Hoyo De Monterrey Epicure No.1 Review



by at 2:42 pm (1 Comment) Cigar Reviews

Brand: Hoyo De Monterrey

Size: 46 ring x 5.6 inches

Origin: Cuba

Just a few days ago, I began lusting for a well aged Cuban smoke. The desire hit me square in the face, and I didn’t want to grab just any Cuban. There was plenty of shuffling through humidor drawers before I finally settled on the Hoyo De Monterrey Epicure No. 1. I’d never had any of the Epicures before, and this particular smoke had been hanging out in my Cuban Humidor Since November, 2010. In previous weeks, the Epicure and I had exchanged a few knowing looks, and I’d handled it a few times in contemplation,  but that was as far as we’d gone. I knew, on this particularly miserable, rainy summer evening, that the Epicure No1 was now destined to be smoked.


I’d call the Hoyo’s construction ‘good, but not great’. The nice, tawny wrapper displayed a slight oily sheen. The cigar was medium-firm overall, and had a slightly soft spot near the cap. There was a small, maybe 1/8th of an inch split in the foot of the cigar which didn’t seem to have any impact once I got smoking.  The foot of the Hoyo gave off a rich, earthy sweetness which I associate with Cuban tobacco. The unlit draw didn’t give me any distinctive flavours.

First Third:

Immediately after lighting, the wrapper on the Epicure No.1 began giving off a fantastic leathery taste.  The draw on this cigar started off a little tight for my liking, but the fantastic presence of the wrapper, followed by some gentle dark chocolate or cocoa undertones helped ease my mind. Despite the snug draw, this cigar burned very well through the first third. I’d call this Hoyo ‘medium’ in strength through the first third.

Second Third:

The draw on my Epicure opened up a little into the second third, going from almost too firm, to a nice medium draw.  Leather and cocoa were still heavy on my palate, but a flavour I really can’t describe started creeping in to the finish. It wasn’t super strong, but nice and balanced, really close to a clove or allspice taste, kind of like a perfect, homemade pumpkin pie. It sounds strange, I know, but I’m sure someone out there understands this. The burn through the second third was good, and the strength stayed in the ‘medium’ range.

Final Third:

My Epicure went out on me during the final third and required a relight. This is likely my fault, as I was busy scribbling notes and still trying to figure out the pumpkin pie goodness of the second third. The big leather punch of the wrapper softened quite a bit during the final third. The new balance of the same flavours reminded me more of a good coffee than anything else. Aside from the ‘probably my fault’ relight, the cigar continued to burn well, and the strength was a decisive medium until the end.


Here we go…. I’m going to call it and say that as of August, 2011, this is the best Cuban I’ve smoked this year. The Epicure No.1 is almost certain to make my ‘Top 10’ for 2011 when the time comes.  The wrapper on this cigar was so well done, that I almost would’ve been happy just chewing it rather than lighting it. A few imperfections in the construction were there at the start, but didn’t seem to have any impact on the overall experience. I’d summarize the Epicure No.1 as a medium strength cigar with well defined, balanced flavours.  Would I buy another? Yes, although at Canadian prices, this would be a rare treat. Would I recommend this cigar to others? Yes, but with the caveat that this is a cigar that would be truly appreciated by those who have a bit of experience, and at least a few Cuban experiences to compare it to.




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One Response to “Hoyo De Monterrey Epicure No.1 Review”

  1. Les

    August 30, 2011
    8:07 pm

    NICE ! …. I really don’t want to say more than that and spoil a good thing but the Epicure #1 kicks A$$ and is one of my best Cuban friends as well.
    Great Review

    ~ Les

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