Brand: Hoyo de Monterrey Country: Cuba
Size: 4 7/8 x 50 Wrapper: Cuban
Price: ?? No. Smoked: 2
The Label Factor:
The Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 has one of the prettiest Cuban cigar labels you’ll find outside of the Cohiba Behike. The double band combined with glossy and gorgeous colors, elevate the Epicure above other Cuban favorites such as the Montecristo No. 2 and the Partagas Serie D No. 4….at least in the looks department.
What We Liked:
This cigar tasted like the thrill of victory. Victory over US customs. I shouldn’t be admitting to this in a public forum, but damnit, I smuggled this cigar into the US… As I approached the cranky looking customs agent sweaty palmed and with weak resolve, I prepared myself mentally to have to shred a couple hundred dollars worth of Cuban grown goodies into the trash. To my complete shock, he looked at me with bored eyes and waved me through to freedom. Success. I know what you’re thinking, it’s damn near impossible to find real Cubans in Mexico. As proof of a genuine product, I took this picture. See? Authorized retailer!
The Epicure No. 2 kicks off in a surprising and unique manner; with dried fruit and tea notes. Before too long, the tea subsides and a more traditional tobacco flavor takes over with a hint of spice adding some balance.
By the halfway point, I’m having flashbacks to the Herrera Esteli. The same sweet and woody notes are present, alongside the peppery spice from earlier. The whole experience is dry on your palate, so you’ll probably want to bring a drink.
What We Didn’t Like:
The Epicure No. 2 has the distinct honor of being the first Cuban I’ve been able to smoke twice. Unfortunately, that just makes me more confident that it isn’t the amazing stick I thought it would be. Both were good smokes, but neither made me say “wow” at any point.
Additionally, the burn was a bit crooked. I hear this is relatively common among Cuban cigars. I won’t quote a source for that, because I don’t remember where I heard it. But it’s proven to be true in my very small sample size.
Should You Try/Buy It:
The Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 is a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, it’s Cuban. On the other, the flavor profile just didn’t really blow me away. It’s definitely varied and has some interesting things going on, but just felt a little boring. Being a Cuban cigar, it’s hard not to let the hype affect expectations going in. If you have the chance to try one, I recommend doing so. But if you’re looking to try sneaking some sticks through customs, I’d personally go for the Partagás Serie D No.4 instead.