|Hoyo de Monterrey|
The Epicure No. 2 is your standard robusto measuring 4 7/8" with a 50 ring gauge and consists of tobacco from the finest growing regions in Cuba. The brand is one of the oldest in Cuba and among the most popular worldwide. The line originated back in 1865 when Don José Gener y Batet had immigrated from Spain to Cuba 34 year prior, and started his own factory. The name Hoyo de Monterrey can be translated as "the hole of Monterrey," and makes reference to the terrain that most tobacco growers prefer; valleys. The Epicure No. 2 is considers one of the most popular vitolas in the Hoyo line, but as I said before, in terms of robustos it is overlooked.
The Epicure No. 2 is a very unique cigar and has one of the most beautiful wrappers of all Cubans in my opinion. The wrapper has a wonderful reddish hue to it and is practically seamless. If you compare Cuban wrappers they are all fairly similar in color, depending on whether the wrapper is dark or softer in color but the Epicure No. 2 always has a beautiful reddish brown wrapper that is similar in color to cinnamon. The bands on top of the cigar are elegant and beautiful and shows the regal qualities to the cigar. The aroma is of cinnamon, cocoa and grass leaving a sweet spicy taste to it. It is a firm cigar, and has a distinct triple cap that is hard to miss. After cutting the head the cigar offers a flavorful and perfect draw, and I light it up.
The strongest part of the cigar, and yet still mild, is the second third the cigar which shows more spices to it. There are signs of coffee present along with allspice notes in this third and it has an herbal taste to it as well. I am still getting some toast, nutty and honey flavors in this third, and it is very enjoyable and complex. The draw at this point has been perfect and has given off a wonderful amount of smoke. The burn line is still razor sharp, and I am still holding on to the ash from when I lit up the cigar. The strength in this third is close to medium, but it is still below medium in body.
The final third becomes softer showing lots of herbal notes of jasmine and rosemary with a finish of rose petals. There is a slight hint of coffee on the finish but overall very floral and herbal. There are those soft Asian Spices present in this third, with hints of cedar and nuts, but overall it is a very smooth finish. It is truly an elegant cigar, and while lighter than most of the other robustos in the Habanos portfolio, I think it is possibly the most complex. The cigar remains cool all the way to the nub and I gently place it down on the ashtray to show it the respect it deserves. Smoking mild in the last third it had a great burn line, and produced a nice amount of smoke perfect for rings.
As I finish this smoke before dinner I can't be in a better place. The cigar goes great with any beverage but a chilled white is my preference. Sitting under our pergola enjoying the beautiful late spring evening makes this cigar even better than smoking it elsewhere. I would give this cigar a 96 and think of it as a great anytime smoke. I would not buy a box of these, and I will explain that later, but it is definitely a cigar to have at least a handful of in your humidor. When buying boxes I tend to look for a cigar that is more in my range of smoke, such as a Ramon Allones, Bolivar or Partagas, and this is not there even though amazing. If you love a mild cigar first thing in the morning, then I would grab this cigar, but if you are like me and still like to begin a day with a Bolivar, then this is a cigar you enjoy from time to time. It sounds silly but as much as I love Pinot Noirs I will buy more bottles of a Shiraz, Malbec and Zinfandel. If you are a mild cigar fan then this is the best choice. I am skimming over mild cigars on the market, Cuban and non, and believe this to be at the top of the list.
|Epicure No. 2|