The Crowned Heads Las Mareas
Despite the flooding and rain out here, today is relatively cool and sunny. To celebrate the break in weather I decided to relax outside with a Crowned Heads Las Meras and a bottle of Deep Ellum’s Wealth and Taste.
The Good Stuff:
Las Mareas is the newest full-production line released by the Crowned Heads this year at the IPCPR show in Las Vegas. While a very, very limited pre-release run trickled into a very few stores last year, it wasn’t until this year that the line was finalized. Once again the Crowned Heads turn to the My Father factory to create this blend for them. The blend utilizes a Nicaraguan Corojo 99 wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and Nicaraguan fillers.
The Cigar Federation site includes this description:
The Crowned Heads, Las Mareas, or “The Tides”, is a unique cigar which was inspired by the surf culture that Jon Huber experienced while in Hawaii. It is a regular production cigar, released at IPCPR 2016 and uses a Nicaraguan Corojo wrapper.
It is a Nicaraguan puro made at the My Father Cigar factory. While it is nothing new to be made here, it is the first time Crowned Heads has used a wrapper, binder AND filler, all grown by the Garcias.
Las Mareas comes in 4 sizes, the Tuberia (4.5 x 48), the Rebeldes (5 x 52), The Olas (6.125 x 46), and the Ciclopes (6 x 54) which all come packaged in boxes of 20 ranging between $8.25 and $10.25 a stick. I purchased a handful of these from the boys over at Cigar Federation.
Size: 4.5 x 48
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo 99
Pairing: Deep Ellum Wealth and Taste (10.5% ABV Belgian Golden Ale)
Las Mareas is a cigar that looks like it has had better days. The wrapper is a medium brown with lots of scattered orange, and darker brown splotches. There are a good amount of medium sized veins and lots of natural webbing in the tobacco lead. All in all, it’s a rustic looking thing. The texture is slightly toothy with a good amount of oil. The wrapper is normal density while the cigar is a bit on the softer side especially around the foot of the area. The Las Mareas slender body leads up to a round, double cap that looks a bit loose on quite a few of the cigars I purchased. The cigar is polished off with a great looking black and white band with the “Las Mareas” crest embossed across the front.
The wrapper of the Las Mareas gives off a bit of a salty, cashew aroma while the foot of the cigar carries a good amount of spice, cedar, and natural tobacco scents. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar double bladed cutter despite my hesitation on clipping the cap due to how loose it was applied. No issues there. The cold draw is nice and spicy with some pepper, honey, salt, and natural tobacco flavors.
Despite the spice and pepper I picked up during the cold draw, the Las Mareas started out with neither. Instead, I was greeted with some great honey, cedar, leather, and floral flavors with a bit of saltiness left on my lips. The body starts out in the medium range. The draw is perfect. Each little puff releases a great amount of thick, gray smoke which hangs around for quite some time while the cigar itself gives off very little stationary smoke as it rests in my ashtray. The burning is even for the most part and razor thin leaving behind a trail of medium/light gray ash which held on for an inch before falling in my ashtray.
Into the second third of the Las Mareas and the flavors have started to ramp up a bit, while staying pretty consistent. The cigar still leads with honey and cedar backed by leather and floral flavors while some interesting apple started to sneak it’s way in. The retrohale is about as easy as it gets while it coats my nasal passage with strong cedar, and even some sweetness that I otherwise don’t really pick up in the smoking experience. The burn line is still even and razor thin while I close out the second third with absolutely no signs of nicotine.
The flavors have continued to ramp up into the final third of the Las Mareas as the cigar now sits firmly in the medium/full bodied category. The cedar and honey are still leading the charge and I’m very impressed that the honey is still there. Usually cigars that carry a honey flavor begin to dwindle out very quickly. The backing flavors are still a bit of apple, floral, and leather. I smoked this cigar down until it was burning the tips of my fingers. It took me an hour and a half and I experienced absolutely no harshness or extended heat, nor did I once have to reach for my torch for any extra burn attention.
Don’t let the looks of the Las Mareas fool you, this cigar preformed like a dream. Considering this was made by the hands of My Father Cigars, I was caught off guard. I was expecting more spicy, bold flavors while I was pleasantly surprised with something the closely resembles what we would expect from a Cuban cigar experience. The subtle nuances in flavors, slight change ups, with a very enjoyable body made for a wonderful smoke and something I could really see myself smoking very often. It’s a great cigar for those who often smoke Cuban cigars, those who are more experienced cigar smokers looking for a great milder cigar with a great body, or even the novice cigar smoker looking to getting into something premium that one, won’t break the bank and two, won’t kick their ass with strength and body. I’m really glad this is going into the Crowned Head’s full production portfolio as it’s a cigar that I plan on picking up quite often.
Brewed at the Deep Ellum Brewery in Dallas, Texas the Wealth and Taste is a 10.5% Belgian style golden ale aged in American oak barrels, then matures more in French Chardonnay oak barrels, before finishing it’s fermentation with Texas-friendly viognier white wine grapes. That’s a hell of a journey. The beer starts out with a great splash of sweetness, white grape and apple and floral flavors with a soft hop and a light mouthfeel before finishing crisp with more apple and sweetness, floral flavors, slight malt, and a little bit of bitterness. The flavors in the Wealth and Taste married up perfectly with the Las Mareas while adding a bit of sweetness that was absent in the smoke. This pairing was wonderful, and I knew it was going down almost instantly when I smoked my first Las Mareas.