Team Cigar Review: HVC 500 Years Anniversary Selectos

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Cigar Details: HVC 500 Years Anniversary Selectos

  • Vitola: Corona Gorda
  • Length: 5.62″
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaraguan Criollo ’98 and Nicaraguan Corojo ’99
  • Factory: TABSA
  • Blender: Reinier Lorenzo
  • Price: $10.00
  • Release Date: May 2020
  • Source: Developing Palates via Lake Country Cigars

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the HVC 500 Years Anniversary Selectos is light brown with well pressed veins and a fine toothiness. The seams are smooth but easily visible as there is a darker color on the edges of the leaf. The head is finished with a well applied set of caps. There are two bands with the primary being red, gold and white which denotes the brand and line name. The secondary band is the Cuban design for Limited Editions. The aroma from the wrapper is wood and light hay while the foot brings graham cracker. The pre-light draw brings an airy, aged cedar.

Pre-light Experience

Finished with a nice triple cap, the HVC 500 Years Anniversary Selectos is firm in hand. The wrapper is toothy throughout and sports small to medium sized veins. I would classify the cigar as being Colorado in coloring, darker Colorado, but you can pick up some faint maduro like traits. In terms of aroma, I am picking up coffee, rich earth, barnyard and sweet spice notes.

Pre-light Experience

The HVC 500 Years Anniversary Selectos has a chocolate brown wrapper, and is double banded. Aromas from the cigar included sweet hay and faint wood, with some underlying syrupy, barrel-aged sweetness. That same syrupy sweetness comes through from the foot along with hay and wood.

Pre-light Experience

The HVC 500 Years Anniversary Selectos has a Colorado Claro wrapper shade. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and head well wrapped. Aromas from the wrapper tell a combination of musty barnyard and red pepper spice. Aromas from the foot give the same notes as the wrapper but less noticeable. Cold draw gives cedar and hay.

First Third

The cigar begins with toasted cedar and intense cinnamon. At a quarter inch in, the cinnamon transitions to a bold mix of baking spices. At a half inch in, a light mustiness joins the profile. The retrohale is musty cedar and nose tingling baking spice. At an inch in, the baking spice has mellowed a bit. As the third comes to a close, the profile is musty and toasted cedar with baking spice right behind. The strength in this third was right at medium.

First Third

The first third opens up by delivering notes of sweet spices. I am picking up a little bit of pepper, but mostly cinnamon. With that are some rich earth qualities and that is paired with some barnyard and coffee notes. The cigar is smoking around a medium-full level, and that goes for strength and body.

First Third

My first few puffs bring flavors of cocoa and cedar, with medium plus strength cedar defining the post draw. Baking spices join the retrohale a few minutes later. By the 20 minute mark, the post draw cedar has backed off in strength down to light plus. Sweetness, along with pepper accents start to come through here. By the halfway mark, some earth notes settle into the middle of the profile.

First Third

The first third is earth and spice forward. Flavors of dry red pepper spice, minerals and a subtle roasted nuttiness to tie things together. Retrohaling gives greater red pepper influence as well as amplified roasted nuttiness giving a creamier and sweeter take. The finish has the dry red pepper on the rear palate. It’s amazingly long and lingering in a great way. Strength is leaning towards medium-full and body medium.

Second Third

The second third begins with the musty and toasted cedar even with the baking spice. At a half inch in, the baking spice has mellowed once again. The retrohale is musty and toasted cedar along with some baking spice right behind. The third wraps up with musty and toasted cedar with mild baking spice. The strength remains at medium.

Second Third

The second third continues to deliver the qualities that were present in the first third and I am picking up some coffee, pepper and cinnamon spice. The earthy notes are a little less rich in this third, it is dryer overall, and I am getting that barnyard and oak flavor on the finish. Like before, the cigar is smoking at a medium-full level for strength and body.

Second Third

Earth, cedar and baking spices carry the profile into the second third. Lingering earth with wood accents fill the post draw in the bottom half of the second third.

Second Third

The second third has two notable changes, the cigar becomes spicier through all manners (mouth draws, retro, finish) and the creamier, nuttier notes have entirely dissipated. Strength moves to a consistent medium-full while body remains medium.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the baking spice has departed. At a half inch in, the toasted note becomes a light char. The retrohale is now just musty and toasted cedar. The cigar wraps up with the musty and slightly charred cedar. The strength remained at medium.

Final Third

The final third is nearly identical to that of the second third. I am getting those coffee, dry earth, pepper spice, and cinnamon qualities. The barnyard notes are present as well, but there is this harshness and mineral quality present also. It is still smoking around a medium-full level, but the finish is harsh.

Final Third

Earth is the primary flavor, with baking spices providing supporting accents as the last third kicks off. Earth and wood combine in the post draw. As the last third settles, earth is the primary flavor.

Final Third

The final third gives the same general feel as the second third. Medium plus strength, medium body, with flavors geared towards earth and minerals. The finish is more drying on the palate, requiring more sips of water to hydrate my palate.

Burn

The burn was a bit wavy and required a touch-up at one point where only half of the wrapper was burning. The cigar also went out once at the beginning of the second third and required a re-light.

Burn

The burn was very good from beginning to end. The ash produced was flaky with a light charcoal coloring, but the cigar required no touch-ups and produced a good burn line.

Burn

The burn is straight through the review, with the ash holding on over an inch at times.

Burn

Burn performance was flawless. Even burn, cool burning and tight ashes.

Draw

The draw was a bit tighter than I prefer, but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.

Overall

The HVC 500 Years Anniversary Selectos had a really nice start with a good combination of flavors, but after the re-light at the beginning of the second third, the flavor dropped down a level and maintained that the rest of the way. Just like the initial release, I had some construction issues, so I’m not sure if that’s a theme with the line. If the others experience better construction, I’d be up for revisiting this, but as it’s stands, it’s a bit of a toss up whether I’d come back to this one.

Draw

Draw was very good throughout. Nice level of resistance and great concentrated smoke production.

Overall

Looking back on the HVC 500 Years Anniversary Selectos, I am really disappointed. I loved the original 500 Years Anniversary and when HVC announced that the line would be expanded and continued regularly, I was irritated. I don’t think HVC has the best record of turning a one time limited release into another limited release or even regular production, but to take something like the original 500 Years Anniversary and in my opinion ruin it, that’s bad for the overall brand. To be fair, I don’t think anyone in the industry is capable of taking a limited one time release into regular production or a follow up limited release. The Selectos delivers a flavor profile that shows no depth or complexity, and the end is harsh. It lacks transitioning, complexity and depth. Elegance as well.

Draw

The draw has some resistance to it, roughly 2-1/2 to 3 notches.

Overall

The HVC 500 Years Anniversary Selectos had some enjoyable complexity in the first third, and while I found the middle and last thirds to be pleasant, they lacked the same complexity that would elevate the experience to a good rating. For an anniversary cigar, I was anticipating more complexity, as HVC has managed to deliver on these type of releases in the past. In the end, this is another in a line of just above average cigars coming out of TABSA in 2020. Burn was excellent, with some noticeable resistance to the draw. Total smoking time was faster than I expected at 1 hour and 48 minutes.

Draw

The draw was slightly tight. Not pesky by any means, but shy of perfect.

Overall

The 2020 variant of 500 Years Anniversary falls short of the previous year. The HVC 500 Years Anniversary Selectos weighed too heavy handed in minerals and spice, lacking needing sweetness. Love the size, but for the flavors, I’ll pick last years every time.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
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Good
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Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.65

Cost/Point

$1.77

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

5.85

Cost/Point

$1.71

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

5.80

Cost/Point

$1.72

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

5.95

Cost/Point

$1.68

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: HVC 500 Years Anniversary Selectos
John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: HVC 500 Years Anniversary Selectos

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