Connoisseur's Corner

Connoisseur's Corner: A Perfect Hoyo

(From the August 2015 issue of Cigar Aficionado) The year 1992 was a fine one for Cuban cigars. Using Corojo seed wrappers and making cigars in an unhurried fashion, Cuba's state-owned cigar industry crafted powerhouses with care. Two of them, one a long, stately Churchill and the other a squat robusto, scored 99 and 100 points, respectively. The robusto, a Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 packed in a cabinet of 25, had an absolute perfect performance, with that sublime marriage of austerity and sweetness that combines for a brilliant smoking experience. The Churchill, a Cohiba Esplendido bearing an early, long-retired version of the ungilded band, was complex and nearly as divine. Both cigars were created 23 years ago—the same time that Cigar Aficionado magazine made its debut to the world.

100 points

Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 (1992)

A gorgeous robusto with a delicious, dry, earthy texture and touches of cinnamon. What a satisfying smoke. Perfection.

Marvin R. Shanken
99 points

Cohiba Esplendido (1992)

This Churchill-sized smoke has a somewhat bumpy complexion, but when lit the cigar comes to life with delicious flavor. It builds as it goes, taking on rich notes of sweet coffee, peanuts, dusty wood, tea and saffron. The finish is long, with a big flavor of honeyed wood. A delicious smoke with plenty of aging potential left.

David Savona
98 points

Romeo y Julieta Dunhill Seleccion Cedros de Luxe No. 2 (1961)

Brimming with character, this zingy cigar has a heavy cedar note from its years of being cloaked in a cedar sleeve. It’s complex, taking on notes of salted almond and honey around a big woody core, with a hint of floral character. Beautiful balance, with plenty of strength left after so many years. Delicious, refined, wonderful.

David Savona
96 points

Punch Churchill Tubo (2001)

This well-aged big cigar performs perfectly. It has a great draw and burn, with a solid core of leather and dried earthy notes. The finish is long, with a pleasant touch of nutmeg on the palate. It’s reaching its peak now.

Gordon Mott
94 points

Partagás 155 Aniversario Salomon (2000)

This special-edition Partagás, which came presented in the 155th Anniversary humidor, has solid cedar and white pepper notes along with some leathery touches on the long finish. But it lacks some of the depth I would normally associate with the brand. It could need more age.

Gordon Mott
92 points

Romeo y Julieta Seleccion Superva Coronations de Luxe (circa 1955)

This skinny, somewhat rumpled smoke has a slight taper to the tip. It has a strong mineral quality from the start, then takes on a heavy tea note before warming up to become slightly sweet, with a touch of graham cracker. It retains a flinty note that is especially noticeable on the finish.

David Savona
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