Cigars

Crowned Heads Wabash Cannonball

Crowned Heads Wabash Cannonball

If you’re a fan of cigars then when you think of Nashville you think of Crowned Heads and how co-founder, Jon Huber, likes to celebrate everything Nashville. That theme was continued in the limited edition cigar made for the Casa de Montecristo store in Nashville, naming it the Wabash Cannonball. The Wabash Cannonball was a rollercoaster at the now closed Opryland USA theme park in Nashville from 1975 to 1997. The name originally came from an old folk song titled “The Great Rock Island Route.” In 1904, the song was rewritten and given the name “Wabash Cannon Ball,” referring to the train in the song. It has since been covered by many people including, The Carter Family, Johnny Cash, Bing Crosby, Woody Guthrie, Chuck Berry. Jon said “When we were approached to create an exclusive cigar for CdM Nashville, I immediately wanted to use the opportunity to pay tribute to a Nashville that is gone but not forgotten,” said Jon Huber, co-founder of Crowned Heads, in a press release. “Wabash Cannonball evokes that old Nashville vibe and the new world blend is one that will take the cigar enthusiast for a nice, long, flavorful ride.”

The wrapper is very dark with a matte finish. Some noticeable veins and seams, slight mottling and overall lumpy. I would describe the general look as being a bit on the rustic side. Given Jon’s comments on the idea of the cigar I feel like this look was intentional to give it that “old Nashville vibe” as he called it. The smell reminds me of cedar and chocolate, from the foot its more chocolate and some gram cracker. The cold draw has flavors of dried apricot and just some all around general sweetness but, the draw feels a bit on the tight side.

The first third is earthy with pepper on the back end and a finish that stays with you for a while. It’s smooth on the retrohale and has a good burn with a fair amount of light weighted smoke to fill the room. The draw is a little snug but not as tight as I thought it would be from the cold draw.

Moving into the second third the earthiness remains but a bit of cream and bread hop in making for a very smooth tasting smoke. The cigar really opens up at this point so much larger draws can be taken providing large amounts of smoke and flavor to the palate. The burn line stays sharp as well.

For the final third there is a slight spice that makes its way into the mix but that does not upset the balance of flavors that was created in the second third. Throughout the cigar the retrohale has stayed buttery smooth. The burn doesn’t waver and the smoke production stays on point.

This was an all around great cigar. The flavors were always full but not overpowering and the rustic look and feel made the experience even better. To me this fell into a medium category and could easily be smoked by anyone and paired with nearly anything. Of course my suggestion is going to be a nice whiskey out of Nashville like maybe something from Green Brier or Belle Meade. Being an exclusive just for CdM in Nashville it might be a touch tricky to get your hands on some. I was lucky enough to be out there for a work trip and swung by the shop to pick a few up. Being that these were released almost a year ago to the day and only 5,000 being made the numbers are probably dwindling so if you’re not in Nashville give the shop a call and see if you can order some before they are gone.

Wrapper –  Mexican San Andres

Binder – Nicaragua 

Filler – Nicaragua

Price: $10.70

Website: www.CrownedHeads.com

Made exclusively for CdM Nashville: 615-800-3397

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 pints.

Room 101 Farce Maduro

Room 101 Farce Maduro

The Room 101 Farce Maduro has been on my radar (and in my humidor) for a minute or two now so I decided to slip on some open toed sandals (you’re welcome Matt) and get to writing. We all know in 2017 Booth said he was taking “a break” from the cigar industry, or maybe you didn’t know, but it feels like it was kind of a big deal at the time. That “break” lasted for all of about 10 minutes. During 2017’s IPCPR he was there giving the brand a fresh start and working on some projects with others. In 2018 he began laughing his own ideas under the Room 101 name including the brands own premium line, Room 101 Farce. In 2019 he released Farce Maduro which is what we have here today to review.

So, just for kicks, let’s start with how Boofy describes this cigar. “Look at me. The visual of my decadent and oily wrapper triggers a salivary response within your mouth hole. A brilliant spring of neurotransmitters rushes from your midbrain and dives head first into your bloodstream at the nanosecond your eyes make contact with my succulent and inviting exterior. Can you only imagine what may happen once you taste me? Don’t think about it – be about it. FARCE Maduro is the taste grenade you have only dreamt could be real. zzz” Now how do you top that description? Not sure that’s possible but here’s what I thought.

I found the over all look of the wrapper to be dark chestnut in color with a bit of tooth to it. It has tight seams, some slight veining and more of a flat finish. While it might not pair up exactly with the afore mentioned description I found it to be very visual pleasing. The cigar is very pliable between the fingers but feels full with no apparent dead spots. It has a very pleasant odor of cedar, leather and spices. It reminds me of the way an antique book smells when you open it. From the foot I pick up sweat dried fruit and tobacco. The cold draw is easy to the point of feeling too open (which caused an uh-oh moment of concern) and gives flavors of apricot with some sneaky pepper.

The cigar ignites with no issues and as soon as torch hits tobacco that loose draw tightens up and provides the proper amount of resistance canceling out any fears of the cigar being too loose on the draw. The first third brings in flavors of dark chocolate, coffee and pepper. I found more pepper on the retrohale. The cigar burns well and even, the smoke production is plenty to fill “your mouth hole” as Booth puts it.

Reaching the second third the favor settles into a more mellow feel with the cedar remaining but becoming more earthy in taste and a nice bit of pepper on the finish. The retrohale moves to a nice spice flavor. Construction is impeccable with a sharp burn and smoke that doesn’t quit.

For the final third I found it to be nice and mellow with dark chocolate, coffee and nut flavors along with good spice on the end. Now, by mellow I do not mean that it doesn’t have much flavor, it has plenty of that. By mellow I mean the flavors are not fighting with each other and marry nicely so the cigar never tastes harsh while smoking it. The burn line stared even for the duration of the smoke and smoke never fails to satisfy.

The Room 101 Farce Maduro was a lot of fun to smoke. It has a lot of great flavor and the construction is tip top. While the flavors are plentiful I think this is a great cigar for either the novice or the veteran smoker. Take a look in your local B&M and if you see these don’t pass by them you won’t be disappointed to have them in your collection. Along with the Room 1010 Cigars Matt Booth also has Room 101 Brand jewelry line. If you’re looking for some new accessories hit up his site for that too!

Wrapper –  Mexican San Andres

Binder – Ecuador 

Filler – Connecticut, Nicaragua, Pennsylvania

Price: Around $10.00 – $11.00

Website: www.Room101cigars.com

Rating: 4.8 out of 5 pints.

La Palina Classic Connecticut

La Palina Classic Connecticut

The La Palina Classic Connecticut has been around for a while now. Originally created in the Congress Cigar Factory which was opened by Samuel Paley in Chicago, 1896. He named their first cigar La Palina in honor of his wife. Unfortunately three decades later in 1926 the Congress Factory closed when Samuel retired and the line went from luxury to a mass marketed brand. Fast forward to 2010 and in walks his grandson Bill Paley (Son of William Paley Cofounder of CBS) who revived the line back to its previous luxury status. The first modern La Palinas were produced in the Bahamas in limited quantities with the least expensive being $18. Even with the higher price they gained a following and now La Palinas are produced in all the major non-Cuban cigarmaking countries.

The Classic is covered in a light golden brown Ecuadorian wrapper. The seams are tight, there is some light veining and a slight oil shimmer. It is dense to the touch with no dead spots found. The smell from the body reminds me of gram crackers and cedar, from the foot there is a bit of pepper and soft tobacco.The

The first third starts off mellow and creamy with a bit of charred wood. The draw is open and easy with a burn that is sharp and a fair amount of smoke to fill the room.

Moving into the second third the flavor remains mild as expected from a cigar of this blend. The gram cracker noticed in the smell comes through now along with a light pepper and cream finish. The burn stays consistent and the smoke billows out from it nicely.

In the final third I did not notice a great deal of flavor change, maybe a touch more pepper on the retrohale but that’s about it. Throughout the cigar there were no construction or burn issues. The burn line was always stable and even and the ash held until I wanted to knock it free.

If you’re looking for something light to start your day or end it the La Palina Classic Connecticut is the way forward. Great for a relaxing smoke that will pair with just about anything you can think of. It also has a price that won’t break the bank. When you see these in the shop make sure to pick up a fistful to stock your humidor with.

Wrapper –  Ecuadorian Connecticut

Binder – Dominican

Filler – Dominican & Nicaraguan

Price: Around $6.00

Website: https://www.lapalinacigars.com

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 pints