Having recently bought a new humidor as well as a batch of exciting cigars, I decided to try the Hoyo de Monterrey 2013 Special Edition before it really had time to acclimatize in its new surroundings. Impatient, I know, but so what? Amongst the first Cubans I ever tried, this brand has ever since been one of my absolute favourites. Usually showing a more creamy and sweet taste-profile than other Cubans they could be considered on the light side, but in my opinion they will still give you a very enjoyable and complex experience that I really like.
This cigar is of course handmade, and with its 55 ring gauge a fat delicacy. Beautiful, dark chocolate wrapper with some rather discreet veins. Feeling tightly rolled but still slightly spongy to the touch that I attribute to the cigar not really being in its right element yet. Giving off a pleasantly intense aroma of sweet, dark chocolate and leather, with an easy pre-light draw tasting of creamy chocolate.
The first puff startled with some bitterness and acidity, which quickly vanished and was substituted by dark chocolate and a delicious creamy sweetness. Taking a few puffs and savouring the taste will give you a similar experience to trying a good whisky or a nice wine – a flavour with a start, middle and finish. One of the interesting things about cigars are the fact that it could be likened to a whisky where the taste changes every 15 sips or so. The beginning of this one showed lots of dark chocolate mixed with a creamy sweetness and roasted coffe-notes, finishing with some leather and tingling black pepper.
The middle third gives evidence of a slightly uneven roll, showing unattractive flaky ashes as the smoke progressed. The taste mellowing out a little, going into a distinctive honey-like sweetness while keeping the creaminess and tuning down the pepper quite a bit. However, make no mistake, this stick contains a lot of tobacco and for someone like me who maybe smokes a few cigars a month it started to give me a head-spin.
Going into the final third the flavor turned towards earth, wood and leather, mixed with the occasional glimpse of the earlier sweetness. The return of a distinct black pepper note makes the experience deliciously complex and enjoyable all the way to the end.
The burn in this case was uneven and it had to be topped-up twice. I blame this not on the cigar per se, but rather on my impatience in smoking it before it was ready to be enjoyed. I trust that this will be fixed after being allowed to rest in the humidor for some time. I also belive that there is potential for further development after some time in storage. Looking forward to trying this again after half a year or so.