I have smoked cigars for a long time. I am a Father and Grandfather, so I can easily say, I can recall when cigars were not as vast in blends and brands as they are today. Ask me today what is my favorite brand and I am hard pressed to give an answer, there are some really fine cigars out there, more than your average shop can stock, but if you asked me back in the early 1990’s I would have said Hoyo de Monterrey – Exalibur. I enjoyed that cigar immensely, but as the years went on and 1,000’s of blends and brands have graced my palate it shifted from my flavor profile. Don’t get me wrong, it is still a good smoke but it seems to have fit an older more classic mold.
That has all changed now, as I recently picked up the new Hoyo de Monterrey Edicion de Cumpleanos 150. A cigar named for the 150 Anniversary of the Hoyo de Monterrey. This certainly not your Father’s or Gradfather’s Hoyo! Just like my palate matured so did Hoyo de Monterrey and after a long hiatus from new blends, Hoyo de Monterrey has introduced a bold new cigar that I will say is a break from the old. It is not just the blend that is new but the company has taken some lessons from the market and refreshed their packaging on this also. If i did not know what it was, I would not have thought it to be a Hoyo de Monterrey by its look.
Cigars International describes it best:
Topped with a Habano shade-grown wrapper hailing from the lush soils of Esteli, Nicaragua, Edicion de Cumpleanos boasts a black and white band with a secondary band proudly displaying 150 front and center. A sturdy binder from Ecuador ensconces choice aged long-leaves from Nicaragua, resulting in a single sized offering in an attractive, box-pressed 6” x 54 vitola.
Priced at $5.00 a cigar – this is truly a hidden, must try, gem.
The Edicion de Cumpleanos has a smooth velvet wrapper that is nicely marbled. The foot and barrel have a sweet aged tobacco aroma that is just begging to be fired up. So without further adieu I clip the cap, toast the foot, and get this engine revving up. I am hit with some exotic spice on front along with a blast of pepper – but not over the top. It does give a short retro-hale burn.
During the first inch I am getting some spicy raisin and gentle sweetness. The ash is medium grey and developing well. The flavor develops, shifting to more like a cinnamon raisin bread.
The construction is impeccable and the burn is slow offering a creamy, palate filling, smoke. As it moves to the 2 inch mark there are notes of chocolate and earth coming through.
The ash falls around 2 inches with a nice burn cone underneath, although the wrapper showed some signs of lighter than expected ignition.
I decided to puff a little faster to help with the ignition and it certainly helped. Just north of the band I am getting more of a fruit note, like a dried cherry flavor along with an increase of pepper.
The lounge is filled with jazz sounds tonight and it is quite fitting as this is turning into a very smooth smoke by the middle of the second third.
The pepper continues to build back up in the last third and the strength creeps up on you. Yep, I will say it again, this is definitely not your Father’s Hoyo.
Overall the new Hoyo de Monterrey Edicion de Cumpleanos 150 is fitting for an anniversary cigar. The flavors transitioned well and the strength is by far a medium plus. The smoke output was perfect as was the draw. The only issue I had with it was realizing i needed to puff on it a little more often in the beginning. I have smoked 4 more of these since and they have all been terrific.