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Stogie Reviews: Hoyo de Tradición Epicure

10 May 2010

Hoyo de Monterrey is yet another Cuban brand that has been hijacked by a U.S. company in an effort to confuse American consumers. The original Hoyo, founded by José Gener in 1865, remains one of my favorite brands from the forbidden isle, anchored by the Epicure Especial, Double Corona, and Epicure No. 2.

Hoyo de Tradición EpicureWhile the Honduran Hoyos manufactured by Estelo Padrón for General Cigar are unrelated but in name, they are not to be dismissed as mere marketing gimmicks. Such blends as the Dark Sumatra and Excalibur Legend have attracted loyal followings in their own right.

About two years ago, the Hoyo de Tradición blend joined the Hoyo de Monterrey portfolio. It sports a Jamastran viso rosado wrapper leaf, a Connecticut binder, and a three-country filler combination of Honduran San Agustin, Dominican piloto cubano, and Nicaraguan tobacco from the volcanic island of Ometepe.

The four box-pressed Hoyo de Tradición vitolas—Corona, Epicure, Toro, and Toro Grande—are handmade in Cofradia, Honduras. They each carry regal white, red, and gold bands that are strikingly similar to those found on Hoyo Double Coronas from Cuba. Must be a coincidence.

I smoked four Epicures (5.25 x 50) for this review. Each included a mottled and toothy wrapper, a rough cap, and a consistently firm feel. Fragrant pre-light aromas of sweet earth and coffee creamer are enticing.

After toasting the foot, establishing an even burn, and studying the first few puffs, I find a straightforward flavor of bitter coffee and black pepper spice. A stale aftertaste occasionally crops up as tastier notes of almond and cream fade in and out. The aromatic resting smoke keeps things  more interesting than they otherwise would be.

Past the midway point, the Epicure drops the bitter and stale flavors for a smoother profile of cocoa, caramel, and spice. This is the sweet spot. The final third is sour and meaty.

All the while the physical properties are impeccable. The white ash layers nicely and sturdily off the foot, the burn line is even, and the draw is easy and productive—each puff yielding bountiful bunches of thick smoke.

I paid just over $5 per Epicure at my local tobacconist. At that price this cigar is a decent purchase. It may not have the subtle complexities of a special occasion smoke, but it certainly satisfies as a respectable everyday selection if you’re looking for a fragrant stick with great construction. Those qualities earn the Hoyo de Tradición Epicure three stogies out of five.

[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

4 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Hoyo de Tradición Epicure”

  1. cigarguy Monday, May 10, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    "Hoyo de Monterrey is yet another Cuban brand that has been hijacked by a U.S. company in an effort to confuse American consumers."

    Patrick, the opening to today's review really set me off. The above comment is entirely false and I have come to expect more from you here at stogieguys.com. The rightful owners of all the classic cuban brands had everything taken from them by the Castro regime almost 50 years ago. They fled the island with nothing more than the clothes on their backs as well as the brand names that their families had been proud owners of. These people, the owners of these brands spread out all over Latin America to restart their once thriving business. The Castro Regime STOLE these brands and continued to produce them after the revolution. In all reality, the brands available in the US are the REAL brands and the ones made in Cuba are the fake ones. Granted most of these brands have been sold multiple times and are now mostly owned by giant multi-national company's that have no ties to the original owners.

    If the US government came and took away stogieguys.com and started publishing their own commentary and you went and started stogieguys.ca who would be the rightful owner of the "stogieguys" brand?

    I look forward to your reply.

  2. Patrick A Monday, May 10, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

    Perhaps I didn't choose my words carefully. My intention was never to suggest that the Cuban government is in the right. This web magazine has been a longtime advocate against the tyranny on that island, just as we have against excessive tobacco taxes and bans within U.S. borders.

    What I meant to indicate, quite simply, is that Hoyo–like Romeo y Julieta, Montecristo, Cohiba, and so many others–was a Cuban brand before it was trademarked in the U.S. post-embargo. And the practice of using these trademarks instead of establishing new brands altogether has the effect (intended or unintended) of confusing casual consumers.

    I thank you for your feedback and promise to be more careful with my words on this issue. But just to be clear: I have nothing but disdain for the Castro regime and what it has done to the people of Cuba, and I have nothing but sincere respect and sympathy for those cigar makers who had to flee the island to pursue their dreams. My writing at StogieGuys.com over the past four years backs that up, notwithstanding the ill-worded introduction to this review.

  3. ROTHNH Friday, May 14, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    While not overly complex, the Hoyo de Tradicion is an exceptionally well made cigar that offers delicious, unique flavors and nuances in a medium strength/medium flavor slightly box pressed cigar. The Epicure is my favorite HdT. It has definitely earned a permanent place in my humidor and in my regular rotation.

  4. Che Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    Patrick is right. It's a gimmick designed to give impostors some marketing edge to promote inferior products.

    "The rightful owners of all the classic cuban brands had everything taken from them by the Castro regime almost 50 years ago."

    Serves them right for selling out their country to foreigners and backing a puppet POS regime like Batista's…..but what else can you expect from a bunch of scumbag oligarchs