“Chosen” is the adjective Habanos S.A. decided to christen their newest Hoyo de Monterrey LCDH release. The name, Escogido, was picked to correlate with the location and the circumstances surrounding the debut of its release and also to emphasize the amount of quality control that goes into the wrapper selection. Habanos S. A. presented the Escogido at the world premier in Poland in 2018, which was the first time Poland hosted a Habanos worldwide premier. Honoring the fact this was the first time Poland was chosen to host such an event, the Polish distributer for Habanos S.A. (5th Avenue Products Trading GmbH) also titled the event similarly, “Hemos sido escogidos” – we were chosen. And they couldn’t have picked a better cigar to start off with; the Escogido is an elegant cigar in both aesthetics and profile with a wrapper that begs to be seen and shared.
VITOLA: Escogidos, Pacos (factory name)
SIZE: 7 1/8 x 49
FACTORY/BOX CODE: [factory]
Gift from a friend
At home on the back patio
I always try to do my reviews in the morning
Double shot latte and water
High 80s with a slight breeze
Catching up on a few podcasts
RELEASE TYPE Regular production LCDH series
ORIGINALLY RELEASE DATE Released in 2018, but first available for purchase in 2019
Typical Box Size: Boxes of 10
Production Totals: Unknown
o Double Corona, Paco (7-1/8″ x 49)
RESEARCH & BACKGROUND INFO
- The Escogidos is one of three regular release LCDH from Hoyo de Monterrey.
- It was the first Habanos S.A. cigar to be debuted in Poland.
- It is one of only five other cigars rolled in the Pacos vitola.
- The word “hoyo” is spanish and translates to “hole,” which describes the low area of the Hoyo de Monterrey plantation along the banks of the San Juan y Martínez river.
The top band, found on the current day Hoyo de Monterrey cigars is the Standard Band “E.” This version has been used by Habanos S.A. since 2003, and it is a variation of the Standard Band “B,” which was used as early as the 1960s. The Standard Band “E” features a glossy white background, framed by embossed gold dots or coins. Set in the center of the band is a gold bordered red shield, topped with a golden crown. Inside the shield is the brand name and origin of the cigar, “HOYO DE MONTERREY, HABANA.” Running parallel to the border is a red and gold outline, with gold and red scroll work with again the country of origin, in bold red print.
The second band is specific to the release type, produced exclusively for the La Casa del Habano chain of stores located around the world. This band has been in use since 2006 when the concept first started. The band features a colorado red background with four gold lines running parallel to the edges. Centered on the band include the words “LA CASA DEL HABANO” and the Habanos S.A. tobacco leaf logo, both embossed in gold.
The level of construction in the box of I received is varied from one cigar to the next, but over all each cigar is above average in the Cuban world of quality control. Wrappers all have a beautiful Colorado/Rosado color, seams disappear as they wind their way around the body of the cigar, caps are nicely applied, and all the cigars seem to be evenly rolled and firmly packed.
Each one of the three I smoked had a beautiful pre-light aroma. The foot aromas are an interesting mixture of saltiness, dried fruits and damp-dry hay. After lighting, the ambient smoke puts off a beautiful sweet cedar and hay nose.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able get much from the cold draw. I got a bit of damp earth, cedar mulch and some wet paper bag. I know these may not sounds like the most pleasant flavors, but I didn’t find them to be negative or offensive–just a bit bland yet unique.
LIGHT & DRAW
Cut: Guillotine cut
Fire: Soft flame started
Given the length, I was a bit apprehensive about how each of these cigars would draw; however, I was surprised. Each of the cigars I smoked had an easy draw, but not too open.
The smoke production starts off heavier but quickly moves on to the lighter end. Even with the smoke on the thinner side, there was still a very creamy and smooth. There is also a really lovely room aroma of sweet cedar that comes from the smoke.
>> Walnut, Earth, Cedar
There is a good bit of smoke production straight off the initial light. Roasted walnut is the first flavor you notice from the retrohale. The palate doesn’t have as much of the nutty profile with the palate being earthy, creamy, and cedary–all typical for Hoyo de Monterrey. The walnut and creamy notes marry making a nice nougat flavor and texture.
The strength starts slightly over medium body, the draw perfect for such a lengthy vitola, and the burn has been spot on.
Ash fell at roughly two inches into the first third. Great ash cone off the foot when the ash fell, another sign of a well blended and rolled cigar.
>> Caramel, Chocolate, Nuttiness
Moving into the second third of the Escogidos, the sweeter notes make their debut. The earthy notes begin to take a back seat to dark caramel and milk chocolate, but the toasted nuttiness stays. The aftertaste is still quite earthy with some dry, sweet hay notes mixed in. The burn has remained clean and the draw has opened up a tad bit more, but it remains within my comfort zone.
The reatrohale has been one of the most pleasing aspects of this experience. The flavor and textures have been phenomenal, especially during this middle third. There is a beautiful nougat creaminess to the smoke that combines with a rich, velvety smoke, creating an experience within it self. Add the slight black pepper finish and you have one of the most well rounded Hoyo de Monterreys I’ve had in a while.
>> Cream, Nuttiness, Leather
The last third is definitely the driest palate experience so far. There is a bit of a shift in the flavors, giving way to a more vegetal profile. The creaminess and the nuttiness seem to be the unifying threads that have held throughout the entire cigar. In this final third, some leather develops, along with some fresh bell pepper notes. This has been the most unique section with a bit of a deviation from the typical Hoyo de Monterrey profile. There is also some milk chocolate present, but it’s not as dominating as it was in the middle third.
A bit of mongrel (Friends of Habanos reference) or youth has shown up in the last third. Just remember to take it slow while smoking and keep that foot cool and things will stay inline with that original profile.
Burn is still superb and the ash is solid up to about the one inch mark when it starts to become a bit precarious to keep attached.
RATING & FINAL THOUGHTS
The flavor progression of the Ecogidos reminds me of the Sphinx’s riddle: What goes on four feet in the morning, two feet at noon, and three feet in the evening? It starts off with some earth and cream, holds the creaminess and roasted nuttiness throughout, develops a beautiful sweet profile, and then returns to it’s initial earthy profile.
The burn was spot-on from start to finish with the Escogdigos. Not once did any of the cigar require a relight or touch up. The ash held for a respectable length before knocking and the burn was razor sharp through the entire experience.
0.60 / 0.80 … Craft & Aesthetic
0.35 / 0.50 … Pre-Light Characteristics
0.45 / 0.50 … Lighting Process
6.75 / 7.70 … Smoking Experience
0.45 / 0.50 … Personal Enjoyment
COMPLIMENTS & CRITIQUES
As the old knight in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade said: “You have chosen…wisely.” This is how anyone who has smoked or purchased this cigar should feel. It’s no wonder why this blend was chosen for such a special event, but dont feel like you need a special moment to light up the Escogidos. Whether it’s a wedding or simply a beautiful day to smoke a cigar, Hoyo de Monterrey has created a cigar that can be perfect for all occasions.
SIMPLY STOGIES RATING: 8.60 / 10.0
HOW WE COMPARE
I love reading other reviewers’ thoughts on the cigars I’m smoking and reviewing – it helps to show that no one review is perfect and there’s always different opinions and tastes out there. Here’s how my review compares with a few others in the review world.