Hoyo d eMonterrey Rojo
Honduras Cigar Review

Cigar Review: Hoyo de Monterrey Rojo Toro

Hoyo de Monterrey Rojo is a new line in the Hoyo de Monterrey portfolio. Having been around for 100 years this brand isn’t your Grandfather’s cigar, it is your Great-Grandfather’s cigar. Back when I got into the cigar industry in 1998, older cigar smokers would buy the Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur by the handful.

As that demographic begins to die off, General Cigar looks to create a new cache of Hoyo smokers with the release of the new Rojo & Oscuro Hoyo de Monterrey in what they are saying is a new beginning in the storied brand. The question is if it’s the same old story with a new look, or is it truly a new beginning. According to Ed Lahmann, senior brand manager “As one of the first Cuban ex-pat brands available in the US, Hoyo de Monterrey laid the foundation for Honduran cigar-making nearly 60 years ago and has become a living legend in the world of premium cigars. With the launch of ‘Rojo’ and ‘Oscuro,’ the brand’s journey is reflected in its commitment to balancing traditional Honduran craftsmanship against the handmade cigar category’s ever-changing tides.”

Cigar Review: Hoyo de Monterrey Rojo
6 x 52 Coronation (Toro)
Honduran Jamastran
Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua
STG Danli
Release Date: June 2024
Box Count: 

The Cigar: Featuring an ugly mottled wrapper that has some reddish hue mixed in with paper bag brown the cigar don’t look any better, nor does it look like a new beginning.  The top part of the band looks more like the Cuban counterpart with the bottom part denoting Rojo. In the hand the cigar is light and there aren’t a lot of oils visible in comparison to other cigars in my humidor.

The Taste: The cold draw of the Hoyo de Monterrey Rojo is earthy and musty with a bit of cedar thrown it. It’s not offensive and it is quite enjoyable but it does feel like a throwback. The aroma is musty and musky like grandma’s house on a hot summer day where she refused to lower the thermostat below 80 because she’s chilled to her bones.

Once the cigar is toasted and lit there is the slightest hint of figs to start before the cigar becomes earthy with notes of cedar. As we smoke the first third the cigar is a bit rough around the edges. There isn’t a lot going on other the tobacco notes, cedar and earth.

Moving into the second third the cigar becomes sour  and it is a struggle to get through the smoke. As we cross the halfway point I become hopeful for a minute as there are two puffs that are loaded with marzipan only to return back to the sour and earthy. The finish as we come to the end of the second third is musty and long and I am fearful my palate won’t recover in time to smoke another cigar before work.

As we thankfully enter the final third of Hoyo de Monterrey Rojo there is a sense of relief as our time smoking these 3 cigars (over separate days) is coming to and end. The cigar remains earthy, musty and sour. As as expected the taste lingered for quite sometime basically ruining my morning.

Conclusion: If you asked me, which you haven’t, General Cigar needs a major makeover. If you turn to one of the other big four companies, Altadis USA has done it right, Rafael Nodal since he has come on board has revitalized that cigar company to the cigar smoker of today. General Cigar on the other hand continues to create cigars that rely on a name with what appears to be zero care in how they deliver to the consumer. As long as they can they can sell it at a deep discount to their on-line arm and hurt the brick & mortar retailer it is a win to their bottom line. While many brands have move forward cigar making, General seems to be stuck in the past.

While the Hoyo de Monterrey Rojo might have a new name and a new look it doesn’t change the fact that it just isn’t a good cigar. It makes me wonder who makes the final decision to release a cigar and why they thought this would save the Hoyo de Monterrey brand. My advice is to stay clear and spend your money elsewhere.

Score: 78
Price: $7.50 (Before any local or state taxes)

Site sponsor SmallBatchCigar has them available: https://www.smallbatchcigar.com/hoyo-de-monterrey-rojo-toro

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