Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo Rio Seco: To be paired wisely
I am always keen to try new cigars and there is a lot of buzz around the Hoyo de Monterrey cigars, so when CGars Ltd offered the HdM Le Hoyo Rio Seco with a pair of Panamanian rums as part of a virtual tasting package, I jumped at the chance to try a brand that I was unfamiliar with aside from their reputation. The price was very reasonable, and as it was the day before a landmark birthday for me, I decided to treat myself.
Delivery was very speedy and the cigars – I added a few others to keep me topped – were well wrapped and in good condition when they arrived. I sat them in my humidor and awaited the day of the virtual tasting session in eager anticipation. Unusually for me, I did read up on the flavour profile of the Hoyo De Monterrey Le Hoyo Rio Seco beforehand so that I was fully prepared. It turns out that this particular cigar is about the largest ring gauge you can get in a Cuban cigar. The quoted flavours were cedar and spice: an appetising, albeit limited, combination.
When the evening of the tasting came, I made sure that I was ready with my notebook and pencil to jot down plenty of information about the cigar, starting with the look of the cigar. The Le Hoyo Rio Seco took on the appearance of having been crafted out of milk chocolate, and oozed aromas of bay leaf and demerara sugar. Feel wise, it was a little spongy and this was a heads up that I might experience some burn or construction issues. This doesn’t always happen with a spongy cigar but it is usually an indication of something not being quite right.
Having V-cut the cigar, I took a cold draw and got some rather delicious notes of fresh morning coffee. Lighting it brought out some very light floral flavours with hints of apricots and subtle brandy soaked raisins. These were in no way influenced by the drink because I hadn’t poured it at this point.
As the virtual tasting continued and we got on to opening and sampling the rum, it was quickly obvious to my palate that the Panamanian rum was not the right pairing choice for me. As delicious as the rum was – both the the 7 year old and 12 year old Abuelo rums have gone to the top of my next shopping list – it was too sweet and forthright for such a mild and gently flavoured cigar as the Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo Rio Seco.
In the middle of the cigar, I got a lot of fresh spring leaves with hints of apple, but my enjoyment was significantly reduced by the cigar canoeing very badly, so much so I ended up with a 2 centimetre difference along the burn line. It wasn’t until the tail end of the final third that this burn issue sorted itself out, by which time I had all but given up on the cigar as it had lost all flavour leaving me with nothing but heat from the foot.
Having received my replacement Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo Rio Seco I smoked it a week later to see if my experience with the first cigar was just bad luck. The cigar felt firm with an even squeeze from head to foot. There was a single noticeable vein that curled around the cigar but no signs of damage to the wrapper. While taking the time to examine the cigar, I got aromas of black tea and chlorine, which wasn’t the most appetising of smells. The cold draw however was much more pleasant with notes of tea, grass and black cardamom.
This time I had a big cup of tea to pair with the Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo Rio Seco so that the delicate flavours wouldn’t be overpowered. Once again the first third was filled with floral notes (I picked up delicate roses) and hints of oranges and biscuits. On the retrohale I picked up the flavour of gruel – an extremely bland and watery version of oatmeal with a soupçon of treacle. I am happy to report though that the burn was a lot more even than the first time around.
The gentle floral notes continued into the middle section but nothing else seemed to develop in the flavour department. What I did notice in this part was just how thin the wrapper was. As the ash kept dropping the wrapper started to split and the binder and filler started to bulge out making the Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo Rio Seco look like a person who had squeezed in to clothes that were at least a size too small for them prior to heading out for a very big meal.
Despite not being a wet smoker, the head managed to become extremely ragged an started to leave flakes of tobacco on my lips and in my mouth. With both cigars, I was only able to get a good amount of smoke by taking a triple draw, and even then, there was no weight and little texture to it. For me, the Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo Rio Seco isn’t a cigar that got me excited to smoke it again – I prefer a fuller bodied cigar. This is a cigar that I would recommend to someone starting out on their cigar journey or who enjoys very light and gentle cigars.
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Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo Rio Seco Cigar Details
Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo Rio Seco Review Summary
Construction and burn issues aside, this is a very mild cigar and more appropriate for someone new to cigars. Would I smoke it again? If it was the only cigar on offer, yes, but I’d prefer to try something different.
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