Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 (Cuban)

Hoyo de Monterrey
When you think of Cuban Robustos the Epicure No. 2 is definitely not at the top of the heap but I believe should be in the Top 5 at least. With more and more people looking for fuller bodied cigars the Epicure No. 2 does not fall into that category but lets think about a more important factor, flavor. Very mild in body the Epicure No. 2 delivers a great amount of flavor while remaining a very easy smoke for all. The cigar definitely takes the back seat to the infamous Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona, but who has time to smoke a double corona on a daily basis? I have enjoyed the Epicure No. 2 on several occasions and find it to be one of the few Cuban robustos to never disappoint, I prefer something with more strength often but consistently this cigar always delivers. Cohiba, Partagas and Bolivar can all be great but when they are off they are off! The cigar 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 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. The first third of the cigar begins very soft showing lots of creamy notes with hints of cedar and cinnamon but nothing to overpowering. 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 and an herbal taste to it. The draw at this point has been perfect and has given off a wonderful amount of smoke. 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. 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.

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. 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

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