Since their creation back in 2011, HVC Cigars and owner, Reinier Lorenzo, have become a definite force in the boutique cigar world. The company started off strong by partnering with Aganorsa Leaf and company founder, Eduardo Fernández, seeing nothing but forward momentum in the years following.
HVC says they are “committed to providing the finest leaves from Nicaragua for your enjoyment” and have been busy doing just that, with limited-release hits like the 500 Years Anniversary and Black Friday in recent years.
Of course, cigar manufacturers cannot survive on limited releases alone, and Reinier Lorenzo and team brought us another core-line offering in a year where we could all use some positive vibes.
Enter the Hot Cake!
Hot Cake Laguito No. 4 Breakdown
- Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
- Binder: Nicaragua (Jalapa Corojo ’99)
- Filler: Nicaragua (Estelí Criollo ’98 | Corojo 2006)
- Factory: Aganorsa Leaf (Nicaragua)
- Production: Regular Production
- Vitola: 4½” X 52 “Laguito No. 4” (Rothschild)
- Price: $8.00 (MSRP)
HVC’s latest core line release, rolled at the famed Aganorsa Leaf factory in Nicaragua, uses a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over a binder of Aganorsa Leaf’s Jalapa Corojo ’99. According to Reinier Lorenzo, the fillers used are three different varieties of a newer tobacco called Corojo 2006 Maduro. He goes on to say, “We specifically chose the viso from the extravagant plant. This tobacco gives it a super rich flavor with a ton of sweetness.”
Released July 22, 2020, this cigar comes in three sizes:
- Corona Gorda: 5⅝” x 46 | $7.40 (MSRP)
- Laguito #4: 4½” x 52 | $8.00 (MSRP)
- Laguito #5: 6″ x 54 | $9.00 (MSRP)
This Rothschild-sized cigar looks dark and delicious as soon as you take it out of the cello. With a name like Hot Cake, it has to look delicious and edible, right? The dark brown San Andrés wrapper has a nice oily sheen, a little bit of tooth, a few small raised veins, and mostly invisible seams. The cigar is firm from the foot right up to the very cleanly-applied triple cap. One thing that really stands out is how the gold and red band really pops against the color of the wrapper. It adds an element of luxury to the overall appearance of the cigar. The aroma coming from the foot is a combination of sweet and earthy, with hints of chocolate, cinnamon, damp earth, and pepper. Upon clipping the cap, the draw is slightly snug, providing the chocolate notes from the foot, along with notes of roasted almonds and hay.
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The first few puffs give fairly solid notes of baker’s chocolate, nutmeg, caramel, and some cinnamon, with a little bit of stone fruit/plum on the finish. The retrohale is surprisingly peppery, with a nostril-tingling blast of black pepper. Getting about an inch in, an underlying sweet creaminess develops under the initial flavor notes, with a little bit of roasted almonds joining the party. The draw is just a little snug, but not too detracting, and the burn has just the slightest wave to it.
Moving a little bit further along, the profile changes slightly, with a little more earthiness at its core and a little bit of cedar. The creaminess actually increases in intensity and—combined with the nutmeg, cinnamon, and stone fruit—is bringing an overall smoothness and sweetness to the cigar. The pepper in the retro is still there, but nowhere near as intense as it was at the beginning. Burn and draw are unchanged, with the draw a little on the snug side, but still only requiring a single puff to get a mouthful of the creamy smoke.
Getting towards the end of the cigar is where things take a weird turn. With about an inch and a half to go, the sweetness rather abruptly disappears and a charred wood note enters the picture, immediately becoming the dominant profile. It is not necessarily a bad transition, just a surprising one. I am almost reminded of burnt marshmallows from a campfire for the last few puffs of the cigar, making for one final change in the smoking experience (and a pleasant one at that).
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
I would, and in multiple sizes. While the vitola smoked for this review was very good, in my experience with this line, I favor the corona gorda. I have smoked multiple of each and the CG provides a little better draw and slightly more complex delivery of the flavors, minus the burnt marshmallow at the end. I feel this is more than likely due to the wrapper/filler ratio of the smaller ring gauge. You cannot go wrong either way. Go out and pick up some of these now and enjoy ’em while they’re hot.
- Flavor: Medium / Full
- Strength: Medium
- Body: Medium
- Stone Fruit
- Black and Red Pepper
- Damp Earth
- Smoke Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Bourbon | Coffee with cream | Root beer | Lager
- Purchase Recommendation: Box split (you will want to share these)
- Elegant appearance
- Mild mannered with no surprises
- Good value
- Slightly tight draw for the cigar's ring gauge
- Charred notes towards the end that may be off-putting for some
- Not as smooth as smaller ring gauge size in the line