Following on the success of opening a dedicated factory and celebrating their 10th Anniversary, Havana City Cigars (HVC), Reinier Lorenzo introduced a Connecticut wrapped Hot Cake at the 2023 Premium Cigar Association trade show in Las Vegas.

I have been a fan of HVC from the first puff of a Cerro Maduro. Reinier’s blending style appeals to me. His cigars typically offer up a flavorful, full-bodied smoke and a clean finish. Notes of cocoa, espresso, leather being signature flavors I equate with many of his blends. A CT wrapped cigar stands out in the Havana City lineup. I was very eager to try this blend and see what Lorenzo pulled out of a traditionally light wrapper.

Dressed in the familiar gold and red band, the Hot Cake CT came with a second band around the foot bearing the Golden Line name. Looking at the cigars, my first visual impression was this is not an attractive cigar. The CT wrappers seemed thin and stretched taunt over a lumpy binder. There was some discoloration and water spots visible. The seams and veining are noticeable.

Pre-light, smelling the wrapper, I get a little bit of a sweet scent but nothing distinguishable that I can name. The foot of the cigar does have a stronger aroma which triggers the memory of a musty, woody enclosed space. The cigar itself has a nice weight to it. The body of the cigar is stiff, but in spots does feel a little bit spongy.

The foot looks loosely, rolled and has two areas where there appear to be voids. Opening the cap does look well packed and only lighting the cigar and smoking it will tell how the cigar was built.

The HVC Hot Cake Golden Line Laguito #5 weighs in at 16oz. which was indicative by the heft felt in the cigar.

Removing the foot band so I can light the cigar revealed that the glue used to secure the foot band apparently adhered to the wrapper and when I twisted to remove it, a piece of the wrapper came off with it.

My second observation with the Hot Cake CT was the draw, and this is just my personal preference. Pulling air through the cigar was like drawing air through an open snorkel. There was zero resistance, and the draw was too open for my taste. Neither issue diminished my smoking experience but hopefully Reinier can use my observations as an area where HVC can improve manufacturing and packaging.

Special care was given during lighting to avoid scorching the delicate CT wrapper. I took pages of notes while evaluating the HVC CT, they will serve as a reminder as I gather my thoughts here, but I am not going to subject our readers to my rambling musing more than I already have.

First Third: Very open draw, pepper forward and leaves the mouth and lips tingling. No distinct flavor notes. Short finish and clean.

Second Third: The draw appears to have closed slightly. Pepper has taken a step back, vegetal flavors, sweet onion. Smoke production is impressive. The cigar responds very well to a slow pace. Burn is good and the combustion line is quite thin.

Final Third: The open draw returned. Notes of leather and almond have made themselves known. The CT has not needed any touch up, relighting and show cases the strength and genius of Reinier Lorenzo. The HVC line needs an offering like this cigar.

I ignored the taper to the burn, shown right, and the cigar corrected itself. As mentioned above, the cigar produced so much smoke with each puff, very enjoyable.

As mentioned, I stopped focusing on the lack of strong flavor notes and realized the reason for introducing this cigar was to capture a wider audience. I have no doubt that the Hot Cake CT will quickly become a staple for HVC as it appeals to more casual smokers.

The CT delivers size, aroma, ample smoke with ease and will not offend in the process. Coming in under $10, this cigar is a fantastic deal.

Bravo Reinier! Bravo HVC!

I plan to keep these in stock and will gladly continue to enjoy them.

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