Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial

The Cigar Nut

By: Eric Hewett


Size:  5.5 x 50 ring
Country of Origin:  Cuba
Strength:  Med
Price:  $13 – $15CDN


Behind The Stick:  Launched in 2008 at the Festival de Los Habanos, the Epicure Especial was billed as the pinnacle of the HDM Epicure Line.    The blend was developed from the highly popular HDM Edition Limitada 2004.    The literal translation of the Spanish name Hoyo de Monterrey is “the hole of Monterrey” which describes the concave or bowl-like shape of the valley in the Vuelta Abajo region where the HDM tobacco plantation is located, in the town of San Luis y Martinez.


Construction:  The overall construction on these cigars is top notch.    From the perfect cap to the minimal veins & the beautiful chocolate colored wrapper this is a magnificent looking cigar.    There is even a light touch of plume beginning to develop on these as they rest in my humidor.    The bands are eye catching with a combination of red lettering and raised gold accents on a white background.      If you were browsing through a walk-in humidor I am certain these cigars would catch your eye.

Flavor:  The cigar clipped and drew well.    The pre-light aroma was all Cuban barnyard with a slightly salty taste on the lips as I put the cigar to my mouth.     Cold draw produced very little to speak of.     Once I lit the Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial I was met with a slightly salty herbal flavour that reminded me of the sea salt people like to use to rim margarita glasses.     Through the first third the cigar stayed consistently herbal & slightly salty with a bit of a nutty aftertaste.     As it progressed into the second third a light milk chocolate flavor joined the mix.    The cigar burned more quickly than I expected and the burn itself tended to wander frequently, requiring touch-ups.    The burn issues were consistent with all 3 of the HDM’s I smoked for this review.      On a few occassions the cigar threatened to go out on me and I had to completely re-light one of the 3 I smoked.    



If you look carefully at the photo above you can see that despite some of the burn issues the ash held like a champ until I tapped it off in one solid chunk.     Now if that doesn’t tell you this cigar was rolled by a skilled hand I don’t know what else could convince you.   

As I worked my way into the final third the HDM Epicure Especial introduced a slightly chalky aftertaste that I did not enjoy.    The previously noted herbal salty flavours were muted and turned progressively sour.     As I reached the bands I must admit that I found the cigar almost difficult to finish.     The chalky muted finish to this stick was a dissapointing conclusion to what had been a pleasant, medium bodied cigar.


Overall:   The Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial is a medium bodied Cuban cigar with a reasonable price point.    The construction and appearance of these cigars is very well done.      The wandering burn issues of this cigar did not present anything that I couldn’t handle with a few well timed touch-ups.     The flavor profile started out well but the finish on all three was dissapointing.     I am holding out hope that perhaps some significant time spent aging in my humidor might help remedy some of the less enjoyable flavors on the finish.     Feel free to give these Cubans a try but don’t get caught paying $16 or more for these sticks because you might be dissapointed.

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3 Thoughts to “Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure Especial”

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