Hoyo De Tradicion Toro

This past weekend I was kicking back and enjoying the atmosphere at a cigar-event-turned-herf when one of the guys turned to me and said, “you know what cigar I really enjoy? The Hoyo de Tradicion. When are you guys going to get around to reviewing it?” I was a little surprised at the question. As I pulled out crackberry to check, I asked him rhetorically if he was certain we hadn’t already done so. Sure enough, there wasn’t a Hoyo de Tradicion in our cigar review index.

I’m glad he aksed. Because in an unplanned cigar buying binge in the months leading up to S-CHIP, I picked up a fiver of Hoyo de Tradicion Toros. By then, they were rested and ready to go. And by chance, I didn’t have a cigar already lined up for this week’s review.

The Hoyo de Tradicion is a relatively new line of Hoyo de Monterrey cigars, that appeared on the scene about a year and a half ago. (If it seems like it’s been around longer, you may be thinking of the Cuban Hoyo de Monterrey Double Coronas, which sports a very similar band.) The cigars are made by hand (of course) in Cofradia, Honduras and is distributed in the U.S. by General Cigars. One thing that might be a little confusing is that there are Toro and a Toro Grande Hoyo de Tracidion vitolas. The Toro Grande is 6 1/4 x 54 while this cigar is 6 x 52.

Before I applied a curious flame to the foot of this cigar, I came across something comical. On the general website, they have written the tag line “Everyman Deserves a Hoyo.” When I read that, I realized that I knew what “de Tradicion” meant, but my scant Spanish vocabulary did not include an entry for the word “Hoyo.” So I plugged the name into an online Spanish to English translator tool. Apparently, Hoyo de Monterrey means “hole of tradition.” So General Cigar’s assertion is that everyman needs a hole. And in the interest of keeping this review PG-rated, it’s time to examine the cigar.

Cigar Stats:
Size: 6 x 52
Wrapper: Honduran Rosado
Binder: USA Connecticut
Filler: Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua
Smoking Time: 2 hours
Beverage: Water
Price: MSRP $5.20

The Pre-Smoke
The band on the Hoyo de Tradicion is another one I really like. It’s a sharp combination of red and gold that looks regal. From a distance, the golden combination of ribbons and crowns in the center of the band looks like a decorative bit of Kanji. (I know even less about Kanji than Spanish, so I won’t even try to guess what it might say if it were.) Underneath the eye-catching band is a reddish hued, box-pressed stick that also looks pretty nice.

The sticks I smoked for this review were mostly smooth, with just a few larger veins. I noticed some minor superficial flaws in the appearance, an unusually dark spot near the foot of one cigar, and an extremely lopsided triple cap on another. I didn’t see it initially, but as I smoked the cigars, I noticed there was some finer toothiness to the wrapper as well.

The scent of the wrapper was your standard compost, really funky on one stick, and a little sweeter on the others. I was only able to get a good read on the cold taste on one of them, and that was a pretty mild cocoa-graham combination.

The Burn
I’ve smoked fair number of Hoyo de Tradicions in the past, and I’m drawing on that experience when I say that generally this cigar has a great burn. However one of the cigars I took notes on did have some issues. It became very uneven in the second half, and was a hand holding exercise bringing it home. Additional fire was required to keep it burning evenly and it required a relight toward the end. Fortunately, the draw was just fine.

In all other cases, I’ve found this to be a good, no-maintenance, long ashes kind of stick. As an added bonus, it seems to burn a little on the slow side. It’s also one of the few cigars I’ve smoked recently that didn’t get an irritable, that-cigar-stinks comment from the wife. (She actually asked me why it didn’t. I think she was a little disappointed.)

The Flavor
The cigar got things going with a smooth cinnamon and cocoa flavor in the first couple of puffs. It wasn’t long before a lightly sweet fruity flavor moved in to stay. I noticed this fruit flavor was a bit tangier and more like cherry in the cigar that would eventually have some burn issues, and a bit more like either pear or apple in other sticks. By the end of the initial third, I had noticed graham, cocoa, cinnamon and even a bit of caramel in short intervals.

The second third struck me as being more about that fruit flavor and cinnamon laid over top of a coffee flavor that eventually became more leathery. There was also a bit of earthiness in this third and some mild, tongue-tingling spice.

The final third continued to have a fruity, spicier leathery flavor with occasional notes of black coffee. The cigar requiring all the burn intervention had more prominent coffee notes and a coppery element that was also enjoyable.

The Price
No complaints about the price here. A two hour smoke is worth a Lincoln and a couple shiny FDR’s in my book. In a price-per-stick limbo contest, the Hoyo de Tradicion easily beats most non-bundled, long filler cigars.

The Verdict
Even with the burn problem I experienced with one stick, I have no reservations about saying the Hoyo de Tradicion is a good medium bodied cigar with a comfortable price tag. Even when burn problems had an impacted on the flavor of the cigar, it still turned out to be an enjoyable experience. And that doesn’t happen very often.

I don’t always get around to buying more of a cigar I recommend, but in this case, I have. It’s definitely worth consideration the next time you’re browsing the boxes at your local cigar shop. And as the saying goes, Everyman deserves a Hoyo.

Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes, and I have
Recommend It: Yes

Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.