Connoisseur’s Corner, A 99-Point Hoyo de Monterrey Corona


99
Hoyo de Monterrey Corona (1955)

This beautiful, elegant cigar isn’t very large, but it smokes like near perfection. The flavor is smooth and rewarding, with plenty of nutmeg and earth on the palate, culminating in a spicy finish. This has nearly everything that’s great about a cigar. —Marvin R. Shanken

98
Hoyo de Monterrey Royal Hunt No. 10 (1990)

The wrapper on this cigar—a version of a Hoyo Double Corona, made for Irish/British retailer J.J. Fox—is marvelous to behold, and the aroma before lighting is alluring. It has a honeyed wood flavor early on, and then, after about an inch, really intensifies with crushed coffee bean, molasses, earth and a wisp of leather. The finish is sweet, with a backbone of minerality. Plenty of life left in this classic smoke. —David Savona

97
Romeo y Julieta Churchill (2011)

This vintage harkens back to the glory days of the iconic Cuban Churchill. The cigar reflects the excellence of prior harvests, and is packed with classic Romeo y Julieta flavors—espresso, leather notes on the palate, and a sweet earthy finish with cocoa overtones. The draw and burn were flawless, and the wrapper was a perfect reddish-brown colorado color. Still young, with a very long life ahead. —Gordon Mott

96
Punch Churchill (1997)

Twenty years has rendered this cigar both sweet and savory. There’s plenty of leathery character and rock salt notes, joined by an intermittent breadiness that segues into the sweet core of almonds, honey and cherry cordial. The sweetness fades a bit for a mineral finish, and while the draw was slightly firm the burn remained perfect. —Gregory Mottola

95
Romeo y Julieta Dunhill Sun-Grown Breva (1961)

This dark, roughish smoke has a fine draw and is earthy, but the flavor is a touch dry. There are some sweet baking spices to counteract the earth, but the cigar is a little on the lighter side. These cigars come packed in a wooden cabinet in two separate bundles of 25, both wrapped in foil. —Marvin R. Shanken

93
Partagas 150 Signature Series Partagas A (1995)

Time has certainly mellowed this slim, Dominican-made, Cameroon-wrapped lonsdale into a mild smoke, but there are still plenty of soft, subtle flavors—both floral and nutty—that finesse the palate. At its most intense moments, the cigar offers notes of nutmeg and black pepper. Its draw and burn are exemplary. —Gregory Mottola