Going to review one of my favorite Cubans today, the H. Upmann Petit Robusto. Alas, it's been put on S.A. Habanos cancellation list, so hopefully I can manage to get my hands on another box or two (or ten) before they're gone for good!
I've smoked through half this box already; I keep telling myself I'm going to review it, but every time I light one up, I lose myself in the smoke. They're fantastic. But I suppose I'll hold off and get to actually reviewing it properly, rather than gushing over it like a giddy little girl.
Cigar: H. Upmann
Vitola: Petit Robusto (3 1/2” x 44)
Price: UNK (gift)
Rating (out of 10): 10
This short stick is a nice reddish-brown in color, with a classic red, gold, and white H. Upmann band. The seams are invisible, and the cap is flawless. There's just the faintest coating of oil on these smokes.
Construction could hardly be more perfect. The cigar is densely packed, but not too densely packed. No tears, no sponginess, just straight perfection.
Nice earthy and cedary smell to this thing, with a distinct fruity aroma at the foot.
The cold draw is nice and open, with a mild cedar and cream taste, and a faint hint of salt on the finish.
After lighting, the cedar is definitely the prominent flavor, along with some definite notes of sweet grass. That creaminess is behind both of those, with the subtle bitterness of roasted coffee. Behind everything else, there's intermittent notes of salt and pepper on the finish, and some of that saltiness lingers on the aftertaste, right on the tip of the tongue.
Legend has it that H. Upmanns were President Kennedy's preferred smokes, and that just before he signed the Cuban Embargo into law, he sent his Press Secretary, Pierre Salinger, to go and buy 1,000 Pet-it Upmanns (the particular vitola has since been discontinued, though the blend is still used by H. Upmann); Salinger, as it's told, returned to Kennedy with 1,200, the morning he signed the embargo law.
These cigars produce such a soft, silky smoke, it's not hard to see why one of Boston's greatest Presidents was so fond of them.
This baby's burning pretty evenly, and producing a light grey, almost-white ash marbled with darker streaks of near-black.
This stick is 3 ½ inches, so, obviously, the thirds are going to go by pretty quickly. Of course, being such a small cigar, there's not a whole lot of room for wild swings in flavor profile. Fortunately, these little guys don't need to change. The cliché applies: they're perfect just the way they are.
This thing was on track to earn a perfect score... but then around the halfway mark, the burn got a bit out of control and needed correcting.
Burning even again in the last third, so we might still squeeze a “perfect” score out of this stick, once the points are averaged out.
Flavor is still fantastic, cedary and grassy, with coffee underneath.
I've always been a serious lover of Cohiba, as far as Cuban brands are concerned. But after getting to experience the H. Upmann Petit Robustos, it's hard to say which is my favorite. The Upmann Prs are great, short smokes that can be enjoyed in a little over half an hour.
And, of course, all averaged out, it did hit that perfect score. Technically, it got 9.95/10, but rounded to the nearest tenth, it jumps up to 10. So, my reviews for March get capped on both ends by 10/10s. It's been a pretty good month, as far as cigars go.