The HVC Seleccion No. 1 line is produced at Fabrica de Tabacos HVC, SA; which is brand owner Reinier Lorenzo’s boutique factory exclusively rolling for HVC. According to their website, “The Seleccion No. 1 is features binders and fillers from the most famous regions of Nicaragua: Jalapa and Esteli; covered with a beautiful dark San Andres Maduro wrapper from Mexico. The blend is a medium full body cigar with a rich flavor and clean to the palate.“
Born in 1986 in Camaguey, Cuba HVC owner Reinier Lorenzo would be raised in Havana City. However, he does not have a background in cigars. After a mandatory military stint he went to school and became a veterinarian. In 2008 he came to the US and moved to Wisconsin where he would get a job in genetics. In 2009 he wound up visiting Miami here his sister worked for Aganorsa Leaf as a general manager. He was persuaded that year to take a trip to Nicaragua by Eduardo Fernandez and in 2012 HVC Cigars would be launched.
Cigar Review: HVC Selección No. 1
Size: 6 x 54 Poderosos (Toro)
Wrapper: Mexico (San Andres)
Filler: Nicaragua (Esteli & Jalapa)
Debut: July 2022
Box Count: 20
The Cigar: In terms of San Andres the HVC Seleccion No. 1 isn’t overly dark and when compared to the 2023 Natural release which features a Habano wrapper the color is very close to each other. The wrapper is extremely toothy with a lot of Braille like bumps which is caused by magnesium in the soil. For me historically this is a sign of great things to come. The band is basic with red, white and gold while being both classy and timeless. In the hand the cigar is firm to the touch with a well packed foot but it does feel light.
The Taste: The cold draw of the HVC Seleccion No. 1 has subtle notes of earth, cedar and graham cracker sweetness. The aroma from the foot of the cigar reveals pepper, cocoa and wood notes. Once the cigar is toasted and lit the initial notes are that of hot cocoa made with milk instead of water.
As we smoke the first third, this flavorful cigar reveals notes of cedar, cream, cocoa and a hint of licorice. It’s incredibly smooth and balanced coming in at medium to medium-plus in perceived strength.The retrohale adds a bit of spice that is reminiscent of chili with a subtle earthy finish.
Entering the second third the cigar becomes more earthy with the subtle sweetness taking a backseat before making an exit around the halfway point. At this point the cigar sees the addition of freshly baked bread, nuts and leather.The retrohale reveals toned down spices compared to the first third and a sweetness begins to emerge on the finish.
The last third sees some of the sweetness return with notes of chocolate and cedar being the focal point with a base of earthiness. As we remove the band a mild coffee component begins to emerge. The cigar remains medium-plus in terms of perceived strength while offering full on flavor complexity. The retrohale sees red pepper and cedar and the finish is reminiscent of a Bavarian pretzel.
Conclusion: While HVC has been around for 13 years they begin to hit their stride in 2000. The brand has grown in popularity which led to HVC opening their own factory to roll their own cigars as the volume grew. They still get their tobacco from Aganorsa Leaf but their own facility creates the space for even more growth. The HVC Seleccion No. 1 was released in 2022 and the company followed it up with a Natural version featuring a Habano wrapper. Both are outstanding cigars and proof the company is a force to be reckoned with.
Price: $10.60 (Before local at state taxes)