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H Upmann – The Brand

Continuing our series on the history of brands, this week’s special is The H Upmann brand. We don’t know about you but H Upmann remains one of our constant favorites and is unlikely to disappoint. This article aims at providing you information that would come in handy at your next cigar evening.

The brand came into existence in 1844 and remains one of the oldest yet most successful brands in the Habanos portfolio. The brand was established by a German banker Herman Upmann who opened a bank branch in Havana and grew to enjoy the taste of Cuban Cigars choosing to commercialize his love for Cubans; he invested in a factory that then produced cigars in cedar wooden boxes named H Upmann.

Of course, in presenting the cigars in cedar lined boxes, he ended up inventing the humidification process that we now know and rely on we know today.

The journey to fame hasn’t been all that easy. In 1922, the bank and the brand both had a tough time because of multiple speculations and rumors of the political as well as the financial kind. It then changed ownerships a couple of times till it was finally sold to a new company called Menendez, Garcia y Cia Co., producers of the famous Montecristo brand. With the new communist government posing a threat to private firms in the country, production was moved to the Canary Islands and later to the Dominican Republic also starting production under the company Altadis. Castro then nationalised the H. Upmann brand in Cuba allowing it to continue its legacy.

However, the company decided to streamline their vitolas and decided to do away with their redundant low selling cigars; instead limit their portfolio to 16 high selling vitolas. Out of which, the half coronas became John F Kennedys favorite cigars, so much so that he procured 1200 sticks of the same before signing the Cuban Embargo.

H Upmanns are total mente a mano cigars and are light – medium bodied making it a wonderful smoke for beginners and aficionados alike.

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