Cigar Federation Top New Releases of 2014: #1 Crowned Heads Jericho Hill

As we near the end of 2014, you will begin to see many "Top" lists throughout the cigar community.  In keeping with tradition, each of the main reviewers on the site - Logan, Rob, Dustin, Jerad and John - has their own list, but we also wanted to see what a Cigar Federation group list would look like.

Unlike last year where I gave the guys no direction, we've changed it up a bit this year.  Each reviewer was asked to provide 3 lists:

  1. Top Brands of 2014 (more on that later)
  2. Top Cigars of 2014 (more on that later)
  3. Top Cigars Released in 2014 (the basis for this list)

Like last year, the fact that the 5 reviewers live in different parts of the country and Canada (and, thus, have access to different cigars) and have vastly diverse palates, produced some interesting results. 

The #1 cigar on our consensus list showed up on 4 of the 5 total lists, the most any cigar appeared meaning no cigar was a unanimous "Top" cigar for all our reviewers. Its worth noting here that my list is not included in the Cigar Federation list as a means of remaining impartial in producing this content - I will share it after completion of the site's list.

Over the next ten days (not including weekends), I will unveil another cigar in the List.  In the end, each of our reviewers will unveil their personal lists.  We're also trying to get the FedHeads involved. How does your list match up? Join the discussion and get involved here.

Without further adieu, I unveil the #1 cigar on Cigar Federation's Top New Releases of 2014 list...

#10 Warped Flor Del Valle

#9 Nomad C-276

#8 1502 Emerald Lancero

#7 Arandoza Red

#6 Nomad Connecticut Fuerte

#5 D'Crossier L'Forte

#4 Herrera Esteli Norteno

#3 Crux Passport

#2 Ortega Serie D Black

#1 Crowned Heads Jericho Hill

Last year, our Cigar of the Year was The Crowned Heads Headley Grange Drumstick, and this year, another blend from The Crowned Heads tops our list. 2014 was another big year for Jon Huber and Mike Conder.  After producing all of their previous blends in the Dominican Republic by Ernesto Perez Carillo, the company moved to My Father Cigars for many of their 2014 releases.  First, the company released the Las Calaveras, and then the company released their first full production cigar out of the factory - #1 on our list, The Crowned Heads Jericho Hill.

As with many of the Crowned Heads releases, Jericho Hill has a story that is rooted in music.  The name is derived from Johnny Cash's rendition of "Cocaine Blues" featured on the live album "At Folsom Prison" which was released in 1968.  In the song, Willy Lee is caught by the sheriff from Jericho Hill.  Leave it up to Jon Huber and Mike Conder to come up with something like that.

Jericho Hill features a San Andres Mexican (the first release from the company to include this wrapper) with binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua. The Jericho Hill hit store shelves in mid August and is available in the following four vitolas: .44S (5 1/8 x 44), LBV (6 1/2 x 46), OBS (4 3/4 x 52), and Willy Lee (6 x 54). Each vitola is available in boxes of 24. 

"The look of Jericho Hill is very cool.  The black and ivory band is eye-catching while the San Andres wrapper is dark and rugged."
"The nose on the Jericho Hill was a mixture of black pepper, some indeterminate baking spices and barnyard. On the cold draw I was able to pick up lots of sweetness with just some slight hay at the end."
"The first puffs of the Jericho Hill start off with a blast of full bodied flavors. Mainly, there is a deep, woody/cedar note, with these awesome sweet finishes of molasses."
"At 1/2 inch mark, the Jericho Hill took on the characteristics of a chocolate souffle in both flavor and texture.  The flavors were sweet and dry (cocoa powder) and did not have a heavy mouthfeel.  There was a fruity brightness on the finish that I couldn't quite put my finger on.  I want to call it a dried cherry, but it was a bit more tangy than that.  Either way, it was a nice component to the flavor.  There was a little spice on the retro that built as I progressed, but it was not as strong as I would normally expect from Pepin."
"In the middle, the woody earthiness is the prominent flavor with a sweet, musky spice on the finish. I really enjoy the finish of this."
"The final third of the Jericho switches it up yet again and becomes very woody and just a little bit drier. The sweetness starts to fade out as I near the end, leaving  a woody and earthy note."
"No matter how you slice it, the Jericho Hill is a damn good cigar.  It was a departure from the norm for both Crowned Heads and My Father.  The profile was unique and the aroma was awesome.  The balance of flavors was outstanding.  Basically I could smoke the Jericho Hill all day, every day."
"Its immediately my favorite Crowned Heads blend to date and one that I will definitely smoke again."

You can read our group review of the Crowned Heads Jericho Hill here.
You can watch our interviews with Jon Huber at IPCPR2014 here.
You can read our full coverage of The Crowned Heads booth at IPCPR2014 here.
You can watch Jon Huber on CigarChat here.
Get into the discussion and share YOUR Top List here.

Views: 600

Comment by Catfishbluezz on December 20, 2014 at 9:49am

Hats off to CH for making number one two years in a row...  I dig the format, because it really requires a cigar to hit many palates, not just one.  So cigars that only Logan or myself will like because we have such picky palates in comparison to the rest of the guys, will not make it as high.  However, when a cigar hits everyone's lists, that showcases the ability of the blender to create something everyone will enjoy.  In the end, I think that makes for a list of cigars that while it may not be blockbusters, every cigar is good enough to recommend to any smoker.  

Comment by 302JH (Jose) on December 20, 2014 at 11:16am

I'll co-sign that for sure....

btw Charlie hardly ever agrees with anyone's cigars  But we appreciate him all the same.

Comment by Charlie on December 20, 2014 at 4:10pm


Comment by Charlie on December 20, 2014 at 4:26pm

Had to pick me up a few of these rustic little beauties! The .44S is my favorite JH.


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