|H. Upmann Sir Winston|
The cigar opens up very smoothly with no spice present and has a rich earthy quality to it. There is a hint of vanilla on the finish and as it gets further in there is an emergence of bitter-sweet chocolate and coffee. The cigar is very smooth and creamy throughout the whole third, and it burns wonderfully as well. I would say the strength of the cigar is slightly over medium in body, and has an ash the coloring of charcoal gray. So far this cigar is no surprise to its infamous history and I am loving this cigar. I really believe that Cuban cigars are great in the larger vitola range, and that falls into the Churchill and Double Corona vitolas.
Entering the second third of the cigar I begin to pick up strong notes of dark chocolate and roasted coffee beans with a sweet nutty finish as well. There is a slight hint of stone fruit as well in this third, and the vanilla notes are still present but subtle. The creaminess returns halfway through this third and the cigar still remains very rich. It's really a cigar that is complex enough to show a lot of flavors, but at the same time the flavors are pronounced enough to be picked up without focusing on the cigar to much. The cigar is still burning evenly and producing a great amount of smoke perfect for rings with a charcoal colored ash. I would say the strength of the cigar is a solid medium, and with age would keep it for a couple years before getting softer.
I am in the final third now and it is probably the fullest part of the cigar. It is slightly over medium in body, probably medium full, and still very great. There are notes of white pepper, coffee and dark chocolate and it has a long nutty finish. I am still getting some stone fruit notes with cream, and this is a great Churchill. The cigar is still very smooth but incredibly rich and showcases true balance in a cigar. The cigar burned evenly throughout the final third, and at no point does it ever get hot. As I smoke the cigar down to the nub it is still cool and flavorful and I gracefully let the cigar put itself out.
This was an incredible cigar and with all of its flavors was very balanced as well. I would give this cigar a 96 and definitely think it will be in the Top 25 of 2017. I have a couple of these left in my humidor and the thoughts I have are of saving them or smoking them all right now. I am not one who thinks Cuban cigars are better than non-Cuban but I believe that Habanos S.A. really captures the notion of flavor and balance in cigars over strength. This is truly one of the greatest Churchills on the market, and should be a guideline in making a great cigar. I know that a lot of smokers want really strong and big cigars but I don't share those views, I look for a cigar that is very flavorful and balanced in strength. Truly a great Churchill, and probably the best on the market.