In 1844 the Hupmann family emigrated from Britain to Cuba. The brothers Hermann and August opened the H. Upmann cigar factory located at 85 San Miguel Street, Havana. Meanwhile, Hermann’s nephews Alberto and German, established a commercial bank in Havana and H. Upmann became associated with it.
The cigars were such a success in 1891 a factory was built in CarlosIII Avenue which accommodated more than 200 workers.
Bad luck hit the Hupmann family and the Bank became insolvent in 1922 and H. Upmann Cigars was forced to bankruptcy. The brand became owned by English Company J. Frankau & Co. Ltd which started a company J. Frankau S.A. in Cuba to run the factory. Despite years of management, H. Upmann failed to make money for Frankau S.A.
In early 1937, Frankau S.A. sold the factory to Menendez, Garcia & Co. The Menendez family were cigar experts. They immediately reorganised the running of the factory. The new Montecristo brand which they created when acquiring the Particulares Factory in July 1935, was put in production in the H. Upmann factory.
All the best resources were channelled into the Montecristo brand. Immediate success resulted and this restored the financial health of the H. Upmann factory. In 1944 the factory moved to larger premises to accommodate the increased output. The factory was located at 405 Amistad Street, where it still remains today as the H. Upmann Factory we all know. At the time of the Revolution was the largest Exporting Manufacturer in Cuba.
Production of Montecristo and H. Upmann cigars remained uninterrupted after the Revolution. The Menendez family chose to leave Cuba in 1961. The factory was managed by the state-owned Cubatabaco.
For the 40 years since the Revolution, H. Upmann has remained as popular as it was in the pre-Revolution days.
Characteristics of H. Upmann cigars:
H. Upmann cigars have an unmistakable characteristic style. The flavours are a straight forward tobacco taste, with minimal additional flavours.
The cigars are deceitfully mild and bland when young.
The tobacco taste increases with time, as do other subtle complex flavours. One of the characteristics of H. Upmann cigars is that they age extremely well. After 10 to 15 years of ageing, a strong clean tobacco taste is noticed.
Nearly all H. Upmann hand-made cigars have the potential to develop a great bouquet after 20 years. The strength if measured by the intensity of tobacco taste, is not much more diminished in 40 years old than a 20 years olf for most hand-made models.