Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cigar Review: Hoyo de Monterrey Double Coronas

In my opinion, the Prominentes vitola is the most difficult vitola to be made. Being as large as it is, it is easy for it to lose all of the positive features and it can become bland rather quickly. It takes a master blender to be able to keep the flavors present and complex from beginning to end, and it takes a master blender to be able to select the leaves correctly so that the vitola can smoke well from beginning to end, showing a nice body and strength level. The Prominentes does not need to be strong or mild, but it needs to have some presence being as large as it is so that the smoke continues to be entertaining and enjoyable. I believe almost every non-Cuban Prominentes to be a failure, the American market can not blend in that size, but Habanos is able to do it and do it well. With smokes like the Don Alejandro, Lusitania and Gigantes, you can see Habanos skill in blending a large and flavorful Prominentes that has a nice body level. But when it comes to a softer experience, look no further than the well known Hoyo de Monterrey Double Coronas.

One of the two most well known Prominentes on the market, the Hoyo de Monterrey Double Coronas is composed of all Vuelta Abajo tobacco, and the tobacco comes from the specific region of San Juan y Martinez. The Double Coronas measures 194 mm (7.6") and has a ring gauge of 49. This particular Habano has been on the market since before the Revolution and is available in 25 and 50 count cabinets. The Double Corona sports a lovely wrapper and it has a coloring that is light Colorado and dark Natural overall. There are very few veins present overall and it has a minor bit of tooth present with that. The triple cap is applied perfectly and there is a slight press to the Habano. It is smooth and silky in texture and is a beautiful Habano. The wrapper is giving off an aroma that is showing bits of salty earth, barnyard and hay. The foot is giving off some similar aromas, and there are notes of spices present as well. The cold-draw is perfect and I am eager to light this Habano up.

The first third opens up by showing some lovely and traditional Hoyo flavors. This is nothing like that Epicure I smoked blind a couple weeks ago. I am getting a terrific cream flavor profile and it is paired with some light honey and cedar notes. There is a bit of hay and tobacco present on the finish, and I am getting some vanilla cake and berry notes with that. It is truly an incredible beginning and very smooth. There is a lot of complexity overall and it has a nice bit of depth with that. I would classify the body as being on the medium side of things and the same goes for the strength. This is a Habano I could have in the morning, afternoon or evening, but I need a lot of time with that. The construction is solid as well and it is showing a fairly even burn line with a nice charcoal ash that is firm on the end. The draw is slightly tight, but to my liking, and I am getting a nice bit of smoke with each draw.

I am in the second third of the Habano now and it is showing some growth overall. The cinnamon and spice notes are much more present than they were before and it is pairing with those hay and cream qualities. There are some cedar notes present as well, and I am getting a finish that is showing some vanilla, earth and raisin qualities. It is incredibly smooth and flavorful, and it possesses depth and complexity like no other. It is a terrific double corona, and one that I enjoy when I want something just a tad bit softer overall. The body and strength are at that medium level, similar to before, and this is a Habano that you can begin or end the day with. The construction continues to be perfect in the final third and it shows a nice even burn line, a firm charcoal ash and a cool draw that is giving off a nice bit of smoke.

The Habano has a finish that shows the youth of the smoke and while it is enjoyable, I know that in years the finish will be even better and show improvement to the first and second third as well. I am getting some noticeable earthy notes and it is paired with some tobacco and cedar qualities. There are some toasty and nutty qualities present also, but the cream and honey flavors have faded. It is a very natural finish and not as elegant as the beginning og the Habano was. The construction on the other hand is still great and it is showing an even burn line with that lovely charcoal ash on the end. The draw is fairly cool to the end and it is producing a nice bit of smoke. The flavors are not as elegant as I would like, but it is still a young smoke. Overall, the body and strength are at a level that is just above medium, but not at that medium-full level.

The Hoyo DC is not my first choice when it comes to double coronas, but that does not mean it is not a great Habano. I prefer my Habano to have more body and strength, but what this DC lacks in strength and body, it makes up for in wonderful flavors. It is a complex smoke that shows a lot of transitioning and complexity in each third. It is definitely a smoke that you want to take your time with, and the focus should be put on this particular Habano and not seen as a compliment. Smoking time for me takes around three plus hours, and they are hours filled with pure enjoyment. The construction is always solid with the smoke and with age they can finish wonderfully. I am looking forward to the day where I can begin my day with this smoke, but then again who isn't. Right now, the Habano gets between an 89 and 91, but with age it can be in the 90s and be absolutely incredible.

Young Rating: 89-91
With Age Rating: 94-96