July 29, 2017

Hoyo La Amistad Silver Robusto (5 x 50)

Video review HERE.

(Description taken from Cigar-Coop.com website)
At the 2017 IPCPR Trade Show, General Cigar introduced a second collaboration with acclaimed cigar maker AJ Fernandez under its Hoyo brand. This cigar is dubbed the Hoyo La Amistad Silver.

Hoyo is an offshoot of the Hoyo de Monterrey brand. Back in 2015, Hoyo de Monterrey celebrated its 150th anniversary. A limited commemorative cigar called Hoyo de Monterrey Edición de Cumpleanos 150 was introduced that featured a more contemporary look for the Hoyo de Monterrey brand. That look carried over into 2016 when the company launched the Hoyo line, which was based on the Cumpleanos 150 concept. At the time, General Cigar was positioning the Hoyo for small batch cigars, collaborations and other exciting special projects.” The first of those collaborations made its debut last year with the first Hoyo La Amistad. It was a cigar that garnered both critical acclaim and commercial success for General Cigar.

The new Hoyo La Amistad Silver is an all-Habano seed blend consisting of an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, a Nicaraguan Habano binder, and proprietary Cuban-seed (Habano) Nicaraguan tobaccos cultivated by Fernandez on his farms in Estelí and Condega. The cigar is available in three sizes: Churchill, Robusto, and “Pancho” (5 1/2 x 52). Each of the three sizes is available in 20-count boxes.

“It is an honor to blend for Hoyo because it reminds me how far I’ve come and gives me a chance to reflect on my roots. Growing up in Cuba near to the Hoyo de Monterrey tobacco farms left a big impression on me. Those fields will always remind me of home. So when I came to develop the second blend in the Hoyo La Amistad series, I wanted to honor the Cuban tradition of Hoyo by making a cigar with all Cuban-seed tobaccos. In this project, I used tobaccos that I grew on my farms in Nicaragua, so this is very special to me personally,” commented AJ Fernandez in a press release.

The packaging features the new contemporary Hoyo banding with Fernandez’s name on the secondary band – and it’s a secondary band reminiscent of one seen on many of AJ Fernandez’s own brands. The Hoyo La Amistad Silver differs from its predecessor the Hoyo La Amistad in that it has silver accents on the banding and packaging.

Blend Profile
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan (Estelí, Condega)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Tabacalera Fernandez)

Vitolas Available
Robusto: 5 x 50 REVIEWED TODAY
Pancho: 5 1/2 x 52
Churchill: 6 7/8 x 48

The cigar is well made and has a slight oily wrapper. It is very similar looking to the original. Here is a side by side comparison of last year's original band and the silver.

2016 Hoyo La Amistad

2017 Hoyo La Amistad Silver

The cigar has a nice feel in the hand. 

The test draw after cutting the cap was very good. The initial flavors were a combination of orange citrus and strawberry, buttery brown sugar and cinnamon, leather, and black coffee. There was black pepper rated at an 8+. 

1 1/2 inches in (20 minutes) the strawberry notes are gone. The citrus notes are still there but they are overwhelmed by the brown sugar and cinnamon. The leather notes are elevated. Black coffee holds the base. There are some rooty-type flavors in the mix now. The black pepper is still good but I lost the buttery notes. The cigar is medium bodied leaning toward medium to full. The finish is cream with a touch of leather and brown sugar, along with some lingering black pepper. 

With only an inch remaining (51 minutes) the flavors have changed quite a bit. There are now cedar notes in the place of orange citrus. The sweetness comes from brown sugar and cinnamon. The leather notes are very elevated. They are the lead flavor along with the black coffee. The pepper is still good and the finish is unchanged. The cigar is medium to full bodied and leaning toward full bodied. 

As the cigar ended (1 hour 3 minutes) the leather and coffee notes continued to surge. The cedar, brown sugar, and cinnamon are still there but very much secondary. The cigar is a low level full bodied. This is a different cigar from the original. While similar in some ways this cigar has many more dark notes. After having both cigars I prefer the original but this is a good cigar that I would smoke again. This version is a couple points behind the original which means it's still a very good cigar. You can purchase these cigars HERE.

Score: 92

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