Cigar Details: Hoyo de Monterrey Hoyo La Amistad Robusto
- Vitola: Robusto
- Length: 5″
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Factory: Tabacalera Fernandez
- Blender: AJ Fernandez
- Price: $7.59
- Release Date: July 2016
- Source: General Cigar Co.
The wrapper is a medium brown with a lighter shade around the veins which makes them easily visible. The seams are only really visible due to the vein markings. There is a neatly applied double cap. There are two bands, the primary Hoyo band which is very similar to the Cuban brand except for the logo and a secondary AJ Fernandez band that is being used on a few other cigars that he is involved with. The aroma from the wrapper is a decent amount of barnyard. The foot aroma is leather and lightly sweet hay. The pre-light draw is more of the leather and lightly sweet hay from the foot aroma. There is also a really light spicy tingle on my lips.
The Hoyo La Amistad Robusto has a leathery, fine sandpaper like Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. Veins are well pressed and seams tight. Bunching and rolling feels well done as there is a structured give and no soft spots felt. Head is finished off with a thick, well applied double cap. Nosing the wrapper gives a mixture of pungent barnyard and white pepper spice. Nosing the foot gives cedar, white pepper and barnyard. Cold draw tells dry cardboard and cedar.
Initial draws bring some peppery cedar with a slight hint of cocoa in the background. After a few draws, the cocoa goes away and a very full peppery cedar remains. At about a half inch in, the pepper begins to mellow a bit. There are also hints of cream that begin to pop in on a draw from time to time. At an inch in, the pepper has mellowed some more and becomes pretty even with the cedar. There is still some cream present intermittently. The retrohale is primarily cedar with some cream in the background. This is how the third finishes. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.
First third is primarily wood and pepper dominant. There’s black pepper mixed with light cream and generic dry wood. There is also a prominent residual spicy heat in the form of dry seeded jalapeños lingering on the entire palate. Through the retrohale, a stinging and pungent black pepper forms, followed by dry nuts. Body is at a consistent medium while strength is somewhere in between medium and medium full.
As this third begins, the pepper has now moved into the background and the cedar has transitioned to a dry oak. At a quarter inch in, the pepper is now completely gone and the profile is just a dry oak. The retrohale is also a dry oak. Three quarters of an inch in, some bitterness joins the dry oak. At an inch in, a little cream joins in to reduce the dryness a bit. As the third comes to a close, the cream goes away as the bitterness increases along with the very dry oak. The strength in this third is right at medium.
The second third decreases in spice and that moves up the wood notes. Specifically, notes of charred wood, black pepper and light cream. There is a new note of charred coffee beans, giving the profile a greater depth of earthiness. The retrohale remains unchanged, still giving stinging black pepper and dry nuts. The finish is comprised of lingering dry seeded jalapeños and charred wood. Body is still at the medium mark and strength somewhere in between medium and medium full.
As this third begins, the bitterness is very prominent. At half an inch in, the profile is primarily bitterness with the dry oak in the background. After a purge at the three quarter inch mark, some of the bitterness goes away. The cigar finishes with the dry oak and some bitterness. The strength in this third was right at medium.
The last third remains unchanged from the second third. Still flavors of charred wood, black pepper, charred coffee beans and light cream. Through the nose, stinging black pepper and dry nuts. The finish lingers with dry seeded jalapeños and charred wood. Body is at the medium mark and strength somewhere in between medium and medium full.
At the end of the second third, there was a portion of the wrapper that didn’t want to burn, but it didn’t really have an effect on the overall burn and it was pretty sharp at all other times. The ash held on in one inch increments.
Burn performance was very good. Total smoking time clocked in at 1 hour and 45 minutes. Burn line was for the most part razor sharp. Ashes held on fairly tight, averaging 1 inch increments.
The draw had just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.
The cigar started with a decent amount of peppery cedar and then eased up from there. Getting into the second third, the cigar became drying and then some bitterness came in which was prominent at times the rest of the way. I’d like to revisit this cigar to see if I have the same experience. If I do, I can’t see myself reaching for it again. Performance was really good as expected, but I need a better flavor profile to keep me interested in the cigar.
|Very Good||Burn||Very Good|
The draw, although slightly loose for my liking, was still effortless and good.
I find the Hoyo La Amistad Robusto to be an average cigar, providing mainly good depths of wood and spice. AJ never makes a bad cigar in his vast portfolio, and this cigar is another shining example of such. I can see many enjoying this cigar with its straight forward and linear approach in flavors.
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