HVC Black Friday 2020 Limited Edition
Posted on March 08 2021
Smoking Time: 80 Minutes
Cigars Smoked: 3
Body: Medium +
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Café
Binder: Nicaraguan Criollo 98/Corojo 99
Filler: Aganorsa Ligero
HVC (Havana City) was founded in 2011 by Reinier Lorenzo. Named after Lorenzo’s home town, and pays homage to the traditional Cuban way of creating cigars. Now using predominantly Nicaraguan tobacco, HVC aims to create a unique smoke for all different plates to enjoy.
The Black Friday was also created to commemorate the retail holiday, and has been released annually since 2015. In 2020 however, 2 vitolas were released, the corona gordas, and a collaboration between United Cigar Group and HVC, the Black Friday Firecracker.
Visual Inspection: This is a soft medium brown wrapper, and surprisingly light if you compare it to some other Nicaraguan leaves. But it has a very strong aroma to it, notes of caramel, pine, leather, and earth. With an RH of 70% at the foot, this cigar is rather firm, and doesn't have any soft spots.
While the wrapper is soft, it has ample amounts of tooth, very small, but scattered throughout its entirety. Veins creep along the outside and give it dimension. Seams are noticeable, however clean and durable, all finished off with a strong cap. A cold draw brings subtle notes of cherry, nuts, and a damp earth.
First Third: Despite the 70% RH this cigar received the flame well, giving off the smell of roasted chestnuts and charred cedar. At first light this cigar is quite powerful, but quickly calmed down. Smooth but still powerful, notes of cream, pepper, vanilla, almond, and whole grain bread are up front. A retrohale brings amplified hints of almond and cream.
The burn line is tidy, nothing to write home about, but clean. Ash is loose, not flaky, and yellow gray in color with the smoke giving a sweet damp earth aroma. Flavors are reminiscent of a breakfast pastry, notes of apple, vanilla, and walnuts arrive.
Second Third: The power that came in full force has dwindled even more. Now an exceptionally smooth, cream bomb. Complimented by trace hints of pepper, apple, and honeysuckle. Predominantly the cigar leans towards a creamy profile in this third. There are no issues with the draw, making it an enjoyable experience.
Trace amounts of oil are appearing around the burn line, which after a touch up earlier is very good. The ash has tightened up and retained its color. This is a good example of a Nicaraguan cigar, while lighter, and creamier, then say a Plasencia Alma Fuerte (Read Review Here) or Alma Del Campo, the volcanic properties of the soil are showing their character.
Last Third: Slowly but surely, pepper is becoming more prominent. Most prevalent in the retrohale and finish, however. Notes of almond, walnut, honey, lettuce, and apple are coming too.
While overall this is a medium bodied cigar, the flavors are deep and complex. Varying back and forth, but rarely enough to still be intricate.
Earth notes have arrived, and almond is very upfront, leading smoothly to a vanilla and cream finish. The burn line is staying consistent, only wavering slightly. A retrohale brings pepper back and the aroma of the cigar is still earthy. With over an inch left, the Black Friday has started getting hot on the lips. The draw has tightened up, which I would attribute to the oil building up, after purging the cigar, it has loosened up. Providing a friendly reminder to purge every so often.
Final Thoughts: Even though this is an inexpensive cigar, there were no shortcuts taken when crafting it. Draw is exceptional, the quality of the wrapper is great, and after smoking it, so was my mood! Demonstrating all the desirable traits of a Nicaraguan cigar, I would put this up against any higher end stick from the country. A solid cigar I would suggest to any smoker, there is no surprise it received such great feedback when we included it in our December Platinum subscription box.