Experience: Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2. Classic, Elegant and Understated Like an Audemars Piguet.

What better way to relax and enjoy the good life than smoking a good Habano just 90 miles away from Cuba. As we are getting ready to finally welcome the warm weather here in Chicago, we had no other option than to travel to warm weather destinations while it's still cold here in the Windy City. While Key West, Florida is not necessarily the most upscale beach destination in the U.S., it is for sure a very interesting and nostalgic place for Cuban Americans or anyone of Cuban descent. While we were down in Key West, we decided to smoke one of the Cuba's finest and understated cigars, Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2.

A couple of weeks ago, as we found ourselves walking around the picturesque streets of Key West, and specifically along the popular Duval Street, we stumbled upon one of the most beautiful and most important landmarks in Florida, especially for those of Cuban origin. We are talking about The San Carlos Institute, founded in 1871 by Cuban exiles of Key West as an educational, civic, and patriotic center.

Today, The San Carlos is a multipurpose facility that serves as a museum, library, art gallery, theater, and school. Located in the heart of Key West's historic district, the San Carlos is considered to be the cradle of Cuba's independence movement. It was at the San Carlos that Cuban poet and patriot José Martí united the exile community in 1892 to launch the final phase of his campaign for Cuba's independence from Spain. José Martí loved the San Carlos building so much that he called it "La Casa Cuba". Frankly, there's no better place to light up an Epicure No.2 and then walk around the streets of Key West in search for the perfect spot to enjoy the sunset.

Hoyo de Monterrey is an Habano produced in the town of San Luis y Martinez, in the heart of the Vuelta Abajo tobacco region. The Hoyo de Monterrey plantation can be reached through a gate in the town’s main square with the following inscription: "Hoyo de Monterrey. José Gener. 1860". The Spanish word ''Hoyo' —which means 'hole’— in the name of this cigar, refers to the the low lands where the plantation is located by the banks of the San Juan y Martinez river.

Hoyo de Monterrey Epicure No. 2 is an Epicure type of cigar —a short and thick cigar— measuring 4 7/8" in length with a 50 ring gauge. With hints of coffee, chocolate and leather, this cigar is very smooth and even burning with a nice dark ash that holds nice and long. The only downside to this cigar, is the fact that it is so short that one needs to remove its beautiful ring in order to be able to enjoy the cigar till the end.

As we were getting ready to enjoy one of the most beautiful moments of the day at Mallory Square, we decided to accompany our cigar with one of Cuba's most traditional drinks, a refreshing 'Mojito'. The mint in our 'Mojito' was perfectly mashed and the drink perfectly mixed that we can say that this 'Mojito' was at the level of those served at 'La Bodeguita del Medio' in Cuba. Next time you are enjoying the sunset celebration at Mallory Square, you need to make sure you stop by The Westin Key West Resort & Marina to enjoy a few of these Cuban 'Mojitos'

This cigar is always a very attractive choice for those watchlifestylers seeking a delicate yet aromatic Habano that is not too strong but still has a lot of character, elegance and complexity. The flavor profile doesn't change much throughout the first two thirds of the cigar, but it becomes increasingly stronger on the last third. A very common characteristic of fine Cuban Habanos. It provides around 35 minutes of burning time in a perfectly rolled cigar with the best even burn you'll experience.

The Hoyo de Monterrey is so nicely rolled that even the most inexperienced smokers can keep it well lit and burning strong with every puff. For sure a cigar that is as classic and understated as the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Safari on our wrist.

Now, pretend you came along and enjoy the sunset with us as we finish our cigar and sip down our 'Mojito'.

For more info on Audemars Piguet click here.