29 October 2010
CIGAR REVIEW - NEW RELEASE: H. Upmann - Sun Grown
My very good friend and drinking buddy, Rob Garrison (Territiory Manager - Altadis U.S.A.), recently gave me a new release from one of their premium brands, the H. Upmann - Sun Grown. The Sun Grown was debuted at the 2010 IPCR and is currently making its way onto Tobacconist's shelves. It is made in Honduras at the La Flor de Copan cigar factory and is being released in six vitollas: Churchill - 54 x 7, Magnum - 54 x 6, Short Churchill - 54 x 4-1/2, No. 2 - 52 x 6-1/8, Corona - 44 x 5-1/2, and Lancero - 40 x 7-1/2. It is made with an Equadorian sun grown capa, a Connecticut broadleaf capote, and a Nicaraguan and Honduran blend tripa; ranging in price roughly between $6 - $8. For this review I smoked the Magnum and No. 2.
The Sun Grown's capa had a few veins which gave it a good look and was smooth to the touch with a color I put somewhere between colorado maduro and maduro. It squeezed nicely and was very firm, perhaps a little stiff in places but nothing of concern and there were no soft spots or visible flaws. The foot revealed what appeared to be a well packed cigar, which I certainly like and explains the firmness of the squeeze. The pre-light aroma was mild to moderate and very sweet and pleasant. I made a straight cut with a double guillotine and tested the pre-light taste and draw. The taste was sweet like the aroma and woody, while the draw gave decent resistance while being very smooth. Using a match it took a little bit to light, due to the ring gauge and apparent good pack, but once lit was very even.
The Sun Grown started off with a little bit of spice on the tongue and retro-exhalation was easy with some spice around mid-sinus. It didn't produce much smoke until about 1/4" to 1/2" in leaving behind a light grey ash with dark rings. The spice essentially subsided early on and relatively mild woody flavor notes took over. A little past 1" in a taste developed at the back of the throat which I couldn't really put my finger on and no other flavors jumped out or dominated through the first 1/3. The ash dropped off at about 1-3/4" and shortly afterward I began to detect leathery notes that lingered pleasantly after each puff. From then on through the final 1/3, wood and leather was the consistent flavor with a bit more spice emerging again in the last 2". Throughout the entire smoke the burn was very even and never required a touch-up or re-light.
All in all the H. Upmann - Sun Grown was a pleasant, enjoyable smoke. Fans of medium body cigars I think will certainly like it. The sweetness of the aroma was one of my favorite aspects of this cigar and because of its over-all mellowness, it makes a good mid-day choice. It is also a good choice for relaxing alone or with friends because you don't have to devote your attention to a complex flavor profile.