Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure #2 (2005 Vintage)

Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure #2 (open box)

Origin : CubaHoyo de Monterrey
Format : Robusto
Size : 124 x 19.84 mm (4 7/8 x 50)
Box code : SXF SEP 2005
Hand-Made
Price : ~$550 for a box of 50
More info about purchasing Hoyo de Monterrey cigars...

Lately I have reviewed some of the newer releases from Cuba’s finer cigar producers (like the Juan Lopez Don Juan), and I found myself wandering down memory lane and I gravitated towards the one cigar that I have consistently enjoyed over multiple vintage years. Hoyo de Monterrey has released the Epicure #2 line some time ago and it has brought them success over the years. I recently pulled out one of their older, more aged releases to see if time had been good to this cigar, and had it found a new place amongst my old favorites. I have consumed the 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009 versions of this smoke in a variety of 25 and 50 cabinet boxes.

Appearance : ★★★½☆
Cigar was a pleasing light brown color and showed very few signs of oiling. There was some blooming on some of the cigars, but I cannot attest that blooming was how the sticks came from the factory, how my favorite tobacconist (LCDH-Knokke) had stored them, or whether the blooming may have occurred for the time that I had them. I do live in a rather humid area of my country, so the blooming is most likely from the last of the three choices above. This smoke had very few spines, and most appeared to be quite short, if not noticeable at all.

Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure #2

Construction : ★★★½☆
This product had few construction problems, most evident being the lack of evenness of the burn. If you light one of these you most assuredly will have to correct the burn somewhere along the way. Other than that, the wrapper held its integrity all the way to the head, and the head did not unravel, even though the cigar was clipped past the head cap. The length of the uneven burn will make the lit end “bend” in the direction of the run in the burn if you do not correct the flaw when you see it. The ring kept its place, and the foot of the cigar was easy to light.

Flavor : ★★★☆☆
The light on this stick greets you with a moderate, but pleasing peat-like note with little aftertaste, if any. The note holds itself throughout the smoke, at times gaining intensity and at times softening to allow some dark chocolate and even almond-like notes to emerge, especially towards the last third of the burn. The tannin levels begin to get pretty strong towards that very end of the burn, so I would recommend extinguishing the smoke a centimeter before the ring ( barring any movement or misplacing the ring during the manufacturing process). I would give this stick higher marks were it able to show me some more complexity of taste. If you like the robusto genre of smoke like this or even some of its Montecristo cousins, you will leave the smoke quite satisfied, as Hoyo de Monterrey delivers a good smoke, despite lack of complexity.

Value : ★★★½☆
With a cost of $12US each, you get a more than acceptable quality delivery for the money you spent. The price point is placed well compared to others of its genre. You definitely get your money’s worth with this cigar. It is a good choice for beginner and aficionado alike.

Overall Rating : ★★★½☆ (3.25)
A good smoke to enjoy that is quite affordable. The aging process served this smoke VERY well. Where the Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure #2’s more recent releases tend to have tobacco that is rather moist, and tend to give off some rather strong mulch-like notes, this stick holds on to its earthy heritage and delivers those flavors in a delightfully constrained manner. Overall, it was a quite enjoyable smoke.

Enjoy!!!

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7 Comments on “Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure #2 (2005 Vintage)”

  1. My review of the Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure #2

    The Epicure No.2 is one of the most popular vitolas of Hoyo de Monterrey and one of the most popular Robustos in the market. It happens to be one of my favourite cigars too, but it can be very inconsistent. When you smoke a good Epicure #2, not many cigars can be compared to it. However, you have to go through quite a few until you get that good one. Those few can be very bland in taste or very poorly constructed. The latter productions seems to have brought back the high standards of this robusto, that seemed to have gone in the 2003-2006 productions.

    The cigar I smoked is a young release (2014). It has a cinnamon/brown wrapper with a few light veins and some wrinkles. It is smooth to touch and a little oily. It is generally spongy, with a few harder spots, and strong aromas of earth are present on the foot. The prelight draw is good, slightly on the looser side.

    Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure #2

    The initial burst has a strong earthy flavour, full body and plenty of spice. It takes no more than a few puffs for the cigar to mellow and become more balanced. The spiciness is gone, being replaced by vegetal and sweet floral flavours, still trailing the earthy profile of the cigar. The Epicure gets sweeter as you smoke though the second third, with flavours of leather, honey and cocoa, and a long creamy finish – definately its sweetspot! On the last third the body gets fuller and the cigar gets slightly hot, with most of the flavours in the array of the second third being muted. No need for burnt fingertips!

    The cigar has a slightly loose draw from the very beginning, that remains consistent all the way through, and produces clouds of smoke. The burn is mostly even, but seems to be changing in those couple of hard spots in the cigar, where the burn gets slower and the flavour smokier. The ash has a thin texture and does not reach more than an inch in length.

    After taking a few puffs, I realised I was lucky enough to hit one of the better Epicure #2′s. Although it didn’t knock my socks off, its medium body and the sweet earthy flavours made it very enjoyable. Not the best Epi I have had, but still good enough to score 90 points. If it wasn’t for the loose bunch, it could have scored a couple more points.

  2. Even as a relatively inexpensive Cuban, I prefer a good Nicaraguan to the current Epicure’s.

  3. Never tried it but look forward to

  4. I have mixed feelings about the Epicure #2 only because I have had a few with a strong ammonia taste throughout the first third. Not always but on occasion. Other times it has been very pleasant throughout the whole smoke. I wonder if this is due to an ongoing fermentation process due to high humidity of my humidor. I have experienced similar tastes with Partagas Magnum 50s.

  5. The Revered says:

    Hoyo Epicures # 2 have been my choice of smoke for the past several decades. No matter what else I choose to smoke I always seem to return to them. Always satisfying and never a disappointment. They go excellently well with the peatiest Scotches.

  6. I have been a big fan of the Hoyo Short Corona’s, never had a problem, wonderful smoke and affordable.

  7. I cant believe this still had “tannis” notes with 10 years of age…one of the reasons why I dont smoke Cubans too often, the need so much humidor time you really have to be patient and even then the cigars might not be worth the wait…I agree with Mike L, I’d rather smoke a Nicaraguan and be guaranteed of a great smoke. Thanks for the review.

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