Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial

Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial

Origin : CubaHoyo de Monterrey
Format : Robusto Extra (Gordito)
Size : 141 x 19.84 mm
Ring : 50
Hand-Made
Price : ~$275 for a box of 25
More info about purchasing Hoyo de Monterrey cigars...

The Epicure Especial is widely considered the crème de la crème of the Hoyo de Monterrey line, and I would tend to concur. This is one of my favorite Cubans, at this size, for the price. It is a medium bodied cigar that falls right into my personal preferences. I paired this cigar with a light red wine in the first third. Two 'Illy' double espressos in the second (no I ain't gonna sleep tonight), and alternated between a bit of whiskey and filtered water on the last (in hindsight water alone would have been just fine).

Appearance : ★★★★½
The Epicure is in general a very nice looking cigar with a beautiful dark brown wrapper. I really like the Monterrey band, and the Epicure Especial double band is quite well done. Habanos SA seems to have realised this, and is now also offering the Epicure No. 2 in the same double band format for its 2009 production. The wrapper for this particular Especial was quite smooth with a very toothy binder showing through, just a bit too toothy in fact... - half a star.

Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial 
Construction : ★★★½☆
The burn was just about a quarter inch uneven throughout. Probably, I smoked this cigar a bit too avariciously. It still lasted a good 80 minutes, even though I ended up butting it out a bit less than an inch before the end (more on that later).

The ash was quite solid, and not too flaky, falling off only twice during the entire length, and the second time due to my dropping it (yes, I had started on the whiskey by then). I have seen much better constructed Especials than this, and probably I am being a bit too harsh on my rating here, but I will give this particular Especial 3.5 stars.

Flavor : ★★★★☆
The wrapper smelled of spices and earth. Pre-draw was both herbacious and earthy. Upon light up there is a short spicy bang. There is also a very fine Cuban twang, particular to the HdM line, which lasts evenly throughout the cigar's length. Woody undertones soon surface as well as slight hints of earth and mushrooms. Quite a bit of smoke is produced, and one gets the impression of there being a lot of depth to this cigar. The after-taste is pleasant and herby.

In the second third both, cocoa and spice with a chili-like, though mild flavour, made their appearance. The earthy tones started to come out more as well. In the last third, the spicy tones faded and the earthy and mushroom flavours came to the fore. Unfortunately, in the last 6th the flavours faded out almost completely leaving just the twang and a simple tobacco taste. This has not happened to me with other Especials, but this one loses a star. I butted out three quarters of an inch or more before the nub due to the general lack of flavour. I strongly believe even just a bit of aging would correct this problem. The cigar was never harsh.

Value : ★★★★★
As stated previously, I personally feel this is really one of the best values you can get at this size.

Overall Rating : ★★★★☆
This is and remains one of my preferred Cuban Robusto Extras. If you like Medium bodied cigars, you will not be disapointed. For those who like alot of spice and power in their cigars, you may be better served elsewhere like with the Trinidad Robusto Extra I recently reviewed (though it is far from being in the same price range).

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13 Comments on “Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial”

  1. I would just like to add a comment that I forgot to put in the original article :
    The Especial is quite similar in flavour and quality to the Epicure No2 (50 cab). The quality of the epicure 2s from a 25 cab is just not as good though. If you prefer a smaller robusto size go for that.

  2. I have smoke 2 of these now with 8 more on deck…fantastic, very pleasurable the flavors dont make you hunt for them they smoothly weave in and out as you smoke it…prime canadite to hot box because each pull is so delicious. Great smoke…give it a try, doesnt dissapoint.

  3. I’ve just gotten my 3rd order of these guys and… WOW. First box was an impulse ad-on offer i jumped on at the checkout of an order (box of 10).

    They lasted about 3 days. :)

    Some friends and i had to have more.. and thus our new fave was born. Incredible!

  4. This is a great special edition cigar! A little too light for my taste but non the less a great cigar! I paired it with cognac and was floored by the aroma a taste this cigar gave me but it didn’t fill my nicotine hunger!

  5. i would like to prefer hoyo coronation cigar insted of any cigar different person with different point of view and taste now the choice is your try it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    hope you find the right cigar for your self good luck.

  6. Another great Cuban that is a bit lighter than the D4. It has almost the same that ends with good spicy and leathery finish.

  7. Well said daize and my experience is similar not the most beautiful with a few veins but an hour plus enjoyment and a fine medium bodied blend of the earthy mushroom and mild chilli spices you spoke of went well with a dram or two of Glenfarclas 15yo 50/50 with spring water. Box dated Jan 2010 so will leave the other 9 in the humidor for later as feel sure they will improve in the next 12 months or so.

  8. I had my first just this week. My buddy and I split a box. He was a big fan of them and I love the Epi 2 so I bit. What a cigar! It is a 2012 so still very fresh but wow. It is already one of my favorites.

  9. Great review…spot on except I didn’t sense any mushroom in the one I burnt. Box date is 5/12. First time smoker of HDM and I have to say I was very pleased w/ the overall construction,burn, flavors, and value! Great cigar… a lil too close to medium as I prefer a fuller cigar. Hoping with aging these the flavors will deepen and become more pronounced. I experienced a creamsicle/ marachino cherry burst as well. Very tasty!

  10. My Review

    After a couple of long winter days without a cigar. I received a message on my special edition A15 sWatch from a secret agent that I work with from time to time on secret missions. He delivered a target by the name of Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial and I immediately went to work. It’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it, right?

    Don’t get it confused with the Edicion Limitada 2004, its different. Apparently the Edicion Limitada 04 was so popular they decided to come out with the Epicure Especial. It was introduced at the 2008 Festival del Habano in Havana, Cuba. I love the size of this cigar. In some ways, it’s like a big brother to the robusto vitola. The ring gauge is slightly bigger and so is the length. Check out the video below, I put it side by side to a Bolivar Royal Corona to get an idea of the size.

    I won’t get into too much detail, but one thing that is clear is the quality control in Cuba has really stepped up. The wrapper was absolutely beautiful, nice and oily and smelled like fresh cedar. The draw was perfect in this cigar, just the right resistance and simply constructed perfectly. The burn was flawless and the double band on the cigar looked good.

    I’m not a fan of the Epicure, the few that I had were to peppery for me and I didn’t like it. This Hoyo is different, lots of cedar, flower, with sweet tones similar to light vanilla maybe even cinnamon at times and it ends with a smooth finish. It’s easy on the palate and just a great mild-medium cigar. I honestly feel this will make a perfect afternoon smoke, right after a good lunch.

    I’m all about flavor over strength and this cigar is a good example. You don’t need a full body cigar to get full flavor from it.

    Final Grade: B+

  11. LaMartina says:

    I bought a box of tubos MLO Abr 12. smoke one and find it very potent, peppery and hot(chili) Abit dissapointed, nothing like most of the review – cedary, creammy etc.
    I’ll put it down for awhile and try it at a later date.

  12. Got a box of 10 few weeks ago but still have yet to try them.
    Forgot what the box code is but its 2013. Will wait for them to mellow after few months..

  13. sportster says:

    Smoking AME ABR 13 out of 10 count box amd they are GREAT! I have had these resting 9 months. I recently aquired 2 more with same date code and I tried one and ot was spicer than the rested ones. These need Reed Barton humi time.

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