Cigar Reviews

The Crowned Heads Las Calaveras 2019

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Its Calaveras time of the year folks. This year, and very recently we lost a dear friend and BOTL of ours. DA, you’re on my mind while I smoke this cigar today, and everyday as we all strive to be more like you.

The Good Stuff:

Each year since 2014 The Crowned Heads releases the Las Calaveras cigar, and cigar that was created to celebrate those who we hold close to us and have lost that year. I have been lucky enough to smoke each of the releases to date:

This year the Las Calaveras blend features and Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapped (this is the first time they have used this wrapper since my favorite, the 2014 edition) over a Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan filler. The Las Calaveras 2019 is offered in 3 limited edition sizes: LC46 (6 x 46), LC50 (5 x 50), and LC54 (6 x 54) which all come packaged in boxes of 24 running between $10.50 and $12.95 a stick. Only 1,700 of each format will be released. In addition to the 3 core sizes the cigar is also offered in a four count sampler which features an exclusive Torpedo (6 1/8 x 52) format. 2,000 samplers will be released running $49.99 a sampler. We got ours over from our great friends Fox Cigar, who have all sizes in stock now with free shipping, no minimum.

  • Size: 4 x 46
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Nicaraguan
  • Body: Medium/Full
  • Strength: Medium/Full
  • Price: $10.50
  • Pairing: Turning Point #BREAKFASTBROS (Imperial Stout 12% ABV)

Prelight:

The Crowned Heads Las Calaveras 2019 features a very consistent, orange tinted, dark brown wrapper. The only darker areas as scattered around the cigar’s cap. The wrapper carries a pretty toothy/gritty texture with some slight oils covering the outside of the wrapper. The wrapper feels very dense, and hard while the cigar itself feels very well packed and quite heavy showcasing no soft spots or problem areas. There is some nice natural webbing and very slight veins running through the cigar’s slender body leading up to it’s round, double wrapped cap. The cigar is polished off with the standard Las Calaveras band, only this time it’s red and absolutely stunning. This year’s band features the initials “CO” for Cano Ozgener, the founder of CAO which Jon Huber and much of the Crowned Heads staff had worked with, who passed away earlier last year. This year the cigar also features a gold foot band with the Crowned Heads logo embossed across the front.

The wrapper on the Crowned Heads Las Calaveras 2019 gives off little other than a light musky aroma while the foot of the cigar releases a whole mess of spicy scents along with natural wood, and earthy aromas. The cap cut clean and easily using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces some great musky/woody flavors.

First Third:

The Crowned Heads Las Calaveras 2019 starts out with a nice blast of black pepper which quickly fades after the first few puffs releases some great, bold musk, oak and dark chocolate flavors backed by oat, cinnamon, a dash of sweetness and some subtle earthiness. The more I smoke, the more prominent the sweetness gets as it forms into a brown sugar/caramel mixture. The draw is beautiful as each little puff kicks out massive clouds of thick, white smoke which hang around for a considerable amount of time before dissipating while the cigar releases only trace amounts of stationary smoke as it rests in my ashtray. The burn line is dead even and razor thin leaving behind a tightly compacted trail of medium gray ash which held on for almost an inch before falling into my ashtray.

Second Third:

Into the second third of the Las Calaveras 2019 and the flavors are really starting to develop into pure awesomeness. The cigar leads with a ton of oak, cinnamon, sweet caramel and dark chocolate with notes of musk, oat, and earthiness. The retrohale really brings the spice and musk out and I find myself doing it more often than I do with most cigars. The cigar is still burning dead even as I close out the second third with nothing to report in the nicotine department.

Finish:

Into the final third of the Las Calaveras 2019 and this incredible floral/cologne flavor has started to really make its presence known. I didn’t pick it up anywhere else in the experience. Along with that, the cinnamon, musk, and oak lead the charge now backed by dark chocolate, oat, and earthiness. This is a hell of a flavor profile. The cigar burned liked a champ from start to finish. I took this cigar down to the nub, as far as I could, and used my Redeemer (Thanks Jason) to take it down even further. I experienced no harshness, nor extended heat. I just didn’t want it to end. I close out at about 2 hours with only a minor nicotine tilt.

Overview:

The Crowned Heads Las Calaveras 2019 is everything you would hope for in a cigar. Complex, yet not-overpowering profile with a more modest strength rating. The cigar burned like a dream from start to finish while the price point is something I would pay over and over again (and plan to). I can confidently say that this was my favorite Las Calaveras release to date. I was curious as to how it holds up against the original 2014 release so I smoked these both in a same night earlier this week. Granted, the flavors have fallen off a bit in the 2014, but damn that was still an incredible cigar. That being said, the 2019 I smoked after offered more sweetness and musk which really fit my personal flavor profile perfectly.

Pairing:

Brewed in Bedford, TX by two of my favorite Texas breweries, Turning Point and Celestial,#BREAKFASTBROS is a 12% ABV Imperial stout brewed with cereal, cinnamon, brown sugar, and vanilla. The beer leads with a very heavy malt presence backed by notes of cinnamon, brown sugar, caramel, milk chocolate, vanilla, and roastiness with a very heavy mouthfeel before finishing with sticky toffee, cinnamon, chocolate, and more vanilla. This is a sweet bomb and in most cases would overpower most cigars, but with a very similar profile, and an abundance of flavor the Las Calaveras 2019 match up beautifully with this beer.

Tony Casas is a 32 year old Creative Managing/Webdesigning/Craft Beer Drinking Cigar smoker from El Paso, Texas. When he isn't loving his wife he is either sleepy, hungry, or suffering from a headache.

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