The Crowned Heads Las Calaveras 2018
Another blistering 105 degree day here in El Paso. To cope with the head I have my misters set on full blast, outdoor fans on high, a Las Calaveras 2018 in one hand and a Bourbon County Brand Northwoods Stout in the other. Let’s do this!
The Good Stuff:
Each year the Crowned Heads releases their “Las Calveras” series. A series of cigars inspired by the Mexican “Day of the Dead” holiday which celebrates those we have lost. Each year I pick these up and smoke them in honor of my friends and family, especially my father who I think of as I enjoy the cigar and silently thank them for everything they have done for me. You can check out our reviews of each blend since their inception in 2014 here:
As always, the cigar is being produced at the My Father Factory in Nicaragua. This particular blend features a fitting Mexican San Andres wrapper over a Nicaraguan Filler and Binder. The 2018 Las Calaveras is offered in four sizes: the LC46 ( 5 5/8 x 46), LC50 (5 x 50), LC54 (6 x 54), and the last one, which is exclusive to the four count sampler in my pictures (5 1/2 x 56). Outside of the sampler exclusive each come packaged in boxes of 24 running between $9.95 and $11.95 per stick. I purchased mine over from our great friends at Fox Cigar Bar in Gilbert, Arizona.
Size: 5 5/8 x 46
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Pairing: Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Northwoods Stout 2017 (Imperial Stout 12.6%)
The Las Calaveras 2018 starts out with a very consistent, deep, dark brown wrapper. The wrapper’s texture is very toothy and gritty with only a slight amount of oils. The wrapper feels very hard, and dense while the cigar itself feels nicely packed with no soft spots what so ever. The wrapper is laid seamlessly over itself with only the smallest of veins running their course through the cigar’s slender body leading up to a perfectly round triple cap. The cigar is the polished off with the traditional Las Calaveras band we have all come to expect only this one had quite the color departure from the previous palettes with a lime green base under white, gold, and red embossed ink.
The wrapper on the Crowned Heads Las Calaveras 2018 gives off a very nice sweet spice, cinnamon, and and oak aroma while the foot of the cigar carries the same spice and cinnamon over a more natural tobacco base. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw follows up the aromas quite nicely with more cinnamon, spice, gingerbread and oak.
The Crowned Heads Las Calaveras 2018 starts off with a nice little black pepper burst which quickly fades away as the flavor profile transcends into a very sweet mixture of cinnamon, spice, nutmeg, cedar, almond, musk and notes of natural tobacco/earthiness on the back. The draw is absolutely brilliant. Each puff kicks out a great amount of thick, white smoke which hangs around for quite some time before dissipating while the cigar releases only a small amount of thin, white smoke as it rests in my ashtray. The burn line is razor thin and dead even leaving behind a very tightly compacted trail of thick, white ash which held on for an inch before falling into my ashtray.
As I enter the second third of the Crowned Heads Las Calaveras 2018 the musk flavor is leading the show backed by the cinnamon, spice, and sweetness with light hints of almond, nutmeg and floral flavors. I don’t think I could have found a more appropriate pairing for this cigar. The retrohale brings out a bit more of the spice and even a bit of the pepper that I have lost since the start of the experience. The cigar is still burning like a dream and I close out the second third with only a very light nicotine kick.
Into the final third of the Crowned Heads Las Calaveras 2018 and the cigar is burning like a dream. The flavor profile is still heavy on the musk and spice with lots of cedar and almond backed by sweetness, floral flavors, cinnamon, and even some light vanilla that the beer is really helping to bring out. It took me an hour and forty five minutes to take this cigar down to the nub and I loved every minute of it. I experienced no harshness, no extended heat, and quite frankly the cigar performed as perfect as it could have.
Without hesitation it’s easy to say the Crowned Heads Las Calaveras 2018 is a fantastic cigar. I have been a big fan of Mexican San Andres wrapped cigars and this is a perfect example as to what the tobacco has to offer. Deep flavors, consistent burning, and wonderful presentation. The cigar is complex, balanced, flavorful, and won’t knock you on your ass. Need I say more?
Goose Island’s Bourbon County Brand Northwoods Stout is a variant of the famous beer brewed with blueberry juice and almond extract. The imperial stout comes in at a whopping 12.6% ABV and can be purchased on Black Friday each year. The beer leads with heavy sweetness, roasted malt, blueberry, almond, bourbon, booze, sticky toffee, and chocolate with a very heavy mouthfeel before finishing even sweeter with a ton of bourbon, booze, vanilla, almond, and a blueberry aftertaste. I am not a blueberry fan at all but the flavor is so well balanced that I absolutely love the way it pumps body in an already bold beer. The almond is killer and I LOVE it. The flavors obviously mashed up perfect with the almond, cedar, musk, spice and sweetness in the Las Calaveras. This beer can really overpower some of the boldest of cigars but the Las Calaveras really had enough body that it complimented the beer flawlessly.