Team Cigar Review: Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Selección No. 1

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Cigar Details: Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Selección No. 1

  • Vitola: Corona
  • Length: 5.6″
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Wrapper: Honduras
  • Binder: Honduras
  • Filler: Honduras
  • Factory: HATSA
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $8.79
  • Release Date: April 2020
  • Source: Hoyo de Monterrey

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Selección No. 1 is very firm and wrapped with a marbled medium brown wrapper. There is a network of lightly raised veins and while the seams are smooth, they are easily visible due to the color variation of the wrapper. The head is finished off with a decently applied double cap. The band is red, white and gold and designates the brand and line name. It is very much pulling from its Cuban counterpart. The aroma from the wrapper is musty cedar while the foot brings the same but has the addition of a nose tingling black pepper. The pre-light draw brings sweet wood and mild baking spice. The mild spiciness is also present on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Selección No. 1 is beautiful in hand. The wrapper has this gorgeous Colorado coloring and it is toothy and oily. The cigar is firm and sports medium sized veins throughout. I am picking up aromas of cream, raisins, pepper spices and wood on the foot, and the wrapper is giving off earth, leather and spice notes. On top of that, the cigar band is fantastic!

Pre-light Experience

The Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Selección No. 1 has a bit of a clumsily applied cap on one of the cigars. The wrapper is smooth, with some lumps apparent throughout. Aromas from the cigar include cedar, barnyard, sweet earth and hay. From the foot, there is sweet prune.

Pre-light Experience

The Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Selección No. 1 has a hearty and slightly rustic Colorado Red wrapper shade. Veins are fairly well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and head finished off with a multi-wrap. Aromas from the wrapper and foot tell cedar and dry red pepper. Cold draw reveals light cedar and hay.

First Third

The cigar begins with musty wood and dull black pepper. At a quarter inch in, the mustiness gains a mushroom note. At three quarters of an inch in, the mustiness loses the mushroom component, but is slightly ahead of the wood while the black pepper is just a bit behind it. The retrohale is slightly charred and musty wood. At an inch and a quarter, a faint mushroom note returns to the mustiness as the black pepper is no longer dull and has a bit of a bite to it. As the third comes to a close, the black pepper now has a slight lead over the mustiness and wood. The strength in this third was right at medium.

First Third

The first third begins by delivering flavors of sweet red pepper, oak, cinnamon and leather. There are hints of earth, and it is a dry flavor profile with a long finish. In terms of strength and body, the cigar is smoking at a level between medium and medium-full. Flavors right there as well.

First Third

The first third opens with powdered cocoa, dry cedar and lingering wood into the post draw. Medium intensity baking spices are present through the retrohale. Wood settles in between draws at a medium strength level. Sweetness joins the retrohale. One of the cigars smoked had significantly more intense spice at this point. Sweetness and baking spices settle into the middle of the profile.

First Third

The first third shows namely earth. Earthiness in elevated cedar and dry oak, light dry red pepper spice and minerals. Retrohaling shows some generic creaminess and increased baking spices. The finish is soft with muted cedar. Strength and body is medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the wood, mustiness and black pepper are all even. At a half inch in, the black pepper has a very long finish and lingers for quite a while on my tongue. The retrohale has a black pepper zing up front with musty wood in the background. At an inch in, the wood gains some char. As the third comes to a close, the profile is lightly charred wood and mustiness up front with the black pepper slightly behind. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly above medium.

Second Third

The second third continues to deliver those sweet spice notes and with that is some cinnamon, musty earth and leather. Touches of cocoa are present on the finish and the cigar continues to smoke at a level between medium and medium-full for strength, body and flavors.

Second Third

Cedar, cocoa and some citrus leads the flavor profile into the second third. Cocoa drives the primary flavor on the retrohale, with cedar moving up to medium strength, finishing each draw. Baking spices and cedar take up the center of the profile by the halfway point.

Second Third

The second third picks up some creaminess on the palate, which especially helps with mouthfeel. But the profile is still earth driven with elevated cedar, dry oak, light dry red pepper spice and minerals. Strength and body continues to be medium.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the char increases a bit as the black pepper decreases a bit. At a half inch in, the char has increased some more as some bitterness also joins in as the black pepper departs. The retrohale is musty and slightly charred wood. The cigar wraps up with heavily charred and bitter wood and mustiness. The strength in this third remained at slightly above medium.

Final Third

The final third is similar to that of the second third and I am getting those sweet spice notes with leather, cinnamon and earth. It has that musty quality and I am getting some damp wood and cocoa on the finish. Like the first two thirds, the cigar is smoking at a level between medium and medium-full.

Final Third

Baking spices with medium strength cedar move into the final third. Lingering cedar is present on the post draw. As the last third settles in, earth joins the middle of the profile.

Final Third

The final third is a continuation of the second third. Some added creaminess, earthiness in cedar, dry oak, light dry red pepper spice and minerals. Strength and body finishes medium.

Burn

The burn line was perfectly straight the entire way. The ash held on in inch and a half increments.

Burn

The burn on the cigar was amazing from start to finish. Well made cigar!

Burn

The burn was flawless, with the ash holding on in up to 2 inch increments.

Burn

The burn was fine up until the final third when the cigar showed slight tunneling, which required a couple touch-ups.

Draw

The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer, but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.

Overall

The cigar began with musty wood and dull black pepper. The mustiness gained a mushroom note fairly quickly and later the black pepper lost the dullness. The second third sees some char join in. The final third sees the black pepper drop out as the char increases quite a bit and some bitterness joins in. The construction was very good and strength was slightly above medium most of the way. The Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Selección No. 1 started with an average flavor profile and maintained that until there was a big drop in the final third when the char became heavy and bitterness joined in. This was pretty typical of my experience with the Hoyo brand as they are just average flavor experiences. The cigar finished poorly which was a bit of a downer as the first two thirds weren’t anything bad. The price point is fairly attractive and people should try one, but I don’t really see returning to this one.

Draw

Draw was solid on the cigar. I would have liked a little bit more resistance, but still a solid draw.

Overall

I really enjoyed the Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Selección No. 1 and my score reflects that. I really got behind the flavor profile and it did more than keep my interest from beginning to end. It was a flavor profile that I enjoy and I can personally get behind. On top of that, there was a great body and strength level with the cigar. The construction was on point and the wrapper and presentation were great. This had an old school quality to it and it is a release that in some ways does not go hand in hand with where the Hoyo brand has been going the past several years. I thought this was a traditional cigar for a brand that I consider to be traditional and going in the wrong direction. This is what Hoyo/General should be doing. Don’t worry about where the cigar is made or whose “special tobacco” is being used. Just make a good cigar.

Draw

The draw has some resistance to it, roughly 2 to 2-1/2 notches into the resistant spectrum.

Overall

The Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Selección No. 1 was a good experience with the best flavors coming in the first and second thirds. Flavors included powdered cocoa, dry cedar, baking spices, general wood, sweetness and citrus. One of the cigars had significantly more intense spice than the other. The burn was flawless, with the draw having some resistance to it. I enjoyed the two Epicure Selección No. 1’s that I smoked, and look forward to smoking another one. Total smoking time was 1 hour and 43 minutes.

Draw

The draw fell just shy of perfection, being a bit tight.

Overall

The profile was linear and uneventful with earth driven notes of cedar, dry oak, light dry red pepper spice and minerals. Some creaminess joined within the second third, but it wasn’t enough to break away from the earth tones. The Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Selección No. 1 was not bad, not great, but right in the middle of the average range.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
AveragePre
Light
AmazingPre
Light
AveragePre
Light
Good
AverageFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Average
AverageSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
Average
PoorFinal
Third
GoodFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Average
AmazingBurnAmazingBurnAmazingBurnGood
Very GoodDrawGoodDrawGoodDrawVery Good
AverageOverallGoodOverallGoodOverallAverage

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

4.90

Cost/Point

$1.79

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

6.87

Cost/Point

$1.28

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.52

Cost/Point

$1.35

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

5.40

Cost/Point

$1.63

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Selección No. 1
Seth GeiseTeam Cigar Review: Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Selección No. 1

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