The wrapper is a medium brown with some color variations towards the lighter side. There are a few visible veins. The seams are pretty easily visible but kept tight. The caps are applied nicely and the head is very flat, which is a bit unique in my experience with Cuban cigars. The cigar has the typical Hoyo band, but also carries a second band noting “Anejados”. The secondary band is fairly simple and the color is standard across all of the cigars that carry this designation, but in in no way pairs well with the primary band. The aroma from the wrapper is a light hay, with some leather and barnyard. The aroma from the foot is a very mellow dry wood. The pre-light draw brings some of that woodiness, but also some dry cocoa powder and even a bit of saltiness.
The Hoyo de Monterrey Anejados has a medium brown leathery brown wrapper. The wrapper feels like semi-fine sandpaper with minimal oil content and sheen. The seams are fairly invisible and veins like a typical Cuban cigar, is for the most part unpressed. The cigar is a bit tight, especially in the cap area, hopefully not translating to a tight draw. The head is finished off with a well adhere triple cap. In terms of pre-light aromas, nosing the wrapper provides subtle dry black tea leaves and faint cedar. Nosing the foot gives sweet hay, cedar and slight barnyard. Cold draw tells namely saw dust and tongue tingling pepper.
Initial draws are bringing out some woodiness with a little pepper in the background. The pepper is the primary on the retrohale with the wood in the background. A little further in and there is a bit of mustiness that mixes in with the wood and pepper. About three quarters of an inch in, cream came into the profile and mixes really well with the pepper and wood. The retrohale is beginning to settle down with the pepper mellowing out. A few draws further in, the creaminess fades back and the mustiness ramps up to mix in with the wood and slight pepper. Nearing the end of the third, the creaminess ramps up again to mix with very mild amounts of wood, mustiness and pepper. The retrohale is also very mellow with cream and woodiness. The strength was medium to full at the beginning of the third but settled in at medium for the majority of it.
First thirds flavor profile reveals tremendous sugar cane sweetness, medium-full bodied cream, minerality reminiscent of crushed rocks, hay and old aged musky cedar. There is a black pepper spice realized roughly one inch into the cigar. Through the retrohale, crushed rocks, old musky cedar and intensified (but balanced) black pepper spice. The finish is a lingering charred wood. Body and strength is at a medium throughout the entire first third.
The ash dropped right before this third began and seems to have created a slight flavor shift, where the woodiness, now an oak flavor has become primary with the cream and mustiness are now secondary. A half inch in, the oak has mellowed a bit, but is still primary but making a much better blending with the other flavors. The retrohale now has a slight minerality to it. About halfway through the third, the mustiness has moved out of the mouth flavor and is only present on the retrohale. A few draws further in and the dry cocoa powder from the pre-light seems to be making its way into the retrohale. Nearing the end of the third, the cocoa goes away from the retrohale which is now primarily oak with some cream. The strength in this third is slight below medium.
Second thirds flavor profile has greater depth of the first thirds flavor profile. Specifically, intensified cedar, full bodied cream and black pepper spice. Towards the latter half of the second third, the cream becomes buttery for a few draws. Further, intermittent soap flavors mix in, which is a weird flavor to taste. Rotten stone fruits is also mixed in. The retrohale is still the same as the first third (intensified but balanced black pepper spice and old musky cedar). The finish is still a charred wood. Body and strength continues to be at a solid medium within the entirety of the second third.
As this third begins, there is a brightness to the flavors which I’m seeing in a bit of mintiness that goes along with the oak. The creaminess is really only in the retrohale at this point. A quarter inch in, the mintiness leaves the mouth flavor and is now only present in the retrohale. Half way into the third and the primary flavor is oak with a bit of creaminess. As the third continues, oak remains the primary flavor with the creaminess fluctuating a bit. The retrohale lost the mintiness and was a very mellow cream with slight woodiness. The strength in this third was just below medium.
Last thirds core flavors are unchanged from the second third. Still notes of cedar, crushed rock minerality, sugar cane sweetness, rotten stone fruit and full bodied cream. Roughly half way through the last third, the strength sneaks up on me, moving into the medium plus territory. The body however is still at a solid medium. With about 2 inches left of the cigar, the cigar becomes uncomfortably hot, such that the focus is on the heat as compared to the flavors.
The burn was very good through the first two third with the burn line staying fairly straight. The ash held on for each of the first two thirds before dropping off at the transition marks. In the final third, the cigar went out a couple of times and required re-lights.
Burn was subpar. The wrapper at times just did not want to burn. This left several ash marks with chunks of un-burnt wrapper. Luckily, I did not have to re-light the cigar at any point. Ash held on fairly tight and averaged one inch marks.
The draw was fairly tight the entire way. Based on the flatness of the head, I didn’t go for a second cut.
The cigar was good, but nothing special. I almost want to say that this cigar has aged out and its best days are probably behind it. Would have been interesting to have been able to try it when it was a bit younger. The flavors were all pretty mellow, but mixed well. This would easily be approachable for any level of smoker. If you have any of these or come across them, I would recommend smoking them now as I’m not sure age will do much to help. I would say worth a try though.
As assumed from the pre-light experience, the tightness around the cap proved a tight draw. The tight draw was an annoyance not allowing the entire focus be on the flavors of the cigar.
I’m unsure if this tasted like an aged cigar. The cigar did not taste like an almost 9 year old cigar (box date from November 2007). I’ve had Hoyo De Monterey Epicure 1 and 2’s from 2012 that tasted more balanced and refined as compared to this sample. The flavor profile is in line with what I typically get out of the Epicure profile but a bit young. This isn’t to say I did not enjoy the flavors because I enjoyed it quite a bit. But is it worth the premium of the Anejados pricing? Certainly not. I’d stick to cheaper regular production Epicure 1 and 2 any day over this.
Charlie Hascall - May 28, 2016
None of the Anejados taste aged lol