Hoyo de Monterrey – HOYO
Hoyo, the latest line under General’s Hoyo de Monterrey brand, hit the shelves in March 2016. It marks the first regular production line in the brand in over six years. According the press release:
Hoyo was inspired by Hoyo Edición de Cumpleaños 150, a successful, limited edition cigar released last year. Hoyo 150th anniversary took the first step toward breaking the conventions of the brand by featuring a new variety of Nicaraguan tobacco, a shade-grown wrapper never used before in any other cigar. With sleek new packaging and a contemporary logo, Hoyo Edición de Cumpleaños 150 represented a new wave of the brand.
Continuing along the path carved by Edición de Cumpleaños 150, Hoyo is an artisanal line featuring special tobaccos, proprietary aging techniques and old world craftsmanship. Hoyo takes the same Esteli-grown Habano shade wrapper used in “150” and adds extended fermentation to deepen the flavor. The blend was also updated to complement the wrapper and features longer aging on the filler and binder to deliver a deep, rich smoking experience.
Hoyo begins with a proprietary wrapper called Esteli Habano Shade. Cultivated by the Plasencia Group exclusively for Hoyo, it is the first Cuban-seed, shade-grown wrapper, and is also one of the heaviest wrappers used in premium cigars. The Plasencias use special cultural practices to deliver a thick, pliable leaf with bold, peppery flavor. Given the power of the leaf, the Hoyo blending team chose to apply increased fermentation, taking place over two years, to bring deeper dimension to its taste.
Produced in Honduras at STG Danli, Hoyo is available in four vitolas: Rothschild (4 ½ by 50), Robusto (5 by 54), Toro (6 by 50), and Gigante (6 by 60). Packaged in boxes of 20, single cigars range from $5.49 for the Rothschild to $6.99 for the Gigante.
Samples Provided by General Cigar Co.
Size: 5 by 54
Wrapper: Esteli Habano Shade-Grown
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Pennsylvanian, Nicaraguan (Esteli & Ometepe)
Smoke Time: 1 Hour and 40 Minutes
Hoyo by General Cigar Co. wears an extremely dark brown shade grown Habano wrapper grown in Esteli, Nicaragua. Even with its dark color, tons of veins and dark color markings can be seen down the cigar. The wrapper has a nice oily shine and a few sugar-like crystals. The cigar is packed solid with no soft spots to be found.
Bringing the Hoyo to my nose, the aroma is pungent with a sharp vinegar, wet earth, and a faint woodsy smell. A much more pleasant aroma is found on the foot of the cigar as I am greeted with a cherry and chocolate combination. A section of the already ugly double cap is pulled away from the wrapper. Upon clipping the cigar, the entire cap fell off. Hopefully, the cigar won’t unravel on me! The draw is right on showing off a medium-rich profile with graham cracker, cedar, and potpourri-like spices.
As the cigar opens, dark, heavy flavors begin pouring out of the Hoyo. The profile is a mix of dirt/diesel, oak, dark red fruit, and pencil shavings. A medium/full spice lingers in the mouth and is causing a minor itch in the throat. The finish is of a bubble-gum that has lost all of its sweetness. About twenty minutes into the smoke, the flavors tapered off and smoke production died out. In that time, only a quarter inch of the wrapper burned down, but I could easily tell the internal tobaccos had burned significantly farther. After putting a flame to the wrapper to catch it up to the rest of the cigar, the flavors are back in full along with the smoke production.
As I enter the second third, the texture of the smoke is now thick in the mouth. The oak and dark fruit flavors are front and center, while the diesel has moved to the background but continues to sit on the finish of the smoke. The profile begins to jump back and forth from the oak and fruit to more diesel centered and a new chocolate joins in. At the halfway point, I am already feeling a nicotine kick in my gut. The spice heat has considerably calmed since the prior third but the pepper flavor has shifted up a couple of knots, and I am no longer feeling the spice itch in the throat.
The most drastic transition took place as I made my way to the final few inches of the Hoyo. A richness has crept in showing sweet breadsy notes, chocolate, a floral quality and pepper. The newly arrived flavors are pushing back the more earthy qualities of the cigar that are becoming somewhat bitter at this point. The wrapper once again struggles to keep up requiring an additional touch-up to give me a few more minutes with this Hoyo.
I may or may not have forgotten to take a picture in the final third…
It has been years since I have smoked a Hoyo de Monterrey cigar. I remember being handed one years back as I was beginning to smoke more full-bodied smokes. I wonder if I would still characterize that Hoyo de Monterrey as a full-bodied smoke today… Well, if I was handed the new Hoyo, it would most definitely be considered a full cigar by most standards. Full in flavors and medium/full in strength but not overpowering. The dark flavors worked well in the profile from the start and by the time my palate was getting a bit fatigued, the cigar evolved to a more rich, easier on the palate profile that concluded the cigar. The smoke production was excellent as long as the wrapper continued to burn in-line with the cigar. I am going to blame the touch-ups on the high humidity going on in the U.P. and won’t dock any point from my non-existent point system. With all that said, I actually found the Hoyo to my liking and a cigar I will be grabbing again as I see it around.