The HVC Black Friday 2023 continues a tradition started in 2015 when HVC released a cigar in honor of Black Friday. This year the HVC Black Friday 2023 measures 4.5 x 56 which makes the Petit Gordo the biggest ring gauge in the series and the second time it measures at 4.5″. The company has released just 600 boxes of 50 for a total of 30,000 cigars.
Black Friday has become synonymous with holiday deals over the years but traditionally the day after Thanksgiving marks the day retailers turn a profit for the year going from operating in the red (loss) to black (profit).
Cigar Review: HVC Black Friday 2023
Size: 4.5 x 56 (Petit Gordo)
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Binder: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
Filler: Nicaragua (Jalapa)
Debut: November 2023
Box Count: 50
The Look: Since its release the HVC Black Friday has come in 50 count boxes which make them difficult a difficult box buy for many. The cigar features a tooth Mexican San Andres wrapper that is coarse under the fingers. The cigar which is made at Fabrica de Tabacos HVC S.A. de Reinier Lorenzo is porously rolled on half of the 10 cigars I purchased. In the hand the cigar feel light for it’s size but despite this the foot is well packed.
The Notes: The aroma from the foot of the cigar has some subtle Christmas spices including nutmeg and cloves while the cold draw is open for debate. At times I thought the cold draw had notes of paint from perhaps being boxed before the paint was completely dry. At other times I thought it was leathery.
Smoking the first half of the HVC Black Friday 2023 there are delightful notes of chocolate with a substantial amount of pepper on the nose. The pepper definitely catches me off guard as the blend is said to only use the lower priming viso and seco leafs instead of the stronger ligero from the upper part of the tobacco plant. That added to the fact it is a Jalapa grown tobacco that is more known for its sweetness added to my confusion. Before we got to the end of the first half the cigar offered a strong and lingering leather.
In the second half the cigar sees notes leather develop continue to remain dominant right up until the final puff with a subtle coffee bean component showing from time to time. The pepper notes which were so dominant begin to subside as leather carries over from the palate to the retrohale.
Conclusion: It’s hard to predict how cigars will age but I believe this cigar is a candidate for aging. While the San Andres wrapper seems well fermented and aged due to its razor thin burn lines. The same can’t be said for the fillers come off as a little young. As a result the cigar lacks balance and the sweetness one would expect from Jalapa grown tobacco. The other 8 I purchased I will keep in my humidor for a few months and revisit them. Hopefully in time they will become more complex and balanced.
Price: $9.80 (Before local & state taxes)