Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo du Prince

Hoyo de Monterrey LogoThe year 2015 passed, without even one Cigar review. How is that possible? Did I quit smoking? No way, but I do have to admit I never started smoking either. Cigarettes are not for me. From the start it was always about Cigars. I smoke for taste I used to say and I never smoked a lot. The place I write from, The Netherlands, is not a tropical country, and I do have to find me a spot for smoking and reviewing Cigars somewhere, since I don’t want to smoke inside the house. As long as I don’t have a place for smoking, I’ll have to wait for some nice weather, and especially time. I need to be left alone with my Cigar for as long as it takes, and that is maybe the real problem here.

Getting the Cigar part of Master Quill back on track, we’ll start with another Hoyo du Monterrey. Hoyo du Monterrey has been featured before on these pages with the Epicure No. 2 and Le Hoyo du Maire. As I said before Hoyo de Monterrey is known to be a light Cigar yet meant for the connoisseur, aren’t we all? I do like Hoyo de Monterrey, untill now they have always been full of aroma, well-built and all smoked very good. I like the blend of tobacco used for this brand. The Cigar I’m about to review is and old one. Aged for a long time. The band you see in the picture was introduced around 2005, and mine doesn’t have that, and no, it hasn’t been removed. I bought a batch of old Hoyo’s quite some years back. Today this Cigar is only released in an SLB 25 (Sliding Lid Box, containing 25 Cigars).

le Hoyo du Prince

Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo du prince (40 x 130mm, Almuerzos, Corona, Box code unknown)

Color & Looks: Light brown, with small veins and very straight. Tightly packed.

A cru: Light chocolate. Leafy with some nice leather notes. Still smells young and leafy. Grassy even. Fresh mown grass. Well I didn’t expect that from this old Cigar.

Taste: For a tightly packed Cigar this still had a reasonable draw. Starts out nice and friendly, not hitting you over the head like some Bolivars. Creamy. Doesn’t produce a lot of smoke, yet tastes great. Warming and creamy and is and goes together well with my coffee. What a great smell. Even second-hand smoke smells great. Becomes slightly spicy with young wood. The leather aroma is young and fresh. A freshly made and oily saddle. Great. The wrapper turns into white ashes and inside it turns black and grey. It’s just a shame it is a bit plugged, and I have to work at it so hard. Maybe this needs to be smoked at a lower humidity. This one here, has a RH (relative humidity) of around 70%.

After 1/3 the wood becomes more serious. Sandalwood and definitely less creamy. Hints of menthol on my lips. Since this is plugged, the smoke gets channeled and flows rather fast and hot. The whole experience gets dryer and more herbal. Half way through, the creaminess surprisingly reappears keeping the whole rather tasty and keeping it relatively mild. Second hand smoke is still great with added mint. That is what ageing will do. The great taste stays untill the very end when you almost burn your lips. It doesn’t become harsh at all. After putting it down I taste some thyme in the back of my throat.

Very tasty and accessible Corona. Definitely worth trying out. I loved it, even this tightly packed one.

Points: 84

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Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo du Maire

It’s a rainy day today, grey and bleak  and I am a little bit under the weather too. Luckily I have some notes lying around I can work with. Otherwise not actually a nice day to go out and have a smoke. But a nice day to put some Art Blakey on. I have A Night in Tunesia & Moanin’ to warm me up and write something about Le Hoyo du Maire.

Compared to the picture below, my Hoyo du Maire is much older. Just have a look below at the ancient box code. Mine is without band. Bands on the Hoyo du Maire were placed somewhere around 2005. Another difference that is very obvious is that my Hoyo du Maire is a lot darker than this one and looks less rustic. It looks a lot smoother. Another thing you don’t get from the picture below is how small it really is. For me it’s almost cigarette-size, and you will never believe how small the wooden box with 25 cigars is. It’s unbelievably cute! Today it comes in Sliding Lid Boxes (SLB’s) with 25 or 50 cigars or in cardboard pack’s with 5 cigars.

Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo du Maire (30 x 100mm, Entreacto, Small Panatela, Box code FR NNSR)

Color & Looks: Maduro and looks very elegant and well-built. Oily.

A cru: Mocha, dry and chocolaty. Hints of paper and altogether mild.

Taste: Oily wrapper and salty on the lips. Just lit and it tastes immediately great. Very woody, but a great overall taste. The wood becomes a little bit sour but the cigar still has good balance. The draw and the smoke are good. It’s a sour-woody and spicy cigar. Ash is light grey with some whites. As often, ash has tiny white spots. It’s very thin so it is stronger than your usual Hoyo. A cigar to ‘sip’, otherwise it will burn too hot. Sometimes you do get small whiffs of…fireworks. The development is linear, still it does have a lot of character for such a small cigar. The draw diminished in the second half, but rolling it between my fingers solved this minor problem.

I don’t know how newer versions hold up to this, since this is really well aged. I can’t tell you what ageing did for this cigar untill I can taste a new one. I don’t think such a small cigar will have to age for a long time, to get to a decent level. In the end it seems somewhat stronger than Hoyo’s usually are, but this is never overpowering. Ideal very short smoke.

Points: 77

Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No.2

Heatwave over here, so a nice day to sit outside on the porch. I had a craving for a Robusto sized cigar and I noticed I haven’t reviewed a Hoyo de Monterrey yet. Therefore getting an Epicure No. 2 out wasn’t a hard task at all. My aged Epicure No.2 must be pre 2008, since it doesn’t have the second band that modern Epicures have. yes Epicures. The are a few around. There is an Epicure No. 1 (Corona Gorda), an Epicure Especial (Gordito) and in 2010 there was a Double Epicure (Doble) and in 2012 an Epicure de Luxe (Mágico) saw the light of day. Some of those were first a Edición Limitada. Hoyo de Monterrey was established in 1865 and is a Global brand selling lots and lots of cigars. There also is a plethora of choice, and all are known to be light yet for the connoisseur.

Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 (50 x 124mm, Robusto, Box code unknown)

Color & Looks: The feel is spongy, also some small holes in the wrapper, and even the foot has a little tear in it. That doesn’t bother me since it always is the first to burn. One larger vein and some vague green spots, but that is all. If you look at the whole it looks pretty good and smooth.

A cru: Leavy and wet, a very elegant smell. Mildly woody with some paper thrown in and the whole smells rather light. After the cut it becomes very nutty, with cardboard and grassy. No salt on the lips. Draw is easy. Very light in fact. When the cigar gets warm if feels even more spongy and soft. It is underpacked, something that was already noticeable through the very light draw.

Taste: First impression it that it is very impressive. Great smell altogether and a lot of smoke. Not fatty full cream, but thin cream with a spicy bite to it. Mild wood spice I would say. For me the creamyness isn’t creamy enough.

The ash from the wrapper is white the rest of it is grey and black. I’m having some mild mocha coffee with this and it doesn’t fit. It hinders all the flavors of the coffee and makes the coffee taste sour. I tried a second cup, strong espresso and that was a bitter. Still this one is better accompanied by water and probably something alcoholic. The outside smoke is really prickly. The first 2 centimetres are a bit ‘nervous’ but after that it settles down, and settles for great balance. Toffee is added to the menu. Still there is little development throughout the cigar.

After some time with this the amount of smoke is really incredible. I’m sitting outside with a little wind and I’m still able to generate a sort of private cloud around myself. Overall this cigar could have been creamier, and for a Hoyo it has a atypical sharp and spicy edge to it. Definitively an after dinner cigar, even though it is light. You can smoke this one untill it burns your lips, isn’t that good value!

Points: 87