H. Upmann The Banker

During a supply run for the potential tropical depressions that might develop into named hurricanes, it is tradition to stock up on libations.  So I found myself in the humidor at Total Wine and looking for something fun to smoke.   While I picked up a few sticks that are tried and true, I recalled how interesting the H. Upmann by AJ Fernandez had been for it’s creaminess, so I decided to try something by the same label, the Banker by H. Upmann.

The Banker by H. Upmann

This has a combination of things that I found interesting– the ring is huge but not that gaudy, as it’s being used to hold up a nice piece of parchment.   It’s tastefully rendered in green and gold that are colors usually associated with financiers.  It’s also a square roll, which is not my favorite box pressed but it is something that is unique to run into.

Banker Squareness

After unwrapping the parchment from this cigar, the understated creaminess that I got from the AJ Fernandez was a compliment to the lead flavors.  Unlit, the bigger aromas were leather, coffee, and spice.

After lighting, this really opened up the flavors of leather, and spice–  I got a nutmeg out of this on the first part of the cigar, and that nuanced creaminess helped balance everything out.  This didn’t make this a sweet cigar, this was more like a sense on the back of the tongue that indicated that was the final flavor of the inhale.  The smoke lingers languidly, and smells of leather and coffee with tobacco.

Banker Foot

The draw is smooth without being too easy, and it made a decent foot that didn’t feel like it was going to fall off the cigar without warning.  At the midpoint, the cigar was still quite predominantly leather in flavor, but the coffee had faded and the nuttiness and nutmeg developed quite pleasantly.   Towards the end of this cigar, it had a dryness that reminded me of a red wine, and I decided to throw in a square of chocolate into my experience.

Choccy and Banker

Like so many other things, I like chocolate to be dark.  I also rather enjoy my sweets to be a bit on the salty side, so I love the sea salt addition.  This paired well with the cigar and the sparkling water I was drinking at this stage.  The ending notes of this cigar are more coffee than leather, with a tinge of nutmeg and that almost elusive creaminess that really helps this stick bloom.   As far as I’m concerned, this is another winner for a good medium body evening smoke with friends.  It would go well with coffee, liquor of any choosing, and any soft drink that I can think of.

H. Upmann by AJ Fernandez

While I do prefer to visit proper tobacconist shops or cigar lounges,  I’m not opposed to visiting the humidors of retail establishments.  While wandering in my local Total Wine, I did step into the humidor there to peruse for cigars that looked interesting.  And boy, does this look interesting. The light blue label was quite eye-catching, so I picked up this pretty H. Upmann by AJ Fernandez and sniffed it.  Even through the cellophane, this cigar smelled creamy.  Yes, creamy.  Something about aroma coupled with the well designed pastel cigar ring appealed to my curiosity so it came home with me.

It sat in my sheltered humidor until a fine day came around for Cigar Thursday-this is not an official event, but a day in which a few of my close friends will gather together for what amounts to a Pre-Friday evening of relaxing from what stresses of the week have brought.  It’s a nice way to round out the week, usually involving a household patio and some method of fire pit.  This particular Thursday smoke involved another cigar as well, but the highlight of the evening was the H. Upmann.  I had a tasty Omission Lager (I am a celiac, so forgive my choice of beer-like beverages. You’ll notice more of a pattern of wine and liquor than beer… but my weird dietary restriction has no bearing on my taste on cigars!) as I decompressed and laughed with my friends.

Lighting up the H. Upmann and taking that first draw was delightful.  This cigar has a sweetness to it that isn’t cloying and doesn’t give a weird coating to the tongue. It smokes cleanly and simply, with an even draw through the entirety of the cigar.  The creaminess I smelled while in the store was coupled now with a light coffee aroma and tasted rather nutty at the beginning of the stick.   This cigar would certainly pair well with coffee, whiskey, or rum, and it was quite tasty with a light beer.  At the mid-point of the cigar, the coffee-ness was more pronounced, and this nutty, coffee flavor with hints of vanilla lasted to the end of the cigar.   While not as peppery as I typically enjoy, this was a lovely cigar for a relaxing evening with friends and was not a heavy smoke at all.  This is a great lighter-body cigar for an evening of light frivolity.