Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Shade Grown (Esteli)
Size: 6 x 54 “Toro”
Price: $7.99 MSRP
Today we take a break from Day 4 of Cuban Week to take a look at the new Hoyo de Monterrey Edición de Cumpleaños 150.
I smoked one last night and was so blown away; I had to review it this morning.
From Cigar Aficionado:
“General Cigar is celebrating Hoyo de Monterrey’s 150th birthday with a special limited-edition release dubbed the Hoyo de Monterrey Edición de Cumpleaños 150. The anniversary cigar honors the brand’s history while at the same time giving the Hoyo de Monterrey portfolio a modern interpretation.
“Hoyo de Monterrey Edición de Cumpleaños 150 is a 6 inch by 54 ring gauge box-pressed cigar rolled at General Cigar’s Honduras American Tobacco S.A. (HATSA) factory. Only 4,000 boxes of this commemorative cigar will be released. The suggested retail price of the Edición de Cumpleaños 150 is $7.99, and it will be on store shelves next week.
“This new Hoyo is the first cigar by General to feature what it calls a proprietary Habano Shade wrapper, grown under mesh netting in Estelí, Nicaragua. The cigar also features an Ecuadoran binder and a spicy combination of Nicaraguan filler leaves.
“Rather than placing an emphasis on packaging that celebrates the past (like the retro-stylistic elements of the new Punch Signature, for example), the Hoyo de Monterrey Edición de Cumpleaños 150 looks to the future of the brand, with a sleek, modern design for both the 15-count box and cigar band-which is a new, sharp and steely version of the Hoyo de Monterrey logo.”
The translation of Edición de Cumpleaños 150 is: “Birthday Edition 150.″
The cigars were released at the beginning of April, 2015.
What a gorgeous cigar! First, the color…it is a beautiful Colorado reddish hue. The crisp box press is consistent. Seams are near invisible. Few veins. And the wrapper has that mottling that I think adds a big dose of class to the art work of the leaf.
Each cigar is different in as far as some are silky smooth and others have a bit of tooth.
The double cigar bands is something completely new for Hoyo. Classy and bold.
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
The aroma of dark chocolate is very strong everywhere on the cigar. Also, there is: Sweetness, spice, earthiness, herbal notes, dried fruit, oak, espresso, liqueur, and leather.
The cold draw tastes of dark chocolate, earthiness, sweetness, and Gran Marnier.
A blast of pepper assaults my senses. A pepper bomb has hit.
Following that is a massive plume of smoke from a perfect draw.
And then the flavors pile up: Dark chocolate, cedar, sweetness, raisins, black licorice, oak, espresso, brown sugar, fruitiness, herbal notes, sweet tea, cream, and leather.
See. Now you understand why I had to review this cigar.
The cigar is nearly solid as a rock but last night’s smoke was a bit to airy. It rectified that by the halfway point. No such trouble on the second Hoyo de Monterrey Edición de Cumpleaños 150.
The char line is dead friggin’ nuts.
The strength hits medium/full right away.
Newly added flavors are cinnamon and nutmeg.
Complexity dug its heels in almost from the first minute of smoking this bonanza banana. Wait til I get to the discussion of the price point. Woo Hoo.
Flavors are swirling around me like dirt around Pigpen of “Peanuts” fame.
Now here is a bold statement: I am enjoying this cigar with the same ferocity as I enjoyed the recently reviewed Cuban cigars. I know what you are thinking. The man is off his nut. I’ve never been more on my nut. (Is that right?)
The fruitiness is defined: Black cherry, peach, and black grapes.
The cedar makes a huge surge to nearly the front of the flavor line.
The sweetness and cedar are morphed into one.
The Hoyo de Monterrey Edición de Cumpleaños 150 is so packed with luscious tobacco that it burns slowly and evenly. An inch of burn has taken 15 minutes.
Smoke output is so intense that if I were a good photographer, I’d get some gorgeous smoke filled shots. But alas, I’m not. But that won’t stop me from trying.
This is a major leap for Hoyo de Monterrey. It harkens back to when this cigar lived and breathed in Cuba.
Caramel leaps in.
In the past, I used the phrase “Flavor Bomb” too often. I would read in the cigar forums how the members would make fun of me because “..to the Katman, everything is a flavor bomb.” OK. I own that.
But the Hoyo de Monterrey Edición de Cumpleaños 150 is a true flavor bomb in every sense of the phrase.
New flavors appear: peanuts, floral notes, and orange citrus. The Gran Marnier element is fortified.
The cigars arrived a tad moist. I dry boxed this cigar for 24 hours which helped immensely.
Yesterday’s smoke went out on me a couple times.
Not a single flavor component has disappeared. Unbelievable.
The black licorice, though, has moved up the list of flavors. It has the flavor of intense, boutique licorice.
Strength is now a solid medium/full with a touch of nicotine.
I saw that there are at least 2 or 3 reviews. And one gave this cigar an abominable rating. I don’t understand. These A List reviewers are so used to smoking only the best cigars that I think sometimes their palate becomes jaded.
Smoke time is now 50 minutes. I rail about big cigars but I take it all back. The Hoyo de Monterrey Edición de Cumpleaños 150 smokes like a corona with that really intense flavor profile. And you always end up wishing there were more cigar to smoke.
In this instance, you get the intensity of a corona but the smoke time of a big cigar.
Transitions are constantly in motion. Not a single moment of boredom. Or becoming tired of the flavor profile.
I hope that next month these cigars have not sold out. If they aren’t, I will buy 2 or 3 boxes. Even if I am forced to pay retail.
Construction continues on its focus of being without a single problem. No need for touch ups. No loose wrapper or seams. The cap is fully intact even though, at times, I am forced to chomp it so I can type.
Here they are once again: Chocolate, spice, creaminess, black licorice, raisins, fruit, sweetness, orange citrus, cedar, oak, espresso, herbal notes, sweet tea, and leather.
It’s almost too good to be true. I’m screaming laughter. Big smile!
Here is the crazy part: I got these cigars in the mail yesterday! Imagine what serious humidor time will do.
The huge volume of smoke is making Charlotte cough. Poor woman. She has asthma and I’m forcing large plumes of smoke into the room…even with all the windows open and the floor fan on full.
The char line needs its first minor touch up.
No other way to describe the Hoyo de Monterrey Edición de Cumpleaños 150: Wonderful.
Smoke time is 90 minutes.
The Hoyo de Monterrey Edición de Cumpleaños 150 finishes beautifully.
Not a hint of harshness, heat or bitterness.
I suppose if I smoked cigarettes, this wouldn’t bother me. But I am probably the only person on the planet that has never smoked one cigarette in my entire life.
A stunning cigar.
The retail price is $120 for a box of 15 making this an $8.00 stick. Several online stores, like CI, are selling a box for $70.00 or $4.67 per stick.
This is just insane. I cannot think of a single cigar in “The Katman’s List of 135 Great Cigars in the $5.00-$6.50 Range” that comes close to the quality of the Hoyo de Monterrey Edición de Cumpleaños 150.
As only 4000 boxes were produced, once word of mouth gets out, they will be gone soon. If I knew what I know now, I would have bought nothing but several boxes of this cigar at the start of June when I got my Social Security and the hell with everything else I bought.
I am diametrically opposed to one reviewer’s assessment of this blend. While he considered it a dog turd, I see it as marvelous cigar blending at its finest.
The price is crazy low putting to rest the amount of greed out there for new cigars.
I hate rating cigars but this is a 95.
It will be a miracle if I can keep from smoking the balance of the box in the next few days. The hell with aging.
I highly recommend this cigar with extreme prejudice. It is a man killer.
4000 boxes means that each state in the Union got 80 boxes. A lot of online stores are carrying it.
If the cigars last on the market for two months, I will be totally surprised.
The Hoyo de Monterrey Edición de Cumpleaños 150 is chock full of intense flavors, extremely complex, perfect balance, and a mile long finish.
And now for something completely different:
Back in the early 80’s, when coke was at its most chic, getting the good stuff was no easy feat. Yes. There were boat loads of it but finding quality was not easy.
My originals only rock band in 1980 taught me all about that drug…and then some. We didn’t have all that media exposure telling us how it ruins people’s lives or how addicted you can get. And at our age, we were invincible.
Because we purchased Hippie style by everyone chipping in so we could have our own stash cheaply, it was dangerous. Sellers were unstable. And likely to have stepped on the shit until it was nothing but baby laxative. So you brought 3 things with you to a buy: A test kit, a gun, and human back up. That pretty much guaranteed a safe exit.
On one such occasion, Robbie and I went to make a buy. We knew the guy really well but he said we’d have to go to this other guy’s house. A cold shiver went down my spine. R was a killer by training. Several years in Special Forces and he could be a really scary guy if pissed off; so I felt a little safer.
We followed this guy to the seller’s house. It was in a funky part of Culver City. I was wearing a .38 revolver in a shoulder holster. R had nothing. He could kill you with his bare hands.
We were allowed in and the place was crawling with coke junkies; their faces all contorted in that “way too much coke consumed in a short period” look. They could barely speak as we were ushered into a bedroom.
The guy locked the door.
The box with the coke came out along with a digital scale. This guy wasn’t fucking around. He measured out the amount all the while talking 120mph. Not a good sign because if he abused the drug like this, it meant that every time he needed some, he just watered down the product a little more.
And then there it was; “You got the money. Can I see it?”
R and I looked at each other with a little dread. Would we be here without dough? Of course not.
The double lattice walk in closet doors swung open with a bang. Two guys with guns pounced on us, knocking me over, but not R. Robbie was tall and wiry and strong as they come.
The guy that brought us there fell into a heap in the corner, crying and weeping.
I tried to go for my gun but the guy had me pinned. R dispatched his assailant with a couple well placed fists to the head. He pulled the guy on top of me off by his collar which gave me time to grab the .38. I screamed, “You dirty fucking mother fuckers! We came with money. And you fucked it all up. I should fucking shoot all of you. In this part of town, no one will notice.”
R pulled me toward the bedroom door and unlocked it and we walked out backwards with me aiming the revolver towards the motley group of assassins.
I peeled rubber as I pulled away from the curb. R had a joint on him and immediately lit the puppy up. After a few minutes, we started to laugh. And then big, belly laughs.
R said, “Let’s go to a titty bar.” And we did. Nothing like being surrounded by naked women to calm the savage breast.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS