Team Cigar Review: HVC Hot Cake Corona Gorda

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Cigar Details: HVC Hot Cake Corona Gorda

  • Vitola: Corona Gorda
  • Length: 5.62″
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Maduro
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: TABSA
  • Blender: Reinier Lorenzo
  • Price: $7.40
  • Release Date: July 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 Hot Cake Corona Gorda is dark brown and has a couple of lightly raised veins running down the back of the cigar along with fine veins all over. The seams are fairly easily visible as they are slightly raised while the head is finished off with a very well applied set of caps. The band is gold and red with white and black text and really pops against the wrapper color. The aroma from the wrapper is damp earth, cocoa and wood while the foot brings slightly sweet wood and mild spice. The pre-light draw brings black tea and cedar along with a mild spiciness on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

Firm throughout, the HVC Hot Cake Corona Gorda is finished with a nice triple cap and it has a solid maduro coloring. It is rough in texture and there are medium sized veins throughout. The cigar gives off aromas of cocoa, earth and dry wood.

Pre-light Experience

The HVC Hot Cake Corona Gorda has a UPC sticker designed to leave the UPC intact when the cellophane is opened. The cigar has a dark chocolate colored wrapper. Aromas from the cigar included sweet cedar and hay. From the foot, I picked out sweet plum and tobacco.

Pre-light Experience

The HVC Hot Cake Corona Gorda has a uniformed Colorado Maduro wrapper shade. Seams tight, major veins pressed well but slightly protruding, bunch and roll even and head well wrapped. Aromas from the wrapper tell assertive cedar. Aromas from the foot give red pepper and chocolate cake. Cold draw tells chocolate cake, naturally sweet dried nuts and hay.

First Third

The cigar begins with a mix of dark wood, earth and baking spice. At a quarter inch in, a light cocoa powder joins in. At a half inch in, the profile comes off as gritty Mexican hot chocolate infused with dark wood. The retrohale starts with a baking spice zing and then mellows to allow the earth and wood to come through. At an inch in, the earth has a slight lead as mustiness has joined in and is right behind along with the dark wood while the cocoa and baking spice are light in the background. As the third comes to a close, the dark wood, earth and mustiness are even up front with the baking spice right behind and the cocoa light in the background. The strength in this third was right at medium.

First Third

The first third begins by delivering some dry earth, strong spices and red pepper notes. It is medium in strength and body and it has a long finish. There are touches of cocoa present, but it is very subtle.

First Third

Creamy baking spices with a finish of pepper kick off the first third experience. Lingering pepper starts to sit on my lips and tongue. A Broadleaf chewiness settles into the middle of the profile, along with a combination of light earth and molasses. Leather and earth join the post draw by the halfway point as baking spices fall in intensity. An almost peaty smoke comes through at the end of each draw. Near the end of the third, sweetness comes through.

First Third

The first third’s main note is sharpness in red pepper spice. The red pepper spice is lodged in the back of my throat, making it a bit irritating. There’s also less noticeable notes of dried nuts, leather and cocoa. Retrohaling is nice as there’s a mixture of red pepper spice, chocolate and cherries. The finish is long lasting with leather and red pepper spice. Strength and body is medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the wood isn’t as dark but remains up front with the mustiness while the earth is just behind and the cocoa is very faint. The baking spice has transitioned to black pepper and is at the same level as the earth. At a half inch in, the wood gains a light char and is up front while the mustiness and earth are right behind. The black pepper is very faint while the cocoa has departed. The retrohale is toasted oak and mustiness. As the third comes to a close, the musty and lightly charred wood is up front with earth right behind and light black pepper in the background. The strength in this third remained at medium.

Second Third

The second third delivers a little more complexity and I am getting notes of soft spices, dry earth, cocoa and subtle stone fruit notes. There are touches of red pepper, and like before the cigar is medium in strength and body.

Second Third

Sweet leather and baking spices move the cigar into the second third. Medium to medium-full leather settles on the post draw as it settles in. No other evolution through the second third.

Second Third

The second third mimics the first third. It’s still a dominantly red pepper spice bomb with it still irritating the back of my throat. Secondary level of flavors continues to be dried nuts, leather and cocoa. Strength and body remains medium.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the musty and lightly charred wood and earth are even up front with the black pepper light in the background. At a half inch in, the char picks up a bit. The retrohale is now lightly charred oak and mustiness. The cigar wraps up with the musty and charred wood even with the earth and the black pepper in the background. The strength remained at medium.

Final Third

The final third was a large departure from the second and first third. I was getting this metallic quality with ash on top of dry earth, strong spice and cocoa notes. Shame on the finish. With that, body and strength were just above medium in this third.

Final Third

Leather is still coating my palate between draws with sweetness accenting. Medium strength earth defines the post draw as it settles in. No other evolution through the final third.

Final Third

The final third still has the deep red pepper spice. Also, a charred wood starts to seep in. Because of this, the other flavors of nuts, leather and cocoa become less noticeable. Strength increases to medium plus while the body finishes the same medium.

Burn

The burn was a bit jagged at times, but always maintained itself. The ash held on in one inch increments.

Burn

For the most part, Hot Cake delivered a solid burn line with a firm white charcoal ash on the end. However, there were times when the cigar needed to be touched up because it was too wavy.

Burn

The burn was relatively straight with a slightly flaky ash. An inch into the review, the cigar spontaneously goes out, requiring a re-light.

Burn

The burn had it’s fair share of issues. An uneven burn resulted in a handful of touch-ups. Further, the cigar went out randomly twice, requiring full re-starts.

Draw

The draw was perfect, with just the right amount of resistance I prefer.

Overall

The first inch of the cigar was spectacular with a fantastic combination of flavors, but after that, the profile became fairly average, focused around lightly charred wood, earth and black pepper. Construction was great and allowed me to really focus on the flavor. I really wish the start to the HVC Hot Cake Corona Gorda would have maintained itself throughout as we’d then be talking about a really special cigar. The price point is quite attractive and I’d be willing to come back to this just for what the first inch provided. Definitely something I’d recommend people check out and even though the score might not reflect it, I’m looking forward to revisiting to see if some more time in the humidor or other samples bring a longer version of what the first third brought.

Draw

Draw was very good on this corona gorda. Almost perfect for my liking.

Overall

The HVC Hot Cake Corona Gorda was a slightly average Mexican offering for HVC, but there was nothing special about the cigar. In some ways, the cigar simply seemed like another Mexican offering from AGANORSA, but this one for HVC. The flavors never really developed for a large portion of the cigar and the finish was poor and unpleasant. Disappointing release. With that being said, I have smoked it in the Robusto and Toro offering, and those performed better. If you’re going to pick up one, pick up a Robusto or Toro. Those two sizes will perform better. But in the end, there are better offerings from AGANORSA using the wrapper.

Draw

The draw was resistant, roughly 2-1/2 to 3 notches into the resistant spectrum.

Overall

The HVC Hot Cake Corona Gorda had some enjoyable flavor complexity in the first third, and was pleasant but average through the second and last third, leaving me with an overall average experience. Construction was good, with one re-light and some resistance to the draw. I would smoke another Hot Cake but likely in the other sizes to see how they compare to the Corona Gorda. Total smoking time was 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Draw

The draw was slightly tight but in the long scheme of things, a non-issue.

Overall

The HVC Hot Cake Corona Gorda was a miss for me. This is unfortunate because I don’t think I’ve ever said that about any HVC cigar until now. Right from the start, the overbearing red pepper spice lodged in the back of my throat was an immediate turn off. This note was the single cause of the letdown as it never corrected itself. As a matter of fact, by the time the final third came, the profile became less enjoyable due to the charred wood note. I think perhaps this warrants another vitola to try out? But I can’t recommend this new release (in this size) at all.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
Very GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Good
GoodFirst
Third
AverageFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Average
AverageSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
AverageSecond
Third
Average
AverageFinal
Third
SubparFinal
Third
AverageFinal
Third
Subpar
Very GoodBurnGoodBurnGoodBurnAverage
AmazingDrawVery GoodDrawGoodDrawVery Good
AverageOverallAverageOverallAverageOverallAverage

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.00

Cost/Point

$1.23

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

5.40

Cost/Point

$1.37

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

5.60

Cost/Point

$1.32

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

4.95

Cost/Point

$1.49

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: HVC Hot Cake Corona Gorda
Aaron LoomisTeam Cigar Review: HVC Hot Cake Corona Gorda

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