Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Cigar Review: Crowned Heads Pre-release

reviewed by Jason Erwin

Crowned Heads 
Las Calaveras
Edicion Limitada 2014

Las Calaveras LC652
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano Oscuro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Vitola: Toro
Size: 6 x 52

Up for review is the "Las Calaveras" from the guys at Crowned Heads. Jon Huber was kind enough to send me a pre-release sample, so I thought it would make for a great review. This is Crowned Heads first partnership with My Father Cigars, and they produced this stick in three vitolas. A Robusto(5x50), Toro(6x52) and Churchill(7x54). Only 1000 boxes of 24 in each size will be hitting the shelves making a grand total of 3000 boxes. I really like the story behind this blend with its connection to the "Day of the Dead" holiday. Whether it's a celebration or a new life or a celebration of a loved ones life that has come to an end, we all love to enjoy a cigar in honor of our family, friends, and life's memorable moments. So, let's get to it shall we?!

This cigar impresses out of the box (or bag in my case). It has a nice, oily wrapper with minimal veining, and is a milk chocolate color. Pre-lit smell is giving me a lot of black pepper towards the head while the foot gives hints of a sweeter smell which is all shadowed by a manure aroma. Construction seems flawless at this point and the cigar has a solid, slightly spongy feel. I clipped the triple cap with a guillotine and the draw was spot on.

The initial light gives a nice little blast of black pepper but starts to mellow after two or three puffs. As of now, I am getting mostly pepper with some undertones of leather. As I burn to the second half of the first third, I start to notice a significant flavor change. A sweeter hay and even some coffee undertones start to show up while the black pepper, leather, and an earthy flavor hang around in the background. Smoke is steady off the foot.

The first ash drops as I hit the 2nd third. Burn is decent, but not perfect. I started to get a slight run but it self corrected before it got to the point of needing to correct it myself. Smoke is still steadily heavy off of the foot and thick and creamy off of the draw. The flavors are really impressive up to this point. I am still getting some sweeter notes of hay through my nose, and coffee undertones. Black pepper and leather notes are constantly lingering and I would consider this cigar very flavorful and medium to full body, but pushing towards full as it burns on towards the end of the 2nd third.

The 3rd and final stretch has been an enjoyable one! I am dropping ash in 1 inch increments and the burn has kept itself nice and straight since the self correct earlier on. The sweeter notes have subsided a bit and black pepper has ramped up, but not too overwhelming. This cigar is definitely robust and earthy as is expected from the Esteli region. As I work my way through the last 3rd, I'm getting more and more pepper on the tip of my tongue and a full, creamy smoke with leather, coffee, and earthy notes through the nose.

While I was only able to smoke one cigar for this review, I think it's fair to say that this cigar is personally my top Crowned Heads blend. I'm a fan of most cigars the Garcia family has produced and I feel this partnership is a good one. I want to thank Jon Huber for the opportunity to smoke this cigar and wish the C.H. Family the best of luck with their 2014 release!

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