At the 2021 Premium Cigar Association (PCA) Trade Show, HVC Cigars released a cigar to commemorate its tenth anniversary – appropriately titled the HVC 10th Anniversary cigar. HVC Cigars was founded by Reinier Lorenzo in 2011, the name HVC stands for Havana City. It pays homage to Havana, Cuba where Lorenzo grew up in post-revolution Cuba. HVC Cigars leverages Aganorsa tobacco for its blends, and until recently (when the company opened its own factory) handled all of its production out of Aganorsa Leaf’s factory in Nicaragua. Today we take a closer look at the HVC 10th Anniversary cigar in the Toro size.
The HVC 10th Anniversary cigar was released shortly after the PCA Trade Show. This was the first major release to incorporate the Corojo 2012 varietal into the blend. This is a newer varietal of Corojo tobacco that Aganorsa Leaf has been growing on its farms. Reinier Lorenzo has been known for incorporating innovations into his releases – and using the Corojo 2012 is an example. Back in 2018, Lorenzo would release the HVC First Selection Broadleaf. This was a cigar that would be the first major release out of Aganorsa’s factory to incorporate a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper.
For now, let’s turn our attention back to the HVC 10th Anniversary Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The HVC 10th Anniversary Cigar features 100% Nicaraguan tobaccos grown on the Aganorsa farms. The Corojo 2012 is included in the filler of the blend. The filler also features staple Aganorsa Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98 tobaccos. The cigar is finished with a Corojo ’99 wrapper from Jalapa. Production comes from Agricola Ganadera Norteña S.A (Aganorsa’s factory).
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 (Jalapa)
Filler: Nicaraguan (Corojo ’99, Criollo ’98, and Corojo 2012)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Agricola Ganadera Norteña S.A.
The HVC 10th Anniversary was originally released in a 6 1/2 x 50 size. The HVC 10th Anniversary Toro is presented in ten-count boxes.
Note: HVC has recently announced a 5 x 45 Robusto size that uses a Rosado wrapper as opposed to a Claro. This Robusto size is being produced at Fabrica de Tabacos HVC S.A. The Toro size used in this assessment was produced at Agricola Ganadera Norteña S.A.
The Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 wrapper of the HVC 10th Anniversary Toro had a medium brown color with a slight rosado tint to it. Upon closer examination, there was some subtle mottling on the surface of the wrapper. The surface of the wrapper also had some oils present. There were a few visible veins and there also were some visible wrapper seams present.
Prior to lighting up the HVC 10th Anniversary Toro, a straight cut was used to remove the cap at the head of the cigar. Once the cap was removed, it was time for the pre-light draw phase. The cold draw was pretty simple as it delivered notes of natural tobacco and earth. Overall this delivered a satisfactory pre-light experience. At this point was time to light up the HVC 10th Anniversary Toro and move on to the smoking phase.
The HVC 10th Anniversary Toro opened up with notes of black pepper, earth, mixed fruit, natural tobacco, and cedar. Early on the earth and fruit notes moved into the forefront with the pepper, natural tobacco, and cedar settling in the background. The pepper notes were also present on the retro-hale and were more prominent on the finish.
As the HVC 10th Anniversary Toro moved into the second third, the earth notes remained in the forefront. There was a gradual decrease in the fruit sweetness. By the time the cigar experience entered the second half, the fruit notes were now a secondary note along with the natural tobacco, cedar, and pepper. During this time there was also an increase in the pepper.
During the final third, the earth notes remained grounded in the forefront. By this point, the pepper closed in on the earth but didn’t quite cross the threshold into a primary note. At the same time the natural tobacco, fruit, and cedar notes rounded off the flavor profile of the HVC 10th Anniversary Toro very nicely. As the cigar came to a close, it finished with a cool, soft nub.
The burn of the HVC 10th Anniversary Toro did require multiple touch-ups to maintain a straight burn path and straight burn line. While the touch-ups applied to the cigar kept things on track, there were more touch-ups required than I preferred. The resulting ash was on the firm side. The ash itself had a silver-gray color. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature both maintained ideal levels.
The draw of the HVC 10th Anniversary Toro was on the open side. If you have followed many of my assessments, you will know that I prefer a draw that has a touch of resistance to it. In this case, the open draw didn’t result in any adverse effects. At the same time, there was ample smoke production that came from this cigar.
Strength and Body
The HVC 10th Anniversary Toro opened up with medium strength and medium to full-bodied flavors. There was a slight increase in the intensity level of the strength, but in the end, it stayed in the medium range of the spectrum. As for the flavors, there was a small increase in intensity, but the cigar remained in the medium to full range.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
Reinier Lorenzo and HVC Cigars did a fantastic job on the packaging on the HVC 10th Anniversary. The band is my favorite one released on an HVC Cigar to date. The red, gold, black, and white color scheme really makes this cigar pop. The black, red, and gold boxes are also equally impressive.
The HVC 10th Anniversary Toro scored a very respectable 88 points in this assessment. While I was excited about the Corojo 2012 in this blend, I’m not sure it swayed me much in the final assessment of this cigar. I don’t think it hurt the blend, but I don’t think it helped the blend either. This is a pricier offering in the HVC portfolio coming in over $15.00. The problem is there are HVC Cigars that score more points and have a more aggressive price point. In the end, I’m more inclined to recommend trying a sample of this cigar. I’m open to revisiting this cigar, and I’m certainly open to smoking the new Robusto offering that is set to hit the market.
Key Flavors: Earth, Natural Tobacco, Fruit, Cedar, Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Draw: Very Good
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
News: HVC Cigar Company to Release HVC 10th Anniversary Cigar at 2021 PCA
Brand Reference: HVC
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop
Originally posted on May 14, 2023 @ 12:23 pm