Late last year, Altadis U.S.A. put out a press release announcing they had developed a new proprietary strand of tobacco called Yargüera.
It’s a bit of an odd announcement given that there are tons of new hybrid strands each year. But, it was clear when the company announced it was part of a larger effort, a new cigar using the Yargüera tobacco as a central selling point. That cigar is Yargüera H. Upmann.
It uses the Yargüera tobacco, a Cuban strand of tobacco whose origins in Honduras date back to the 1960s. More recently, the Yargüera seed was mixed with criollo 98 in order to produce heartier tobacco, which is what the company is now using. Last month, the line, which also uses criollo 98 tobacco throughout, began shipping in three sizes.
- Cigar Reviewed: Yargüera H. Upmann Torbusto
- Country of Origin: Honduras
- Factory: Flor de Copan S.A.
- Wrapper: Honduran Yargüera
- Binder: Honduran Criollo 98 Binder
- Filler: Honduran Yargüera & Criollo 98
- Length: 5 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 56
- Vitola: Torbusto
- MSRP: $9.25 (Boxes of 18, $166.50)
- Release Date: Feb. 23, 2016
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The size I’m reviewing is called Torbusto and oddly, it’s not a cross between a robusto and toro. It’s actually a unique shorter perfecto size with a relatively open foot. The size is not new for Altadis U.S.A, the company previously has released it in the Flor de Copan and Onyx lines. One change from those releases is that the Yargüera features a bun cap. The dark and hearty wrapper has a really interesting chocolate chip aroma, almost like hot cocoa powder, and some damp earth. The foot has more of the hot cocoa flavor to it along with some burnt wood and a cherry flavor that is reminiscent of Dr. Pepper. I examine the cigar a bit before clip, pondering whether I should attempt Brooks’ preferred method of dealing with bun caps, i.e. just unraveling the tobacco. That process reveals that the first sample, and almost all of the rest of the Torbustos I’ve smoked have some concerning hard spots—or in some cases soft spots—in the filler. I ultimately decide to stick with a traditional cut and I’m thankful I opt that route, but I’m not greeted with the best of flavors. The first sample I smoked tasted like a mixture of paint and Sharpie on the cold draw. Subsequent samples at least had a lot more earthiness, surrounded by some cocoa flavor and pepper, but the tightness of the draws, mainly how the air flowed through the cigar in an inconsistent manner raised other concerns.
While that first sample retained some of the Sharpie flavor, the other two samples were nutty with some creaminess and a salty potato chip-like finish. The consistency between the three samples is not present, but all three have an earthy start. In two samples that’s led by more of a dry espresso flavor, while another is much more barnyard-centric. There’s a soggy potato chip note present in one, which helps to provide a nice bit of saltiness, and all three cigars have some form of harshness with two cigars having it masked largely around a pepper and another featuring a more generic biting sensation. As to why the Yargüera samples are so inconsistent, it’s the draw. On the first sample, the draw is way too open, feeling as if it’s going to go out despite a near constant puffing. On the second, the draw is nearly plugged—although the flavor is actually not too bad—and the third features something close to a normal draw. All three are medium in flavor, medium plus in strength and medium-full in body.
If I thought my notes for the first third of the Yargüera Torbusto were a mess, the second third is a catastrophe. The final sample, i.e. the one with the good draw, is largely where it was in the first third. There’s some soggy Cheerios and an alfalfa-like herbal flavor added, but the balance of espresso, creaminess and pepper are quite similar. The first sample, which is still incredibly too open, is earthy with some chalkiness, burnt coffee and some meatiness. As with all three cigars, some sweetness would go along way at this point of the cigar. As for the second sample, it’s sort of a combination between the two, but with that Cherrio’s flavor registering more of a powdered milk flavor. While the draws continue to cause problem, the burn is also struggling on the samples that aren’t way too open. Interestingly, after relighting the third sample, which just suddenly went out after the hallway mark, I get a very zesty citrus flavor that dramatically helps the H. Upmann.
For all three cigars I smoked for a review, I doubt I would have made it to the final third had this not been a review. There were far too many issues with draw and burn and the cigar wasn’t producing a flavor that was exceptional to make up the annoyances. I would love to tell you that things suddenly turned around, but they didn’t. The shining star of the cigars I smoked, the third sample, gets dramatically worse with a ton of sharper notes, mixed between a generic harshness, pepper and some herbal flavors, on the tongue. The retrohale has some positives with some citrus and creaminess, but the finish through the nose then gets dramatically harsh. Neither one of the other two samples are much better, with all three cigars seeing the earthiness depart leaving a flavor that is too elementary and too harsh. Strength ramps up a bit to medium-full in all three cigars, but it’s not really towards the top of my concerns.
- While I only scored and reviewed three cigars, as is the site’s general policy, I actually smoked a few more. I wanted to see, particularly after the far too open draw and nearly plugged draw if every sample was going to be like that. The third cigar I smoked, which I didn’t score because I was out with friends while smoking, was actually much better and similar to the one sample that didn’t have any draw issues. I ended up smoking two more cigars which weren’t scored, including one after the review, and the draws are still all over the place. Some are fine, some cigars are nearly plugged and others having glaring soft spots.
- One of these days I’m going to go on a rant about foot bands, again.
- I actually do like the packaging for this release a lot, though my first reaction when seeing the shape and the bands was “this is not going to be fun to photograph.”
- Final smoking time varied from one hour and 35 minutes to two hours depending on the draw.
- Altadis U.S.A advertises on halfwheel.
- Cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by Altadis U.S.A.
- Site sponsors Cigar.com and JR Cigar have the Yargüera H. Upmann Torbusto in stock.
I am not sure what to make of the Yargüera H. Upmann, other than I wouldn’t recommend smoking the Torbusto. I’m not sure what to make of the blend itself because on half of the Torbustos I’ve smoked, the draw has been atrocious. Two of the three cigars scored for this review had draw issues that would have led me to throwing away the cigar if I wasn’t scoring it for a review. The one cigar that had a decent enough draw got too open and then suddenly had issues going out. I’ll give Altadis U.S.A. credit for using a non-traditional vitola, but I can’t help but think I would be far less frustrated with smoking three traditional robustos or toros than the Torbusto perfectos I smoked for this review.