|HC Series Criollo Toro|
The HC Series Criollo begins with a wonderful Nicaraguan Shade Grown Criollo wrapper that has been aged for five years. I imagine the wrapper is from Jalapa, because that is where some of the best Criollo wrapper is grown, but I am not entirely positive. The binder is also Criollo that has been Sun Grown and is from Nicaragua as well. Underneath all that wonderful Criollo tobacco is the filler which is composed of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobacco. As I said earlier I am not sure how much of it is Criollo, but I imagine there is some Criollo tobacco in it along with some Corojo. This particular line in the HC Series brand is made in Danli, Honduras at Nestor Plasencia's El Paraíso Factory, and like all the lines, the cigar is blended by Jesus Fuego, and he does a fabulous job with this cigar.
The toro vitola which I sampled measures 6.5" with a 52 ring gauge. It has a slightly rough wrapper that is somewhat silky as well. It has a beautiful color to it, light brown with bits of red, and would fall between Natural in Colorado in coloring. There are veins present throughout the cigar, and it is very firm to touch. The cigar has wonderful aromas of spice, sweetness, bread, wood and leather. The cold draw is great as well and there are bits of caramel and tea present in the draw.
|HC Series Band Logo|
When I get into the second third the spice level has increased dramatically and so have the tea notes. There is a nice bit of nutty notes present in this cigar, and some earthy flavors as well. The spice notes are that of cayenne in this third, and it matches wonderfully with the wood and leather notes. I am not getting as much caramel notes in this third, but it is still somewhat sweet. The draw is still great in this third, and the burn line is also perfect. The ash has been holding on to the cigar very well as well, and the strength has remained fairly similar to that of the first third. This is a cigar that I would pair with a wonderful mojito, rum, tequila, or a rum and coke. I wouldn't pair this with a wine, and I would typically smoke this cigar in the summer time. It has a dry finish to it, and with cigars like this I typically prefer them in the summertime just because they give off that vibe. There are certain cigars I like in the summertime and those are Cuban Hoyos, Cohibas, Trinidads, or even non-Cubans such as the Opus X or My Father No. 1. Don't ask me why, I just do.
|Nicaraguan Criollo Wrapper|
I really enjoyed this cigar, and I figured I would, but I can see hesitation by others because of the Criollo tobacco. I have found that people either love Criollo wrapper cigars or hate them, and the best way to find out is to smoke a bunch of them. This was one of the better Criollo wrapper cigars I have had in a long time, and it is definitely blended and made well under Jesus Fuego. I give this cigar a solid 90. It has a nice bit of complexity to it, not as much as I would like, but still very nice. I was able to get those wonderful Criollo notes, and at the same time get some balance to it with the other tobacco. If you have never tried a Criollo wrapper cigar then I suggest you begin with this one. This will definitely open the door for you on Criollo tobacco, and I think if you give them a chance you will begin to really love them. Great job XIKAR and Jesus Fuego on another great blend to the HC Series.
|HC Series Criollo|