H. Upmann Yarguera Cigar Review – Cigar Advisor Review Panel
For H. Upmann fans, it’s literally a whole new breed of cigar: Yarguera, made with a Honduras-grown 1960’s Cuban hybrid. And while it may be hard to pronounce (and hard to spell – there’s no umlaut key on this keyboard), this new Upmann has already received rave reviews for the tinkering done by Altadis’ Grupo de Maestros to produce this new smoke. But will it pass the Advisor test? You’ll see for yourself in just a minute, when we get into our H. Upmann Yarguera cigar review video.
But before we do, we’re going to be upfront here with a few things that we found interesting about Yarguera: that a Torpedo crossed with a Robusto is called a Torbusto, and how smoking it slow will intensify the experience.
So let’s have a look-see at our Yarguera cigar review, so you can see our reactions to this new cigar; as a bonus, we’ve included all of our tasting notes on the Yarguera Torbustos we smoked.
The Stats: H. Upmann Yargüera Torbusto
Country of Origin: Honduras
Size: 5″ x 56 (Figurado)
Wrapper: Yargüera™ 13 Tapado (shade grown)
Filler: Sun-grown Yargüera™ 13 and Criollo’98
Binder: Criollo ’98
Jonathan Detore’s Tasting Notes…
Construction: This is a really interesting shape and truly hard to roll, so very highly skilled rollers are responsible for making this unique smoke. Having said that, the first one I tried had noticeable soft spots, while the second didn’t. All in all, I think the first one was just a fluke, but if you’re buying a single, maybe give it a quick once-over to make sure you’re getting a ripe one.
Draw: On both cigars I’ve tried, the draw was excellent.
First few puffs: Spice blast right up front. Not so much a baker’s spice, but a fresh cracked pepper flavor that stuck with me for a while. It goes down considerably in intensity after about a half an inch before transitioning into a prominent sweet cedar.
Base flavors: Cedar. This cigar has a huge cedar note that just won’t quit. In terms of base flavors, there’s not much else there that remains throughout, so I can’t really classify them as base flavors.
Aroma: It’s a pretty perfect match to the actual cigar. It’s a bit spicy, but it has a noticeable cedar/campfire aroma that rounds out the cigar rather well.
Burn/Ash: The ash was pretty flakey, but other than that, the burn is okay. A little wavy at times, but nothing terrible.
Balance of Flavor: All things considered, for a mild cigar, it was balanced rather well with the cedar flavor.
Consistency: There’s a great consistency between each cigar. Flavors, burn, and aroma are all the same.
The cigar started out with a black pepper bang before transitioning into a sweet cedar that remains, with that pepper lingering in the back. About halfway down, a barnyard or hay flavor comes about that meshes well with the cedar. All in all, it’s not a complex cigar, but it’s a pretty great beginner or everyday cigar.
Positives: Great consistency with a solid base of flavors.
Negatives: It’s a bit one dimensional for me. There could be a lot more to this, but with riskier blends, you tend to turn more people away who aren’t hardcore smokers. This is a cigar for everyone, not for the hardcore fans. The soft spots I experienced are, once again, something you need to look out for.
Gary Korb’s Tasting Notes…
Construction and Overall Appearance: Very good. A couple of soft spots behind the bulge, but considering the shape of this cigar, I gave it a pass. Wrapper, though darker than most shade-grown wrappers, is even in color, rolled seamlessly, and finished with a coiled Cuban pigtail that sits flat on top of the head.
Draw (airflow): Very good.
Pre-light flavor (cold draw): Cedar and leather.
Toasting & Light: Very good.
First few puffs: Peppery with some woody notes.
Aroma: Sweet and sharp.
Burn / Ash Quality: Burn is very good. Ash is mostly grey and semi-firm, with a narrow burn line. Some ashes have deep crevasses.
Base Flavors: Cedar, sweet spice, pepper
Balance of flavors: Excellent.
Following an opening shot of pepper, the cigar rounded out to creamy flavors of cedar wood and sweet spice with a long peppery finish. Body was medium-full.
At the widest part of the cigar the flavors opened-up, revealing nothing new other than the base flavors became more intense. The smoke remained creamy and offered a lot of thick smoke as the pepper moved toward the back of the bus.
At this point, just over the hump, the cigar is going full bore. The flavors have rounded-out even further and melded into a creamy, full-flavored smoke mostly dominated by sweet cedar, earth, and spice, with light pepper notes remaining in the mix and on the finish.
I liked this cigar. Not as much as the Toro I reviewed a couple of months ago, but the shape of the Torbusto had mostly to do with it. The flavors were much deeper and not as sweet as I recall in the Toro, but they were well-balanced and fairly complex. For those of you who decide to go with the Torbusto, if the cigar is not performing up to your expectations, I suggest you stay with it, since the big pay-off comes in the middle and last thirds. I paired mine with coffee (cream & sugar), but as we said in the Yarguera cigar review video, this cigar will pair well with a good red wine or even an aged Tawny Port. I recommend this cigar to H. Upmann fans as well as to those who like Honduran blends. If nothing else, the fact that this cigar has a very unique-tasting proprietary tobacco makes it worth checking out.
John Pullo’s Tasting Notes…
Construction and Overall Appearance: Each Torbusto I smoked for this Yargüera cigar review was clad in a dark and slightly oily Yargüera shade-grown wrapper – they looked exceptionally tasty, and delivered reasonably well.
Draw: Since it’s more of a Perfecto shape, a deeper cut from a double guillotine worked best; so did cutting it at an angle.
Toasting & Light: Yargüera took flame well, and gave decent smoke output almost immediately.
Base flavors: Cedar for sure, with a peppery sensation lurking in the background throughout.
Aroma: One of the highlights of this Yargüera cigar review was the aroma – very unique, but very appealing.
Burn / Ash Quality: The burn was alright, maybe a 7 or 8 out of 10. One thing I might suggest is letting this rest for a few days after purchase. Another is that due to the unique shape of this H. Upmann Yargüera Torbusto, you have to be a little more mindful in how you smoke it. Pacing is key, and keep a torch on hand for touch ups as the burn line hits the wider parts of the cigar’s body.
Consistency: Consistency is the name of the game here – and, I think, one of the key high points to Upmann cigars in general. The slight pepper remains, and the cedar dominates throughout; I sensed very few transitions in any of the samples for our Yargüera cigar review.
There are certain things you expect of any H. Upmann cigars: good construction, smooth flavors, thanks to good tobacco and good aging and fermenting; medium body with subtle nuances, and a somewhat refined taste. But overall, the expectation is that H. Upmann delivers a reserved and mellow flavor profile – and Yargüera seems to hit those marks.
And though it’s a puro, what we have here is not your typical Honduran cigar. On the whole, I’ve found Honduran cigars to be medium-full and having shallower flavors, with wrappers that tend to be earthy and spicy. The sticks I had for our Yargüera cigar review video rang only somewhat true to that, and in true Upmann fashion, were much more medium bodied and mellow. Some have tried to draw a comparison of this smoke to a Cuban cigar – I don’t have a lot of experience with Havanas, but even being a Cuban heritage brand, this didn’t seem to hit that mark for me (not that it needed to).
Bottom line is you have a solid one hour-plus smoke on your hands that’s rolled to an interesting shape, offers its fair share of cedar and pepper flavors, and is finished in a nice shade-grown wrapper that’s darker than your typical shade variety.
I think where the H. Upmann Yargüera really has the potential to shine is if you were to pair something with it: sweet, black coffee is my go-to choice, and will amplify some of the more subtle flavors in this cigar. If you go boozy, pick something smooth so the cigar can stand up to it. But either way, I’ll bet you’re going to get more satisfaction out of this cigar if you have a drink in your other hand, instead of just smoking it alone.
Tommy Zman’s Tasting Notes…
Appearance: smooth and dark for a shade grown
Flavors: Pepper and Cedar
I’ve always enjoyed H Upmann cigars because they’re always straight forward smokes, not a lot of complexity by any means but always good flavor and great construction. Now the new cigar from Yargüera Farms definitely still falls into that category but with a very interesting new shape and flavor profile.
The Torbusto is a cross between a torpedo and a robusto (kind of reminds me of the Punch Champion but taller, sort of shaped like a plumb bob). It’s a difficult shape to roll and generally the best rollers are employed to take on the task. One thing that really stood out was the nice darker golden brown color of the outer wrapper which is unusual for a shade grown leaf. As far as construction goes, the cigar I sampled for the Yarguera cigar review video had an excellent draw as each puff billowed with an ample amount of thick, creamy white smoke.
Upon lighting… At the start, right through the first inch or so I got a nice blast of spicy pepper, very flavorful and a nice wake-up call to start off. At this point it started to smooth out nicely – while still having a bit of pepper, a really nice blast of cedar begins to make it way through and I felt that these two components stayed pretty consistent all the way through. Jon Detore made an interesting comment to me off camera that it was almost like smoking a cigar box, and while we both laughed, that is kind of how the cedary flavor hits you.
Hey, all cigars can’t be loaded with multiple flavors and complexities – some, like the Yargüera are straightforward featuring a couple of nice nuances that keep you occupied and interested all the way through. I’m thinking about pairing this with a coffee or a hearty red wine and seeing how it holds up to some good dinner food as well. The new Upmann is a really nice smoke and I’m looking forward to testing it out a bit more.