At the 2018 IPCPR Trade Show, HVC Cigars unveiled a cigar line called the HVC Edición Especial 2018. HVC Cigars is a company 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. Over the past few years, while HVC has remained a true small batch production company, it is one that has garnered considerable attention in the cigar community. The HVC Edición Especial 2018 is a Nicaraguan Puro featuring tobaccos from Aganorsa Leaf’s farms. Today we take a closer look a the HVC Edición Especial 2018 in the Toro size.
The HVC Edición Especial 2018 is the second HVC Edicíon Especial cigar to be released. Three years prior to the release of the Edición Especial 2018 was the HVC Edición Especial 2015. That cigar featured a San Andres wrapper over Nicaraguan tobaccos from the Aganorsa Leaf farms. Both the HVC Edición Especial 2015 and HVC Edición Especial 2018 releases are ongoing small batch production releases by HVC Cigars.
Without further ado, let’s break down the HVC Edición Especial 2018 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The highlight of the HVC Edición Especial 2018 is the Corojo ’99 wrapper that comes from the Jalapa valley. The Aganorsa tobaccos that make up the rest of the blend have been aged for four years.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 (Jalapa)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. (TABSA)
The HVC Edición Especial 2018 is offered in three sizes. The Toro and Toro Gordo sizes are presented in 20-count boxes. The Corona is presented in a 50-count box. The three sizes and box counts of the HVC Edición Especial 2018 are the same as found on the Edición Especial 2015 edition.
Corona: 5 x 46
Toro: 6 x 52
Toro Gordo: 6 x 56
The Corojo ’99 wrapper of the HVC Edición Especial 2018 Toro had a medium brown color with a definite rosado tint. There was a very light coat of oil on the surface of this wrapper. There were some visible wrapper seams and some visible veins, but this was still a wrapper that was skewed toward the smoother side.
The band to the HVC Edición Especial 2018 had a red, gold, and white color scheme. The front of the band had a red background with a gold ring. Inside the ring was the text “HVC EDICIÓN ESPECIAL” in gold font and the text “2018” in white font. The remainder of the band had white and gold adornments on the sides of the band. On each side of the band was the text “HVC HAVANA CITY” in black font.
The cigar experience of the HVC Edición Especial 2018 Toro started out with a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was removed it was on to the pre-light draw phase. The cold draw delivered a profile of earth and nuts. While this was a simple pre-light draw profile, this was still a satisfying one. At this point, it was time to toast up the foot of the HVC Edición Especial 2018 Toro and move on to the smoking phase.
The HVC Edición Especial 2018 Toro started out with a profile of earth, hay, baker’s spice, nuts, and fruit sweetness. Early on the earth and fruit notes moved into the forefront. The hay, baker’s spice, and nuts settled in the background. As the cigar experience progressed through the first third, a slight amount of mixed pepper surfaced on the tongue. On the retro-hale, there was an additional layer of pepper, but also a slight amount of fruit sweetness that could be detected.
During the second third of the HVC Edición Especial 2018 Toro, the earth notes remained grounded in the forefront. At the same time, there was a slow increase of pepper on the tongue. Concurrently the fruit notes moved into the background where both began to diminish further in intensity along with the nut flavors.
The last third of the HVC Edición Especial 2018 Toro saw the pepper spice notes close in on the earth notes in the forefront. There was a little bit of sweetness still present from the fruit notes. While there were still some notes of hay in the background, the nut and baker’s spice notes had pretty much dissipated. This part of the cigar experience also saw some overall harshness develop. At the end of the HVC Edición Especial 2018 Toro, the resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The burn of the HVC Edición Especial 2018 Toro started out maintaining a straight burn path and relatively straight burn line. As the burn progressed, I did find this cigar needed more in the way of touch-ups than it did in the early stages. The touch-ups succeeded in keeping the burn on track. The resulting ash had a salt and pepper color. This was an ash that wasn’t overly firm, but not loose nor flaky either. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
The HVC Edición Especial 2018 Toro had an excellent draw. This was a draw that had a touch of resistance to it – putting it at an ideal level in my book. At the same time, this was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
The HVC Edición Especial 2018 Toro started out with medium to full strength. By the second half, the strength of the cigar increased in intensity and by the final third, the HVC Edición Especial 2018 Toro was in full territory. Meanwhile the flavors of the HVC Edición Especial 2018 Toro started out medium-bodied. During the first half, the intensity increased and by the second half, the HVC Edición Especial 2018 Toro was in medium to full-territory.
In terms of strength versus body with the HVC Edición Especial 2018 Toro, this was a cigar where the strength had a slight edge over the body.
I’ve been in the camp that HVC is one of the rising stars in terms of cigar companies. Approaching the assessment for the HVC Edición Especial 2018 Toro I had high expectations. Upon my first puffs of this cigar, it seemed like this cigar was well on the way to meeting those goals. However, as the cigar experience progressed it got less interesting and less balanced. Toward the end, there was more in the way of spice and harshness that simply threw the balance of this cigar off track.
The HVC Edición Especial 2018 Toro is a bolder cigar, and it’s one that I would steer toward a more experienced cigar enthusiast. This is a cigar best served as trying a sample of before you pay for one.
Key Flavors: Earth, Fruit, Nut, Pepper, Hay, Baker’s Spice
Burn: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Strength: Medium to Full (1st 2/3), Full (Last Third)
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Value: Try a Sample
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop