HVC Cigars began the yearly Black Friday releases in 2015 to celebrate the Shopping “Holiday”. The Black Friday cigars change each year in vitola, blend, price, and production quantity. The common trait is that they are packaged in 50 count cabs and are offered at a great value, presumably in honor of the day they commemorate. This year’s Black Friday release is the first of the series to utilize a Connecticut Broadleaf Wrapper and the Corojo 2012 tobacco varietal that is making a splash. This also boasts the highest price tag to date, but given the wrapper leaf of this iteration, the price is understandable and still likely considered a bargain.
I ended up smoking three of these cigars to this point (I did note my expectations prior to the first one). The first one was because I was anxious to try it. The second one was for review, but I ended up having to stop halfway for an animal emergency (I finished it later on and it smoked great even after a few hours unlit). The third one was used to finish out this review. I wanted to mention this to say this - This cigar was very consistent in performance, draw, and flavor profile.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A.
Wrapper: U.S.A Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo 2012 & Criollo ‘98
Vitola: 4 ⅜ x 54 Robusto Extra
MSRP: $9.50 MSRP
Release Date: November 2021
Company Website: Company Facebook
From my experience with HVC, other iterations of Black Friday cigars, the tobaccos etc. I expect a full flavor, full body, and full strength experience. I am looking for deep earth, dark fruits, pepper, cocoa, and wood notes. I anticipate an unrefined, harsh quality, but in a good way that really deepens the flavors and enhances the experience. I have high hopes for this cigar given that this time of year I am a big fan of these shorter cigars and full, dark profiles.
The wrapper on this cigar is super dark. It is quite rustic in its appearance, which I like. I also like this slightly short, slightly chunky vitola. The band is simple, and adds to the rustic look and feel. Overall, I just dig the vibe the presentation of this cigar puts off. The cigar smells of leather. The cold draw is dark chocolate all the way.
First light is full in body with full flavor notes of deep earth, pepper, leather, a bit of mineral, and some salt. The draw is perfect. About a half inch in and the flavor has shifted to a very wood forward profile with some tannins on the finish. There is a bit of pepper on the finish. The retrohale is salty and meaty. Some earth is creeping back in to match the wood on the draw and there’s a dark sweetness present. The end of the first third sees the tannins fade off into the type of slight bitterness a dark coffee has. The sweetness has become more like caramel. The performance has been great.
The second third begins with the caramel standing out more. The bitter coffee and tannins are going back and forth. The retrohale is showing more pepper and some chocolate. Nearing halfway the burn has been running a bit on one side but it’s been trying hard to correct and doing a good job. It may avoid a touch up. The tannins have faded again. The draw is still caramel and dark coffee with a touch of drying wood towards the finish. The retrohale is a bit of pepper and chocolate still with a lot of bright caramel sweetness. The burn corrected itself. The ash hung on till just after half way. Soft cream is coming in on the draw near the end of the second third. The performance and burn have been great still.
The final third is showing more cream, still some caramel, a bit of coffee, and a bit of wood. The retrohale is showing coffee and a fruity sweetness. The draw flavors are getting sweeter as I move through this third. There’s a bit of bread I was coming in as well. I needed to perform the first touch up just into the band. It is minor however. The caramel has shifted to a fruit sweetness like the retrohale had. The strength is creeping up a touch, but not quite to full. I had to do another touch up. Again, it’s not bad, but it’s running. At the end the only change was a bit of wood coming in.
This year’s HVC Black Friday really hits the mark for both an affordable cigar and a great cigar. All three cigars I smoked for this review were quite consistent in both flavor and performance. This cigar was also quite dynamic. There were some significant transitions throughout the cigar. It started with the familiar bold earth, pepper, and leather found on this style of cigar before becoming a bit softer with a bit more decadence and it ended with more fruited dessert flavors. The performance of this cigar was great overall, only requiring some touch ups in the final third and the final burn time was an hour and 22 minutes. My parting words are, if you think you’ll like these, definitely grab multiples before they’re gone. I may need to go back for more!
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