In August 2015, Habanos S.A. announced the cigars it would be releasing for 2016. Included in this list were two La Casa del Habano store exclusives, the Hoyo de Monterrey Elegantes and the Punch Punch 48.

I detailed the history of the LCDH exclusive program in my review of the H.Upmann Royal Robusto:

In 2004, Habanos S.A. released the first in what would eventually become a regular occurrence, exclusives for the Habanos-licensed La Casa del Habano retailer. These releases are only sold to La Casa del Habano stores around the world and are usually limited to one or two different cigars per year. When the program started, the cigars were just different vitolas produced in unlimited quantities, but since 2011, the policy has shifted to each release being a limited production.

The Hoyo de Monterrey Elegantes is a 6 1/4 (158mm) x 47 perfecto that will be sold in boxes of 10 when it is released. This is the second Hoyo de Monterrey to be named an LCDH exclusive, after the Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure de Luxe was announced in 2012.

Hoyo de Monterrey Elegantes 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Hoyo de Monterrey Elegantes
  • Country of Origin: Cuba
  • Factory: n/a
  • Wrapper: Cuba
  • Binder: Cuba
  • Filler: Cuba
  • Length: 6 1/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 47
  • Vitola: Perfecto
  • MSRP: n/a
  • Release Date: n/a
  • Number of Cigars Released: n/a
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 1

The Hoyo de Monterrey Elegantes is covered in a cinnamon brown wrapper that features a bit of tooth as well as a significant amount of oil. The cigar is quite spongy when squeezed, and there are multiple veins running up and down the length. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of strong barnyard, manure, grass, cedar and leather, while the cold draw brings flavors of creamy oak, almonds, cinnamon, leather and a touch of citrus.

Starting out the first third, the Hoyo de Monterrey Elegantes features a dominant creamy cedar note, interspersed with other flavors of buttery popcorn, leather, barnyard, hay and cinnamon. There is some very nice caramel sweetness on the retrohale which combines nicely with the white pepper that is also present, although neither are very strong at this point in the cigar. The draw is a bit tight at first, which is to be expected in a vitola like this, but it opens up nicely after a few puffs, and the burn is trouble free so far. The overall strength is quite low, but is rising as the first third ends.

Hoyo de Monterrey Elegantes 2

The second third of the Hoyo de Monterrey Elegantes sees the dominant note shift from the creamy cedar to more of a creamy leather flavor, followed closely by notes of cinnamon, wood, dark chocolate, espresso, hay and a touch of salt on my lips. The caramel sweetness is still very obvious on the retrohale, as is the white pepper, and both have actually increase slightly in strength as well. Construction-wise, the burn and the draw are giving me no issues whatsoever, and the strength has increased to a point very close to medium by the end of the second third.

Hoyo de Monterrey Elegantes 3

While the leather note is still a major flavor in the profile during the final third of the Hoyo de Monterrey Elegantes, the dominant flavor has shifted once again, this time to a distinct creamy hay note. Other flavors of cedar, dark chocolate, barnyard, espresso beans, and cinnamon flit in and out, and both the caramel sweetness and white pepper continue to be players on the retrhohale. The draw remains excellent, but the burn starts to waver a bit, forcing me to touch it up a couple of times, while the overall strength does barely hit the medium mark by the time I put the nub down with about an inch to go.

Hoyo de Monterrey Elegantes 4

Final Notes

  • The vitola on this release is extremely interesting, not just from a visual perspective, but also from a historical one. In fact, the perfecto vitola is known as a Tacos, and has been used in another Cuban release, the Partagás Presidentes which was first released prior to 1970.
  • I have photographed two different La Casa del Habano locations: the La Casa del Habano in Cancún and the La Casa del Habano in Playa del Carmen.
  • In fact, the first LCDH opened in Cancún, Mexico in 1990, and there are now more than 140 stores around the world.
  • I was concerned that the draw would give me issues based purely on the vitola, but my fears proved groundless. In addition, the burn was quite good overall, albeit not what I would label as razor-sharp.
  • Do not smoke this cigar too fast, or it will punish you with bitterness almost instantly. Take it nice an easy.
  • The final smoking time for the one sample was one hour and 26 minutes.
  • The cigar smoked for this review were given to halfwheel as a gift.

Editor’s Note: As with every cigar given out during the Festival del Habano, there should be some disclaimers made. Samples of upcoming cigars given out at previous Festivals were almost certainly rolled at a different time than the production versions given the large gap in between the Festival and when the cigars shipped. Even if the cigars were rolled at the same time, the difference in time between when they were smoked for review and when they appear in the market will almost certainly show a distinct difference. 

These reviews have been labeled as “preproduction” because there is likely to be a significant gap between when the cigars are reviewed and when they shipped. For reference, the two cigars we reviewed from last year’s Festival del Habano have not shipped as of late March, over one year after the Festival. — CM.

90 Overall Score

While we usually go through pains to make sure we smoke more than one cigar for a review for obvious reasons, even after smoking just one of the Hoyo de Monterrey Elegantes, I feel confident saying if the cigar tastes anything like the one I smoked, this will be a hit. The profile is both complex and balanced, with a ever present creaminess combined with cinnamon and a nice caramel sweetness that ebbs and flows throughout the cigar. A very nice addition to the LCDH series, and one that I am looking forward to smoking again.

Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.