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Found 13 results

  1. Greetings again dear friends! I'd like to take the opportunity to acknowledge @Chef and @Psiman for their enthusiasm and encouragement for this particular Video Review Series. I sincerely hope you enjoy them and they can assist you with your cigar journey. Again, like all my other past Series, I'd like to say that speaking 'on-the-fly' about cigars is certainly a challenge and I will need to acknowledge errors throughout this series (so again bare with me). Also, please feel free to share your thoughts on these cigars in this thread. If you have views or opinions contrary to what has been stated, please feel welcome to express your thoughts and say so, after all, my own views here is intended to serve as a guide. 
  2. Brand new fresh as 50 cab ..and I know these are gonna be WAY to young to smoke,..but hey you have to try them to see whats going down!… FIRST IMPRESSIONS - well first off, the smell from the box is ..well hmm NEW as expected .very light barnyard smell and a touch of ammonia mixed with a woody (probably the box) scent. Light Claro wrapper with a slight oily sheen. DRY DRAW - pretty much what is coming from the box in the above comment. FIRST THIRD - very creamy from the kick off. Light cedar hit definitely has some ammonia in the cigar as expected, the last third will batter me I can tell with nicotine. SECOND THIRD - pretty much the same as above…nothing really to write home about. But there is a lot of oil in this cigar that I can see bubble when I have re lit…so a good sign there. Lots of smoke ..and the ash is very flakey with an un even burn line due to youth. FINAL THIRD - woodiness with a light tea character …and bosh ……BIG NICOTINE HIT..I NEED A LIE DOWN. SUMMARY - way too young as expected!…they will go to the back of my cellar for another 3-4 years before I go back for another taste - 85 points might get to 93-4 by then.
  3. Greetings again dear friends! Below are a number of video reviews of cigars which I've termed 'uncommon' due to their discontinuation (or hiatus), premium exclusivity or simply for the fact that as cigar enthusiasts we're more unlikely to reach for them from our humidors! Again, like the 2017 Xmas Sampler Series, I'd like to say that speaking 'on-the-fly' about cigars is certainly a challenge and I will need to acknowledge errors throughout this series (so bare with me). Also, please feel free to share your thoughts on these cigars in this thread. If you have views or opinions contrary to what has been stated, please feel welcome to express your thoughts and say so, after all, my own views here is intended to serve as a guide.
  4. Length: 15 cm Ring Gauge: 54 Factory Name: Le Hoyo de San Juan Vitola: Le Hoyo de San Juan Type: Geniales Presentation: Box of 10s & 25s Release Date: Third quarter 2014 The opening night of the 16th Habanos Festival showcased two historic brands with their latest edition, the Partagas D6 and the Hoyo De Monterrey Le Hoyo de San Juan. I had the opportunity to smoke my first San Juan back in February to get an idea of what to expect and saved a few cigars to review a couple of months later. The Le Hoyo line has not seen any new additions for decades until today where the Le Hoyo de San Juan is introduced to bring in a whole new different habano blend and size. According to Habanos S.A the Le Hoyo de San Juan is hand-rolled using leaves exclusively from the tobacco-producing district of San Juan y Martinez and relying only on the Volado, Seco and Ligero leaves to add a particular blend and taste this new vitola. Also the San Juan features a new large ring gauge size for the Le Hoyo line to offer a well balanced and consistent experience demanded by the current market need. Let take a closer look at this beauty... The Construction - As mentioned above, the San Juan has a large 54 ring gauge and uses the Volado, Seco and ligero leaves from the San Juan y Martinez district. The wrapper, a smooth semi-matte light brown color with very faint veins running across the body. The cigar is firm with a slight bouncy resistance, it is well packed and has a beautifully constructed cap. One other thing I would like to mention is the new Le Hoyo Series band on the San Juan. It uses the same traditional Hoyo De Monterrey band but with an additional red band underneath it which has the Series name on it Serie Le Hoyo. According to Habanos S.A. the San Juan will come in boxes of 10s and 25s, yet the Tubo is still not confirmed. Another new addition to the Le Hoyo series is the bundle ribbon which in the past used to be yellow but now will come in White with a red Serie Le Hoyo letters on top and black Le Hoyo de San Juan underneath. The Draw - for this big gauge ring I went with my wide gauge punch. The whiff of fresh shaved wood and faint peppermint sent come from the body, excellent draw with not much resistance, some sweet caramel and almond can be picked up on the pre-light taste. The First Burn - Light peppery zing from the smoke, still pick up some ammonia and fresh taste as well. After few puffs you get to sense that sweetness woody aftertaste. The dominant notes are of white pepper which probably is the ligero profile and the smoke is smooth and abundant. Whats interesting is first past is that sweet bitter after taste that is left lingering in the mouth with every puff. The Middle Burn -Slight zing continues to follow through this second part. Some sweet woody notes becomes clearer and the smoke give a pleasant nutty aftertaste. At this point I let the burn cool off a bit to try to savor more flavors from the San Juan, which brought out some nice earthy sweet notes. The dense grey ash holds up pretty well and the burn is near perfect. The Final Burn - Dry wood becomes dominant note during the final burn and the peppery taste kicks in again to his the back of the throat. But if you take your time to smoke without having a very hot burn, you can actually pick up some sweetness in the smoke. Overall, In a pleasant way you can really experience the dominance of the ligero leaves in this part. Something interesting about this Le Hoyo Serie is the robust flavors not normally experienced with the other thinner gauge vitolas in the line. I did expect a milder profile for this vitola but it sure gave an interesting kick to smoke. I strongly believe that with some time, the edge will mellow out in the San Juan which will make it more milder and closer to the Le Hoyo profile that we are used to. Hoyo de Monterrey fans will definitely find this vitola interesting... Enjoy!
  5. Was outside smoking this today, decided to keep snapping pictures and do a review. Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo de San Juan TEO JUN 17 Paired it with some Black Rifle Coffee Co. Murdered Out blend The cigar starts off on the cold draw with notes of shortbread, light cedar, some earthy notes, tea, and a little floral character. First third: the cigar produces a good amount of nice creamy smoke, bundles of it; with leather, cedar, floral notes, and some light coco powder. Second third: the cigar gets a little more powerful, still tons of creamy smoke; coffee bean, shortbread, and increasing leather and floral notes really come through. Final third: still a lot of creamy smoke; the cigar now starts to get a little hot even when puffing slowly, notes of earth, leather, coffee, and cedar really shine here. Overall: I really enjoyed this cigar. It showed signs of being young, just under a year on it. I think with time these will really shine; more cocoa and coffee notes might come through and compliment the leather and earth tones that are very present right now. The ring gauge does take a little getting used to, as it is 54, larger than what I typically enjoy, but I am starting to learn that these larger cigars are having their place in my rotation and I am enjoying them more than I did a decade ago. Glad I got a couple boxes of these as I will be letting them sit for at least 6 months to see how they progress.
  6. The Le Hoyo series are a group of cigars within the regular production line of the global brand, Hoyo de Monterrey. Below is a list of the Le Hoyo cigars sourced from Cuban Cigar Website... The du Roi, du Prince and de Dauphin are officially discontinued, however the du Gourmet has been in hiatus since circa 2012 and the des Dieux has been hiatus since circa 2014. The du Gourmet may be discontinued, however, the des Dieux future availability is uncertain. (It's been mentioned on our forum that a release in the near future may be possible). In regards to the du Gourmet, it's likely deleted as there is only one current slim panetela (i.e. 33 ring gauge x 6 inch or 150 mm and over length) in regular production, the Por Larranaga Montecarlos. The Le Hoyo line is noted for its wood and cream flavours and the preference amongst cigar enthusiasts for long-term aging, i.e. 5 years and more. Recent additions to the Le Hoyo line include the de San Juan in 2014 and the de Rio Seco this year in 2018. Both these cigars have larger ring gauges, as has been the recent trend for Habanos S.A releases. A review of the series from 2012 by @Michel1968 can be found at the link below...
  7. Hello folks! I'm fairly new here but have enjoyed lurking and reading so many great posts! I enjoy being an observer here but El Presidente said if you're having one you might as well review it! So here we go! I like to keep things short and sweet! Hoyo De Monterrey - Epicure No 2 Purchased - NOV 17 from Zurich Duty Free - part of 3 Tubos pack. Drinks - Home made cappuccino - Costa Rican Beans Time - 95 Minutes Flavors - Pre - Chocolate + Lovely Tasty Tobacco 1/3 - Creamy Tobacco + hints of flower 2/3 - Deeper notes of flowery sweetness 3/3 - Robust Tobacco with Deep Chocolate notes By The Numbers - Appearance/Construction (1.5) - 1.1 Flavor (2.5) - 1.8 Smoking Characteristics (2.5) - 1.8 Overall Impression (3.5) - 2.5 TOTAL - 7.2 / 10 For reference, my highest rated cigar to date (4 months in) is the Montecristo No 2 @ 7.6 / 10 --- and my lowest is a BrickHouse Natural @ 5 / 10. Cheers! Khan
  8. One more in the ongoing saga of great cigars past. One fantastic thing about working in the shop is that it is 'my space' and the smoking lamp is always lit! Enjoy! -the Pig
  9. I've decided to post my 2016 Xmas Sampler Review in the Review Section for future reference purposes. It was originally posted in February this year in the 'Daily Smoke' thread... Cigars I've smoked lately... The 2016 Xmas Sampler (dedicated to our dear friend @Hurltim) Did you happen to pick up El Pres' 2016 Xmas Sampler? These cigars represent Rob's most consistent quality cigars for 2016. I smoked through these fine cigars during my January vacation time, on my own, watching sport, watching movies and sometimes in the fine company of some other dear fellow cigar enthusiasts. I promised Hurltim I'll review these when done, but as February is a busy month in Australian work life culture (as a result of everyone returning from leave en masse!), I've finally been able to find some time to share my findings! Firstly, below are the 13 cigars included... They are, from left to right, Diplomaticos Bushido, Diplomatico No.2, Bolivar Coronas Gigantes, Partagas Lusitanias, Montecristo No.1, Fonseca No.1, H.Upmann Magnum 56 LE 2015, Ramon Allones Club Allones LE 2015, Punch Punch, Bolivar Belicosos Finos, San Cristobal de La Habana La Fuerza, Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo du Prince and Cohiba Robustos. My review will follow in chronological order... 1. Ramon Allones Club Allones LE 2015 (SOM Dic 15) I decided to start off with the 'powerhouses', the most full-bodied of the lot. I smoked this and the BBF watching the Boxing Day Cricket Test, which is traditionally Australia's most watched and attended event of the sporting summer. The Australian cricket captain, Steve Smith and leading bowler, Mitchell Starc were hitting runs aplenty on this day of the test, and it was exciting to watch Australia comeback to bowl Pakistan out and win the game. This cigar was so strong, much stronger than other RACA I've had. It had the traditional stewed profile that I enjoy in Ramon Allones, but the nicotine buzz of this wore me out by the late afternoon. 2. Bolivar Belicosos Finos (TOR May 16) So, by the time lit this in the early afternoon I was somewhat feeling a little drowsy, on account of the strong Ramon Allones Club Allones LE I had earlier and the warm weather of this particular Sydney afternoon. I thing I enjoy about BBF's are when they have an element of cream to them, alas, no such luck here. It had typical flavours associated with this vitola such as earthiness, leather, sour dough spine dipped in coffee and dark chocolate. Still, I hold hope for the next BBF I smoke! 3. H.Upmann Magnum 56 LE 2015 (MEG Mar 16) This is the special cigar I decided to have on New Year's Day this year. I made a Brandy Alexander for myself and my wife, and together with my standard long black espresso coffee, this cigar was one of the highlights of my summer! What can I say in regards to accolades about the H.Upmann Magnum 56? Smoke aplenty, mild chocolate (like all limited editions, eh?), toasted tobacco, licorice and so beautifully refined. Yes, I wish it wasn't 56 ring gauge, but I used my Credo 3-in-1 punch cutter again on this and 'sipped' it from the back. 95 minutes of pure joy and yes, I gladly nubbed it...look below! 4. Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo du Prince (TOR Jun 16) When I smoked this on the 3rd of January, little did I know that I would be saying goodbye to a dear friend. Why, oh why did I not get more boxes? Oh well, I'll live with what I have and I'll try to get some more this year, if I can. Still, I'm in disbelief in regards to this fine cigar being deleted in 2017. Rob mentioned in his tasting notes the following,..cream, cedar, bitter cooking chocolate and black coffee. This description is about spot on for me. My recommendation for all Le Hoyo line HdM, is to age them. If you enjoy them young, try to smoke through half a box, and rest what's left for a minimum 5 years. That combination of cream and cedar, when aged, is just so ineffable. Some of you will know what I mean. 5. Punch Punch (ALO Mar 16) Did you get yourself a 50 cab of these recently? Well, I certainly hope you did. The Punch Punch will be around in 2018, but only in 25 dress boxes, there's something nostalgic about this in 50 cabs that this cigar deserves. Again, I very much enjoyed this, cream, leather, spice...just Punch at its finest, and how surprised was I on account of its youthfulness? I wish there were two of these in the sampler! 6. Diplomaticos No.2 (TOS Mar 16) This was the very best of all the cigars I smoked from the Xmas Sampler. Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Sourdough...just 100 minutes of sweet joy that I hope Habanos S.A can replicate for this cigar for sometime. If you've put this away, or are smoking through some TOS 15/16 Diplomaticos No.2 currently, you are truly fortunate! 7. San Cristobal de La Habana La Fuerza (TOS Mar 16) Cocoa, coffee, molasses and sweetbread...this is quintessential San Cristobal de La Habana. This is a marca I absolutely adore because I'm a sweet tooth. This cigar was very, very good and I was well-satisfied, but it goes to show how good the Punch Punch and Diplomaticos No.2 were on this day for me to rate those vitolas higher. 8. Cohiba Robustos (ETP Jun 16) This, and the next two cigars, I enjoyed in the company of some fine Sydney Friends of Habanos members at a get together at my house. Again, it was a warm Sunday summer's day, but this Robusto was still distinctively Cohiba, with that combination of grass/hay, honey, citrus and cream we all know and love. 9. Fonseca No.1 (UME Mar 15) Apparently this cigar has been deleted a few years ago, but it just seems to go into production now and then ever since the announcement. Wood, floral notes, soft marshmallow and very, very mild. This is suitable for a change of pace. Construction on this was outstanding! 10. Montecristo No.1 (BUM Abr 15) How good is it to have this Lonsdale cigar smoking this well? This was the third cigar of our get together and I think I saved the best for last! Montecristo cocoa, cream and leather in a 1 and 3/4 hours smoke. I don't think I have these often enough! 11. Diplomaticos Bushido (TOS Oct 15) This is an incredibly special Asia Pacifico Regional Edition release. You know this from the very fact that the cigar is tapered at the head, a Numero 109, a vitola saved for the very best cigars. And, this is one of those cigars so deserving of that praise. I saved this for a get together with Trevor and Alex to discuss Cuban Cigar Website on a mid-week day in January. Unfortunately, the day was extremely hot, over 100°F (38°C). Still, I savoured that Diplomaticos sourdough and cinnamon goodness, and the fine, fine company! 12. Partagas Lusitanias (OBM Jun 16) I can't remember the last time I had a double corona, but after having this, I made sure to pick up a box from a 24:24 sale soon after. I found this like a milder Partagas Shorts...mild, smooth spice, coffee and sourdough. It went for 2 hours and 5 minutes and after I finished it I wanted to light one up immediately thereafter! 13. Bolivar Coronas Gigantes (PUR Mar 16) I smoked this watching 'La La Land' with my wife and boy did this cigar send me there. Oh what a pity it's being deleted, and even though Bolivar is not favourite marca on account of the earthiness in its profile, still, I can appreciate the spice, coffee and toasted tobacco spine. How apt I should end the Sampler series on this cigar. Farewell BCG...you will be long remembered!
  10. Hoyos to me are a little mysterious, they have mostly been elusive for me, yet when I do smoke Hoyos they have always been complex and pleasing cigars. I just haven't pursued them as much as I pursue other marcas, and I can't think of any specific reason why. This particular box was a split that Trent; a good FOH brother, found on the secondary market and I am so glad I participated in this share, it has been richly rewarding. The Hoyo Coronas are 42 ring gauge, 5.59" in length, dress boxed. Judging by the markings I think this box came from the French market but I know little else about its origins. I have smoked just 2 from this share, this is the third, and every one has been delicious to the last inch. For the pairing I chose a Guiness Golden Ale out of a 18-pack sampler, which I have been thoroughly enjoying. Cold draw was just as I like it - I actually like slightly loose draws so this was perfectly acceptable to me, but some might call it a bit loose. First warm draws produced volumes of rich and creamy smoke, slightly light bodied, and decadently aromatic. Essence of pumpkin spice, slightly sweet, poured forth and gave me a unique and delicious taste. This cigar has an unusual character and aroma, which I am immediately intrigued by. The first third is smooth, light and tasty, but just a bit light for an after dinner cigar. The second third continued to produce a slightly sweet and aromatic spicy aroma, and rich creamy smoke. Burn is near perfect and cool. There is a faint hint of baking spices in there I can't quite identify, sort of like nutmeg or cloves maybe. Very interesting and quite enjoyable. As I crossed over from the second to the last third, I drained the Guiness ale and opened another. The final third remains a bit light to medium bodied, and the parade of baking spices continue; a touch of cinnamon, some raisin bread, nutmeg - honestly, I'm quite surprised by this complex nuanced journey this little corona is taking me on. Approaching the final stages of the cigar, the smoke remained cool and creamy, no harshness or bitterness, just rich and somewhat mellow body with a beautiful refined balance. What a delicious smoke. I could almost say this is a dessert cigar, and I bet these lovely vitolas would make a great morning smoke too. Reluctantly I put the nub down to smolder in the ash tray. This was an impressive smoke, just as the first two it took me completely by surprise. I have to rate this a solid 9 out of 10 on my personal scale, a richly satisfying and memorable cigar that I will look forward to smoking again soon. Thank you Trent for sharing this gem with me.
  11. There's a lot in that title, isn't there? I was having a chat with a valued friend on FoH recently about this topic and he suggested I put up on the forum for discussion, which I thought was a good idea! Basically, it all started from me thinking how perhaps modern Habanos S.A trends for larger ring gauge cigars are not suited to the Hoyo de Monterrey marca. I say that because... recent and past discontinued Le Hoyo line (including the much-loved forum favourite, the du Prince) has been standard ring gauge or lower apart from the Diademas 'Monterrey' discontinued in 1980, practically all regular production Hoyo de Monterrey has been 50 ring gauge or under in the past the Le Hoyo San Juan is the largest ring gauge Hoyo de Monterrey cigar at 54 ring gauge (by 150 mm) Now Hoyo de Monterrey is known a lighter-bodied marca, with a cedar and cream texture (some may prefer flavour) which develops with age. My understanding is that the marca utilises mainly seco (and obviously volado) leaf to give it its blend, but interestingly the San Juan contains seco and ligero leaf according to Habanos' website page on the vitola. I quite like the San Juan, it was in my Top 10 cigars of 2016, and I have it as a 'change-of-pace' option in my rotation. I also have another box resting long-term (of the San Juan). The points of discussion I'd like us to consider are... is the typical Hoyo de Monterrey blend suited to post-50 ring gauge cigars? is the San Juan different in blend to the rest of the Le Hoyo line (which is smaller)? have Habanos S.A 'missed a trick', so to speak, by ignoring past trends and introducing a post-50 ring gauge regular production cigar in 2014? if you believe the San Juan is different in blend to other Hoyo de Monterrey cigars, how will this affect aging in comparison, in your opinion?
  12. Apologies for reviewing the same cigar (different specimen) for the second part of the HdM competition, but EEs are all I have. Initial thoughts: This cigar feels substantial in the hand. Well-rolled and dense. Deep brown, colorado wrapper. Took to fire easily, and has a good medium draw. First 3rd/half: Starts medium, maybe a tick lighter. Sweetness, cream, fresh tobacco. For a few puffs, the cigar gave out something unusual, an uncharacteristic, earthy note, almost mushroomy. Middle: Retains the initial flavor elements, but now I'm also getting an aromatic, perfume flavor coming in. Semi-floral. Finish: Though the body remains medium at most, flavor strength picks up considerably, with leather and nuttiness replacing some of the lighter, sweeter elements from the beginning and middle of the cigar. Also getting some capuccino and cinnamon notes. Eventually, the cigar becomes tarry and I let it go. Total Smoke Time: 80 minutes Rating: Not the best of the box, but better than my last review. A solid 90/91.
  13. Going to purchase my first box of Hoyo de Monterrey's. Should I buy a box of Epicure Especial's or Epicure No. 2's? Likes and dislikes of each size? edit: sorry for the double post. see: http://www.friendsofhabanos.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=119744

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