Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hoyo de Tradicion Epicure

Hoyo de Tradicion

Price: ~$4.07
Size: 5 1/4x50
Filler: Honduran, Dominican, and Nicaraguan
Binder: Connecticut
Wrapper: Honduran Rosado
Body: Medium-to-full
Humidor Time: ~ 2 months
Smoking Time: Between 1 hr 30 min-1 hr 45 min, depending on how one smokes

The Hoyo de Tradicion is produced by the Hoyo de Monterrey line. Hoyo de Monterrey is one of the oldest and most respected brand names in the cigar industry. The company was started by José Gener in Cuba and began producing cigars in 1960. The Hoyo de Tradicion line was created to honor the rich history of Hoyo de Monterrey.

Appearance and Construction:
Dark, silky-smooth wrapper with small veins and no visible blemishes. Foot of cigar had a small, maybe a centimeter long, hole were there was no tobacco, but that wasn’t a major concern whatsoever. The feel of the cigar was wasn’t too soft, but it wasn’t rock solid either. The cigar gave way some with a light squeeze, so I was to believe the cigar was in good smoking order.

Sent was of hay, earth, slight pepper
Chocolate, earthy- hay flavor, clean pre-smoke

First 3rd:

Immediately after the first puff the flavor was reminiscent of the pre-smoke: earthy, hay, and there was a slight pepper. The burn was nice and slow, so I knew I was in for a while of smoking. The finish of the cigar lasted only a couple of seconds. The body was medium, dancing around full after 2 or 3 puffs. The smoke had clean, smooth texture to it.

Second 3rd:

The body started full at the second 3rd. The hay flavor was more predominant as the second 3rd’s flavor. I was surprised that the cigar actually went to a mild-to-medium flavor after about 1-1 ½ inches of the second 3rd. The cigar seemed to be more heavily packed, or at least the draw was harder at this point, and took more to get a good amount of smoke. After 4 or 5 draws, the cigar managed to open up. This could have just been the particular cigar that I had, so I can’t definitively say this is a universal problem or not amongst other cigars from this line. The cigar was more in the mild range by the end of the second 3rd.

Final 3rd:

The body was full for the duration of the cigar. The final 3rd had a surprising floral flavor to it, along with the initial earthy-hay flavors. The cigar’s tight draw came back. It wasn’t like drinking a thick shake out of a straw bad, but it was nonetheless difficult to get a good draw. The cigar wasn’t burning real even, so I had to keep correcting it with my butane lighter. At about 1-2 inches remaining, I called the cigar quits.

The Verdict:
The cigar gets 7 out of 10 for me. Cigar Aficionado gave the Hoyo de Tradicion line a 91 rating, which I’m not sure that it deserved that rating. In my book, a rating in the 80’s would have been good, but a 91 seems a bit steep. If you think that a smooth, earthy, slightly floraly smoke sounds like your cup of tea and want a cheap cigar with a good rating/reputation surrounding it, than the Hoyo de Tradicion Epicure is the cigar to explore.

Until Next Time,
Keep Lighting Up

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