Origin : Cuba
Format : Robusto
Size : 124 x 19.84 mm (4 7/8 x 50)
Box code : EPP OCT 08
Price : ~$400 for a box of 25
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Hoyo Do Monterrey has long since found a special place in my humidor, and I have especially enjoyed their Epicure #2 release. I think that I have sampled pretty much each year since 2005, and have even reviewed them here. Of all the releases, I think that I have gotten the most consistent enjoyment from the 2008. Where the 2014’s were a bit “green” and the 2005’s tended to have “hardened”, while both maintained the taste profile that HDM is famous for, this year seems to have been the best. Not too hard, not too green and just spongy enough not to worry so much about burn issues, the HDM Epicure #2 2008 seems to enter the Goldilocks zone---just right.
Appearance : (3.25)
As is typical with HDM, the cigar is presented in a quite pleasing manner. Spines were minimal and because of their condition, the end clipped with great ease and with no wrapper separation as seems to be the case with older years’ versions of this cigar. A wonderful earthy aroma greeted me upon opening the box. No loose tobacco was observed in the box, and the sticks were just about as ready to enjoy as you could expect from an 8 year old box.
Lighting was effortless with billowing plumes of delightful white smoke. As is normal with this issue of HDMs, there were numerous sticks in the box that had issues with uncorrectable uneven burning. No gopher holing was observed, but more often than not I would run into a 1-2 centimeter differential that no matter how many times I tried to correct, I would end up exacerbating the issue, not fixing it. Inconsistent burn has long since been a pet peeve of mine, but the taste of the cigar made up for the inconvenience.
Flavor : (3.75)
Where construction may be the Achilles’ heel of the Hoyo De Monterrey Epicure #2, the taste is this cigar’s selling point. Earthy and woody notes are delivered in strong fashion and persist throughout all thirds of the cigar. A lack of tight draw made catching the full robusto effect of this cigar almost effortless. If you like the hefty cigars such as the Montecristo #2 or Partagas D4, you will also enjoy this smoke.
Price is a little lofty, with this box being the most expensive of the years of HDM Epicure #2’s that I have tried. You are looking at roughly $15US per cigar, but the taste profile ALMOST makes it worth the price paid. ALMOST.
Overall Rating : (3.25)
If price is not an issue for your personal tastes, and you want to sample a year that best exemplifies what this cigar has to offer in taste satisfaction and overall enjoyment, the 2008 is definitely this issue’s sweet spot. You get the best of the aging while not going too far and you are not saddled with a cigar you think afterwards that you should have left in storage for a couple more years. It was definitely a delightful mid-tier cigar with some upper-tier characteristics.