HDM have been making cigars from when time began, and always classed as a premium cigar by many aficionados. The Elegantes was released last year as a La Casa De Habanos limited edition release, and was greatly received.
We were lucky enough to receive an early 2017 box just after Christmas and wanted to to give them a go... even though they are probably a little young for a premium Cuban. But what we wanted to do was to try them at 6-12 monthly intervals, to put to test the ageing process and see if the quality improved at all....
So lighting one up was quite exciting. The look and feel of the cigar was nothing but perfection. The slightly obscure shape of the vitola made them more intriguing, but displayed the craftsmanship involved in the production.
The initial light and draw was very easy, being tapered at the end, it took very little lighting to be honest. The first couple of draws however, were, we thought, a little harsh. I did wonder if this was going to be a huge hype over nothing and another 'Band Magnet'. However, after a couple of minutes, they settled down and began to smoke well.
They displayed all the characteristics of a quality HDM, being a fan of the Epicure No 2 we were using this as a benchmark. Strong woody and earth flavours were prominent in the first and second third of the cigar, with very slight undertones of chocolate. There was a pleasant spiciness to it, but only very subtle.
One thing we did get from the second third was a hint of liquorice in the after taste, an interesting yet welcome surprise.
The last third was were it started to fade however. It needed relighting twice and was getting harsh towards the end. Knowing it had nothing more to give, it was put to rest.
On the whole, a lovely cigar, even for one so young, but it is apparent it needs more time. How much I don't know yet, a year at least, probably 2. But these do appear that they are good from the off, which is surprising for Cubans these days, and would put them above an Epicure 2 at the minute, only let down by the last third but we did expect it not to be at its best just yet.
If you can get hold of a box, then do. They are still relatively cheap for a premium cuban and still readily available.
We will revisit this one later this year to see how they are maturing.
Appearance and construction 14/15
Smoking Characteristics 22/25
Overall Experience 31/35