Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial

Overall Score

1 review for Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial

  1. Daize

    Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial

    Origin : CubaHoyo de Monterrey
    Format : Robusto Extra (Gordito)
    Size : 141 x 19.84 mm
    Ring : 50
    Price : ~$275 for a box of 25

    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 : [rating:4.5/5]
    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 : [rating:3.5/5]
    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 : [rating:4/5]
    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 : [rating:5/5]
    As stated previously, I personally feel this is really one of the best values you can get at this size.

    Overall Rating : [rating:4/5]
    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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    • Sean R

      I was recommended the especial when I was shopping for no 2 in lcdh cayman. Early this year I saw an unbeatable deal on the especial and ordered 2 * 10 packs. I have smoked 6 so far. This is truly a special cigar. IMHO, This is really nothing like the no 2 or Petit Robusto (2 sticks I am very familiar with). Woody and tobacco flavors dominate the traditional Hoyo and the strength is medium and higher. From a flavor profile, this is closer to Monte especial no 2 (my all time favorite) or the le cigars. This has a sweeter, mildly flowery but totally enticing flavor profile and the strength never goes beyond light medium. I never experienced any change in strength overall. In my opinion, this is truly a Premium cigar (Almost a LE) sold at non premium price. If you are looking for an everyday premium at a value price, this is it.

    • grfg8r


      Thank you for a wonderful review. My amigos and I enjoy the time you take to write a review. We think you are spot on.

      Know: To Sam “DICK” Gearhart,

      So who died and left you cigar god? My guess is, you’ve been called a DICK before. Your comments are WORTHLESS RUBBISH! Anymore comments from you will be scrolled down to the next DECENT person!

    • yayaWHO

      @ Sam Gearhart … way way WAY too OFFENSIVE … as if some1 just couldn´t have his own valuation, taste, point of view, ´touch´, experience … On the other side of the world, there is YOU (alone?), one who knows everything & has ´License to offense´. CITEH fan in disguise???

      Btw: NO NEED for further reaction AT ALL – I know all too well in advance what would be its contents …

      @ Daize … sorry for jumping on to your defence when NOT asked to, just can´t stand the on-line anonymus offensive rubbish nowadays. One can easily write a comment with similar outcome yet still having ´a class´ …, not in this case though.

      Thx for your understanding, a nice review btw.

      An inexperienced cigar smoker whos desire is to sound like some1 who knows what he is WRITING about …

    • Sam Gearhart

      Your comment about this being similar to Epicure #2 50 cabs, which, according to you, are better than the SLB 25 cab, couldn’t be further from the truth. If anything it either shows your inexperience with smoking alot of cubans from alot of different boxes or your desire to sound like you know what you’re talking about. Probably both. Anyone who’s seen how they operate in the factories knows that there is ABSOLUTELY NO difference between the 50 cabs, 25 cabs or even 25 DB! Now there ARE big differences from box to box and sometimes, more often than not, from cigar to cigar within the same box! But there is NO intention or purposeful fixing to make Epicure #2 50 cab cigars Better than 25 SLB cigars, PERIOD!! And to say that there is, is just ignorant and untrue! Cigars all go to the same sorting tables and are sorted by color, thats it. Never are cigars made from the beginning with the supervisor saying “Okguys and gals, today we are going to roll HdM Epicure ##2’s and they’re all going into 50 cabs so lets make em better than the ones that go into 25 slb or dress boxes!” Are you kidding me?!?!?!?? You really show your ignorance of how the cuban cigar manufacturing process works with some of your statements and they are statements I’ve heard made throughout your reviews and have read and seen these stupid beliefs perpetuated throughout the forums, which are a great source of misinformation if that’s what you’re looking to procure.

    • sportster

      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.

    • max

      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..

    • LaMartina

      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.

    • The Cigar Spy

      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+

    • ScottyBoy

      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!

    • Brett

      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.

    • Hdownunder

      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.

    • YJ

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

    • jan

      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.

    • Peter

      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!

    • B_A_R

      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!

    • RDI

      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.

    • Daize

      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.

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Cigar Region Cuba
Filler Cuban
Wrapper Cuba
Binder Cuba
Length 5 1/2
Ring Gauge 50
Vitola Robusto Extra
Construction Hand Made