Crowned Heads Blood Medicine, formerly Snake Oil
Crowned Heads released an event-only cigar by the name of Snake Oil in March 2015, but it was only a few weeks later than the name was changed to Blood Medicine to avoid a trademark conflict with The Outlaw Cigar Co. according to a halfwheel news article. While the cigar up for review today still sports a “Snake Oil” band, out of respect for both companies, I shall refer to it as Blood Medicine from here on out.
Blood Medicine is produced at My Father S.A. in Esteli, Nicaragua, and, as stated earlier, is only available at Crowned Heads events. But don’t stay the word “event” around Jon Huber, co-founder of Crowned Heads, as they are officially termed “Road Show”. Crowned Heads’ website offers details on what to expect at one:
‘Road Show’ is not bells and whistles, it is substance with respect to the artistry of premium cigars. ‘Road Show’ is a look into the world of Crowned Heads, an extension of our philosophy, a soundtrack to our brand, and most importantly, an opportunity to experience the cigars that our existence revolves around. Simply put, ‘Road Show’ is about cigars and the way we approach them. No two ‘Road Shows’ will be the same. ‘Road Show’ is not a “tour” based upon a single template, set to auto-repeat, done over and over again. Each ‘Road Show’ will be a unique mix of one-day only special deals featuring Four Kicks, Headley Grange, J.D. Howard Reserve, Jericho Hill, La Imperiosa and an ever-changing selection of Limited Edition Crowned Heads apparel and merchandise. The one constant, however, will be the cigars of Crowned Heads.
Blood Medicine is available in a single 5 1/2 by 48 Super Corona vitola featuring an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper over Nicaraguan internals. And one more thing, Blood Medicine is note for sale, but it is a bonus item for purchasing Crowned Heads products. I wonder if this will change with new FDA rules.
Vitola: Super Corona
Size: 5 ½ by 48
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Smoke Time: 1 hour and 25 Minutes
The Blood Medicine wears an oily, medium brown Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. Small and medium veins web down the glistening leaf that has a fine tooth and some scattered bumps. As I examine the cigar for soft spots, I am amazed at the crazy amount of oils on this leaf that are easily felt to the touch. I do find a small tobacco void about an inch down from the foot of the cigar, but other than that the cigar is firmly rolled.
An aroma of wet cedar, earth, barnyard, and red fruit comes across as I bring the wrapper to my nose. The foot of the cigar brings out a sweet raisin, rich cedar, and some potpourri spices.A quick, shallow cut through the triple cap opens up a beautiful draw that delivers rich flavors of cedar, cinnamon, and a natural tobacco sweetness on the cold draw.
Underway, Crowned Heads’ Blood Medicine delivers some heavy flavors on the palate with a combination of charred wood and black pepper. After a couple of minutes, the charred wood is dialed back, while a natural sweetness, grass, and a toasted bread flavor move in. The earthy finish is long and a spice heat lingers in the mouth. At the one inch mark, the Blood Medicine is firing on all cylinders as the cigar is showing a great depth and balance in flavor and body. The flavors are in the medium/full range with the spice hanging right in line. The burn has only a minor wave and a brilliant white ash if forming.
Burning down into the second third of the Blood Medicine by Crowned Heads, the profile is meaty with an added touch of saltiness, a sweetness is rounding out the profile, and the spice has settled, but still keeping my attention. I am also pulling a deep oak flavor that one may find on the nose of a whiskey and the finish has developed from earth to a cocoa. A quick touch-up is required to get a section of the wrapper back in-line.
For the most part, the flavors from the second third hold strong. The toasted and charred notes from earlier join back in, but are working much better with the profile. Just as I think the favors are done evolving, a dark fruit flavors sneaks in. The burn is still a little wacky and the ash is not nearly as pretty as earlier.
At first light, I wasn’t sure if this was going to be a cigar for me, but sure enough I was wrong! The Blood Medicine found its rhythm about an inch in and built upon it all the way through to the final puff. The flavors were deep, complex, and balanced. Up to the second third, the performance was just about perfect. An easy draw delivered a satisfying amount of smoke as the cigar burned slowly and evenly with a pleasant looking ash being left behind. While most of those things held true in the final two thirds, the burn did struggle and, as a result, the ash became flaky. Overall, this is a amazing cigar that I can only hope to smoke again before the end of my days. I guess I should start hunting down a Road Show to attend if I am going to have any chance of doing so.
Finally, a big thanks to Anthony Cantelmo of Fear The Beard Cigars for gifting me the Snake Oil. You can visit FTB Cigars HERE to see what they are all about.