At the 2021 PCA Trade Show in Las Vegas, Nevada HVC debuted a 60 ring gauge version of the cigar. It’s been a big year for HVC and it might become even bigger when they release their 10th Anniversary Cigar later this year. 2021 also saw the company take over their own distribution, re-release the HVC Broadleaf and the La Rosa. Sadly, this was the release I was least looking forward to, but after catching up with the local sales rep Brett Bowersox, he sold me on giving it a try. It might be the 3rd biggest selling size in the cigar industry, but I still dread smoking the large ring gauges.
Cigar Review: HVC Hot Cake
Wrapper: San Andres
Ring Gauge: 60
Size: Gran Canon
The Look: Packaged in 25 count cabinet style boxes of 5 rows of 5 cigars the HVC features a dark San Andres wrapper that has some tooth to it. The wrapper is nearly flawless and the seams of the roll are barely visible. In the hand the cigar is firm with a well packed foot and hefty weight. The cigar features a primary band of gold, red, white and black denoting Hot Cake in the center circled by the brand name. The 60 ring gauge version features a foot bad denoting the size.
The Notes: The cold draw serves up distinct notes of powdered cocoa and a subtle nuttiness much like the other size while the aroma off the foot sees a subtle chocolate aroma. After toasting the cigar with my large ring gauge lighter of choice the quad flame Vertigo Equalizer the cigar serves up notes of fig, cinnamon and red pepper right of the bat.
As we settle in for the long haul with our Gran Canon, the cinnamon becomes dominant with nuances of fruit and crushed red pepper. As we continue through the first third notes of nuts and earth develop both sharing moments of dominance as the cinnamon component becomes a thing of the past. The retrohale has a mocha like sweetness and some spice on the finish which is long in duration.
The second third sees the strength of the cigar kick up a couple of notches as earth and nuts continue to be dominant with a long earthy finish. There is a nice aroma to the cigar and the retrohale continues to see some sweetness with earth and red pepper. While the cigar hasn’t seen many transitions its an enjoyable cigar and I am surprised at how much I am enjoying the size.
The last third sees the earth component step it up a notch with some elements of leather. The nuttiness remains but serves as more of an after thought. By the time we remove the band crushed red pepper dominates the palate while the retrohale holds on to a touch of sweetness.
The Finish: As I alluded to earlier for a larger ring gauge cigar I really enjoyed the Gran Canon. It might just be the best of the line, but I am not sure if I will continue to reach for it as I still prefer the Corona Gorda as a vitola. The question that I will have to ask every time is do I want to give up some strength and flavor for a size I am more comfortable with. If you like large ring gauge smokes this one is a must smoke. If you can tolerate them this is a must smoke. Hell, even if you don’t like the ring gauge this is a must smoke.
Price: $11.19 / $247.99