Brand: Hoyo de Monterrey
Line: La Amistad Black
Size: Rothschild (4.5 X 50)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra Oscuro
Binder: Mexican San Andres
Cigars smoked for review: 3
Cigars for review were provided by General Cigar Company
Quick Note: For this review I used Cigar Federation's rating system
This cigar was released at the 2018 IPCPR trade show and is the third Hoyo cigar to be made by AJ Fernandez. The previous two Hoyo Amistad releases made by AJ Fernandez were the Gold and Silver. The Black features a dark Ecuadorian Sumatra Oscuro wrapper while Gold and Silver have Ecuadorian Habano wrappers.
The wrapper was a dark chocolate brown color with some visible tooth. The vein structure was very smooth and I could barely notice the seams. The draw was right in the sweet spot for me with not too little or too much resistance. The prelight draw had heavy barnyard type qualities with damp hay and wood notes, along with some mustyness. I also noticed some pepper lingered on my lips after taking the prelight draws.
The initial puffs brought very heavy black pepper spice. The pepper was so strong it was hard to notice any other flavors at first. The black pepper spice calmed after a little progress into the first third. There core flavor at that point was a heavy dark earth quality with some espresso bitterness. The pepper was still pretty strong but it was not overwhelming and I noticed a faint cacao-type of chocolate flavor that would appear from time to time.
In the second third the black pepper eased up to a more comfortable level of spice. The core earthy flavors remained with that espresso bitter note. There was also a very slight sweetness that popped up every now and then bringing a nice balance to the flavor profile. I was also getting some darker oaky wood flavors too.
I didn’t notice a flavor transition going into the final third but that is expected for a cigar of this size. That core earthy note remained consistent with the espresso notes and bitterness. The cigar didn’t develop any negative characteristics as it came to an end, but I did find myself getting a little bored with the cigar by this point in time.
Total smoking time was about one hour.
This was a very solid cigar on the medium-full end of the strength spectrum with full flavors. I found the core flavor profile of this cigar to be enjoyable but very one dimensional. There were brief moments where some sweetness or chocolate notes would pop up and provide some more flavor complexity, but they were infrequent and didn’t last long. This cigar is also following two releases, the Hoyo La Amistad Gold and Silver, that were much more complex. If you enjoy a strong peppery cigar I think it’s worth picking up a couple of these to try.
Jason’s Rating: 86 (AKA “If I was in a shop, I would pick up one or two”)