Reading Time: 3 minutes Who’d a thunk it? Asylum Cigars are releasing Asylum 867 cigars, a first for C.L.E. Cigar Company. Using exotic tobaccos, the new line includes three aromatic blends made in collaboration with Deadwood Tobacco Co.’s Wild Bill Rectenwald. Read all about it here.
#nowsmoking: Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Seleccion No.1
#nowsmoking: Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Selección No.1 Cigar Review
Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Selección Cigar Review – No.1
Factory: HATSA – Danli, Honduras
Size: 5 5/8” x 46 Corona Extra
Wrapper/Binder/Filler: Proprietary Cuban seed (Honduras)
What’s the cigar’s back story. . .
Released in April of 2020, the Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Selección is a three vitola artisanal collection that pays homage to Honduras, where non-Cuban Hoyo de Monterrey cigars have been made for more than five decades. Additionally, these puros also tip their hat to the tradition of Honduran cigars and Honduran tobacco that began in the 1950s when the Villazon Cigar Factory, now HATSA, was established.
In the press release, senior brand manager for Hoyo de Monterrey Ed Lahmann said, “The Epicure Selección speaks to the legacy of Hoyo de Monterrey which is one of the first brands to have been made in Honduras, and one of the first to feature bold blends made with native Cuban seeds cultivated in Central America.”
Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Selección cigars are blended with proprietary Cuban seed wrappers, binders, and filler tobaccos. The line is rolled in three shapes and presented in bôite nature cabinet style boxes of 20 cigars with old-world, Cuban-style bands.
How well is the cigar made?
Expertly. And for a special selection such as this, I would expect nothing less. The wrapper has a darker, musty color, but is even throughout. The cigar has a slightly bumpy appearance, and reveals some veins under the skin, similar to its Cuban cousin (see photo above). The cap is a skillfully applied triple seam, and the cigar was well-packed. Once clipped, the cold draw offered some saltiness with a predominant leathery note.
How does the cigar smoke?
Once lit, the cigar produces a fairly high volume of smoke. Early flavors were salty, leathery and stoked with black pepper. Some cedary notes followed, as did plenty of spice on the finish. The burn was superb; even as it gets, revealing a darkish grey ash that holds on well until the cigar is ready to be ashed. At the end of the first act it opened further, rounding to a solid, robust, and spicy smoke. The smoke was also very consistent throughout the second and final sections: creamy, balanced, medium-full in body, and mucho spicy. Occasionally, a note of sweet tobacco would leak in and tease the palate; even more so in the final stage, but the cigar continued to resist veering from its peppery course.
What is the cigar’s flavor profile?
A robust and creamy smoke that offers consistent flavors of leather, cedar, and spice on a long peppery finish with an occasional note of sweet tobacco.
What drinks can I pair with this cigar besides coffee?
For this cigar I went with Flor de Caña 18 Year Single Estate Rum. Both the Selección No.1 and the Flor de Caña 18 were very similar in character, in that, they were both hearty with a distinct spiciness on the finish. A good Bourbon would also make a good match, and depending on the brand and age statement, would possibly add a little more sweetness to your session.
(Find more cigar and drink pairing combinations here.)
Should I buy this cigar?
Yes, if you have a penchant for rich-tasting, peppery–spice cigars. I would not recommend it for the very new cigar smoker, however. The Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Selección No.1 is a very savory, medium-plus smoke that gleefully spars with the palate and imbues a fair amount of complexity. Some who are more familiar with Cuban Hoyo de Monterrey cigars may possibly find some old world Cuban-like attributes. But if you’re a fan of Hoyo de Monterrey, or you just love rich, spicy Honduran blends, the Selección is a true Honduran through–and–through. And that it’s also a puro makes it very worthwhile.
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