Today I am pleased to present this guest review from Greg Jordan. Enjoy!
Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. But for me, a cigar is more about the company I’m with. This afternoon, this Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur made for a fine complement to my stroll through the garden.
Now, company can mean a good friend, an acquaintance, a new friend, your work colleagues, a bachelor’s party, a peaceful place, a fine scotch whiskey, or even your dog (especially your dog). This time my company was the large backyard garden of a beautiful 1936 Mission-style home in the Oakland Hills of California.
I have to come right out and admit that I don’t smoke too many cigars. I’d estimate that I smoke about one per month. Okay, if I’m in Puerto Rico with a buddy who likes to smoke cigars I can smoke a “year’s worth” in three days. Been there, done that. But given that I’m a conservative smoker, I truly like to splurge when I light up. I like to make it a special occasion.
So this cigar review is “unofficial” in a way because I don’t have any kind of authority to assign it points, or accurately compare it to the thousands of other cigars that I’ve enjoyed… because I haven’t smoked that many. I’m an amateur. But I hope you enjoy this review partly because of that!
This Hoyo de Monterey Excalibur was a gift from a new friend, Chris. He presented it to me after he and his wife visited with us in the Bay Area. If he didn’t have to rush back to Atlanta we could have enjoyed a good sit-down and a smoke.
I’ve been wanting to smoke this Hoyo de Monterey Excalibur for the past few days. I’ve taken it out a few times to smell it. The aroma was light and earthy and lingered in the air around my desk for a few minutes, even after putting it away. It was calling me!
This afternoon was beautiful. The storms had cleared and it was an ideal time to take a look at the garden, surveying what I need to do next. This called for a cigar. The Hoyo de Monterey Excalibur was ready. Thankfully I cut it cleanly. I was ready to light it.
I carefully lit the gift and enjoyed it beginning to end. The first few draws of the dry, rich smoke revealed some of the subtle spice that’s appealing to me. This was definitely a full-flavored cigar. My stroll through the large garden got me down to the second third of the cigar. That’s when I sat down on the deck and watched the sun set over the Golden Gate Bridge.
The flavors pleasantly changed in the second third and I’d have to admit it wasn’t as strong as I thought it was going to be. I’d go so far as to describe it as mellow, and the burn was even and slow.
The final third was stronger and uncovered additional spice and more of what I would describe as full-bodied earthiness. Remember, I’m not a heavy hitter, so I don’t mind admitting that I didn’t smoke the entire last third. Truthfully, I thoroughly enjoyed the first two-thirds and was satisfied not dusting it to the point of burning my fingers.
I would have to say it was ideally balanced for my cigar palate. If I smoke too light of a cigar I don’t feel like I’m getting the whole experience. But, on the other hand, a really rich, dark cigar can knock my socks off.
All in all the Hoyo de Monterey Excalibur was an enjoyable cigar that I feel comfortable recommending to someone who hasn’t yet smoked one. Receiving it as a gift was a nice treat. I’d definitely buy a few for the humidor next time I’m at the cigar shop.
Greg Jordan is a native Californian who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. He enjoys outdoor life with his family and friends and is an avid amateur photographer.