Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Cigar Review: Crowned Heads Juarez

The other day I had an afternoon to myself and decided to go see an old friend I haven’t seen in a while. Several years ago I was a volunteer firefighter for nine years and he and I served side by side. Before you say anything about volunteer firefighters let me explain. In our department we had the same training, had to go to the same schools as regular departments and had the same equipment we just didn’t get paid for it. I drove to his house and was greeted with open arms by him and his wife. We sat and talked and brought out photos and shared memories. I brought two cigars with me to share, Crowned Heads Juarez.  
The cigar itself brings to mind a rustic past. The band plays a huge part of the overall look and the color is a sublime dark earthy brown. The pre light draws give hints of cocoa, and spice. I handed to one to my friend and once punched, torched them up. The grand first puffs gave a smooth and velvety cocoa essence with spice right behind it. After a quarter inch in, the cocoa and spice was greeted with a bountiful blend of earth and what I would compare to the aroma you get from a high end dried fruit mix. Ever open a bag and check the aroma? If it’s a good brand the aroma is enticing. This combination was delivering a plethora of abundant flavors that danced on the palate. My old friend made the comment that this is, “What a cigar should be.”.
As we were enjoying the smokes, we continued to reminisce. On one house fire, it was a cabin; you could say it was the hottest fire we encountered. Four departments were called as it was a large house and very involved. On this one, he and I pulled hose to work on the outside as other crews were headed in. we worked our way to a bedroom window and the room was fully involved. We were about three feet from the window when we throttled the hose open. I had just enough time to shout “Shield”, which means lower your head until your face shield touched your turnout gear, before the fire in the room shot out the window and for seconds, which seemed minutes, engulfed us. It will absolutely wake you up. 
Laughing now about things that happened, the cigar was moving into the second third. One of the great things about this cigar is the silky smoothness of the smoke. Never harsh, bitter or overly biting but easy to smoke on the palate and retrohale. Moving into the second third, the flavors were going through multiple changes of place in position, but with each change between the cocoa, earth and now touches of chicory coming in, the smoker is never lacking in a pleasurable smoke. A fine dark wood was beginning to envelope the flavors as the cigar continues to fascinate the senses giving an added bonus to the smoke.  
The conversations and memories continued to pour like rain in a thunderstorm. Things we never want to forget and some we wish we could. Any firefighter can tell you there are some things you see that will haunt you forever, that to this day will make you shudder at the thought. But it’s all part of what you sign up for. You know the risks you take every time you hear the tone and answer the call yet you go because somebody needs you, somebody is in trouble, is losing their house, in a wreck or medical call, but somebody needs your help. I’ve been in funerals for fellow firefighter who paid the price of service as well. We went silent for a moment thinking about those gone and raised a glass in their honor. 
I was getting ready to head home as the Juarez was in the final third in which the same succulent flavors were morphing and changing, giving each puff uniqueness. The spice had become a tad more intense as the chicory and earth took the main stage. The final puff gave a perfect richness in the two. Crowned Heads Juarez is a great cigar and at a price you can’t argue with. This is one you can smoke over and over with full enjoyment.

Peace and Smoke,

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