Crowned Heads made some waves recently with the announcement of their newest project, Las Calaveras. When Jon Huber, co-owner of Crowned Heads, was recently on CigarChat, he mentioned this project, but didn’t go into much detail. Well, the cat is now out of the bag, and here is the shake down. You can read all about the project on the Crowned Head’s website, but here is what you need to know.
This cigar is a limited edition that is planned to appear once a year. Although the blend will change, the name of the project and its purpose will not. There will be three vitolas in the blend including a robusto (5 x 50), toro ( 6 x 52), and double corona (7 x 54). This 2014 edition is limited to 3000 boxes of 24 (1,000 boxes in each of the three vitolas), and will be priced anywhere between $8 to $12 dollars.
There are two interesting things about this project you should know.
First, and probably the most shocking, is the factory Crowned Heads used for this project. Crowned Heads has been well known for working with EPC on all of their previous releases including Four Kicks, Headley Grange, JD Howard Reserve, and their two limited releases, Mule Kick and Drumstick.
Second, this is a pure B&M release. This will be the first time Crowned Heads has done this.
You have the story - time for the smoke.
Crowned Heads Las Calaveras Limited Edition 2014 LC652
Size: 6 x 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro (9th Priming)
Beverage: Kenya Black Tea
Cigars Smoked for this Review: Two
Smoking Time: 110 Minutes
Price Point: $8 to $12
Cigar Purchased: Sample Sent from Crowned Heads
I was surprised about how uniform the wrapper color was on the Las Calaveras. It was almost too perfect.
The cigar was well constructed and has a very “rugged” look to it. There are minor convex bumps which can’t be easily seen, but can easily be felt. The draw was a little tight up front, but the La Calaveras really opened up and produced a booming smoke.
The flavor profile was interesting, but a departure from what I am used to from Crowned Heads which is probably due, in part, to being made outside of EPC. I was expecting pepper, but got none up front. The Las Calaveras had notes of earth and cinnamon. The smoke was very dry, and I found myself reaching for my hot tea quite often. There were fruit notes of peach which was the first time I have experienced this in a cigar. There was a very faint jalapeno spice on the retrohale. The more I smoked into the second third, the more intense and dominating the jalapeno spice became.
There was a nutty sweetness which I would almost compare to macadamia nut cookies. A very nice woody note appeared which was almost oak in nature. I can’t really understate how complex the nuttiness was in the Las Calaveras. First, I taste macadamia nut cookies, and, next, it is like I am eating lightly salted cashews. Also, there were notes of nutmeg. Shit, all of this happened in the first half of the cigar.
The black pepper I was expecting did kick in, and was a welcomed addition. The jalapeno and oak notes made a push in the second half becoming more intense in flavor. The second half of the Las Calaveras wasn’t nearly as exciting as the first half. The nuttiness died off, and I was left with black pepper, jalapeno, and oak.
The Las Calaveras really ramps up in body towards the end. The end did get a bit bitter, but I was able to power through. There was a decent amount of strength in the cigar, and I can say it is easily the strongest thing Crowned Heads has made, other than maybe the Headley Grange.
I think the La Calaveras is a solid cigar and it will hit people who like full body/strength cigars, and who, maybe, haven’t liked previous stuff from the Crowned Heads.
I think the issue will come with one factor - the 24 count box. This being a limited edition for only B&M’s, I get that the box size shouldn’t matter, but it still does. All other limited releases from Crowned Heads have been in ten count boxes which makes it much easier for a customer to nut up and buy a box.
Try one when they come out in May and let me know what you think.