I am a huge fan of the H. Upmann Magnum 46. I found the flavors perfectly balanced and the construction was flawless. When I featured it on the Cigar Jukebox podcast I called it cigar perfection. Naffa at Cigar Hut here in Australia knew of my Magnum 46 love and said that I needed to try the limited Magnum 48. I couldn’t wait…..and now here we are…..
- This cigar was released in 2009 and was in response to the popular Magnum 46. This is a limited release and fits between the Magnum 46 and the Magnum 50.
- The wrapper, binder and filler are all Cuban tobaccos.
- The vitola itself is 4 3/8 x 48, which is like a chunky corona and is a very nice vitola.
- I smoked this at night and it took a touch over an hour.
- Like I mentioned before, I bought this at Cigar Hut. Even though this cigar is from 2009, there are some still kicking around, so buy them as soon as you can.
- Due to the limited nature of this cigar this review is based on only one cigar.
Draw and Burn:
Much like the Magnum 46, the draw and burn on this cigar is perfect. In an interview with Skip Martin, he talked about the perfect draw being drinking a milkshake through a straw. This is exactly the experience I had with this Magnum 48. Now, the draw is a very subjective thing and everyone is different. In this case, the draw on the Magnum 48 was perfect for me. Moreover, it did not loosen up during the smoke and stayed consistent. I appreciate this, because some cigars start off really well, but fall apart near the end as the cigar softens up. That was not a concern with this cigar.
The burn was equally as good. There were slight burn corrections….and I mean slight. I chalk this up to my obsessive need to fix the burn, more than the cigar’s performance. So, in a way these slight corrections say more about me than they say about the cigar. Putting my own psycho-analysis aside, the burn and the burn rate on this cigar was fantastic. I think the ring gauge is the key. The 48 ring gauge worked well with the blend and allowed for a perfect draw and burn.
Final Grade: A+
Much like the draw and burn, the Magnum 48’s construction is impeccable. In an objective sense, the cigar holds its shape well throughout the smoke and the burn rate of the cigar is perfect for this blend. In a more abstract sense, the combustion rate allows the cigar to burn cool and gives the flavors and textures present in the cigar an opportunity to come out and blend together.
For me, nothing is more disappointing than a cigar that has a poor combustion rate and burns far too quickly. This heats the cigar up and the only flavors you get are hot and harsh. The Las Calaveras had this problem at times and I found the Dirty Rat from Drew Estate had this issue as well. In this case, the Magnum 48 burns at the perfect rate for the cigar to really shine. Moreover, you do not have to babysit this cigar either. You can sit back and smoke it at a leisurely and enjoyable pace without worrying about it going out on you.
I am not a cigar expert and Big Tuna and Brother Catfish are better to talk about this; however, I think the ring gauge is key. Much like the Magnum 46, this is a great ring gauge and really lets the flavors develop. You do not get the big smoke and huge draws that you do from a 58 or 60 ring gauge, but this is a cigar and not an Iron Maiden concert. Save the smoke shows for 1980s metal bands, cigars are meant to be savored.
Final Grade: A+
Even though this is part of the Magnum series, I found the flavors to be quite different…..exquisite….but different. The first third starts out with an amazing pepper and chocolate flavor. These two flavors balance out and compliment each other nicely. They seam to counter balance each other to create a unique combined flavor. There is a bit of a tingle on your lips, which I love, and a black licorice flavor begins to develop. These flavors all exist within a nice rich texture, which coats the palate and really compliments the nice smooth draw.
The second third continues with the rich creaminess and the main tobacco, chocolate and pepper flavors persist. You can really taste the age on this cigar. All the flavors are expertly blended and smooth. There are no rough edges on these flavors and they seem to gently flow from one to another. Much like the Bolivar Royal Corona, the richness of the tobacco really sets this cigar apart from others.
The final third puts a cap on the entire experience. I found this third to be more “traditional” than the other two thirds of the cigar. The more unique chocolate and licorice flavors dial back and flavors of pepper, cedar and rich tobacco come to the forefront. I love this portion of the cigar and it is a nice departure from the first two thirds.
I think that the balance between flavor and strength is underrated. You don’t want a cigar so strong you miss out on the flavors and it is difficult to find a very mild cigar that has a lot of flavor. It is a delicate balance that few cigars get right. All RoMa Craft cigars, the Bolivar Royal Corona and the Partagas Serie D No. 5 all achieve this balance between flavor and strength. When a cigar blender gets that balance right, it can really elevate a cigar experience. There is a great balance of flavor and strength throughout the Magnum 48, but the strength does amp up a little in this final third. It might be a little too strong for beginners, but if you have had either the Magnum 46 or Bolivar Royal Corona, you’ll be fine.
Final Grade: A+
As you can probably tell, I love this cigar. I thought the Magnum 46 was cigar perfection and this Magnum 48 is at the same level. This aged tobacco has great flavors and blend together magnificently. During the smoke I could imagine myself walking the streets of Cuba enjoying this cigar. That experience is what a truly amazing cigar does. It takes you out of your current experience and transports you somewhere else. This cigar is the head of the class in the Cigar Hall of Fame and everyone needs to smoke it.
Overall Grade: A+