One of the longest names in Cuban cigars, but one of the shortest vitolas – the Hoyo de Monterrey Le Hoyo du Depute is an unusual smoke. Only one other brand uses the tiny Trabucos vitola it is presented in – Montecristo, for the Open Junior – and the style is often considered to be in a state of decline where popularity is concerned. As the demand for wide ring gauges continues to grow, powered in part by the ever-expanding girth of cigars made as Limited Editions, it could be forgotten that a small smoke for the small of appetite is also something worth having.
Luckily for those of us who enjoy a slim cigar from time to time, Le Hoyo du Depute is (at time of writing, at least) in no danger of facing the Habanos axe. It is still being produced, still giving plenty of flavour for the 20 minutes its 38 ring gauge by 4 ⅜″ body will smoke for, and still offering phenomenal value for money.
- There was a lot of texture to the feeling of the wrapper, and a couple of prominent veins – not the most appealing to the eye, but had no effect on the smoking performance. The fill was even, and there were no tears or hard spots.
- Flawless, from beginning to end.
- Not just good, but great: the burn line was dead-straight throughout and the cigar stayed lit much longer than one this slim (in my experience, at least) would – I set it down a couple of times during this review for a decent break, and it never needed to be re-lit.
- The solidity was there, the colour wasn’t. Dark grey and not too impressive.
- It seemed ridiculous that a cigar this small could produce so much smoke.
- The beginning of this cigar took me a little by surprise, in terms of power and flavour notes I don’t usually associate with Hoyo de Monterrey. It was enjoyable, though, and would make an excellent midday short smoke.
- The slight roughness of the appearance maybe did this particular stick a disservice which has let the majority of Le Hoyo du Depute out there down, but it certainly did not let them down on flavour. Definitely a cigar I would have in bulk in the humidor; the small size but big taste, together with the price tag matching its stature, make it a great everyday cigar.
Final Score: 86/100
- When I lit this cigar I was prepared for a gentle ride; light-bodied wisps of smoke carrying soft notes of fruit and herbs to my palette. Instead, the first third was a full-throttle thrash of pepper and spice, battering the senses in a way I had not expected. This was not unpleasant, but was unusual. As the cigar made its way into the middle third this pepper vanished, replaced by buttery shortbread which had been an undertone at the beginning but had now built into the dominant flavour – much more what I had been expecting. The middle soon became the final third and the butter soon became sweetness – fresh cut grass aroma and a very slight creaminess to the body were the lingering sensations as the cigar ended. The beginning of this cigar may well have been anomalous; my enjoyment of it most certainly was not.