Xikar HC Series Criollo

Jerry and Andy from Xikar hooked me up with their new HC Series cigars to review. They were given the standard disclaimer – I’ll call it like I see it. They were up for the challenge and soon I found myself with two cigars from each blend.

First I tried the Habano Colorado and thought it was a hit. Next up is this review, the Criollo. This will replace the Defiance. As with the other Xikar blends, Jesus Fuego in conjunction with the folks at Xikar masterminded all 3 lines. The blends on the Defiance and Criollo are similar, but do have subtle differences (I think). With a clean palate and water, I bring to you my opinion of the Xikar Criollo.

HC Logo

Wrapper: Shade Grown Criollo – Nicaragua

Binder: Sun Grown Corojo – Nicaragua

Filler: Honduras, Nicaragua

Size: Robusto 5 x 50

Price: Around $8.00


Pre-smoke & Construction:

Overall, the cigar looked a little toothy (lumpy) with small to medium veins. The wrapper and foot had subtle odors of earth and wood. The pre-light draw was free, and had notes of earth, wood, and natural tobacco. When pinching the cigar, I found a couple soft spots that were minimal and not of concern.

The burn required quite a few corrections in the first two thirds, but evened out in the last third. the ash held for an inch.



The first third began with an overall rich taste. Peppery yet sweet notes were noticed when passing the smoke through the sinus. I started to pick up woody and earthy notes as I progressed further into this third. Like my experience with the Defiance, a sweet, rich, and “thick” flavor would appear and then go away. I never pinned it down accurately, but it was pleasant.


The second third began with the pepper calming down quite a bit. That thick sweetness became a little more consistent and was like caramel. When exhaling through the sinus, the sweetness was very noticeable and had some zing to it. The earthy flavors went away for the most part, but I did notice it from time to time. As things came to a close, the smoke feel became creamy. Overall this third was very enjoyable.


As the last third got underway, the smoke took on a cooling effect with an earthy tinge. The thick caramel remained, but it did thin out a little. As I progressed towards the end, the flavor profile seemed to taper down and simplify itself as if it was winding down.



It is always enjoyable and a little stressful when a company wants me to review their cigars. The more confident they are in their product, the more afraid I am that I will end up giving it a bad review. I had high expectations for this cigar, and it delivered. If I had to complain, I’d have to pick the burn corrections. But even that wasn’t to the point of getting on my nerves. This was a solid medium to full bodied cigar. I could easily smoke this at lunch time or dinner. It was just an easy, yet flavorful cigar. Thumbs up!

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