H. Upmann 1844 Churchill cigars
Very little excites me more than the buttery slicing of the tip off a fat smoke with a sharp guillotine. But a surefire buzz-kill is a wrapper that crumbles with the very touch of my lips.
Admittedly, I should use my Christmas money to invest in a humidor and avoid drying out my whole cigar collection, but I'm saving for spring break, and besides that, smoking leaves protected only by a binder could be an adventure.
I brush the brittle tobacco flakes from my mouth and take a few delectable puffs. It's nutty, it's robust, it has a hint of real vanilla (not a cheap extract) and it's an H. Upmann 1844 Churchill. This is the first cigar I've had the pleasure of reviewing this year and so far, I'm pleased.
My initial impressions are good: The tobacco tastes well-aged and reminds me of a really tasty home-baked bread enjoyed by a fireplace of burning maple wood. The smoke it emits, however, suggests a damp campfire - thick and stinging. I'm not used to such a strong tobacco, the draw is difficult and the nicotine is overwhelming, but a little patience pulls me back to a savory, soy-noggy, cinnamon-graced decadence. For another short spell, I'm devouring the H. Upmann like a generous helping of gingerbread.
About a third of the way down, the aroma turns harsh.
I certainly didn't light what I thought would be a succulent cigar expecting a sour aftertaste reminiscent of a bowling alley carpet.
At this point, things are considerably less enjoyable. I haven't ever seen a cigar with ash as tan as this is, and I don't like it. An uneven burn combined with the spent end having taken on the appearance of a blooming cabbage head makes me wonder whether my technique is off. Suddenly, this tobacco product disgusts me almost as much as it seems to bother the non-smokers passing by my bench.
At 5.6X46 and moderately strong, this is a hardier cigar than I'm used to.
But everything about it is inconsistent and smoking it all the way down is more than I can stand. I will not brave the January cold again for a disappointing cigar like this.
Source: News - The Daily of the University of Washington