Back in July of 2020, you know, the year we all wish to forget, HVC Cigars released their newest craft called the Hot Cake. The company notes that it is a follow-up to the Pan Caliente limited edition that was released back in 2016. If you are interested in the relation, the phrase “pan caliente” translates to “hot cakes” in English.
While the 2016 Pan Caliente was a Nicaraguan puro that sported a Criollo 98 wrapper, HVC owner Reiner Lorenzo describes the 2020 Hot Cake blend as:
- Wrapper – Mexican San Andrés
- Binder – Nicaraguan Double Binder Corojo 99 (Jalapa) & Corojo 98 (Estelí)
- Filler – Nicaraguan Corojo 2006 Viso maduro
The HVC Hot Cake is expressed in three vitolas, each packaged in 25-count boxes:
- Corona Gorda (5 5/8 x 46) – MSRP $7.40
- Laguito #4 (4 1/2 x 52) – MSRP $8.00
- Laguito #5 (6 x 54) – MSRP $9.00
The name Laguito is nod to a little lake in Miramar, Cuba just west of Havana and the home of the Cohiba cigar factory and mansion.
For this review I sampled two HVC Hot Cake Laguito #5 vitolas that I purchased as part of the 2020 Stogie Press mission to Keep The Lights On.
The HVC Hot Cake Laguito #5 is a beautiful oily dark brown cigar that has a fine gritty feel to the touch and decent marbling running through it. There are a few noticeable veins and it is finished with a well applied triple cap. The cigar is solidly packed and has a decent weight in the hand.
A single band adorns the cigar that uses a red, gold, white and black motif. The name “HOT CAKE” is boldly displayed in white lettering on a bright red circle with the company name “HVC Havana City’ printed around it.
Running the HVC Hot Cake along the nose, I picked up notes of naturally sweet tobacco and cocoa along the barrel and an enticing nuance of chocolate off the foot.
I sliced the cap straight across the shoulder and proceeded to give it some cold draw puffs that were distinctly different than the notes I got from the pre-light aroma. The cold draw offered notes of earthiness and a medium peppery sensation and was nicely restricted.
Using my triple flame torch, I warmed the foot and drew in the first puffs of floral and pepper smoke that started a pleasant journey down to the nub. Follow along as burn the HVC Hot Cake to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- Floral and pepper notes off the first light
- Thick chewy smoke fills the palate
- Sweetness and cream moving through the first third
- Light grey ash forms on top of a thick char line
- Caramel notes join the mix with an increasing cocoa sensation
- Ash fell in nice chunk revealing a slightly off-centered burn cone
- Earth and spice enter in the second third
- Oils develop well above the burn line
- Early spice becomes more savory
- A slight off burn forms but does not require a touch-up
- Very smooth smoke moving through the second half
- Continued earth and spice notes keep the palate pleased
- Touch of fruit and a maple syrup aroma adds more interest
- Medium to full in strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1hour and 40 Minutes
Overall, the HVC Hot Cake Laguito #5 was a flavorful and aromatic cigar with excellent transitions from foot to nub. I was especially pleased with the smoothness of the smoke in the second half, which made it almost ingestible. There was a slight off burn midway which did not require a touch-up, but the burn stayed a tad wonky through the rest of the journey. Medium to full in strength, the HVC Hot Cake Laguito #5 is one cigar the most refined palate would appreciate. I rate this a 95.
Point Deductions: (-1) Off Centered Burn Cone; (-1) Wavy Burn in Second Half; (-1) Slight Off Burn Midway
Bonus Points: (+1) Buy a Box; (+1) Excellent Oiling Above the Burn Line; (+1) Pleasant and Consistent across Multiple Samples; (+1) Complex in Flavor and Aroma