Group Review: Crowned Heads Le Careme

Fresh off the 2016 IPCPR floor, Jon Huber and Crowned Heads have released the Le Carême, a cigar which pays tribute to Marie Antoine Carême. A pioneering figure in 19th century French cuisine. Such as establishing mother sauces and the popularization of the soufflé. It is produced at the same factory as the Four Kicks, Headley Grange and J.D. Howard Reserve.

Le Carême by Crowned Heads

Size: 5 x 50

Vitola: Robusto

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf

Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra

Filler: Nicaragua

MSRP: $8.25

Samples smoked for review: 1-2 per reviewer

Cigars for review were provided by Crowned Heads

Note: We used the CigarFederation Rating System

Jerad's Rating - 89 AKA 5-Pack Purchase

Prelight: The wrapper and the foot have a powerful aroma, full of dark cocoa, a pinch of red pepper and an interesting aroma, which is VERY similar to whipped egg whites. The cold draw confirms these notes, with an interesting, mix of sweet tobacco and a sweet pastry-like note.

Flavors: The Le Carême starts out living up to its name. Very creamy, with notes of cocoa and a naturally sugar-sweet pastry. The creaminess is more of a whipped texture, leading me to get even more soufflé notes. Halfway through I get blasts of an amazing chocolate/mocha coffee note. After that though, the cigar really never changed up and towards the end it got a tad harsh. Not that I wanted a change, the flavors were legit, but I did want the flavors to develop more towards the end. I'll buy more in a heartbeat though.

Construction: The burn had a smooth wave to it, but it burned continuously and cleanly with no issues. The ash held on nicely and made three nice little pieces.

Final Thoughts: The prelight and the first half of the Le Carême were spectacular. The likeness between the aromas and the flavor were so close to a chocolate souffle that it was uncanny.

Rob's Rating - 88 AKA 5-Pack Purchase
The new Le Carème from Crowned Heads was one of the IPCPR releases that I was most looking forward to.  I love all the CH blends that came out of EP Carillos factory, so naturally I was excited about this one.
Flavor: The Le Carème started out with a nice dry cocoa on the palate and some mild black pepper spice on the retrohale.  The flavor profile was quite dry on both samples that I smoked and I found myself reaching for an extra glass of water.  A the profile evolved the dry cocoa took on a mild cookie dough sweetness while the black pepper on the retro gained strength.  Things settled into nice niche with those flavors running the show.  There was a smokey note that came and went and some extra spice here and there, but for the most part the profile stayed consistent.  There wasn’t a ton of complexity, but the flavors that were present played nicely together.
Construction: The burn on this thing was razor freakin’ sharp.  The smoke production was on point as well.  Everything was perfect from a construction standpoint on both samples smoked.
Final Thoughts: Le Carème is a good cigar, but I wanted a little more depth.  The dry cocoa added an interesting and unique flavor to the cigar, but it needed a bit more sweetness or a bit more spice to take it to the next level.  Don't get me wrong, this is a cigar I could smoke at any time of day and it is screaming to be paired with a nice aged rum or spicy bourbon.  It is an easy 5-pack purchase and if some rest brings out more sweetness or spice, then it may jump up to a box split.

Surgeon's Rating - 89 AKA 5-Pack Purchase

"This is a cigar I could see myself smoking on a daily basis."

Video review: HERE

The nose on the Le Careme was lots of raisin, spicy cedar. Everything I expect out of a dark Broadleaf wrapper.

Using a Xikar v-cutter I found the draw a bit on the tight side.

My initial impressions were tons of sweetness with some trailing spices and cedar. The retrohale produced a more complex sweetness and more complex spices. As the first third settles in I find the cigar quite balanced and nuanced which surprised me. There's a nice creaminess underneath all the flavor profile.
I found myself really engaged in the cigar and not taking as many notes as I normally would. The chewy broadleaf character starts to show itself at the halfway point of the first third.

In the middle third the sweetness picks up in intensity and pushes back against that chewy broadleaf character. Again a great creaminess underscoring the flavor profile.

The spices drop in intensity in the last third, and the cedar is more pronounced on the post draw.

The Le Careme definitely reminds me of other Crowned Heads releases like the Jericho Hill. At the same time the Le Careme is unlike anything else I've smoked from Jon Huber. It wasn't that I needed to pay attention to the cigar, as much as it was the cigar just immediately took over my focus and managed to keep it for the 1 hour and 23 minute smoking time.

This is a cigar I could see myself smoking on a daily basis.

CigarFederation Group Rating: 88.66 AKA "Box Split"

Views: 901

Comment by Jeff LaPlante on August 6, 2016 at 4:50am

Great work guys. Still excited to try this one!

Comment by Sam C. on August 8, 2016 at 7:14pm
Total agreement is interesting. Nice reviews. That's sort of how I feel about all the CH blends I've tried. Pretty good, could be better.

Comment by 007MI6 on August 9, 2016 at 7:51am

It's always pretty interesting (and RARE) that we get this even of a rating. Neat though. :) I am a huge Crowned Heads fan myself, and I'll buy more of these for sure.

Comment by Rod Pangelinan on August 17, 2016 at 2:20am
Great work fellas! I can't wait to give this stick a go.


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