Crowned Heads Angel’s Anvil 2016 TAA Exclusive
We don’t often get cool, rainy weather here in El Paso so I decided to make the most of it and venture out back with a Crowned Heads Angel’s Anvil 2016 in one hand and a bottle of the Bruery’s White Oak in the other.
The Good Stuff:
Every year the Crowned Heads releases a TAA exclusive released called the Angel’s Anvil. I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on all three, you can review the 2014 here, and the 2015 here. TAA stands for the Tobacconists’ Association of America which is composed of about 80 retailers across the U.S. who gather each year to discuss issues facing the cigar industry. Halfwheel had some great information on where Jon Huber got the Angel’s Anvil name from during his time with CAO and Crowned Heads:
Legend has it that there was one fallen angel, in particular, who fell to Earth from the heavens, finding himself alone and lost. Unlike other fallen angels who were content to wander the earth in a soulless state of purgatory, this angel became bound and determined to find his way back to Heaven.
The angel soon realized that his only way back would be for him to forge a new set of wings by which he could ascend back to the heavenly skies. He walked the countryside for days and days, until he came upon a blacksmith. The blacksmith gave the angel a hammer and an anvil, and said to him, “With these tools you will forge your new wings. With these wings, you will announce the words, ‘Ascend Word He,‘ and you will find your way home.”
This year’s version comes in a single box-pressed robusto format measuring 5 1/2 x 54. The blend carries a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, Nicaraguan Binder, and Nicaraguan filler and like the past two releases is produced by Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr. at his Tabacalera La Alianza S.A. in Dominican Republic. Only 1,000 boxes of 20 are being produced of this highly limited cigar and they will run $10.50 per cigar. I purchased a few of these over form our friends at Two Guys Smoke Shop.
Size: 5.5 x 54
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Pairing: The Bruery White Oak (Wheatwine 12.5% ABV)
The Crowned Head’s Angel’s Anvil 2016 is an absolutely gorgeous cigar. We’ll start with the wrapper which carries an incredible deep, dark brown color which is almost flawless in consistency. The wrapper leaf is laid seamlessly over the box-pressed cigar with only extremely minor veins to be seen. The wrapper’s texture is incredibly toothy and rough with some slight oils while the wrapper is very hard, and dense to the touch. The entire cigar is hard, and has very little give when I squeeze it between my fingers. The cigar is polished off with a round triple cap, and a red, white, and gold version of the the Angel’s Anvil band we’ve grown to expect from these TAA releases.
The wrapper gives off a nice tart, cocoa, and oak aroma while the foot of the cigar is much more spicier with some pepper, natural tobacco, and sweetness. The cap cut very clean and easily using my Palio double bladed cutter. The cold draw is really interesting, it leads with a ton of milk chocolate and oak with some subtle spice and citrus. I’m really hoping this translates over the the smoking experience.
The Crowned Heads Angel’s Anvil 2016 starts out with a great little black pepper bang which quickly fades and showcases some deep oak, cocoa, vanilla and tartness. The draw is absolutely perfect. Each little puff kicks out a whole mess of thick, white smoke which tends to stick around a while before dissipating. The box-pressed format makes for an extremely comfortable smoke. the burn line is razor thin and dead even leaving behind a tightly compacted trail of medium and dark gray ash which held on for about an inch before falling into my ashtray.
Into the second third of the Crowned Heads Angel’s Anvil 2016 and the vanilla has really taken center stage. The backing flavors are a strong oak and cocoa backed by spice, tartness, and sweetness. It’s a great mixture, and much different than the previous two blends. The retrohale showcases a lot more spice than I pick up during the standard smoking experience while the burn line continues onward flawlessly. I close out the second third with almost nothing in the nicotine department.
Into the final third of this Crowned Heads Angel’s Anvil 2016 and some nice honey has started to creep into the complex flavor profile which still leads with the oak and vanilla backed by spice, cocoa, and tartness. The body of this cigar is full for sure, while the strength has hovered right between medium and full with a big ramp up in the final third. It took me 2 hours to smoke this cigar down to the very nub and I enjoyed every single second of it. I experienced no hashness, and it burned like a dream the entire time. I never once had to reach for my torch for any touchups or relights. I close it out with only a medium sized nicotine kick.
I have grown to expect cigars a bit more on the lighter side from the Carrillo compound, but the Angel’s Anvil 2016 really showcases what depth they have over there. It has a classic maduro approach yet rises into the full body, and almost full strength category without overpowering in either direction. The flavor profile was very unexpected and I absolutely loved it. It was relentless, complex, and extremely enjoyable. This cigar is well worth the coin, and the journey to find them. Snatch them up while you can cause they absolutely will be gone before you know it. I know I’m going to be searching some more out for sure.
White Oak is 50% Wheatwine aged in bourbon barrels and 50% Mischief which is a Belgian style Golden Ale brewed at the Bruery’s campus in Placentia, California. The resulting mixture creates a great flavor profile which leads with caramel, oak, bourbon, apple, and vanilla with a decently heavy mouthfeel before finishing off with some slight honey, more bourbon caramel and vanilla with just a touch of spice. This is a damn good beer and it really packs a punch. The pairing was wonderful as the vanilla, caramel, spice, and oak matched up perfectly with the flavors in the Angel’s Anvil. This cigar would also pair great with a hefty bourbon barrel stout, or quad.