HVC Serie A | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo ‘99
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5.5 x 54 Cañonazos
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $9.60

Getting back to work here after 6 days off. I counted at least a dozen written reviews of the new HVC Hot Cake and maybe half that in video reviews. No reason for me to review it…I believe you have all the info you need. Although, I might review it after 6 months of naked humi time. So, I will give you a look at what is HVC’s version of a knockaround cigar blend.
BTW- I’ve had these cigars marinating naked in my humidor for around 3-4 months.

Released: July 2019
Regular Production
From Halfwheel.com:
“The name of the new three-viola line is Serie A, so it is no surprise that the blend is made up of grade A tobacco sourced from AGANORSA’s Nicaraguan farms. Specifically, the blend includes a corojo 99 wrapper covering the aforementioned Nicaraguan tobacco in both the binder and filler. The regular production cigars are being rolled at Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. (TABSA) in Estelí, Nicaragua.”

Robusto 5 x 50 $9.60
Cañonazos 5.5 x 54 $9.60
Perlas 5.625 x 46 $8.50

A heavy stick…good sign. But not a pretty cigar. Festooned with little veins everywhere…looks like a Thomas Guide. It appears to have only a double cap. But seams are tight and appears to be a well-constructed cigar. Light paper bag brown in room light…with a kick of brighter light, the oils shimmer with a bright copper penny finish. And smooth as ice. Not a bit of toothiness. I do believe you can’t get any more to the point with the simple unadorned (no skulls) cigar band.

This is nice…candied almonds, floral notes, dried fruit, cedar, cinnamon, vanilla creaminess, milk chocolate, malt, barnyard, and pumpkin pie spices.
The cold draw presents flavors of espresso, black licorice, milk chocolate, malt, nuttiness, cedar, creaminess, cinnamon, sugar cookies, and black raisins.

The draw on the stick is exactly how I like it…just the right amount of resistance; so, I put away my lovely PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool.

Right away, Moe tells the flavors to spread out and they obey. A nice sweetness prevails with a touch of savory for counterbalance. My gut tells me this is going to be good.

A massive cloud of smoke is emitted from the foot like my boxers are once again on fire.

The strength is nice and easy…with notes of black pepper, baking cocoa, creaminess, malt, espresso, tasty carne asada, and sweetness that has a few components; like a PB&J sandwich…I get a strong note of peanut butter and a treacly sweetness of blackberry jam. Savory v. sweet is balanced. A good omen this early in the cigar.

As I go back to find if this cigar can be had cheaper than $9.60, I couldn’t find any serious reductions in price. I found them for $8 but that’s it. Still, a good price if the cigar turns out to be a winner.
The char line is in step. Nice even burn.

Strong hints of complexity, balance, nuances, and subtleties are peeking around the corner to see if it’s safe to come out.

I also noticed that are a shit load of reviews for this cigar blend. So much for my early statement about the number of Hot Cake reviews.

Strength is a light medium. Very pleasant for a morning cigar.

I’m reviewing on a Sunday which is something I rarely do as my audience is busy with going to church or participating in pagan ceremonies and too busy to read a cigar review. I did this as I had a relapse of a mild flu and I wanted to make sure my palate is fine. So far, so good…on point as I’ve been smoking for a couple days now.

The cigar is going to be a slow roll. Nice construction and it ain’t going anywhere fast.

The spiciness from the black pepper and cinnamon are gentle and not overwhelming. The little tidbits of flavor that dart between tongue and inner cheeks are all available to my palate. I like that. But then I like it when I can pee, and it doesn’t take 10 minutes to do so.

“La Grange.” Who doesn’t love this song? I truly dug playing it in the blues bands I played in. Did the ZZ Top walk and had a big stupid grin on my face the entire time.
My head is bopping up and down like a male duck about to mount a female duck.

If this baby is going to achieve medium/full status, it must be later in the second half. And then my whining will start.

My first sip of water and POW, BLAM! I get flavors all over my face. I will clean it later using our bidet.

I am so sick of Facebook. Are you? First, I’m too old to be on that platform. But I have family and friends all over the country and the world I can keep in touch with. I’m just so sick of the stupid shit people write…including the stupid shit I post. I will post links to my reviews but that’s it for a while. If I have to read one more meme with a lovely pep talk about life, I will David Carradine myself.

Right now, the most impressive thing about this cigar is its perfect balance of sweet v. savory. Flavors are not bold, but there is no need. They work together like the Hebrew slaves in building the pyramids. Once in a while, someone is squashed…but one of my relatives pops up to replace the silly putty cousin.

Lovely, lovely cigar blend. I dig it my dears.

Oh lord…”Stormy Monday” by The Allmans. I strip down to my panties and bra and groove.

The second half will alert me as to whether this cigar is worth a ten spot. At the moment, the cigar is so smooth that I’m in a state of Wisconsin squeaky cheese curds.

I’ve been baking keto pumpkin pies to get some sweet lovin’. I can taste the pumpkin spices in this blend. The carne asada changes. For Easter, we went to my son in law’s parents for this Gentile holiday. Papa bear bought a 15lb Prime Rib roast and smoked it for nearly 8 hours. Was the first time in my life that I felt beef liquefy in my mouth; it was so tender and delicious. I’m getting hints of that wonderful hunk of meat right now.

Strength is a solid medium.

The vanilla creaminess makes a huge leap forward. Coats the experience with memories of ice cream trucks when I was a kid. I loved the Creamsicles. Especially the orange flavored ones. Which leads me to a new flavor of orange rind. Tart and sweet.

A buttery element coats my lips. Chocolate perks up and delivers a thick milkshake presence.
This is a nice cigar.

Each puff brings new flavors to the forefront. The cinnamon candied apple hangs in the background and reinforces my childhood memories…like breaking a tooth on the damn thing.

Complexity has been building in an impressive manner from the start. The finish is redolent of stuffing as much Halloween candy and beef jerky in my mouth as possible. I still do this before sex with Charlotte because she says I have old man breath.

The char line needs to stand up and take a bow. It has been perfect from the get-go.

The carousel of flavors is amazing. At Knott’s Berry Farm, I would sometimes work the carousel. It was 25 cents to ride the thing. And the godamm management made us charge parents holding their kids on the horse if the kids were over 18 months. So stupid and embarrassing for us young men. As a result of that charge when I collected tickets once the carousel was in motion, parents would balk at having to pay. I can’t count the number of parents that would step off a whirling merry go round so they didn’t have to pay…leaving their young child in jeopardy. Ever see someone get off a moving carousel that doesn’t know there is a trick to do it without breaking your neck? I watched grown men tumble like they were thrown out of a second story window by an angry husband…just to save the 25 cents. I couldn’t help it…I laughed.

The thing is that we carousel drivers knew exactly how to get off perfectly with just one step making it look easy. I had a good friend show me how when I was new at Knott’s. He put his foot down on a bronze plaque on the concrete, fell, and broke his leg.

The blend is now in medium/full territory. I know this as my vision becomes impaired.

The balance is the key feature in liking the blend. Now, I did smoke a couple along its 3 months or so of humi time. I wasted them. Patience is a virtue. So is not slapping Charlotte in the face with my schmekel.

I remember dating girls that liked it in the ear. Every time I tried to put it in their mouths, they quickly turned their heads. (Sorry…old joke).

“Jessica” by The Allmans. Love it.

Second sip of water and there is a flavor explosion. Every single element I’ve described comes to the surface, elbowing each other to get out of the way.

As the second half begins, the Serie A shines like a new penny. The complexity is in full force now. My brain sensors are snapping like hungry turtles. Ever cornhole a large tortoise? Me neither. Although, I was thrown out of many petting zoos when my daughter was a child.

Flavors spread across my palate like a Jackson Pollock painting.

Jesus Alou. “Red House” by Jimi. We are on a roll this morning. Ever see a good blues band live that didn’t play this song?

Cinnabon component is new. Sweet and full of cinnamon.
The chocolate malt is creamy and delicious.

I dunk my face in my bidet to make the effects of nicotine lessen a bit so I can see the laptop.

The progression of this blend is exemplary. Certainly, worth a ten spot. But should you purchase a fiver and smoke one early, I will sic my ex-Mossad buddies on you.
I hear the Hot Cake is totally bitch’n. Haven’t smoked one yet, but I will.

The spiciness of the black pepper goes apeshit. Wasn’t expecting this. I fire a gun down my throat as a warning shot. The pepper recedes.

Strength moves towards full tilt. I don a crash helmet just in case.

I get a nice dose of chocolate covered raisins. The nuttiness disperses into modes of cashew, almond, and hazelnut.
The cinnamon has never been out of play.

As a late teen, a friend wanted to show off by standing on a fire hydrant. He did so successfully until he wobbled and fell with his whole weight on his nuts on the top of the hydrant. I remember, with fondness, watching him puke for a solid 30 minutes. Good times.

A good cigar in the morning leads to a good day. As much as you enjoy me eviscerating a bad cigar, I prefer to smoke something extraordinary.
Good construction has been a constant. A perfect burn line knows it impresses me.
Yes, cigars can think…but they need a skull on the cigar band for this to happen. Generally, the cigar has an I.Q. of someone ranging from a politician to a research scientist.

The bidet, once more. When I finish the cigar, I will need to sit still for a while to allow my brain to reconnoiter my surroundings. Usually, the cat chewing on my balls will hasten my reconnection to life.

Nothing better than a very consistent blend. One that is on its own path of seeing the blender’s intent come to fruition.

A third sip of water. Man, I should be doing this between each puff. It causes the blend to become an IMAX feature.

Gov’t Mule. “Worried Down With the Blues.” Diggin’ it.

Despite the full tilt strength, the blend remains as smooth as my 7th grade teacher’s tush. She was released from Terminal Island Prison a couple years ago.
Her name was Mrs. Broaddus. No shit. She had the biggest pair I had ever seen. I once accidentally walked into them as I was leaving class. I stayed there for a couple minutes before the principal tapped me on the shoulder.

This is one more example of the whole exceeding its parts. I’m too happy, and lazy, to describe individual flavors at this point.
I can’t wait to try the Hot Cake now.

I bought a ten count of these cigars online. I’m very pleased with myself. They were on sale.

Fleetwood Mac. Oy. Good band but do all the classic rock stations need to put their songs on rotation every 25 minutes?

It’s a race to the finish now. Do I nub it or do I want to maintain consciousness?
I picked a good stick to come back with.
Remember, patience. Don’t be a moon calf.


And now for something completely different:

It was my 25th birthday in February 1975. I was in London. Curved Air’s start of their British and European tour was to begin the following night in London for 20,000 fans.

To celebrate, my band mates and the members of the band Renaissance, took me to the famous Marquee Club. It is sort of the English version of the Whisky A’ Go Go. And it was right off Piccadilly Circus.

I had no idea who was playing that night. It turned out to be no one special. Figures. But I was surrounded by 25 of my friends so it was all good.

As soon as we got there, drummer Stewart Copeland handed over some writing paper. It was a letter to him from a friend at UC Berkeley where Stew spent a couple years. The letter was written on blotter paper. And the friend dosed the entire letter in his own mad scientist formula of LSD.

Stew ripped off a small piece, the size of a dime, and handed it to me. I took it and placed it on my tongue. Stew and Sonja insisted I down a giant 20 oz. beer right afterwards. And since I don’t drink, I got shit faced immediately.

We went into the room where the band played and within 15 minutes, I was flying on a magic carpet ride. I looked over at Sonja, who had her arms around me, and tried to speak, but couldn’t.

She smiled the smile of the Cheshire Cat. She put her arm in mine and walked me out into the lobby where we found a bench to sit on.

Time no longer had meaning. We sat on that bench for hours. It seemed like minutes. The evening had come to an end. People were filing out and leaving. The 25 friends, who included the two bands, walked over to us.

They heard what Stew had done to me and were laughing hard and doing tricks with their faces and hands to freak me out. They had not had their dose yet. I was hallucinating like a motherfucker.

Stew handed out the medication. Everyone took a piece. I told them they had no idea what was about to happen to them, and they laughed at me. (I would have the last laugh).

We ambled outside with Sonja guiding me. Piccadilly Circus was crowded with night crawlers at 1am. Trying to get a few taxis to take us back to my flat was impossible. So, I let out a guttural yell, “TAXI!!!!” and I was heard from the other side of the Circus and came to our location. We all piled into 3 taxis.

Sonja and I were the only ones in our taxi that were heavily medicated. There were 4 others still trying to fuck with me and laughing…I kept pleading with them to stop…but even in my delirium, I knew that they had no idea what was in store for them.

It took about 15 minutes and we were home. We all went through the door while I heard voices asking, “What’s going on? Where am I?”
I laughed. I was already 4 hours into my journey and theirs was just beginning.
It was past 2am.

I sat in the living room staring at a freaky poster on the wall. I watched as the poster melted and took on odd shapes. I laughed hard.

A chick, who lied and said she had taken acid many times, walked into the living room where I sat alone. She had tears in her eyes. She asked me if it was always like this?
I replied, “No. It’s not usually this good.”
She ran screaming down the hall.

This huge group of people was dazed and confused and all having a good time…except for this chick who bragged she had done plenty of acid, but in truth, had never done it….so she began to bum out a small group of young men who became her caretakers.

And then I got stomach cramps. I didn’t know if they were real. And then a moment of clarity hit me, and I ran for the bathroom. My flat was a basement flat in a several hundred-year-old building. No heat. And it was winter.

The bathroom was tiny and I could see my breath as I sat on the toilet.
This is something you never want to do….take a dump while high on acid. All my senses were concentrated on my asshole. I became my asshole.
But I made it through and ended up feeling much better and returned to the group.

Turns out, the misguided chick had left the flat to get some air in the frigid winter night. She was out there for a bit and began to freak out even more; so, she decided she better get back inside. Turns out, she had locked herself out and no one could hear her knock.

She stood out there for an hour and when someone finally went looking for her, they discovered her in a heap on the front door mat. She was brought in where she proceeded to vomit and cry.
She was bumming everyone out. I walked away.

The inside of that flat was like a circus with everyone doing something different to entertain themselves. Sonja found a lemon in the kitchen and spent several hours “walking her lemon.” My good buddy, Skip, accompanied her to keep her safe.

We were up all night. People began to file out around daybreak, heading to their homes. And hopefully, some sleep.

I managed to crawl into bed and slept….but with some amazing dreams.

Both Curved Air and Renaissance were to open in London that night. CA was made up of hardened Hippies. What’s a little acid? No biggie. In fact, Stew and Sonja smoked hash all day long extending the acid trip.
Meanwhile, the Renaissance boys couldn’t take it and had to cancel their gig.
Holy Shit!
And I got blamed for their cancellation. Not Stew. Me.
Management was furious. But then management was named Copeland so naturally I took the fall.

Annie Haslam, their lead singer, did not do drugs and was not at my birthday party.
She held me personally responsible and from that day forward, never spoke to me again. As we had the same manager, there were times I saw her in the hallways. I would say hi and she would turn her head and ignore me.

That was the last time I did acid. It was a great time and seemed like a good idea to go out on a good note.
We played beautifully that night with 3 encores.
The boys of Renaissance spent that night in bed…whimpering.


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