A chunky Cuban cigar, the Magnum 54 by H. Upmann was released as recently as 2016. Also available as a tubo, we decided to give the 3-pack a try.
In this article, we review the H. Upmann Magnum 45 by covering the following points:
You can use the links above to jump ahead or scroll down to learn more.
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- Brand: H. Upmann
- Range: Magnum 54
- Reviewed Vitolas: 4¾ x 54 Gordito
- Wrapper: Vuelta Abajo, Cuba
- Binder: Vuelta Abajo, Cuba
- Filler: Vuelta Abajo, Cuba
- Factory: H. Upmann, Cuba
- Handmade: Yes
- Body: Medium
- Estimated Smoking Time: 75 Minutes
- Pricing: $18 / Single
As mentioned above, the H. Upmann was released in 2016 just when the short and stocky gordito vitola was growing in popularity. It follows the Magnums 46, 50, and 48, which were all born from a similar concept.
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H. Upmann Magnum 54 Look & Feel
- Wrapper Hue: Dry Clay
- Rolling Consistency: Straight
- Spring: Firm
- Aromas: Manure, Hay, Cinnamon
First of all, you may notice a wonderfully straight roll with no discernible soft spots and a very firm spring. Its hue is reminiscent of dry clay and it gives off a mild oily sheen. The veins are somewhat refined, although you do have the occasional protruding vein on some cigars.
In terms of aromas off the foot, expect manure, hay, and cinnamon. Straw is a more common descriptor for cigars than hay, but the foot delivers a distinctive grassy note.
H. Upmann Magnum 54 Review
Like the other Cuban cigars reviewed on Bespoke Unit, the Magnum 54s were stored in a separate Boveda acrylic humidor calibrated at 65% RH. They were monitored using a Boveda Butler.
- Draw: Slightly Tight
- Aromas: Chvril, Grapefruit, Cinnamon
The dry draw is a little bit on the tight side. However, massaging the cigar’s body will usually sufficiently open it up. The flavours are quite rich, too. You can expect a metallic chervil flavor, which is also known as French parsley.
You also have a zesty citrus grapefruit note as well as the cinnamon as smelled on the foot earlier.
1st Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Peanut, Anise, Terracotta
The cigar’s draw opens up nicely and the burn reveals a beautiful dark grey ash. The line is a touch wavy but nothing serious. In terms of flavour, it delivers a richly nuanced tableau of aromas. The dominant notes consist of salted peanuts, sweet and spicy anise as well as dried terracotta earth.
This dried earth note is evocative of the celebrated “Cuban mustiness” that is often cherished by cigar connoisseurs. Its texture is smooth with a balanced weight on the palate.
2nd Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Cashew, Nutmeg, Black Pepper
We see a slight increase in the body, which renders it squarely in the medium category. You will experience a heavier mouthfeel in the second third with more pressure on the palate and thicker smoke.
There’s also a bitter component comparable to black pepper, which is certainly present on the retro-hale. The aforementioned salted peanuts in the first third have transitioned into cashew nuts. Meanwhile, the anise is no longer present and instead has faded to reveal nutmeg in its place. Indeed, the second third is an overall very spicy experience.
Final Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Coffee Grounds, Cacao Nibs, Mustard
By the final third, the cigar is in medium-plus territory and it develops in complexity. The overall flavour profile is spicy. It delivers gourmand notes of coffee grounds and cacao nibs accompanied by a side of mustard. Indeed, a note of mustard grain prickles the nostrils when retrohaled.
Overall, the cigar’s complexity is intricate. It offers a rich variety of aromatic families that combine and accord nicely throughout the whole experience.
The mouthfeel, as I mentioned in the earlier thirds, has a smooth texture and weighs down on the palate. In terms of astringency and palate stimulation, you’re looking at good balance all the way over the palate.
And as for the lifecycle, you’re looking at a relatively consistent experience. While there are distinctive changes between each third, they are relatively conventional in the sense that in each third is an extension of the one that preceded it.
Meanwhile, the finish actually isn’t that long on this cigar and the final flavours can be somewhat fleeting. When it comes to the residual scent in the room, it leaves a nice and rich fragrance, which is distinctive of a good quality Cuban cigar.
- Ash Backbone: Quite Strong
- Burn Angle: Mostly Straight
- Temperature: Mostly Cool
- Draw: Ideal Airflow
- Final Smoking Time: 70 Minutes
As I mentioned earlier, it produces excellent ash. It comes off quite nicely and is very strong. It resists well when you try and crush it between your fingers. As for the temperature, it tends to be, generally speaking, quite cool.
If you were to smoke it too quickly, it would warm up. However, a regular pace won’t cause any issues. And then in terms of the burn angle, it can be slightly wavy but never much of a problem. Finally, the draw, as previously said, opens up quite nicely to produce just the right level of airflow.
The Magnum 54 is adorned by two individual bands. One says is the classic “H. Upmann” band while the other displays “Magnum 54”. They’re quintessentially Cuban in style and, while not particularly unique, are very stylish.
As for the box, here we’re looking at this pack of three tubo cigars. It’s nicely presented with orange with an off-white blocks. It looks premium and elegant. The tubosare ornately displayed with a piece of cedar inside.
Admittedly, the Magnum 54 is a somewhat pricey cigar. Expect to pay around $18 but you might be able to find them for around $14.
Of course, if you’re in the USA, buying Cuban cigars is always a legally grey area. Websites such as iHavanas, Bellhop, and Montefortuna will deliver to the USA but I’m not sure how legal it is. Therefore, I cannot personally condone it.
As for the occasion, this is indeed a lavish cigar, especially in its tubo format. It’s ideal for formal occasions, exclusive clubs, or even as a celebratory cigar. That being said, it’s a good choice to enjoy with friends.
Thanks to its stout appearance and character, it’s a solid choice for the early evening as a digestif.
H. Upmann Magnum 54 Pairings
Thanks to its spiciness, it’s great with a Bombay mix or poppadoms and chutney. The chutney’s fruitiness would balance the cigar’s more bitter qualities while the biscuit would bring out its savoury character. Similarly, they would extend the cigar’s spiciness. On a similar note, you could also have it as a digestif after a curry.
I would recommend a creamy chicken korma or butter chicken. Since they’re milder, they won’t damage your taste buds for when you enjoy the cigar. Additionally, their cream may render the cigar’s texture even smoother.
Alternatively, why not consider classic French cuisine? A lapin à la moutarde, a rabbit and mustard stew, will bring out the final third’s unique characteristics.
As for beverages, a balanced medium-bodied Spanish style añejo rum would be ideal. If course, you could go for a nice espresso coffee. It’s going to be on the short side, but still quite pleasant. You could even pair it with grappa as an ammazzacaffè or caffè corretto.
An opulent and elegant Cuban cigar, the H. Upmann Magnum 54 offers a more contemporary format but in a way where you can enjoy the classic Cuban structure of flavour and body.
"Beautifully structured with a rich array of flavours, the H. Upmann is a wonderfully complex but approachable Cuban cigar."
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