H.Upmann Mag 48 (2009 LE)

(Size: 4 3/8″ x 48  —  Time: 1hr 5mins)

A day spent in London, killing time before an early morning flight, clearly meant only one thing… a trip to St James and an opportunity to smoke a cigar – I’d pick something which wasn’t in my humidor. As such, I went for an LE I’ve had my eye on for a while now, the H.Upmann Mag 48. This cigar is not the size you might expect at first – it’s not between the Mag 46 and Mag 50 as you might expect, but smaller than them both, producing  a happy hour-ish smoke.

I’ve taken a couple of photos, but won’t post them at this moment as I’m at Istanbul airport and don’t want to pay to upload them from my phone at international rates… I’ll pop them up when I return. NOW UP (see below).

Appearance /15

On the Mag 48 I smoked, the wrapper itself was a nice mid-shade of leaf with an appropriate sheen to it and just a couple of small veins. However, there were just a couple of slightly unsightly marks and there was a rather large soft spot. 12

Smoking Characteristics /25

How would the Mag 48‘s soft spot affect the quality of this cigar? The light was fine, and the draw was absolutely perfect – from start to finish it was easy (but not loose) and produced plenty of quality smoke. Unfortunately, however, the burn was uneven throughout, one side always ahead of the other (regardless of the multitude of tactics I used to try and sort it out). 21

Flavour /25

Regardless of the issues with this cigar’s burn, the flavours were extremely enjoyable. At the outset there were wafts of pepper, but no harsh spiciness. Soon, this developed towards a cedary profile, which developed a slight creaminess and then gained more and more with a honey-like sweetness alongside  floral undertones. Then cream joined in the party, and there was something reminiscent of vanilla too (though the two together did not quite go the whole hog and produce an ice-cream flavour!). Finally, these sweeter flavours gave way again to a cedar profile, with pepper building towards the finale. Nicely bookended, and almost symmetrical. 23

Overall Impression /35

This particular H.Upmann Mag 48 was somewhat let down by it construction/condition. However, there was more than enough flavour for me to give a really big thumbs up to the blend – a mild-medium flavour profile (edging towards medium bodied for the strength). This is definitely a cigar which I am eager to smoke again, and could easily score 90+ with a better example, I doubt more than another year would add anything extra though. 32

Grand total… 88/100