Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 (Cuban)
The weather is starting to look a lot like spring! I really can’t wait to spend more time outside. This week I am enjoying some backyard time with a Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 paired with a 2018 bottle of Firestone Walker’s Sucaba.
The Good Stuff:
Anyone who smokes Cuban cigars shouldn’t be a stranger to the Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 as its one of Cuba’s most sold robusto format cigars. Running around $10 a stick depending where you purchase them this all Cuban leaf cigar has stood the test of time and still remains as popular as ever.
- Size: 5 x 50
- Wrapper: Cuban
- Binder: Cuban
- Filler: Cuban
- Body: Medium
- Strength: Medium
- Price: ~$10
- Pairing: Firestone Walker Sucaba (Barleywine 12.5% ABV)
The Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 starts off with a milk chocolate brown wrapper which is a shade darker than most cuban cigars. While the color is consistent for the most part I found the leaf to be much darker around the foot than it is around the cap. The wrapper itself is very smooth with a good amount of oils coating it. There are only a few minor veins and slight lead webbing to be found. The wrapper feels very thin and fragile to the touch while the cigar as a whole is nicely compacted and has a good amount of weight to it. The short body is capped off with a snubby, round, double wrapped cap. The cigar is then polished off with the elegant white, red, and gold band with the Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 crest in the front as well as a matching secondary band with the words “Epicure No. 2” printed across the front.
The wrapper on the Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 gives off a nice cedar and earthy aroma while the foot of the cigar has a really nice spice and musk scent to it. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces lots of deep cedar, musk and earthy flavors.
The Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 starts off with a ton of cedar and sweet musk with notes of sandlewood, honey, and a very soft black pepper. As I progress through the first third a nice floral flavor joins the mix but often rotates in and out of the experience. The draw is absolutely flawless. Each little puff kicks out a great big cloud of thick, gray smoke which hangs out for quite some time before dissipating while the cigar releases very little stationary smoke as it rests in my ashtray. The burn line is dead even and razor thin leaving behind a trail of tightly compacted medium gray ash which held on for an inch before falling into my ashtray.
Into the second third of the Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 and the musk and cedar have really taken over the profile. The sandalwood and honey are still there bu the floral flavor has all but bowed out of the race. I am loving this flavor profile. The retrohale really pushing the limits of the cedar flavor and I find myself doing it quite often considering how rare it is to retrohale a cigar without getting overwhelmed by the spice/pepper. The cigar is still burning like a dream and I close out the second third with nothing in the nicotine department.
I’m sad this cigar is already going to be over. The flavor profile in the last third was very similar to the second with cedar and musk leading the charge backed by honey, earthiness, and sandlewood and an awesome pecan flavor that started to appear. It took me a little over an hour to smoke this cigar down to the nub and I never wanted to put it down. I experienced no harshness nor extended heat while the cigar left me with only the mildest of nicotine kicks.
Its been quite a while since I’ve had a Cuban Hoyo de Monterrey. I have no idea why, I just don’t really gravitate towards the brand but this Epicure No. 2 reminded me just how incredible they are. The flavor profile while mild, was extremely well balanced and had the perfect mash-up of flavors for my personal palate. I am glad I have a good stash of these as I know they will be flying out of my humidor anytime I am craving an awesome, flavorful, medium-bodied smoke.
For this week’s pairing I turned to Firestone Walker’s Sucaba. Sucaba is a 12.5% barrel aged Barleywine brewed at the Firestone Walker brewery in California. I often forget how much I enjoy barleywines, and for some reason especially in the spring and summer months. Sucaba leads with a ton of caramel and toffee over malt, honey, and light fruit with a good amount of happiness and a medium mouthfeel before finishing with more caramel, toffee and malt and just a light bourbon bite. At 12.5% the alcohol is hidden very well as this is going down so easily. The caramel, toffee, and honey paired incredibly with the Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 while the extra sweetness really took this pairing to an extreme level.