Top 5 Hoyo De Monterrey Cigars For New Smokers
Following on from our series of guides covering Cuba’s legendary H. Upmann marca, we now move on to another mainstay of the island’s pantheon of cigar luminaries and a brand which we like to consider as something of a companion to H. Upmann, the absolutely sensational Hoyo De Monterrey!
While both of the aforementioned brands comfortably reside in the same light-to-medium end of the spectrum of strength, the offerings of H. Upmann deliver more savoury flavours and aromas, where Hoyo De Monterrey trend more to the sweeter side of things, with many of their vitolas presenting a rather caramelly undertone throughout the smoking experience, hence why we like to consider them companion brands.
With that in mind, we’re delighted to introduce you to five tremendous vitolas for beginning your journey through the 158 year old brand’s modern roster, commencing with:
Le Hoyo Du Depute
Easing into the proceedings, we’d highly recommend sampling Hoyo De Monterrey’s Le Hoyo Du Depute, a diminutive stick compared to the heavy ring gauge bruisers dominating the market in the modern era (one of which we’ll be covering later) which shares the same size and shape with only one other cigar in the entire Habanos portfolio (the Montecristo OPEN J), this vitola is known in the factories of Cuba as a ‘Trabuco,’ translating as ‘between acts’ and signifying the original intent of the cigar when it was initially devised in pre-revolution Cuba: to be enjoyed by theatre attendees during the intervals at performances. This mellow delight rewards smokers with an inviting 20 minutes of smoking time and a redolent flavour profile featuring delectable fruity notes, a hint of caramel, earthiness and a tang of pepper!
The Le Hoyo Du Depute is an especially superb stick for afternoon herfing, especially when paired with a fresh roasty cup of Espresso due to its succinct length!
Flor Extrafina (Petit Robusto)
It is argued that the “Robusto revolution” was kickstarted in the 1980’s with the Cohiba Robusto, paving the way for a whole new era where chunkier ring gauge vitolas became the mode going forwards, this did however create a gap in the market for those who sought to enjoy a heavy ring gauge offering with a shorter length, that gap would finally be filled in 2005 with the advent of Hoyo De Monterrey’s Flor Extrafina (which would later come to be known as the Petit Robusto). Effectively a shortened version of the brand’s classic Robusto, the Epicure No. 2, the Flor Extrafina rose in prominence amongst cigar enthusiasts at just the right time as indoor smoking bans started to roll out across the globe, finally allowing for the more cooling smoking experience of a Robusto gauge cigar to be enjoyed in a more brief format, bringing down the average smoking time from ~40 minutes to a much more manageable 20-30 minutes, a most welcome reprieve especially in colder climates or in the winter months. Impressively flavourful, bringing a tremendous rich mix of spiced, caramelly, and occasionally verging on citric notes. The Flor Extrafina continues to impress almost 20 years on from its initial release and opened the doors for a whole new format of vitolas which would follow on in the years to come.
Epicure No. 1
By far one of the most elegant and sophisticated Coronas Gordas vitolas available on the market today, Hoyo De Monterrey’s Epicure No. 1 has garnered something of a devoted following over the many decades since its inception in pre-revolution Cuba. A bright, fresh and tantalising treat of a stick, the Epicure No. 1 delivers between 40-50 minutes worth of invitingly fragrant smoking pleasure, boasting a flavour profile laden with fruity character, caramel, hints of sweet coffee and slightly more mature notes of leather, cedar and hay. Amongst other Coronas Gordas vitolas, the Epicure No. 1 stands out as one of the more refined examples of the style, between its luxurious and well balanced aroma, flavour and strength, and the sheer crispness of its presentation, an enduring and reliable classic which is sure to bring you no end of joy when herfing!
Originally introduced to the world as an Edicion Limitada release in 2004, Hoyo De Monterrey’s Epicure Especial is one of a very select few EL alumni which was later incorporated into the brand as a standard production offering. It’s easy to see why though, as the Epicure Especial inhabits the form of one of our most very favourite vitolas, the Gordito. Bearing the length of a Coronas Gordas and the ring gauge of a Robusto, Gordito vitolas are typically reserved for Regional Edition and Edicion Limitada releases, with the only examples of the style currently in standard production being the Epicure Especial and the sensational San Cristobal La Fuerza, with a new release soon to follow, the La Gloria Cubana Turquinos!
True to form for the brand, the Epicure Especial is yet another profoundly sweet and undulating stogie, bringing all of the aforementioned caramel, fruitiness, sweet coffee, chocolate covered almonds, with supporting notes once again of leather, cedar and hay!
Le Hoyo De San Juan
A very new development for the Hoyo De Monterrey brand, the Le Hoyo De San Juan firmly plants the Hoyo flag into the modern era with a resounding thud! Weighing in at a considerable 54 ring gauge and 5 ⅞” length, the Le Hoyo De San Juan has all the trappings of modernity and makes for a sensational starting point for those looking to broach into the world of heavier ring gauge vitolas without overpowering the smoker. A gentle giant in every sense of the word, taking the brand’s time honoured mild character and outrageously flavourful array of aromas and tastes to an entirely new level, this particular vitola has quickly and appropriately earned the adulation of cigar enthusiasts the world over. Meticulously well balanced for such a large stick, the Le Hoyo De San Juan will draw you in for easily an hour and have you yearning for more!
All of these excellent vitolas, and many more, can be found in the Hoyo De Monterrey section of our website, and as always, for any more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Thanks for reading!