Reviews by Richard M.

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Not Your Average Hoyo

Richard M.

Cigar: Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Seleccion
Size: Toro Especial (6.0"x50)
Burn Time: 1 Hour 55 Min

When enjoying a newer cigar from a historic brand such as Hoyo de Monterrey, it is often difficult for me to go into it with an open mind. I almost instinctively begin looking for tasting notes and characteristics that I have seen on prior blends from the companies. However, when four of my staff members approached me to try this cigar I was amazed. You see, working in Cigars International Hamburg, the monstrous CI Superstore we have access to literally thousands of cigars. But four staff members heralding this cigar was an instant attention getter for me. They told me it was like nothing they had ever enjoyed from Hoyo. So, I did what any cigar loving guy would do, I found a quiet spot in the lounge after my shift, had the bartender pour me a glass of MaCallan 18yr Single Malt Scotch, and I set my sights on a planned journey through the unknown.  

The first thing I noticed when I took off the cellophane was the appearance; a dark and oily wrapper, with a beautiful historic looking band. The cigar was firm and even, with a nice balanced weight. I proceeded to cut the cigar and just enjoy the pre-light draw and aroma I was greeted with. After a few moments I put fire to the leaf, and began what would be the biggest surprise I had in the past several months.

Simplistically complex. What do I mean by that? A lot of combined flavor notes including natural tobacco sweetness, nougat sweetness, toast, hickory, and coffee on the front with baking spice, earth, and black pepper on the nice medium finish. The black pepper was very noticeable on the retro-hale. After settling in with the cigar I took a sip of the Scotch and found that without even trying, I had created a complimentary pairing. To me the MaCallan 18yr is a nice simple and sweet offering, delivering just the right amount of peat, sweet, and heat. That put a smile on my face as I puffed away through the first few inches of this toro.

Now, normally I discuss thirds of a cigar, however I find this cigar interestingly only changes as a front half and a back half for me, with the most noticeable change being the intensity of the undertone spices building. So as all the great flavors of natural tobacco and nougat sweetness are still present, while the black pepper and baking spice moves in to create a cigar that I am sure to remember. It was at this point that the whiskey became a near contrast to the cigar. I now had a sweet drink and a spicy cigar, and it was then that I realized that this was not like any Honduran Hoyo de Monterrey I had ever had.  

That simple complexity was really beginning to peak my interest I decided to get a few more of these to try with some different drinks in the future.

Box worthy is where I put this cigar, and since I put this cigar at medium plus, around 7 out of 10, I think some age on this cigar could get interesting.