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.
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.
Reviewed by Van Vandermeer (October 2003)
Around Christmas time last year, I bought a sampler of fifty different single Cuban cigars from CGarsLtd along with a great bookshelf humidor.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Reviewed by Barry V
OVERALL SCORE: 34/40
Yet another great smoke from H.Upmann, I have had a few now and they have been consistent to say the least. This was probably my favourite, with losts of smoke and a dramaticly tasty finish. A great excuse to sit outside on a mild autumn evening and listen to the owls hunting.
Poorly constructed with a large hole 1/3rd into the cigar. Had to re-cut it several times to get it properly lit. VERY disappointing.