HVC Hot Cake Laguito No. 4
Spring is finally here, which means every resident of the Bluegrass State is fighting allergies…. ugh. Luckily, minus a small runny nose, I am still going strong on my fight against the pollen. Spring also signals the start of outdoor smoking season, and what better to kick things off than with a fantastic, affordable bourbon, and new cigar (new to me at least)?
The HVC Hot Cake cigar line is produced in Nicaragua at the Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. (TABSA) factory and blended by Reinier Lorenzo. The current HVC Hot Cake portfolio consists of the following four sizes:
· HVC Hot Cake Corona Gorda (5 5/8 x 46)
· HVC Hot Cake Laguito No. 4 (4 ½ x 52)
· HVC Hot Cake Laguito No. 5 (6 x 54)
· HVC Hot Cake Gran Canon (6 x 60)
Although the line debuted in Summer of 2021, this is the first time I am getting to try the line and decided to go with the Laguito No. 4 robusto size. I attempted to find out more information about HVC and the Hot Cake line but was never able to locate an actual company website, which struck me as odd. Oh well, we have the information we need so let’s keep things moving.
On to the review….
HVC Hot Cake Laguito No. 4 Attributes
Length: 4 ½
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Price: $8.10 USD each
Pre-light Inspection: The cigar wrapper is a wonderfully dark brown maduro with a few large, visible veins. The cap is a bit sloppy and is a typical rounded double seam. Cold smell shows fresh sweet tobacco notes, and the cigar has a very solid roll (firm throughout) with no soft spots detected. Cold draw was open with very minimal resistance and showed tastes of sweet chocolate mousse, similar to a heavy whipping cream. The cigar’s band was very eye appealing but simplistic in design. Excellent pre-light start!
Tasting Notes and Performance: There were some burn issues that required a few touch ups, however, nothing that would cause the smoker any real trouble. Tastes were an interesting mix of spice/pepper, creamy chocolate mousse, nuttiness, and a chewy meatiness that faded away after the initial opening. The cigar was medium/full in strength and medium in body. Ash was a wonderful white with grey mixed throughout and aroma rich and pleasant throughout the smoking experience. Draw was spot on the entire smoke.
Overall Impressions: The HVC Hot Cake Laguito No. 4 is a very well made, quality cigar. I did pair this cigar with Buffalo Trace bourbon and the pairing made for some interesting palate play. The spicy/pepper notes of the cigar were tamed down by the bourbon, while the heat from the alcohol was compressed due to the sweet/creaminess of the cigar. Very interesting how the contrast in both luxury items ended up creating some complexity throughout the experience. However, I would not purposefully put the two together again. Next time, I will look for a nice full, creamy IPA beer to help compliment this cigar. As stated above, this is a very good cigar, however, not box-worthy at this time. Glad I had the opportunity to smoke an HVC Hot Cake? Absolutely! Want to try other sizes in the HVC Hot Cake line? Yes! Ready to put down $200 on a box of 25? Not just yet. If you haven’t tried the line, I highly recommend this cigar. You won’t be sad you gave it a chance.
Cigar score: 3 out of 5 boxes
Until next time. Slow down, simplify, and savor a good cigar!
-Dr. Kyle Andrew, CCST