14. HVC La Rosa 520 Reyes
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. (TABSA)
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo 99
- Binder: Nicaragaua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 6 1/4 x 48
- MSRP: $11.80 (Boxes of 10, $118)
- Release Date: August 2016
- Number of Cigars Released: 500 Boxes of 10 (5,000 Total Cigars)
- Original Score: 92
Last year’s surprise of our top 25 list was HVC’s La Rosa 520. So when we found out the blend would return, this time in a thinner ring gauge, needless to say, I was excited.
But then I smoked my first one. And I was disappointed. It was before Patrick Lagreid’s review, before probably any reviews of the cigar and I was left with an earth bomb that wouldn’t stay lit. A few weeks later, a glowing review from Patrick Lagreid was posted and I needed to smoke another one. One, for my own intellectual curiosity, and two, because the cigar was now eligible for our top 25.
What a difference a few weeks made. The La Rosa 520 Reyes delivered on what I remembered: floral, nutty and savory.
HVC has faired particularly well at halfwheel and the proof is in the pudding. It’s not as well known as Illusione or Warped, but it’s an integral part in the reason why Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A.—which produces all three brands—has won our factory of the year award for two consecutive years. — Charlie Minato.