At the 2018 IPCPR Trade Show, HVC Cigars showcased an offering known as the HVC First Selection Limited Edition Broadleaf. HVC is a smaller company founded by Reinier Lorenzo. Lorenzo works with Aganorsa Leaf to produce his blends – mostly out of the Tabacos de Valle Jalapa S.A. (TABSA) in Estelí, Nicaragua. Aganorsa Leaf is well known for producing cigars for many leading brands including: Illusione, Viaje, Foundation Cigar Company, Warped, Sindicato, and many others. Aganorsa Leaf is also known for working on blends featuring its signature Nicaraguan grown tobacco and in particular its Corojo and Criollo wrapper offerings. Aganorsa Leaf also works with San Andres tobacco for its Maduros, and to a lesser extent also works with Habano and Connecticut Shade offerings. One wrapper that hasn’t been seen out of that factory is the Broadleaf wrapper. That changed in 2018 when the HVC First Selection Limited Edition Broadleaf was revealed. As the name indicates it’s the first offering out of TABSA to showcase the Broadleaf wrapper. Today, we take a closer look at the HVC First Selection Limited Edition Broadleaf in the Toro size.
Lorenzo founded HVC in 2011. The name HVC stands for Havana City. It pays homage to Havana, Cuba where Lorenzo grew up in post-revolution Cuba. Since launching, the company has established several core and limited edition lines. All of these lines have featured the Criollo, Corojo, and San Andres wrapper. With the introduction of the First Selection Limited Edition Broadleaf, it gained a lot of attention because this is a wrapper that just hasn’t been seen out of TABSA.
Without further ado, let’s break down the HVC First Selection Limited Edition Broadleaf Toro and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The Broadleaf wrapper used for the HVC First Selection Limited Edition Broadleaf is a Connecticut Broadleaf. The remainder of the blend is all Nicaraguan tobaccos.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacos de Valle Jalapa S.A. (TABSA)
The HVC First Selection Limited Edition Broadleaf is available in two sizes. Currently, both sizes are packaged together in 20-count boxes consisting of ten Short Robusto and ten Toro size cigars.
Short Robusto: 4 1/2 x 50
Toro: 6 x 52
When the HVC First Selection Limited Edition Broadleaf was launched at IPCPR, it was positioned as a limited edition offering with a total of 500 boxes allocated. Recently, Lorenzo has stated the First Selection Limited Edition Broadleaf will now have an ongoing production.
The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper of the HVC First Selection Limited Edition Broadleaf Toro had a dark chocolate color to it. Upon closer examination, some darker mottling could be seen on the surface. The surface of this wrapper also had a light sheen of oil on it. The were some visible wrapper seams and some thin visible veins.
There are two bands on the HVC First Selection Limited Edition Broadleaf. The primary band has a red, white, and gold color scheme. The center of the band has a red circular field with gold trim. On that field is the text “HVC” in white font. Just above that text is the text “FIRST” in white font arranged in a curved fashion while just below the “HVC” text is the text “SELECTION” – also arranged in a curved fashion in white font. To the left and right of the circular field are two smaller white fields with the text “HAVANA CITY” in red font sitting on it. The remainder of the band has gold and red adornments.
The secondary band rests just below the primary band. This band is black with gold trim. On the center of the band is the text “Limited Edition 2018 Broadleaf”.
A straight cut was used to commence the cigar experience of the HVC First Selection Limited Edition Broadleaf Toro. Once the cap was removed, it was on to the pre-light draw stage. The cold draw delivered notes of chocolate and cedar along with a slight amount of pepper and floral notes. Normally a floral note is a deterrent for me, but in this case, it seemed to work extremely well. With an excellent pre-light draw experience in the books, it was now time to light up the HVC First Selection Limited Edition Broadleaf Toro and see what the smoking experience would have in store.
The HVC First Selection Limited Edition Broadleaf Toro started off with notes of chocolate, earth, black pepper, and a slight cedar note. Early on the chocolate and earth notes became primary with the pepper and cedar settling in the background. Later in the first third, the chocolate notes changed to a mocha flavor (a fusion between coffee and chocolate). As the smoking experience of the Broadleaf Toro progressed through the first third, the mocha notes emerged as the dominant note. The earth settled in the background. The cedar and pepper notes were quite subtle on the tongue, but more prominent on the retro-hale.
During the second third of the HVC First Selection Limited Edition Broadleaf Toro, the fusion between the mocha and chocolate separated. The coffee notes were now the dominant flavor with the chocolate component having varying degrees of intensity. By the midway point, the pepper notes started to increase.
By the last third, the earth notes returned to the forefront, joining the coffee notes. The black pepper still slowly increased in intensity, but in the end still remained a secondary note. There also were still touches of cedar and chocolate present. This is the way the smoking experience of the HVC First Selection Limited Edition Broadleaf Toro ended.
The burn line of the HVC First Selection Limited Edition Broadleaf Toro had a slight amount of waviness, but in the end, this was cosmetic as the cigar had no problem maintaining a straight burn path. The resulting ash was light gray in color. The ash was skewed toward the firmer side. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both were ideal.
The draw to the HVC First Selection Limited Edition Broadleaf Toro also performed very well. This was a draw that had a nice balance of openness and resistance. In the end, this was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, the HVC First Selection Limited Edition Broadleaf Toro delivered a medium strength, medium-bodied smoking experience. There wasn’t much in the way of variance in the intensity levels of strength and body. The strength and body balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
HVC is the best-kept secret in the cigar industry. This is a company making some excellent cigars, and without a doubt, the HVC First Selection Limited Edition Broadleaf Toro is one of the best the company has done. This is a case where the HVC not only ventured out of its comfort zone, but hits a grand slam home run in the process. At the same time, this also shows that TABSA can make an upper echelon Broadleaf blend. In the end, this cigar excels in the most important category – flavor. This is a cigar I could recommend to any cigar enthusiast. As for myself, the HVC First Selection Limited Edition Broadleaf Toro is something I would not only smoke and buy, but I’d fight Chuck Norris for them.
Key Flavors: Coffee, Chocolate, Earth, Black Pepper, Cedar
Value: Fight Chuck Norris for Them
News: HVC First Selection Limited Edition Broadleaf Launched at 2018 IPCPR
Brand Reference: HVC
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop