In 2016 HVC Cigar Co debuted a new cigar called the San Isidro.

The name references a neighborhood in Old Havana that was made famous by Alberto Yarini, a Cuban pimp who worked there and was killed by gunfire from a rival pimp’s gang in 1910.

At the 2017 IPCPR Convention and Trade Show, HVC owner Reinier Lorenzo showed off the next size in the San Isidro line, the Hermoso.

  • Cigar Reviewed: San Isidro Hermoso
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A.
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 4 1/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Petit Robusto
  • MSRP: $9.20 (Boxes of 20, $184)
  • Release Date: August 2017
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

The San Isidro Hermoso lives up to its name with a beautiful wrapper and an elegant band that together entice me to start smoking the cigar. It’s firm to the touch with hardly any give at all, but has a soft and oily feel to it. The wrapper produces a strong barnyard aroma, with a bold earthiness, along with some hay, a touch of leather and some wood. A very different profile greets me with the cold draw, starting with a rich chocolate creaminess, hints of black pepper, earthy undertones and a hint of raisins.

Starting into the first third I’m almost slapped in the face with strong black pepper and a tingle of jalapeno heat on my tongue. There is also a bit of dry cocoa and earth, but it’s almost completely overshadowed. Calming down after about half an inch, the profile remains dry and earth, but much less of the overpowering pepper. The burn isn’t perfect—just slightly off from being even—but certainly doesn’t require a touch up. The ash is a little flaky, but holds on well to around the inch mark. Though it’s a short cigar and there isn’t much time for development, the first third ends with signs of getting sweeter.

Moving into the second third of the San Isidro Hermoso, the sweetness that was growing has insinuated itself in the profile, balancing out the dry earth and pepper, while bringing a more chocolatey flavor out of what was once cocoa. Spice and citrus start to show up in the background with the reduction of the bold pepper, adding a little more depth to the profile. The burn has become a little too jagged, requiring a touch up, but is seems to want to cooperate after that.

All too quickly I’m already finding myself in the final third, which continues the profile of earth, pepper and chocolate up front, while a general sweetness, spice and a light citrus note follows behind. The burn lags behind in one section again, needing another touch up. With only a little bit left to the Hermoso to hold on to, it finishes smoothly, continuing with the same profile to the very end.

Final Notes

  • Hermoso translates to beautiful.
  • The cigar uses some of AGANORSA’s “AAA” tobacco. That would be a helpful distinction if anyone knew what it meant.
  • I enjoy petit robustos for their shorter smoking time, but if I find myself smoking one without any time constraints, they end up seeming way too short. This is one of those cases where I wished there was a little more to the cigar.
  • While the Geniales was a box-pressed toro, the Hermoso is a rounded parejo.
  • Currently a street in Havana, the San Isidro is not the only cigar that HVC has released with a street name. The La Rosa 520 is a nod to HVC founder Reinier Lorenzo’s address where he grew up.
  • Cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by HVC Cigar Co.
  • Final smoking time averaged a little over an hour.
89 Overall Score

The San Isidro Hermoso is a good blend packed into a nice looking little cigar. I haven’t had the chance to try the larger Geniales size, but I enjoyed the petit robusto. The profile starts out quite strong - almost a little bit too much so - but quickly settles down, and once it does the earth and pepper are nicely balanced out by the sweetness, spice and chocolate. As far as construction goes, the Hermoso mostly performed well, though a couple of touch-ups and some flaky ash were mildly annoying. Overall, it’s a great addition to the San Isidro line and one I can easily suggest going and trying for yourself.

Brian Burt

I have been smoking cigars since 2005 and reviewing them as a hobby since 2010. Initially, I started out small with a 50-count humidor and only smoking one or two cigars a month. Not knowing anybody else that smoked cigars, it was only an occasional hobby that I took part in. In March of 2010, I joined Nublive and Cigar Asylum, connecting me with many people who also shared an interest in cigars. Reading what they had to say about brands I had never heard of, I quickly immersed myself in the boutique brands of the industry and it was then that cigars transformed from a hobby into a passion.