Xikar, well known from their high quality cigar accessories, decided to join the cigar game and hooked up with Jesus Fuego. Together they created the HC series that comes with three different wrappers, habano, criollo and Connecticut shade. When I was in Florida some time ago, I had coupons for free Xikar Xi8 cutters, that were brand new back them. If you bought 6 ‘grandes’, the 660 size HC series cigars you would get a free cutter. Now I wanted to try the HC series and I’m always up for free goodies, so I got myself 6 HC series grandes. The shop where I bought them only carried the criollo and Connecticut blends and with my dislike of Connecticut shade I went for the criollo. The filler from this cigar is a blend of Nicaraguan and Honduran filler with a sun grown criollo binder and a shade grown criollo wrapper, both from Nicaragua. I paid $9.50 for the cigar.
The construction feels good and the band is simple yet clear with a nice foot band. I see a few veins on the quite light colored wrapper. The wrapper looks a bit like sandpaper, structure wise, and is quite dry. I smell wood. The predraw is fine and tastes like raisin with a spicy tobacco aftertaste.
I taste a mild peppery coffee flavor and soon some nuts. After half an inch I taste spicy herbs with a tiny bit of chocolate. After an inch I taste wood with herbs. After a third I taste that mild nut flavor again. I like that.
Halfway I taste herbs with a little hint of chocolate on the background. The flavors become milder. After ⅝ I taste a mild spicy wood and after two thirds the nut flavor returns again.
This cigar lasted me for almost two hours. The draw is good, a bit too easy to be great. The smoke is medium, both in thickness as in volume. The ash has a sand color and is frayed but firm. The burn is good. This cigar is full flavored and medium bodied.
Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, but in a thinner size, that would probably make the cigar less flat in flavor.
Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10