Cigar Of The Week: H. Upmann Connoisseur No.1

Max Foulkes selects his cigar of the week for this week - the H. Upmann Connoisseur No.1

With the quantity of cigars in my possession dwindling, I find myself developing an attachment towards single sticks, inhibiting their consumption as I realise I may not be able to replace them. Often unwilling to make concessions, I find it difficult to be adventurous. For years I’ve derived enjoyment from the acquisition and ignition of cigars no wider than a 43 ring gauge. To my dismay, the dimensions Dalias, Lonsdales, Cazadores and Corona Grandes boast are fast becoming a thing of the past, with the current crises being experienced by Cuba prohibiting their construction, let alone their purchase. In an attempt to find a cigar to be smoked everyday that shares the restorative qualities of sticks I now daren’t set fire too, I’ve forced change upon myself and have accepted cigars of a wider profile as viable ‘regular smokes’.

I’ve always been a fan of the H.Upmann Coronas Minor and Major, simple cigars that little thought need be given to. I have, however, often found the Magnum 46 and 50’s delivery of the blend’s subtle flavours overly delicate, allowing for the brand’s aromatic notes to be overwhelmed by something as inoffensive as the effervescence of sparkling mineral water. Despite my initial dismissal of the line’s wider Vitolas, the Connoisseur No.1 has surprised me. The nearest the brand’s come to a Robusto without the additional ageing of sticks in advance of their release, this is an engaging cigar that remains available despite current shortages. Of course affordability, alongside its subjective nature, is very much dependant upon tax but I do truly believe this to a cigar worth the price merchants ask for it. Perhaps not my ‘Cigar of the Day’ (the source of my Connoisseur No.1s may soon run dry) but very much my ‘Cigar of the Week’.