Thursday, August 2, 2018

Cigar review: Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII

Every so often, something special comes along. After all the years in cigars its rare that i am surprised at any new release. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that there are not cigars I'm really pleased to see come out, it is just not much surprise. but this year is different. Last weekend I had a project I wanted to work on, some art that I have been meaning to get to. Took a photo in Colorado several years ago of a very old barn and I wanted to get it on paper. Having a day with out pressing matters, I gathered my supplies and set up in my office at home. I took a sheet of parchment paper and attached it to the board and set out the technical pens I love to use. I never draw with out a cigar so for today's work I picked out the new Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII. The band is beautiful, and the Mexican San Andres wrapper has a nice touch of oily sheen to it with its deep rich color. Once cut, the pre light draw gives hints of aged tobacco, nutmeg and a very nice hint of orange zest. This was unexpected and very pleasing.
lighting up, I had to smile because there is no waiting for flavor from this cigar. Right from the start it gives you a bounty of delectable flavors. Spice and peanut brittle combines with the citrus zest producing an elegant smoke. Further into the first third, the aroma is awakening the senses as the peanut brittle morphs into more of an oven parched peanut affair with a mild sweetness reminiscent dark malt. Combine this with the taste of the rich tobacco being emitted and you have a profusion of engaging flavors.
As I was thoroughly enjoying the cigar, I began my work on the project at hand. I began with a 7H pencil lead and carefully laying out the building, framework and environment. Once done, I began with a .13 technical pen, laying in the outlines of each board, post and roofing. 
As I began to start applying texture to the board surfaces of the barn, the cigar was moving well into the second third. The citrus zest was still present as is the parched nuts. The mild sweetness as before mentioned was not as pronounced but yet the taste of the dark malt has enveloped with the parched nuts giving a deep rich smokiness to the cigar. Each draw presents the flavors in an entangled web of combinations, switching placement in manifestation of placement. The citrus zest I mention is captivating due to the fact that its affect upon the savoriness of the blend. It is a perfect match, not over powering but ever present, causing the amplification of the cavalcade of tastes. exquisite to say the least.
Board after board, placing line work and shadows. Creating the appearance of age and wear. Spending time with a magnifying glass as to get each identifying mark accurate on the building. 
Moving into the final third, the flavors have elevated somewhat. More intensity each singularly and unified. A deep smokiness, rich in the essence of the tobacco coated the combination as if drawn by an engineer. An appearance of nutmeg began to show as was first gathered in the pre light which caused the the mix of zest, nuts and now dark wood to be completely pleasing in every aspect.
Finishing this cigar had me wishing for another but here again, work needed to be finished on the drawing at hand.
When this cigar hits the shelves treat yourself to some and see what you gather from it. No ones ever tastes the same things as we are each individual smokers but the great expectation is in the smoking.

Peace and Smoke,
Gator      





The finished work

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Cigar review: Crowned Heads Las Calaveras 2018



This past weekend I celebrated getting older, 58 to be exact, and I hate to celebrate only so I invited several of the guys over for a cookout, drinks and, of course, cigars. One of my buds came early to help set up and brought a nice bourbon with him, I was supplying cigars for the gang. Ribs, ribeye’s, sausage and chicken was on the menu and after getting the grills set up I planned on getting some of the meat ready when my buddy walked outside with a drink in hand and said, and I quote, “Sit down, I got it, its your day off.”. I was not going to argue the point. So grabbing a chair and taking a seat we chatted as he prepped the grills then went to get the different meats ready. I decided to start the party with a Crowned Heads Las Calaveras 2018. The cigar is a work of art to look at and the bold band stands out against the succulent dark chocolate brown wrapper.
 The pre light aromas are woody and slightly sweet, with a tinge of spice and a hint of sweetness.Punched and lit, the initial hit of spice that I so enjoy was there bursting forward to ignite your expectations. A quarter of and inch in and the spice eases a tad as the blend marches in. This cigar does not slow down nor back up as it produces wave after wave of divine tobacco flavor. Dark earth comes in swirling in a mixture of spice, oak and roasted nuts with a faint yet visible sweetness reaching from the background. The smoke is a paint brush creating Rembrandts on the palate as each draws show variations of the flavors produced.

Some of the other friends, or clowns, I know began arriving and each bringing bottles, things for the grill and much humor. The usual pranks, jokes and idiotic good natured humor that comes from this gathering never takes long to ensue, in fact it had already begun when one ask another to retrieve something from his truck and was met with a loud surprise, I wont elaborate. Cigars were being lit and drinks being poured as items were being placed for cooking. The combination of aromas from the cigars and grills make for a marvelous day. Side note, its funny how every time a patrol car passes buy, this group all get silent and still. Oh well.

Moving into the second third the flavors the oak is now smoky and the dark earth richer. The roasted nuts are morphing into a roasted coffee bean variation with the spice enveloping the melding of flavors. The mild sweetness reaching through before was now more evident and brings thoughts of molasses candy in similarity. Its not a bold sweetness nor profound but intertwines delicately in the blend. This cigar is a dream of a smoke, each draw filling the senses and the smoke leaving a velvety feel.

This is one of those days you don’t care how much of a dent is put in your cigar supply because after all that’s one thing cigars are for, to share the good times. As the smell of the grills are flowing throughout the yard, laughter, music and smile are seen with everyone enjoying. I sit with four of these clowns as I move into the final third of this fantastic cigar. The flavors are bolder, the smoke thicker and smooth, as roasted coffee bean and smoky wood are wrapped together with the sweetness and now hints of vanilla toffee dancing far off. The spice is more bold at the last draw. Magnificent.

The Las Calaveras 2018 is an astoundingly great cigar to smoke and if you have yet to try it, by all means do so and see what you receive from it. As for me, I plan on getting more.



Peace and Smoke,

Gator

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Drew Estate Announces new size


Drew Estate Announces Liga Privada No. 9 CORONA VIVA Pre-Release for CIGARfest 2018
Tuesday, May 1, 2018 — Miami FL - Drew Estate announces the pre-release of Liga Privada No. 9 CORONA VIVA exclusively for the Cigars International Super-Store in Hamburg, Pennsylvania for the 15th annual CIGARfest.

The #9 Corona Viva features a Connecticut River Valley Broadleaf Oscuro Wrapper, a Plantation grown Brazilian Mata Fina Binder, and Nicaraguan and Honduran Fillers. Similar in concept to the Undercrown Corona Viva, released in 2012, the No. 9 Corona Viva features the core blend with increased Ligero for a fuller and stronger taste profile.

The Liga Privada No. 9 Corona Viva is the first new release to the core sizes of Liga Privada since its original launch in 2008. The 152mm x 46mm vitola will be packaged in 24-count boxes with an MSRP of $290 per box and a special release letter from Jonathan Drew, Founder & President of Drew Estate, commemorating the launch.

From the Wynwood Safehouse in Miami, Florida Jonathan Drew noted, “10 years ago, Drew Estate created ‘Liga Privada’ the hearty, Broadleaf bully that changed the cigar world forever. Highly coveted, this rare cover leaf tobacco is historically treated as a reward to a select few industry players, reinforcing the bond of partnership between farmer and manufacturer. Thank you for the LP Fellowship of the past ten years, and for contributing to the #De4L mosaic that binds us together and enables The Rebirth of Cigars to live on and Flourish.”

The Corona Viva will be available for the in-store Pre-release launch on Thursday, May 3rd at Cigars International Hamburg Super-Store in limited quantities. Boxes will also be available for sale at CIGARfest in limited quantities.