Welcome to another episode of Smoke Rings, where today we're reviewing the HVC Selección No. 1 cigar. I selected this cigar and thought it worth highlighting because HVC has just opened their first factory and I'm very interested in experiencing what this tastes like. We're looking at a Mexican San Andrés wrapper over Nicaraguan fillers, presumably from Aganorsa. Reinier Lorenzo always invests substantial effort for new releases, and I'm excited to see what this cigar is about.
Selección No. 1 Flavor Profile
On the initial light, I'm immediately greeted by significant notes of earth and spice, which is very typical of the HVC Aganorsa profile. There's also a dark-chocolate note accompanied by a dry sensation on the palate, which is a characteristic that I normally associate with Mexican San Andrés tobacco. It's super full-flavored and we're filming in the morning on an empty stomach, so this will be interesting. Flavor wise, I can't wait to dig into it.
First Third: Sweet and Spicy Notes
Into the first third, the earthiness has continued and is dominant but that dark chocolate note is obvious and competing well. There's a lot of spice. It's pretty typical of a San Andrés-wrapped cigar, with an underlying sweetness overall and almost maple syrup-y in sweetness, which I find particularly interesting. You don't experience that sweetness with most cigars. Lots of red pepper flavor also makes it super spicy. If you like full-bodied cigars, just judging from the first third, you'll really enjoy this.
Second Third: Complex Fruity Flavors
For the second third of this HVC Selección No. 1, first things first: the nicotine strength is ramped; it's definitely full flavored, full nicotine, full strength, and flavor-wise, it's super complex. Flavors are changing almost from puff to puff and an oak quality has entered the profile. There's lots of fruitiness and it's kind of zesty, like a lemon zest throughout the retrohale. All those earthy, chocolatey notes are still there but somewhat subdued at this point, and overall, I'm very impressed with this cigar's complexity. I think most people wouldn't consider a San Andrés cigar to be complex — they're normally flavor and strength bombs, and as far as this one goes, for a full-bodied cigar to also be extremely complex is super impressive. Good job, Reinier. Can't wait to dig into the final third and see what else this cigar has to offer.
Final Third: Full-Bodied Smoke
Diving into the final third of this HVC Selección No. 1, I find that it's still full flavored and still full bodied, and the complexity is definitely undiminished. Fruitiness has really taken command as the main flavor note and I'm really enjoying the zestiness with lots of pepper that maintains throughout. If you enjoy a full-bodied smoke, you'll likely be drawn to this cigar. In regard to pairings, I think this would go very well with a cup of coffee — if you have the stomach to smoke this in the morning. It's likely an after dinner cigar for most.
It's well known that when this cigar was released at PCA, Reinier handed it to people with the recommendation, "After dinner." If this cigar sounds like something you'd be interested in, we carry this as well as the entire HVC line at SmokingPipes, at around $8 to $9, depending on the size; it's affordable and is well worth trying, especially if you're a full-bodied smoker.
This has been the review for the HVC Selección No. 1 in the Esenciales size. I hope that you've enjoyed it and will consider giving it an opportunity to impress you as much as it has me.