The Crowned Heads – Jericho Hill “OBS” Cigar Review
While many of the guys are out at the IPCPR show in Vegas, I am at home enjoying the 100 degree weather with The Crowned Head’s newest offering, the Jericho Hill.
The Good Stuff: The Crowned Head’s have been on a roll ever since their first release of the four Kicks a few years back. Since the Four Kicks, they have released the Headley Grange, J.D. Howard Reserve, Las Calaveras, and the Angel’s Anvil. Adding to an already stacked portfolio Jon Huber partnered up with the Garcia family over at My Father Cigars (the same combo that brought you Las Calaveras) to bring you the Jericho Hill.
Here is the information I grabbed from the Crowned Heads’ website:
John R. “Johnny” Cash is widely considered to be one of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century. His legacy continues to inspire many, including Crowned Heads. Jericho Hill was inspired by Cash’s rendition of “Cocaine Blues,” found on Cash’s 1968 live album, “At Folsom Prison.” The song is a tale of a man, Willy Lee, who goes down a dark path brought on by the influence of whiskey and cocaine. Willy is captured in Juarez, Mexico, and is brought to justice by the sheriff from Jericho Hill.
Cash was the fourth of seven children, and Jericho Hill marks the fourth regular production release from Crowned Heads. The dark wrapper leaf utilized on Jericho Hill is a nod to “The Man in Black,” as the wrapper leaf varietal (Mexican San Andres) is a nod to the “Juarez, Mexico” reference found in “Cocaine Blues.” The four vitola names were all inspired by lyrics and music found on “At Folsom Prison,” and when recited from smallest to largest (.44S, LBV, OBS, and Willy Lee), take on a lyrical element of their own.
Jericho Hill is a hedonistic blend of the best Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos, resulting in a rich and robust taste profile that is focused, potent, and complex. The smoke is a full-throttle experience that assaults your palate at break-neck speed, races around your mouth for a hundred miles, and leaves your taste buds in a cloud of power, intensity, and excitement. Manufactured at My Father Cigars S.A., Esteli, Nicaragua, and distributed by Crowned Heads, LLC.
It’s worth mentioning that Juarez, Mexico is literally about 100 feet from my office building and the police station that held Johnny Cash during his stay here is only a few blocks away. As mentioned above this is a regular production cigar and will be available within the next few weeks. The Jericho Hill will come in four sizes: 44S (5 1/8 x 44), LBV (6 ½ x 46), OBS (4 ¾ x 52), and the Willy Lee (6 x 54). They will come in boxes of 24 and will run between $7.95 – $9.75 a stick. These cigars were sent over to us by Jon Huber over at Crowned Heads (Thanks Jon!). Make sure you are following @thecrownedheads on twitter. Jon’s been really proud of this blend and given out a ton of a packs via twitter.
Size: 4 ¾ x 52
Wrapper: Mexican San Andreas
Pairing: Harpoon Black Forest Porter (Imperial Cherry/Chocolate Porter 9.8% ABV )
Prelight: The Jericho Hill is a fantastic looking cigar. It all starts with a soft box-press which I absolutely love and wish we saw much more frequent than we do. The soft, boxed edges make the cigar rest incredibly comfortable in both you hand as well as you mouth. The wrapper on the Jericho Hill carries an insane amount of tooth. It almost feels like some light sandpaper. The wrapper leaf is a very deep, very dark, very consistent brown with some darker areas around the webbing and smaller veins that run through the cigar’s body. The wrapper is laid seamlessly as it leads up to the round triple cap. The wrapper on the Jericho Hill is very dense, and strong. Adding to the firmness is how incredibly tightly packed this cigar it. It almost feels like a rock or a solid piece or wood.
The wrapper on the Jericho Hill gives off some strong, stout molasses and spice aromas while the foot carries some similar spice along with a much more natural tobacco scents. The cap cut very clean but took a bit of extra effort from my Palio double bladed cutter to get through the thick wrapper. The cold draw was actually really smooth as it pumped out some nice spice, tobacco, and deep woodsy flavors.
First Smoke: The Crowned Heads Jericho Hill starts off with a nice little black pepper greeting that quickly fades into just a tease on the tip of my tongue. As I get into the first third I encounter some really strong woodsy flavors mixed in with some great spice and sweetness, a bit of that molasses I picked up in the pre-light, and an awesome tartness on the finish. Despite the cigar being as tightly packed as it is the draw is remarkable. Every little puff kicks out a massive cloud of thick white smoke. The burnline carries a few minor waves, but its burning razor thin leaving behind a trail of tightly compacted bright white/medium gray ash which held on for well over an inch before giving way.
Halfway There: The flavor in the Crowned Heads Jericho Hill is really starting to take off in the second third. The sweetness and the woodsy flavors have really ramped up and combined to make an incredibly enjoyable flavor experience. The spice and molasses are still there with some dark chocolate tossed in over some deep tobacco flavors. The retrohale is incredible as it coats my nasal passage with a ton of deep cedar and spice. The burnline is still rockin’ as I haven’t had to reach for my lighter. While the body of this cigar is very full, the strength remains in the medium category at this point as I am feeling almost nothing in the nicotine department.
Finish: The Jericho Hill just keeps kicking out flavor. Now the woodsy flavors are much more deeper and I am picking up a bit of pine mixed in. The sweetness has started to fade out as the spice and molasses take over. This cigar starts off with a good amount of flavor and then just escalates from there without overpowering the smoker. It’s taken me about an hour and a half to take the Jericho Hill down and I have encountered absolutely no harshness, and no heat as I close out the final inch. In fact, I am surprised with how crisp this cigar finished given the amount of flavor it carried. The cigar left me with only a small nicotine kick and I never once had to touch up or relight.
Overview: I said it before, I’ll say it again, can these guys make a bad cigar? I have yet to smoke one by the Crowned heads that I haven’t absolutely enjoyed. The Jericho Hill offers a bold, flavorful experience without the punch. I really can’t find anything wrong with this cigar. It’s price is spot-on, the construction was perfect on the sticks I received, the flavor profile is incredible, as always their packaging kills it, and the smoking experience was flawless. Pretty much the only thing that bothers me about this cigar is that I don’t have more in my humidor. I have a feeling the Jericho Hill will be a hit. It’s boxworthy, affordable, and will be widely available. Snatch some up when you see them.
Pairing: The pairing choicer for the Jericho Hill was an obvious one for me as I reached for a bottle of Harpoon’s Black Forest. Black Forest is an Imperial Porter brewed with chocolate and cherries at the Harpoon Brewery in Boston, MA. Coming in at 9.8% ABV it’s not a beer for the faint of heart. The Black Forest leads off with strong malt, roasted nut, as it finishes sweet and creamy with faint hints of the chocolate, cherry, and coffee. Those flavors made for an incredible mash up with the sweetness, cedar, molasses, and spice the Jericho Hill gave off. Both complimented each other really well added another dimension to the experience. Porters would probably be my pairing of choice with the Jericho Hill, but I do thing this cigar would pair wonderfully with a strong, spicy port or a nice glass of bourbon.