Seasonal release cigars are not anything new in the cigar industry. We have seen cigars over the years come out for Independence Day, Christmas, Halloween, St. Patrick’s Day, etc. In 2015, Reinier Lorenzo of HVC Cigars decided to release a cigar for what has become an unofficial holiday particularly in the U.S. and that is Black Friday. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and has emerged as the biggest retail shopping day of the year. It’s the day where it is said that many retail stores move into the “black” (profitable) from the “red” (not profitable). Today we take a look at the HVC Black Friday 2020 edition in The Corona Gorda size.
Since 2015, there have been seven installments of the HVC Black Friday Series. 2020 marked the first year there were two Black Friday cigars released. Each year’s installment of the HVC Black Friday has been in a different size. There have been a variety of different wrapper options.
- HVC Black Friday 2015: 6 1/2 x 48 (Nicaraguan Corojo ’99)
- HVC Black Friday 2016: 6 3/4 x 48 (Nicaraguan Corojo ’99
- HVC Black Friday 2017: 4 x 48 (Nicaraguan Corojo ’99)
- HVC Black Friday 2018: 5 x 50 (San Andres)
- HVC Black Friday 2019: 4 1/2 x 52 (Habano Café)
- HVC Black Friday 2020: 5 5/8 x 46 (Habano Café)
- HVC Black Friday Firecracker 2020: 3 1/2 x 50 (Habano Café)
Without further ado, let’s break down the HVC Black Friday Corona Gorda and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The HVC Black Friday 2020 Limited Edition features Aganorsa-grown Nicaraguan tobaccos. According to HVC Cigars, the company went heavier on the Jalapa region incorporating Aganorsa-grown Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98 tobaccos for the filler and binder. The filler also features Estelí tobacco from the Chilamate farm, a farm producing some of the strongest tobaccos in the region. The cigar is finished with a Habano Café wrapper.
Wrapper: Habano Café
Binder: Nicaraguan (Aganorsa)
Filler: Nicaraguan (Aganorsa)
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. (TABSA)
As mentioned above, there were two releases in 2020 of the HVC Black Friday 2020. The Corona Gorda was packaged in cigars 50-count boxes with a total production of 500 boxes.
Corona Gorda: 5 5/8 x 46
Firecracker: 3 1/2 x 50
The Firecrackers were presented in 20-count boxes and were distributed by United Cigars.
The Habano Café wrapper of the HVC Black Friday 2020 Corona Gorda had a medium to dark brown color to it. This was a wrapper that also had some oils on the surface of the wrapper. This wrapper was on the smoother side with some thin veins on the surface as well as some thin visible wrapper seams.
The band of the HVC Black Friday 2020 features a black rectangular field in the center with the text “HVC BLACK FRIDAY” in a large white font. The sides of the band feature a metallic striped pattern. Sitting on top of the stripes on both the left and right side of the band is the text “ESTELÍ NICARAGUA” in black font. The remainder of the band is finished with black trim.
Prior to lighting up the HVC Black Friday 2020 Corona Gorda, a straight cut was used to remove the cap of the cigar. Once the cap was removed it was on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of floral, earth, and natural tobacco notes. This pre-light draw did not have me doing handstands. Since the pre-light draw was not scored, there was no loss of points here. At this point, it was time to light up the HVC Black Friday 2020 Corona Gorda and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The HVC Black Friday 2020 Corona Gorda opened up with natural tobacco, floral, metallic, and some savory notes. The natural tobacco notes emerged as the primary notes upfront. The floral, metallic, and savory notes moved into the background where some black pepper and baker’s spice notes entered the equation. On the retro-hale was an additional layer of black pepper.
The second third of the HVC Black Friday Corona Gorda remained relatively the same as the first third. The natural tobacco notes were grounded in the forefront. The floral, metallic, savory, black pepper, and baker’s spice were secondary.
As the cigar experience entered the final third, the natural tobacco remained the primary note. During this phase, there was an increase in the black pepper and baker’s spice notes. These notes emerged as the prominent secondary notes, but didn’t quite cross the threshold into the forefront. This is the way the HVC Black Friday 2020 Corona Gorda came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The draw of the HVC Black Friday 2020 Corona Gorda performed very well. This was a cigar that maintained a straight burn path and had a straight burn line. At the same time, the cigar did not require frequent touch-ups. The resulting ash was firm and had a silver-gray color. The burn temperature and burn rate were both at ideal levels.
Normally I prefer a little resistance on a draw, but in the case of the HVC Black Friday Corona Gorda, the resistance on the draw was a little tighter than I prefer. The cigar never went out, but I had to work slightly more to get the flavors out of this cigar.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, the HVC Black Friday 2020 Corona Gorda started out with medium strength and medium body. By the second third, both attributes moved into medium to full territory where they remained throughout the rest of the smoking experience. By the second half, both the strength and body remained at relatively constant levels. From start to finish, both the strength and body balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
Given HVC’s track record of its releases, I had high hopes for the HVC Black Friday 2020 Corona Gorda. Flavor is the most important category of any cigar assessment. At the same time, flavor is also the most subjective of any cigar assessment. In my personal opinion, this cigar fell short in the flavor category. In general, I find TABSA releases with Habano wrappers to deliver mixed results and the HVC Black Friday Corona Gorda was one of those that fell short. Still, I recognize this flavor profile might appeal to some. In the end, while this is a cigar I would not reach for again, I think this profile might appeal to others. Therefore, I recommend trying a sample of this first.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Floral, Metallic, Savory, Black Pepper, Baker’s Spice
Draw: Very Good
Strength: Medium (1st Third), Medium to Full (Remainder)
Body: Medium (1st Third), Medium to Full (Remainder)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted