Cigar Ratings & Reviews

#NowSmoking: HVC Seleccion No.1

Reading Time: 4 minutes

#NowSmoking: HVC Selection No. 1 Cigar Review  (Video)


Blend Details:

Factory: Fabrica de tabacos HVC S.A. de Reinier Lorenzo – Estelí, Nicaragua
Size: 6”x54 Corona Gorda
Strength: Medium-plus
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano, vintage 1992
Binder & Filler: Nicaraguan Jalapa and Estelí

Presented in boxes of 20

cigar advisor #nowsmoking hvc seleccion no. 1 cigar review - at famous smoke shop


The HVC Seleccion No. 1 Cigars Back Story

cigar advisor #nowsmoking hvc seleccion no. 1 cigar review - setup shot of cigar on a whisky stave with a whiksy and a fireplace in the background

Last year, HVC cigars released the first cigars made in their new HVC S.A. factory, the HVC 500 Anniversary and the HVC Seleccion No. 1 Maduro. Earlier this year, HVC Cigars founder Reinier Lorenzo released his HVC Seleccion No. 1 in a Natural blend. As to the Seleccion No. 1 line itself, Reiner wanted to create blends modeled on what he called, “old Cuban-style” cigars. What he meant by that was cigars that are not too bold or too big, very well balanced, and well-constructed. So, the goal of the Selección No. 1 line in both blends was to offer a cigar that was bolder and stronger while maintaining an excellent balance throughout. The Seleccion No. 1 cigars are also made using the entubar rolling method; that’s where each filler leaf is rolled into a little tube. This more time-consuming method results in a better draw, burn and flavor. Another thing Reinier borrowed from Cuban cigars for the Seleccion No. 1 Natural was the packaging. They are presented in traditional, bright yellow boxes which he says brings him back to his Cuban roots.


Cigar Basics

You can tell almost by looking at it that this Poderosos is very well made. Ata glance the vintage Habano wrapper has an almost Connecticut-like appearance due to its light brown color. There are a few veins but the cigar is mostly clean in appearance. A strong barnyard hay aroma comes off the wrapper, while the foot of the cigar issues more of a cocoa like aroma. Both of my samples had a nice feel in the hand, were devoid of any soft spots, and the entubar rolling and triple seam cap were textbook. When cut with a double blade cutter the cigars drew perfectly offering a sweet and bready taste.


HVC Seleccion No.1 Cigar Review

The cigar lit easily and evenly but the first few puffs packed a salvo of red pepper. An early retrohale resulted in YOWZA, muting any and all other flavors. At about half an inch the cigar settled down. That’s when things got really creamy, offering a medium body and strength and a woody, cedar-like flavor. Pepper remained on the finish, but not too heavily. Moving along, notes of leather and molasses appeared. As the ashes formed they were very firm and quite gravity resistant.

cigar advisor #nowsmoking hvc seleccion no. 1 cigar review - by gary korb

By the midsection everything was running on all cylinders. Well-balanced flavors of cedar, molasses, and some drive-by leather remained. Both of my samples also turned sweeter at this stage, while the body and strength switched gears to medium-plus. Retrohales at this stage had a tea-like flavor.

During the last section of my Poderosos the cigar remained creamy, burned well, and maintained its base flavors. The only new flavor I picked-up was some toasted almond. Most surprising was that even sweeter notes emerged. Moreover, the smoke was still well balanced and medium-plus in body and strength.

At about the last 1½ inches, the smoke turned a little too earthy for me, and that’s all she wrote.


Are HVC Seleccion No.1  Cigars Worth Buying?

cigar advisor #nowsmoking hvc seleccion no. 1 cigar review - by gary korb 2

Yes. The HVC Seleccion No. 1 Natural Poderosos is what I call “a real cigar smoker’s cigar;” meaning, cigar smokers with a reasonable amount of experience will get what Reinier has done here. The cigar offers depth, a fullness of flavor, bold notes, and superb balance. Additionally, I think that when Reinier talks about “balance” in this blend, he’s referring more to the balance between body and strength than the flavors. The Poderosos certainly has an ample dose of Vitamin N, but the smoke is so smooth it’s more stealth, so it can be heady. I think Reinier was right on point with this Seleccion No.1 Natural blend, and for the money the Poderosos gives an excellent performance. The right Bourbon or Single Malt would only make this experience even better.

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Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and Executive Editor of Cigar Advisor. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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