The Crowned Heads La Careme
I missed last week due to a lingering injury paired with a little hospital visit, but I am happy to report that I am feeling great, and I am back at it bringing you a review of the Crowned Heads La Careme paired with a can of Evil Twin’s Even More Jesus Imperial Stout.
The Good Stuff:
La Careme is the second full-production release from the Crowned Heads this year, Las Mareas was the other. The La Careme celebrates Marie Antoine Careme who was a pioneer in French cuisine during the 1800s. La Careme is made at the Tabacalera La Alianza S.A. factory owned by Ernesto Perez-Carrilo Jr. The blend features a Grade A dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, Ecuadorian Sumatran binder, and Nicaraguan filler. the blend comes in four soft-box pressed formats: Cosacos (5 3/8 x 42), Robusto (5 x 50), Hermoso No. 1 (6 1/2 x 48), and Canonazo (5 7/8 x 52) which all comes packaged in boxes of 24 running between $6.95 and $8.95 a stick. I picked up a handful of these from our friends at 2 Guys Smoke Shop a while back.
Size: 5 3/8 x 42
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatran
Pairing: Evil Twin Even More Jesus (Imperial Stout 12% ABV)
The Crowned Heads La Careme starts out with an absolutely stunning, consistent, dark brown wrapper. This is about as dark as you can get before the brown becomes black. The wrapper’s texture is extremely toothy and hard with very little signs of oil. The wrapper feels very, very hard and thick while the cigar itself is very tightly packed. It’s a little cigar, but it has a decent amount of weight on it and gives absolutely nothing as I squeeze it between my fingers. The wrapper carries a few smaller veins running the length of the cigar’s slim, box-pressed body leading up to the round double wrapped cap. The cigar is polished off with a gorgeous, elegant, white, gold, and blue band with the “La Careme” name and crest embossed across the front. I really do love the band designs that the Crowned Heads kick out.
The wrapper on the Crowned Heads La Careme gives off a great amount of cocoa, coffee, and natural tobacco aromas while the foot of the cigar carries much of the same only with a good amount of spice added to the mix. The cap cut very clean, and very easily using my Xikar double bladed cutter. The cold draw procures a very bold cocoa flavor backed by a bit of coffee, and soft spice.
The Crowned Heads La Careme starts out with a subtle black pepper punch which faded very quickly leaving behind a very bold cocoa and espresso backed by spice, oak, and nut. The draw is perfect, each little puff gives out a huge cloud of thick white smoke will the cigar gives off a decent amount of stationary smoke as it rests in my ashtray. The soft box press makes for a very comfortable experience both in hand and mouth. The burn line is slightly wavy leaving behind a brilliant trail of bright white ash which held on for about 3/4 of an inch before giving way.
As I venture into the second third of the La Careme, one thing is certain, the Crowned Heads really wanted to make sure the chocolate flavors were evident in this blend. With each puff they get strong and stronger. Some great brown sugar has now found it’s way into the mix pairing up well with the spice found in the flavor profile. The retrohale reminds me that there was once pepper in this cigar as it coats my nasal passage with it along with bold spice and cocoa. The burnline is still slightly wavy, but not concerning while I close out the second third with only a tiny bit of a nicotine kick.
Into the final third of the Crowned Heads La Careme and the cigar has really started to cream out as the flavors marry in with one another. The chocolate and spice still lead the charge with the spice and coffee which have been along the entire ride. The burn was a bit wavy the entire time, but I never once had to reach for my torch so thats a win in my book. I experienced absolutely no harshness or extra heat build up as I close out the cigar with only a minor nicotine kick.
The Crowned Heads do it again with another great blend. La Careme is a tame cigar which isn’t very complex, but didn’t need to be. The flavors offered were fantastic and if anything changed they I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the cigar as much as I did. With a very modest price point, and full production line La Careme will easily find itself in my regular rotation. Its perfect cigar for a seasoned smoker looking for a solid cigar with maduro offerings, and a great cigar for the novice looking to venture into premium maduro blends. It also serves as an absolutely perfect cigar to pair all those winter stouts with.
Ah yes, another beer from out favorite Gypsy brewer, Evil Twin. The Even More Jesus is a bold imperial stout coming in at a whopping 12% ABV. The beer leads with a very, very bold chocolate and sweetness, backed by brown sugar, malt, and subtle coffee with a very heavy mouthfeel before finishing creamy with more chocolate, coffee and malt. It should be obvious why I chose this pairing. The flavors in the Even More Jesus were made for the flavors found in the La Careme. I would also pair this cigar with a tawny port, Belgian quad, or just about any chocolatey stout.