A Guide To Hoyo De Monterrey Cigars
With a history spanning all the way back to 1865, Hoyo De Monterrey have long been one of the most beloved and venerated Cuban cigar brands. Founded by Spanish emigrant Don José Gener y Batet, nephew of a plantation owner, the Hoyo De Monterrey brand was the second line of cigars produced by Don José after his first foray into the industry with a brand named “La Escepción” (translating as “”The Exception) and was created to celebrate Don José’s acquisition of his own plantation in the much-revered Vuelta Abajo tobacco growing region, also named Hoyo De Monterrey ("the Hole of Monterrey") in reference to the concave terrain favoured by growers of premium tobacco.
Renowned and revered for their light strength but tremendously flavourful smoking experiences; often featuring wonderfully sweet notes reminiscent of caramel, baking spices, honey and nuts, Hoyo De Monterrey vitolas are some of the most highly sought after cigars in the world today, owing partly also to their impeccable presentation.
So without further ado, let’s have a look at some highlights of the brand currently in production!
Compared to some of the other Cuban brands, Hoyo De Monterrey’s modern portfolio consists of but a scant few Corona sized vitolas. But what the brand lacks in quantity of these sizes, it more than makes up for in quality, with incredible regular production sticks like the Epicure No. 1 leading the charge and demonstrating just how fantastic a Coronas Gordas can be!
Other notable examples include of course the Epicure Especial, the amped up combination of both the Epicure No. 1 and Epicure No. 2 which we looked at in our previous blog “Top 5 Hoyo De Monterrey Cigars For New Smokers”, but one of the real stars of the show is the Hoyo De Monterrey Double Corona!
Though somewhat difficult to come by in recent times, the Hoyo De Monterrey Double Corona is a true marvel of the cigar world, measuring in with some pretty formidable dimensions, 194mm (7 ⅝”) x 49 ring gauge, which combined with the brand’s sensationally sweet, mild and nuanced flavour profile creates one of the most inviting, indulgent and luxurious smoking experiences known to man. We would certainly be comfortable calling this particular Double Corona a “must smoke” cigar, and highly recommend snapping one up on sight!
The brand will soon be welcoming another Corona sized vitola to their offerings in the coming months however, as Habanos S.A. expands their Linea Retro range to include another recreation of a vintage cigar with the Hoyo De Monterrey Souvenir De Luxe, formerly a machine-made Mareva vitola brought back to production in a hand rolled incarnation and sold in beautifully kitsch tins styled after packaging of the 1970’s!
Heavy Ring Gauges
Always moving with the times, Hoyo De Monterrey have been continuously adapting and innovating throughout the years, pioneering the very first in what is becoming a long line of Petit Robustos with their tremendous Flor Extrafina (now simply known as the Petit Robusto), and embracing the Gordito format with the Epicure Especial as mentioned above. A great example of this willingness to tend to the desires of modern smokers and the emerging trends of the cigar world is the transformation of their Serie Le Hoyo range, which formerly played host to an expansive range of longer, more slender vitolas such as the Le Hoyo Du Prince, Le Hoyo Du Gourmet, Le Hoyo Du Roi and Le Hoyo Du Dauphin, consisting of now less vogue vitolas like Panetelas and Laguito No. 2’s. In recent times however, Hoyo De Monterrey have adapted the Serie Le Hoyo range to host their much heavier ring gauge options, keeping with the recent trend of smokers leaning more towards chunkier offering from brands, with goliath sticks such as the De San Juan (also featured in our Top 5 Hoyo Cigars For New Smokers piece) and the gargantuan De Rio Seco, which currently boasts the heftiest ring gauge to be found in standard Cuban production, bearing a whopping 56 ring gauge and a not inconsiderable 140mm (5 ½”) length. This burgeoning collection of stupendous stogies has proven hugely popular with smokers and is sure to see more vitolas added to the range as the years roll in!
As previously detailed in our “Top 5 Hoyo De Monterrey” piece, and briefly touched upon in the section above, though the direction of Hoyo De Monterrey is currently pointed in the direction of heavier ring gauge vitolas, the brand still offers a couple of superb smaller options for smokers on the go, or when time is constrained. The first of which we covered in the aforementioned guide, the Le Hoyo du Depute, a sensational small stick perfect for accompanying a coffee break, dog walk, or as explained by the factory name of the vitola (Trabucos) between acts at the theatre.
However there is a smaller vitola available from the brand, and an excellent choice it also makes, the Le Hoyo du Maire! One of the smallest cigars in the industry to be produced with long-filler tobacco, the Le Hoyo du Maire clocks in with a diminutive 30 ring gauge and 100mm (3 ⅞”) length, making it roughly the size of a small cigarette. However, despite its slight form the Hoyo du Maire still finds a way to deliver big on flavour, managing to cram the sensational flavour profile of the brand into a compact and convenient wee smoke!