cap was not a perfect "triple cap" but it was solidly placed. A view from the foot showed a fairly even bunching of the tobacco with some narrow open spaces in the filler. The foot was cut razor sharp.

Although uneven, the cap cut perfectly. It lit as if it was longing for the touch of my flame, and the first puff produced a most pleasant taste. The first impression is that of a hint of toast with undertones of wood. One has to be careful not to draw too hard on the cigar as it has a most excellent flow of smoke.

There is an almost immediate herbaceous taste, subtle yet verging on being open. I noticed a saltiness to the wrapper and an elusive hint of spice, perhaps pepper, but not harsh at all. I placed the cigar down and was able to smell a burnt wood aroma in the room (I quickly picked up the cigar to further enjoy this easy smoking Habano). I spent the better part of the first half of this cigar trying to remember what, in my past, could best describe what me senses revealed. For those of you who have the good fortune of living in an environ where late October is crisp, cold, and not yet laden with snow or torrents of precipitation, I can now pass on a memory that best describes the flavors and aromas of this cigar, for me. Kicking up fallen leaves in the street on a Halloween eve; the light spice of the wood, the gentle mustiness in the air and the fireplaces blazing...yes, that best describes this cigar.

The ash was solid and dark gray, crunching to the touch when it finally fell from the end, seeming to want to stay put until cajoled to leave its home. The cigar burned evenly from start to finish, never ran or went out; it almost smoked itself. The entire cigar remained firm to the last, and was cool at all times.

This cigar will never overwhelm you nor interfere with the flavors of a just finished meal. Considering the cost, this vitola is a must for anyone.