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Stogie Reviews: Xikar HC Criollo Robusto

3 Nov 2010

Xikar is primarily known as a leading purveyor of cigar accessories like cutters, lighters, cases, and humidification devices. But this Kansas City-based company is also in the business of crafting premium cigars.

Xikar’s cigar-making partner is Jesus Fuego, a Cuban expat with a master’s degree in agronomy and five generations of tobacco cultivation in his blood. Today he has his own cigar outfit in Miami where he produces such gems as the 777 Corojo and the Origen.

In early 2009, Xikar and Fuego teamed up to launch the HC Series. Named for Xikar’s Havana Collection, the line boasts three blends: Connecticut Shade, Criollo, and Habano Colorado. “No matter your time, mood, or your preference, the HC Series has the perfect blend for every cigar lover’s palate,” said Fuego in a press release.

Each HC cigar is handmade at one of Nestor Plasencia’s factories. The four-vitola Criollo line features a two-country filler blend of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos along with a sun-grown criollo binder and a five-year-old Nicaraguan shade-grown criollo wrapper. The Robusto (5 x 50) is a clean, silky cigar with a pre-light aroma of earth.

After toasting the foot and studying the initial taste, I find a nicely balanced profile of leather, dry wood, and tea with a bit of sweetness and some chili pepper on the finish. The flavor is full but the strength is subdued, resulting in that all-too-elusive combo of bold spice and velvety texture.

The second half has a little less leather and a little more cream and roasted nuts. The transition is a welcome one, serving as a reprieve from the preceding spice. As the Criollo Robusto progresses, the construction remains excellent: an effortless draw, a tight ash, and a straight burn.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the HC Connecticut Shade, my only reservation was that its $7.50-9 price tag rendered it slightly overpriced—especially considering the other great Connecticut-wrapped smokes on the market. Not so with this Criollo, which is similarly priced but packs a more interesting profile. A terrific smoke, it is worthy of four stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

4 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: Xikar HC Criollo Robusto”

  1. dmjones1009 Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 3:01 am #

    Hands-down my favorite medium-bodied smoke on the market. I do have a slight problem with the price, though…I think the whole HC lineup could stand to be a buck a stick less. If they were I would buy the Criollo and Connecticut Shade (not a big fan of the Habano Colorado) more frequently than I do.

  2. Giddeon S Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 6:37 am #

    Must. Try. This. Cigar.

  3. mighty Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 7:53 am #

    I have met Jesus Fuego and he seemed like an all around nice humble guy.

    I like the Colorado the best out of the HC series as it is an almost sweeter version of his Origen.

    He makes some great cigars!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Stogie Reviews: Xikar HC Habano Colorado Robusto - Tuesday, December 28, 2010

    […] and an ash that holds well for at least one inch—characteristics that are consistent with my previous two experiences with the HC […]