Every day smoke

Four Kicks Maduro From Crowned Heads

Four Kicks Maduro

Ten years ago, four former CAO employees started a little boutique brand known as Crowned Heads. With their roots in Nashville and lead by front man Jon Huber, the company pulls a lot of inspiration from the large music seen around them. Four Kicks and Four Kicks Maduro both derive their name from Nashville band Kings of Leon. (If you like them check out Quiet Oaks, also from Nashville.) While Crowned Heads had kept to a single blend for their core products we now have a variation with the Four Kicks Maduro.

The cigar is a dark chocolaty brown with a fair amount of oil and veins, but nothing that makes the cigar unappealing. The smell is earthy and leathery but light. From the cold draw I notice the taste of pepper, citrus and a sweetness that balances the other flavors.

In the first half the cigar is spicy and creamy. It smokes very smooth and easy giving off plenty of light weighted smoke. The burn is sharp and the ash holds for easily 1/4″ before breaking it free.

The second half brought a bit of earthiness to the table along with a slight increase in the pepper spice flavor but still remained a smooth smoking cigar. Smoke production was still large and there were no burn issues for the entirety of the cigar.

For a “younger” company Crowned Heads have been able to release several stand out cigars and the Four Kicks Maduro is another one. With a flavor profile that should suit anyones palate, solid construction and a more than reasonable price point, this cigar should be a go to when you’re having trouble deciding what to smoke. When you see them at the shop be sure to grab a handful or two.

Wrapper – Connecticut Habano Maduro

Binder – Nicaraguan

Filler – Nicaraguan

Price: $8.00 – $10.00 a stick depending on vitola.

Website: Crownedheads.com

Rating: 4.7 out of 5 pints

 

Jericho Hill Willy Lee by Crowned Heads

20150127_150037The Jericho Hill was the Crowned Heads fourth regular production release as well as their second release out of the My Father’s factories in Estelí, Nicaragua, following the Las Calaveras.  The Jericho Hill line was inspired by “The Man in Black”, Johnny Cash’s song, “The Cocaine Blues”.

Pre Light Inspection

The Willy Lee is a beautiful box press with a deep dark maduro wrapper that has a decent amount of little veins, and some noticeable tooth to it.  The pre light draw was very smooth and had rich tobacco, cocoa, and a hint of spice to it.

1st third

Upon lighting, I was immediately impressed with the draw and classic My Father’s spice and pepper.  There was leather, wood, and a sweet molasses notes that I really enjoyed.  The pepper and spice remained on my palate between draws.  The leather and wood really took center stage for the first third of the cigar.  The strength was medium, and the burn and ash were on point as well.

2nd third

The strength has now begun to pick up.  The flavors really started to evolve.  I have noticed that the pepper and molasses slowed down and cocoa and leather have taken center stage.  I’ve also noticed a slight citrus note.  Still a nice amount of pepper on the retrohale.  The ash has fallen off and the burn needed a minor touch up about halfway.

Final third20150127_155304

The strength has jumped into full gear, changing from medium to full flavor.  I started to notice some tar bubbling out of the punch cut opening with about 3 inches of the cigar left.  The cigar has now taken on a bitter tar taste.  I tried my best to smoke through it, but had to put it down about a half inch away from the band.  This is very unfortunate.  The other vitolas I have smoked in this line smoked perfect from start to finish.  While this will not change my attitude toward Crowned Heads cigars, this particular one ended early for me.

Overview

The whole cigar has amazing transitions in flavor and strength.  However, this one wasn’t what I am used to when I smoke a Jericho Hill.  It was an explosion of great flavors that I enjoy.  I have yet to smoke anything from Crowned Heads that didn’t leave me wanting more in my humidor.  I recommend the 4 pack sampler with all the vitolas of the Jericho Hill line.

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This cigar would go well with a stout beer or a good scotch.  I of course paired it with a local craft root beer.

 

Jericho Hill Willy is a 2 out of 5 pints for this cigar in particular.  The tar issue made a serious impact on the 2 pints score.  Still going to smoke more of these, just maybe not the Willy Lee.

 

 

Website: Crownheads.com

Size: 6”

Ring Gauge: 54

Wrapper: Mexican San Andres

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler: Nicaragua

Vitola: Toro Box Press

Rating 2 out of 5 pints.