We all know plenty of people who can't wait for the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday. They give thanks with their family around the table, eating a cornucopia of delicious foods, and then prepare for the battle that is about to begin. Steel toe boots, shin pads, mouth guards, spike bracelets, and all sorts of gear to get suited up for the shopping excursion. Personally, I'd rather skip the scenario where I'd have to run down an old lady or arm wrestle a dude for a cheap tv and just stay home. Cyber Monday is more my jam. I can shop in sweat pants. Sold! There is a Black Friday though that requires zero battle experience and that's from HVC. The annual limited edition offering from HVC typically hits stores in early November. Just in time to have one ready for when Thanksgiving is over, people are out & about, and you can sit down and enjoy a pleasant cigar. Since the Black Friday was released in 2015, each year has been a different blend and vitola. The 2021 version looks dark and chewy, so let's dive in.
Cigar: HVC Black Friday 2021
Factory: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A.
Size: 4.75 x 54
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaragua (Corojo 2012 & criollo 98)
The Connecticut broadleaf used here looks so delicious! It resembles a joyous mixture of caramel & dark chocolate with a soft, fine tooth texture like velvet. That along with the faint veins and clean cap made for a superb appearance. Nothing special band-wise and the design is minimal, yet there is a wee bit of fancy applied and is firmly wrapped. An attractive specimen.
Considering this badboy was chock-full of goodness, I went with my double cut; V cut followed by a small straight cut. This allowed for a perfect draw at the beginning. Once things warmed up and I reached the halfway mark I did feel the need to pull out the tweezers. After meticulously pulling out a couple strands it was puffing just fine for the remainder.
Burning down the isle with this Black Friday shopping cart I felt the alignment was pretty good. Straight for the most part with only a couple minor hips n dips to avoid the tortoise shoppers. The firm ash did a nice job staying put until told otherwise and landed directly in the cart. No "cleanup on isle 4" messes.
1/3 - Rolling out first in the flavor department is antique wagon wheel and robust earth. Molasses bounces in & out while the retro is a mixture of white & black pepper on the retro. Moving inward I also pickup notes of dark espresso and charred marshmallow.
2/3 - Thick raisins push forward and the charred marshmallow now tastes like an adult did it. Before it was like a child toasted it. All burnt and stupid. You know how they do it...Now it's more rounded out with the creaminess of the marshmallow more noticeable. The retro seems more on the white pepper side now with soft pine needles. Closing out the 2nd third I get a nice meaty flavor with a pinch of salt.
3/3 - The final third is a lot like the previous, but ramps out not up. There is more of a fullness in body without approaching harshness. Adult style charred marshmallows are still around, much to my delight. No more raisins though, bummer. Occasionally there are fleeting notes of grassy field, but more present are baking cocoa and dry almonds.
Now this is my kind of Black Friday! I found this cigar to not only look appealing, but perform and taste well too. The overall profile was medium to med+/full with a semi-complex makeup. Subtle transitions with more than just a couple notes make this cigar perfect for shopping from your home lounge. I would certainly smoke this again without any qualms about it. Only 600 boxes of 50 were produced though, so I better hurry! If you haven't had one, you'll need to step on it too. Happy hunting.
**Number of cigars smoked for the review: 1