Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Size: 5 x 50 Robusto
Today we take a look at the HVC Black Friday 2018.
Samples were provided by Havana Lounge and Cigar in Milwaukee (414-258-8219).
Released: Nov.12, 2018
Cigars Released: 150 Boxes of 50 Cigars
“The first day after Thanksgiving—otherwise known as Black Friday—has become more and more synonymous with shopping, crazy deals and even violence. In 2015, HVC Cigars released the first in what has now become an annual series for the company named for that day.
“The latest version was rolled at Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. (TABSA) in Estelí, Nicaragua and is comprised of a 5 x 50 robusto packaged in boxes of 50 with only 150 boxes produced that shipped to retailers on Nov. 12.
“However, while the previous three releases of the cigar were similar in many respects, it quickly became apparent that the newest release in HVC’s Black Friday Series had a number of differences: for one, at $7.40 each it is the most expensive yet and by quite a large margin. Secondly, it is the largest release in terms of overall numbers, with 50 percent more cigars produced than any of the prior releases. Finally, it is the first incarnation to not use solely Nicaraguan tobacco, with a blend that is composed of a Mexican San Andrés wrapper covering a Nicaraguan tobacco in both the binder and filler.”
A rough cob looking stick. Lots of freeway veins up and down the cigar. Lots of bumps and lumps. Tight seams. They all seem to have a fakakta triple cap. Wrinkled like an old man’s left testicle. It’s very toothy. The cigar looks like another stick dunked in 10-40. And the stick is rock hard with zero resistance.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
Right off the bat, dark cocoa, espresso, malt, fried almonds, black pepper, cedar, caramel/butterscotch toffee, and a touch of Indian spices.
The cold draw presents flavors of salty pretzel, bittersweet chocolate, espresso, malt, cedar, almonds, black pepper, and my Milt Sparks leather gun belt.
The draw is clean and responsive despite the cigar wanting to be a piece of granite rock. I slide my PerfecDraw cigar poker up the cat’s ass for another day…I keep telling him it’s the only way to attract the ladies.
Check that…a big blockage occurs and the smoke disappears. I grab the poker and it’s right behind the cigar band, as usual, and now we’re good to go.
Immediately, I am reminded of a thousand other blends with a Mexican wrapper and Nic guts. It’s deeply rich with a heaviness that comes with strong Nic leaves.
No sight of anything sweet and tasty yet. It is pure savory and meatballs.
It’s -20 here at noon. How you doin’?
Complexity kicks in…I had begun to tap my fingers waiting. Transitions are free flowing. Nice complex finish as well.
Strength is medium/full.
I reviewed this cigar in 2015 and 2016; but must have forgotten the others. I checked out the 2016 model in my review and really liked it. The difference being instead of a Mexican wrapper, they used a Nic Corojo ’99 instead. I reported a lot of flavors. Gave it a 92.
And while I’m typing the last paragraph, it takes on flavor bomb status. Black grapes, big almond influence, lots of mocha java, licorice, cedar, black pepper, malt, Indian spices, green tea, and raspberries. Yeah, now we’re talking.
Changed from Spectrum to AT&T. I don’t like the new selection of songs on the classic rock channel…too much Billy Joel…I guess it’s a tradeoff…Spectrum had too much The Eagles. The Dude abides.
Finally, what the blend sorely needed: Creaminess. Big dollops of thick whipped cream. I’ve got love in my tummy.
OK. It took nearly all of the first third to get into gear but it did accomplish the goal and is now screaming laughter at a sea of swarming simbas.
Strength modulates a bit from C to C# but it has a nice balance that my palate is eating up. Yes, my palate still has its baby teeth.
The black grapes, mocha java and creaminess make for an odd, yet appealing flavor profile that leads the pack.
Holy fuck! Each time I use natural light from the window in my mini man cave for a photo, I open the window and a blast of arctic air sweeps in and my core temp drops down to 80 degrees. Two more photos and I will be able to snap off my pinky finger and never know it.
I am impressed with the construction. Exposing it to blasts of cold would take down most stick’s wrappers sooner or later. So far, so good.
The balance is now working perfectly with the main food groups of creaminess, sweetness and savory.
This blend is every bit as good as the earlier releases.
Which by the way, I’m confused about the way HVC released the cigar…in 50 count boxes? How does that make sense? Naturally, B&M’s break their allotment up and sell singles. The online stores only selling them in blocks are finding those boxes are still sitting on their shelves.
The price is spot on which gives me hope that not every cigar manufacturer, minus a few, aren’t greedy sonsovbitches. You are getting an excellent premium stick for way less than the now standard of $12 a cigar.
The ash is very sturdy like my wooden leg. Argghhh…
It’s all on cruise control providing a wonderful cigar experience. No complaints or disgruntlement. Just good smoking.
Still at medium/full.
It’s firing on all cylinders.
Ever wonder why you stop having wet dreams by the time you hit your 20’s? Me neither.
The black grapes are a giant treat. I’ve probably only smoked a handful of blends that cross this river.
Gotta close the window…can’t feel my hands. Fucking brrrr…
The HVC Black Friday 2018 is a huge relief after reviewing two dud cigars in a row. I made you a promise the next cigar would be great. The Black Friday is great.
I mentioned consistency about the last cigar: ROCF Rope D. It had none. This brassiere is overflowing with consistency. The cleavage is breathtaking. And I know good cleavage…I see it in the mirror when I shave.
Can’t wait to see the performance in the last third. There is just something special about the first good cigar of the day.
The cigar takes its time. No rush. No problems. No whining. Solid, Moon Doggies.
The HVC Black Friday 2018 does not disappoint. The last third sees an explosion of flavors and complexity. It’s going for broke. It’s so fucking good that I want to rip off my clothes and roll around in the 3” thick black ice outside til I’m stuck and found dead 6 hours later…with a smile on my puss.
So, what have we got here…Everything is larger than life: Dark chocolate, almonds, grapes, creaminess, malt, espresso, licorice, burnt caramel, meaty, very spicy but not too much to handle, curry spice, and cedar.
The flavor profile has become a fast moving carousel. Flavors whizz by like having sex on your birthday.
My part time job in high school was at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA. I was the steamboat captain but did other things as needed. One of them was running the vintage carousel. Now there is a definite technique to getting on and off a moving carousel. It takes some serious learnin’. We made it look easy. So, when folks rode it because they did not want their toddler to ride alone…and I walked around taking tickets for the 25-cent ride, parents would object to paying the price for just standing there…on a moving carousel.
We would argue that it was company policy. And at least 90% would be affronted to the point that they would leave their toddler on the horse alone and step off the moving carousel…falling like a skydiver into the floor and face planting at 30mph. All over 25 cents. Go figure.
The HVC Black Friday 2018 is perfect in the Robusto size. HVC chose the right size to exhibit its passion for blending.
I’d say this is a box worthy cigar but who wants to pay $350 for a box? Tyler at Havana Lounge and Cigar says he has a bunch on hand. If I don’t put this part in, Tyler won’t give me sample cigars for review. Still, they do have an amazing selection of boutique brands and blends.
If you haven’t tried the HVC Black Friday 2018, please do so.
And now for the absolutely superfluous story that took place a long time ago in a place far, far away:
Dr. O. L. Jaggers (Universal World Church)
(The first church on the planet CERES)
The story of an insane preacher:
We were the triumvirate. The Musketeers. The Horsemen of the Apocalypse (-1). It was just me, Skip, and Travis. And we were roommates during our school days. We lived in a nice 3-bedroom house in Santa Ana. On summer nights, we regularly went up to the hip and valley roof and watched the stars and passed the doobie. Marvelous times even though we were as poor as church mice.
We had a few indulgences on TV. Star Trek, of course. Saturday Night Live, absolutely. (Which is where I got my nickname of Kohnhead). And Dr. O.L. Jaggers.
Jaggers was an odd creature and his wife, Miss Velma, were a pair of evangelical preachers that scared the bejeezus out of us. And made us laugh way beyond the potency of the weed.
Jaggers was based out of South Central L.A. He had a huge church cluttered with massive photos/paintings of himself and his wife…they seemed god-like in their poses. But the stage was the show stopper.
Jaggers had built an 80’-0 long golden altar on that stage. The altar had to have been over 10’-0 high.
It was painted white with gold trim. It had gargoyles and angels and weird outcroppings of artistic impressions of Jesus and Mary. Above the altar were disco balls that were lit and spinning so that the golden altar sparkled like something that had dropped from heaven.
This altar was so big, it could fit 15 black Gospel singers on it. Directly in front of the altar, was a dazzling white grand piano with gold trim. Jaggers would play it by only playing arpeggios and sang his songs of “I’m nuts, how are you?”
Back to the essentials of the Jaggers: They were insane. While Jaggers preached, there would be 8th grade science and biology movie clips shown behind him. They had the scratches and stutter of old films. And had nothing to do with what he preached.
Of course, no one had any idea what he preached because he was nuts. We would smoke a doob hoping we would understand. That didn’t help. He also wore garb that looked like it was made for The Commodores.
Our favorite part was near the end of the show when he grabbed his all-white Fender Stratocaster and began playing Pete Townshend style, with windmill strokes. Mind you, this man was in his 60’s at the time and was very conservative. He told us TV viewers the only way our prayers could be heard by God was to send him money…and in return, he would send us a golden prayer cloth with the outline of his hand on it. So being the suckers we were, we sent the money and got a ratty, thread torn, golden cloth about 6” x 6” with a stamped hand print on it.
We decided to visit one Sunday. Because of the location, we were the only white boys in his church. But we were welcomed with warmth and generosity.
We marveled at the golden altar in person.
The crowd loved him and Miss Velma. They cheered and repeated words he prompted them to repeat like lemmings.
And then the anointing of the oil. We got in line while the gospel singers tore the place up. I had a huge, monster afro. Skip had hair past his shoulders. And Travis looked like the Gorton Fisherman.
Women were flailing on the floors upon anointing. Convulsions. They got dragged away and out of the view of the TV camera. I wish I had a camera at the moment he looked at this hippie. I almost gave him a heart attack. But he still took the ketchup bottle with vegetable oil and squeezed it just a little extra for me on my forehead. There was pure hatred in his eyes.
He announced that Sunday morning that Jesus Christ would appear at his church for the Easter services. Travis went by himself only to report that Jesus was a no show.
Jaggers died in 2004 at age 88. And went straight home to the planet CERES.
There are several of his sermons on YouTube. Smoke a bowl first.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS