HVC First Selection Broadleaf Toro 2021 | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 6 x 52
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $10.35-$13.00

Look, I know there have been lots of reviews…you’ve probably already bought some and smoked the cigars…but…I…don’t…care. I am going to review it anyway. The donor of a few sticks is another hominid that would rather be in an iron lung than have his name on this review. It’s a cleanliness thing.

From Atlantic Cigar:
“Reinier Lorenzo owner of HVC Cigar Co. has released the HVC First Selection Broadleaf, a Connecticut Broadleaf version of the original First Selection blend. This cigar is the first to feature a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper by HVC, as well as the first cigar produced at the TABSA factory to feature this wrapper. The HVC First Selection Broadleaf features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder with a core of robust aged Nicaraguan fillers. The result is a bold tasty cigar, with notes of Chocolate, Earth, Pepper and Coffee, with a natural hint of sweetness. Coming from the Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A factory is even more of a reason to try these cigars few factories have received such accolades over the years with highly rated smokes.”

The cigar was originally released in 2018 in limited editions. It has been re-released in 2021.

It’s a ratty looking cigar. I do find myself attracted to any cigar with a 10-40 mottled oil look. But the dark wrapper hides a bushelful of sins…sloppy seams, bumps and lumps, veinage across America…with a funky triple cap.

The stick is toothy in areas and smooth as your tush in others. Nice simple double cigar bands. As far as heft goes…it is somewhere between a toothpick and a lump of coal. It seems light for a Toro. We shall see. I betcha’ the draw is whistle clean due to being underfilled.

Aromas are super faint. I can barely make out tidbits of chocolate, licorice, malt, raisins, creaminess, cedar, and barnyard. I really had to use the facial contortion method to find these tiny implements of aroma.

The cold draw presents flavors of dark chocolate, black pepper, salted almonds, raisins, malt, creaminess, cinnamon, cedar, and espresso.
The draw is like an open straw so no need for my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool.

Oh my…first impression is like getting to go first. While the aroma department is a complete letdown, the flavor profile hits me in the palate with a sledgehammer.

Now we know that everyone seems to like this cigar and it has gotten some pretty decent reviews. I will attempt to express my redundancy in a cogent high on cholesterol meds point of view.

Whadda’ we got? We got big fat notes of complexity right off the bat.

Flavors are black pepper, chocolate, cinnamon buns, good European black licorice, almonds, and a generic sweetness that is in the federal protection program for the moment.

The burn is excellent…nice char line. And it defies my prediction it would be a fast mover. It took its foot off the pedal and crawls…the same way your best moocher friend behaves when he begs for a free cigar.

I’m getting chocolate oatmeal with cream on top. How odd.
I swear I taste lime citrus in the background.
Very nutty. Double ball sacks.
The blend improves with every puff.

In my research, I was surprised to see the wide-open price range on these sticks. HVC gave sellers large latitude on this issue.

I’m starting late in the morning today because I had to fight with AT&T for an hour before I got accidentally disconnected because the problem seemed mysterious to the guy named Chuck who had a strange accent. Wi-fi was going nuts and nothing worked…until I got disconnected and solve the problem myself. Now I have music to go with my review. Never done it before so not sure it can be done.

Strength is a potent medium.

The sweetness begins to define itself…those lovely cinnamon buns lead the pack, followed by Almond Roca, mocha nougat, and cream cheese frosting.

Savory is like chewing on a twig, almonds, cumin, and a seared steak.
The lime becomes more prominent. Red pepper or hot cinnamon merge with the black pepper.

The complexity at the 1” burned mark is exemplary. Transitions are slow and easy going on the eyes. The finish is just as complex as the blend.
Lawdy, Lawdy, Miss Clawdy. I’m loving this cigar.

And then it moves to medium/full before I hit the second third. I have a DNR document, so Charlotte is instructed to just sit on the couch and watch a never-ending series of recorded “Datelines.” Is my wife the only one who loves to watch murder? Is she looking for good ideas to get rid of me? If I stop writing for an extended amount of time, you’ll know.

I found the Tower of Power station on Pandora. Man, I dug these people growing up in SoCal. An Oakland band that just always had a killer rhythm section. Learned a lot on my bass due to this band. The hand cramps took a while to go away.

Buttered popcorn shows up for a minute or two. I don’t expect you to taste everything I do. There is always a baseline of flavors for any given cigar blend…but those beautiful ancillary notes are all you…your palate sending signals that your puny brain interprets based on your life experience. A wondrous thing.

A sip of water and merkin needs to be Gorilla Glued back on. It rarely comes off unless a good cigar is in my presence, or I had cabbage for dinner. Still on a diet 18 months in. I now weigh 67lbs. Want to get down to 53lbs.

Earth, Wind, and Fire…I’ve told this story before, but I feel like doing it again…in my 20’s my girlfriend cheated on me and dumped me. Moved out to live with the new guy. But came back to me two days later. We took a 2 hour drive up to Big Bear Lake and I had E,W,&F on the cassette machine. We go hiking and find a secluded spot and she volunteers a BJ. Stood there for several minutes when I heard something and looked up…another trail 10 feet above us with a gaggle of onlookers. Talk about being cock blocked. She went back to her lover. Married him. He adopted the little girl. And croaked a year later. Shit happens and I can account for my whereabout.

The blend moves away from an onslaught of individual flavors and the whole takes over the sum of its parts. The complex being that it is…makes this a wonderful morning on this gloomy Milwaukee day.

Stevie Wonder…I’d love to come back with his talent but not blind. I’d be willing to come back gay rather than be blind. I mean, how do you jerk off to Pornhub if you can’t see?

The creaminess makes a huge surge, and we have vanilla gelato.

I remember back in the 70’s as I watched the Grammys…Paul Simon won for best album, and he thanked Stevie Wonder for not putting out an album that year.

I feel like a street vendor…we got your red pepper here, we got your black pepper here, and we got your red-hot cinnamon here. No white pepper…court ruling it take racial tolerance classes.

The burn is a bit wonky but hoping it self corrects.

I added one of my favorite old chestnuts I first published in 2012 but have posted several times since. It was an out of body experience at the time.

Strength is getting ready to morph from medium/full to full tilt and I’m going to make you brain dead with extreme prejudice mode.

A bit chilly today. The window is wide open for smoke to escape. My nuts are being retracted. Like watching a live squid crawl up your leg.

Ah good…nicotine kicks in as the Word doc in front of me does the Macarena.

With the strength building, the cigar is smart enough to remain smooth and balanced. I could use a little less of the black pepper. I could also use being 35 again.

Doesn’t it just blow you away how different $10 sticks can be? A gaggle of sticks are nothing special…and then you have those with a high motility factor. That’s right…some cigars are rolled with potent bull semen in them. Just a touch.

More funk on the music station. Man, I can fly on the bass. I was in a band that the leader would make me solo on Grand Funk’s “Some Kind of Wonderful.” Think of the bumpa bumpa bumpa rhythm and try to solo. Can’t be done.
This HVC has been a great blend from the start in 2018. I love it when a manufacturer takes their responsibility seriously.
I’ve got $15-$17 sticks that never attain the beauty of the HVC First Selection Broadleaf Toro 2021.

The burn remains wonky, but no touch ups required.

And now we have full tilt strength and I’m not quite to the halfway point.
OK. I’m now at the halfway designation.
Screaming laughter.

Flavors remain intact. Transitions are moving at light speed making my palate resonate with old memories of when I could touch my toes or get on the floor and not need help getting back up.

Absolutely beautiful blend. I would have preferred less strength just so my eyes will stop rolling upwards like I’m having a stroke.

1965. I was 15. My gramps took me to Israel and Europe for the summer. Got my first girlfriend on that synagogue tour. Her name was Frieda. Her parents were Polish Holocaust survivors that hated me. First time I made out with a chick. I kept getting up and rushing to the hotel bathroom to vomit out of fear. Frieda yelled something at me in Polish and the vomit reflex stopped.

At this point, I give up on trying to identify the nonstop movement of the flavor profile and I’m in it for the over all experience that topples the cat from my head. Sometimes I like to wear Sammy on my head and pretend I’m Davy Crockett.

Every time I see a doc, he asks what those cuts on my forehead are from…I tell them I self-cut myself. Much easier explanation.

As funky looking as this cigar is and my fear it would not smoke correctly, I was dead wrong. Perfect construction. It reminds me of days in Quentin when they did some renovations…very professional and the involuntary rapes quieted down a bit.

“What is Hip?” by Tower of Power. Listen to that rhythm section. Paying that rolling bass line was the first time I had cramps in my right hand that weren’t coming from…well, you know.

The sweet spot explodes. Flotsam and jetsam is everywhere.
This is another candidate for my top 25 this year. I’m plotzing.

When you hit your 70’s, you will discover that if the wife is still willing, you need to take a prophylactic pain pill before you begin. The moaning is something completely different.

Flavors: Creaminess, chocolate, espresso, almonds, a gaggle of sweet influences, lime squirt to the eye, heavy malt, cedar, licorice, graham cracker, nutmeg, nougat, and vanilla ice cream. Peppers remain assorted.

I’m still 3 weeks away from my first spinal to stop the neck pain. No hurry…living in the world of Timothy Leary is just fine.

My brain acclimates to the nicotine. It just puts itself on pause. I’ll try not to say fuck too much.

I got my Pfizer booster a week ago. The growth of a small tail doesn’t bother me a bit.

An inch to go. Holy crap this is a strong cigar. My typing has slowed down to 3 words per minute.
Still, for the masochists out there, this is a must have cigar.
I’m going in and out of consciousness. Maybe a good time to stop.


And now for something completely different:

(I have published this story many times over the years because it is the top 5 of my favorites. )
(This is the 2012 version and felt no need to eradicate the redundancy…even though it is 9 years later.)

So here it is again because I am lucky enough to see the addition of more manic depressive, self-loathing, readers to the long list of masochists who read me. I apologize to long time readers. Your Quorum bundle is in the mail.

Yes. Bizarre is the only way to describe it.

I was smack dab in the middle of my professional musical career. I had attained some peer cred and therefore got to do and see things. That mere mortals were shunned from participating in.

I had just come off playing bass with the English band Curved Air. Claim to fame: “The Police” drummer Stewart Copeland was my band mate.

I came back to Long Beach, CA after my stint in jolly old England, and opened a recording studio, production company and management company. I took a project to the charts…a novelty single called “Whatever Happened to Eddie?” starring Butch (Eddie Munster) Patrick. We took the theme from “The Munsters” and added our own lyrics and re-recorded the music for the times….1983.

I was also playing in a band (The Attitude) making the local charts with our kick ass version of Elvis’ “Hound Dog.” Little Richard played piano on the cut in the studio. In the video, our keys player mimicked what LR played. You can watch it on YouTube by clicking HERE. Remember this was during the birth of MTV.

Life was good. The early 80’s were the years made famous by the Beverly Hills Diet of cocaine and champagne. And I had dough. You can take it from there.

I had a friend named Marshall Thomas. Marshall was a bona fide, big time, radio disc jockey. He became a fan of my band and then became friends, to this day, with little Eddie Munster. He played the sax player in the music video. Marshall was a scene stealer as he had zero musical ability on the sax but pulled it off. Watch “Whatever Happened to Eddie?” (YouTube)

In December of 1981, he got VIP tickets for the release of Hanukkah Rocks by Gefilte Joe & The Fish on RHINO Records.

The release was at the famous Improv in Hollywood. Marshall asked me to go with him because he knew I’d have coke…He chose me rather than take his girlfriend because he didn’t want to have to buy his own coke. Mooching was better.

That’s where I met him. Andy Kaufman. Latka of the sit/com “TAXI.” The party was a blast, and the Improv was full of celebrities.

As the hours burned, there were 5 of us left in the club sitting at the same booth. Me. Marshall. Andy. Some guy and his girlfriend.

We sat at a large half circle booth with Andy in the middle. The “other” guy asked Andy about the wrestling thing he was doing.

Andy, for some reason, decided his next campaign in the world of improvisational art, would be the world of wrestling. It quickly went from wrestling men to wrestling women. The men were kicking his ass because he made fun of the “sport.”

So, he would challenge any woman in the audience. Sometimes, he won. Sometimes, he didn’t. It became a nationwide joke.

We all sat there in the booth, hugging our Hanukkah gifts. Including a record called Hanukkah Rocks shaped like a Star of David, in blue, with 2 songs on each side. It was a very cool trophy.

Andy began to weave the history of wrestling to us. Unless you knew him, you really didn’t know what his voice sounded like. Obviously, it wasn’t that of Foreign Man or Latka. And it didn’t sound like Elvis. He had a milque toast voice, a little high, but quiet, when he spoke. You had to lean in.

We listened and contributed and had a very normal conversation with one of the craziest entertainers in the world. Then Marshall asked Andy if he would wrestle the girl sitting with us. He agreed without thought. Same with the chick.

There was a small dance floor, about 10 feet square, in the middle of the club. Marshall stayed in the booth. The girl’s boyfriend moved to a chair at the corner of the dance floor. I moved to the opposite corner….and then we waited……and waited…while Andy seemed to be meditating with eyes closed.
Then in a rush of energy, he jumped to the top of the booth’s table and leaped off it like a crazed man. We all yelled, thinking he would fall, but he landed like a cat on the dance floor.

The X rated epithets started coming from his mouth as he hunkered into a wrestling hunch and circled the girl. He was a foul mouthed S.O.B. But the complete opposite at the table.

The chick made her move and threw Andy to the floor. It stunned him. He got up screaming at the girl, “You fucking bitch! You Cunt!” And so on. They got into a stranglehold with each other with neither giving in. Neither falling to their knees.

Then something vicious…Andy did a sweep with his leg, knocking the pins out from under the girl. Really nasty, because she hit the floor HARD! He then leaped into the air and dropped right on top of her to pin her. She was screaming for help. I looked over to her boyfriend and he was laughing.

In only moments, Andy counted, “1-2-3” and jumped off her. He walked the perimeter of the dance floor with both hands in the air showing domination and accomplishment. His head was bobbing up and down, enjoying the win.

The girl could not get up. She was hurt. Andy played too rough. We all shook our heads and Marshall asked Andy why did he have to play so rough? Andy ignored him.

I helped the chick up while she dusted herself off. She was pissed…obviously expecting something a little less violent.

We gathered our things at the table. Andy asked us all up to his place, not far from the club, to hang out the rest of the night. We all declined. We were disgusted. This guy was nuts.

Never thought in my wildest imagination I’d ever have a story like this.
One after thought…I am a very gullible person. I believe the best in people and that we are all basically good. Wrong. I had my own framed copy of the record and hung it on my office wall at my recording studio and someone stole it. In fact, all my personal music memorabilia at my studio was all eventually stolen by skanky musicians and their friends. I should have worn a visible side arm at all times.

Andrew Geoffrey Kaufmann
January 17, 1949 – May 16, 1984


2 replies

  1. I don’t think it was the Knob Creek or the Umbagog robusto, but this review made me laugh out loud. Why don’t you write a book you lazy cs.

  2. Hey Leland,
    Thanks for being you…never change unless a court orders you to do so.
    Man, I’ve been trying for book deals since I left Curved Air in the late 70’s.
    I’m just not a good enough writer. And I have a box of rejection letters and files of unreturned emails on hand.
    As long as I put a smile on my readers’ pusses now and again, I’m happy.
    All the best,
    Bitter Phil

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