Monday, August 11, 2014

HOYO DE MONTERREY Le Hoyo de San Juan Tasting and Review (New Release 2014)

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...

The Pairing - To balance the dominant peppery and woody notes, the Nespresso Rosabaya de Colombia, with intensity level 6, its subtle acidity and red fruit and winey notes will help elevate the flavor profile of Le Hoyo de San Juan without overpowering it.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

COHIBA Robustos Supremos Edicion Limitada 2014 Tasting and Review (New Release Limited Edition 2014)

Length: 12.7 cm
Ring Gauge: 58
Factory Name: Robustos Supremos
Vitola: Maginifos
Type: Maginifos
Presentation: Box of 10 (TBC)
Release Date: Third quarter 2014

Much talk was going on about this cigar being one of the widest ring gauges to come out of Habanos and rumors circulated about it might be bigger than 55! Well during the Habanos festival this year, all rumors were put to rest when they announced the COHIBA Robustos Supremos being an astonishing 58 ring gauge! These cigars were handed out during the Trinidad Vigia dinner as the fourth Habanos to be showcased to the audience...  I had the opportunity to try one back then and saved the other for the review for you guy! So here it is...

The Construction - Of course, the first thing you notice is the whopping 58 gauge ring - the largest habanos currently produced - a very firm and smooth dark colorado claro wrapper with no protruding veins. This cigar shows that it is well packed with tobacco from the foot held by a semi shiny body and finished off with a beautiful triple cap construction.

The Draw - By using a wide gauge punch on the cap, the draw has a little tight resistant to it which is expected from a thick cigar. Rich earthy scent with hint of dark chocolate are picked up from the cold draw. Some sweet caramel is also tasted.

The First Burn - Toasted rye bread smell with some sweet nutty smoke from the first few draws. Noticeably of hazelnut and light cedar notes. A slight peppery spiciness develops but not overpowering and quickly mellows out during the first burn but sticks in the background. The smoke becomes light with a citrusy finish. Ash holds on strong but with a somewhat uneven burn.


The Middle Burn - Continues to follow through with robust earthy and woody notes and sometimes taste of burnt caramel and raw cocoa. The smoke continues to be light with that faint citrus taste. Not much development in profile. Ash holds up well and the burn tends to even it self out. nearing the end of this part the smoke becomes hot and the peppery taste lingers in the mouth and somewhat numbs the tongue.

The Final Burn - Develops a distinctive wet wood taste with a bitter finish. The black pepper spicy notes are highlighted towards the end which also gives off an appetizing cinnamon aftertaste. The smoke heatness intensifies and continues to be light with a citrus finish.

Even though Habanos overshot with this wide ring gauge cigar, it still showcases a familiar COHIBA profile. The best way to describe this smoke is like a hybrid between a Siglo VI with a Maduro 5. Rich earthiness with a sweet spicy characteristics which will definitely benefit from further conditioning and age. Must revisit these once they are out to see how it hold up.

The Pairing - With this interesting profile of the COHIBA Robustos Supremos the Nespresso Dulsao do Brasil would surely offer an exquisite complement to the smoke. With Intensity level 5, it will balance the cigar with its roasted grain notes and sweet mellow balanced flavor.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Happy Birthday Me and My Cigars

Today on this joyous occasion, Me and My Cigars celebrates its 3rd year in existence. With the growing support over the past 12 months my readers grew from 40,000 to 90,000+ online readers from across the globe. It gives me great joy to know that we are able to share our experiences with one another through this portal and hope it continues to bridge the gaps between aficionados worldwide.

Once again I would like to thank each and every one of your for your continuous support and input to make my site worthy of its presences. To my friends, family, associates in Kuwait and across the world... Thank you so much! Lets keep the passion burning...

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

TRINIDAD Vigia Tasting and Review (New Release 2014)

Length: 11 cm
Ring Gauge: 54
Factory Name: Vigia
Vitola: Torres
Type: Petit Robusto
Presentation: Box of 12 and Tubos of 3 (TBC)
Release Date: Third quarter 2014

During the Trinidad Evening in the 16th Habanos Festival last February 2014, they gave out the Trinidad Vigia and Cohiba Robustos Supremos EL 2014 for sampling with our dinner. The cigar was great to smoke along with the a wonderful evening that made it so memorable! That is why I kept one to review for you guys! Before we get started, below are some pictures I took during the Trinidad event:

Ok so where were we...

The Construction - This is the first in the Trinidad line with a wonderful 54 gauge ring. Smooth with a matte colorado claro wrapper and very faint veins running throughout the cigar. The body is soft to touch which bounce right back feel giving the illusion of a loosely rolled cigar, but its well packed and the cap continues to carry the classic pig-tail Trinidad cap.

Since This came out of the Tubo, I should also mention how beautiful and elegant the tubo design was. With its classic vibrant mustardy gold Trinidad color, which is a little bit longer than the Montecristo Petit Edmundo tubo, it has the Trinidad logo and the cigar name Vigia printed on the pull-away cap while the bottom (inside lined with a cedar sheet) showcases a gold stamped Trinidad logos all around it.

The Draw - Again, using a wide-gauge punch to cut the pig-tail carefully, the cold draw offers just enough resistance to pick up some soft earthy notes with hints of wet grass and roasted nuts.

The First Burn - Surprisingly, once light there were no harsh taste to the smoke which you would expect with a fairly young cigar, instead it quickly gave off that noticeable Trinidad characteristic of grounded nuts and earthy taste with hints of cloves. In other words, it started out great, but... this quickly disappeared and then came along that dry woody notes and spicy kick that you would get in the back of the throat when you drink cinnamon tea.

Not that I remember, but this made me wonder if I experienced the same thing when I smoked it during the festival! This flavor profile continued all the way to the middle of the cigar. The burn is even and the smoke is light.

The Middle Burn - Now to try explain this further, the dominant character is wood with a clovey/cinnamony spice, which sometimes turn sweet. Again, when I say its woody, the flavor starts out with dry wood then shifts to wet or moist wood. The nutty notes kicks in, then by the end of the middle half the Trinidad characters come out again with its fresh grass and damp soil scent leaving a very creamy finish on your palate and soft spice that of nutmeg.

The ash holds up pretty well and smoke is silky smooth but by this end the burn becomes uneven which I had to drop the ash to make sure i can quickly correct it.

The Final Burn - The flavor profile continues to follow the last of the middle part but with intense earthy taste and spiciness comes and goes. The woody notes can be very distinctive during this part as well but the sweetness and nuttiness of the smoke make this cigar such a joy to go all the way to the nub!

A wonderful size cigar which has potential of developing with time. It is great for an after dinner smoke and I will definitely revisit this again after a couple of months (since I managed to score two more Vigia cigars during the festival) to see if the profile holds up the same.

The Pairing - Nespresso Livanto, with intensity level 6, offers a fruity and malty notes with a caramelized finished which I thinks it complements the Trinidad Vigia's earthy, woody and spicy notes.