Hoyo de Monterrey Cigars
The name of Hoyo de Monterrey cigars comes not from the man who founded it, but the farm where he grew his world-class tobacco. José Gener was just thirteen years old when he left his home in Tarragona, Spain to work on his uncle’s plantation in Cuba. The Cuban cigar industry was in the ascension at the time, and by adulthood Gener had established the family farm as one of the best in Cuba. Found in the town of San Juan y Martinez, in the heart of the Vuelta Abajo region, the farm is still reached through a gate in the main square. Above it, an...READ MORE
Hoyo de Monterrey Cigars
The name of Hoyo de Monterrey cigars comes not from the man who founded it, but the farm where he grew his world-class tobacco. José Gener was just thirteen years old when he left his home in Tarragona, Spain to work on his uncle’s plantation in Cuba. The Cuban cigar industry was in the ascension at the time, and by adulthood Gener had established the family farm as one of the best in Cuba. Found in the town of San Juan y Martinez, in the heart of the Vuelta Abajo region, the farm is still reached through a gate in the main square. Above it, an inscription: “Hoyo de Monterrey. José Gener. 1860”.
The name literally translates to “Hole of Monterrey”. While this may not sound too appealing, it refers to the concave shape of the area in which the farm is found – perfect for the cultivation of fine tobacco. In 1865 the brand of the same name was registered in Havana; today, having survived countless trials and tribulations, it is still a global favourite.
The popularity of Hoyo de Monterrey cigars was first found in the English market. Rapid growth meant that by the time José’s daughter took the reigns in 1900 the business was already one of the biggest in the industry. Although the family association ended in 1931 – as they sought to focus on their sugar business, as opposed to tobacco – the growth continued. New lines were added, including one which became the blueprint for future Davidoff cigars, and sales grew enormously. Even following the Revolution and nationalisation of the industry by Castro’s government, Hoyo de Monterrey cigars were snapped up by smokers in all nations of the world.
The entirety of today’s Hoyo de Monterrey vitolario is hand-rolled using Tripa Larga (long filler tobacco) from the Vuelta Abajo farm. The blend is light in strength – perhaps only stronger than Quai d’Orsay – and is available in large or small formats. The variety of shapes, perfected over the years and refined to suit the modern smoker’s taste, is key to the lasting appeal of the marca.
Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2: Probably the most popular and well-known of the brand’s offering, the Epicure No. 2 is a classic robusto (50 ring gauge by 4 ⅞ inches) offering about 45 minutes of smoking. The Epicure series has grown over the years and now encompasses not only Regular Production cigars, but a La Casa del Habano version as well. These sticks are unusual in that they resisted wearing cigar bands until as late as 2005, but now wear 2. Earthy, mineral notes are underpinned by pepper for a wonderful flavour experience.
Hoyo de Monterrey Double Coronas: Where the Epicure line resisted bands, the Double Coronas wore theirs proudly and resisted change – the design of this anilla has not really changed for over 100 years. The mighty Prominentes vitola used is 49 ring gauge by 7⅝ - almost 2 hours of smoking, full of chocolate, honey and spicey notes, and with the added drama of its sheer size. The flagship cigar of this brand, it was also used for a Gran Reserva in 2019 – tobacco from the 2013 harvest was aged for 6 years before being rolled into an extremely limited number of special editions.
Hoyo de Monterrey Elegantes: One of very few brands to use a perfecto shape in their line-up – only Cuaba cigars are made this way regularly – and even then only for release through LCDH venues. This is one of three Hoyo cigars for that program, and is as elegant as the name suggests. 47 ring gauge by 6 ¼ inches long, allowing it to smoke for about 45 minutes, and with a wonderfully tapered shape which allows the blend of tobaccos to be expressed in a completely different way.
The first Limited Edition run, at the turn of the millennium in 2000, featured a giant Hoyo de Monterrey cigar, alongside Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta sticks of similar stature. The Hoyo was unusual in that it was re-released the very next year, and so began an enduring relationship with this prestigious collection of cigars. As it is one of 6 Global Brands, Hoyo is not available for selection by distributors for Regional Edition releases; it has been used for many other commemorative cigars, including the Year of the Ox edition in 2021.
The legacy of Hoyo de Monterrey is now well over 150 years old, but still the brand expands, with the help of new editions both for limited and regular release. It is often recommended as an introductory brand, thanks to the light and forgiving nature of the blend, but is just as valued by seasoned smokers who have enjoyed its flavours all through their cigar journey. The gold medals which surround José Gener’s name on the brand livery were hard-won, and the modern incarnation of his brand strives to maintain the standard he set all those years ago. Whether you choose to spend hours with a Double Corona, or a few minutes with a Hoyo du Maire, know that by choosing Hoyo de Monterrey you have chosen the best.
Brand Founded: 1865
Construction: Handmade, Tripa Larga
Continuous Production Cigars: 16