Dias de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, is a holiday that traditionally celebrates the remembrance of deceased friends and families. This holiday is widely celebrated in Mexico and among people of Mexican heritage. Unlike his usual music theme cigars, Jon Huber, the co-founder of Crowned Heads Cigars, started a series based on this holiday: Las Calaveras.
In 2014, Las Calaveras got released to the world. The name translates to “the Skull,”: which is one of the main components of Dias de los Muertos (the other two components are ofrendas (alter) and marigold flowers). And this cigar is meant to commemorate the memories of the people who had passed away the year before.
Like its predecessor, the 2022 release has four different vitolas, three of which come in a box of 24. And you can only obtain the 4th vitola, a petite lancero, in their exclusive sampler pack that includes one of each size.
- Cigar Reviewed: Crowned Heads las Calaveras Edicion Limitada 2022
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo 99
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Size: LC52 (5″x52)
Appearance & Construction
This cigar has a color tone of light roast coffee beans. The wrapper feels like the back side of leather: soft and lumpy. I see two veins spreading themselves throughout the cigar. I slightly squeeze the cigar between my fingers, and it’s proportionally filled from cap to foot. So far, I am very impressed with the construction.
Flavor and Smoke Characteristics
The wrapper gives off a familiar scent of vanilla and sunflower seeds. On the foot of the cigar, I get sweet hay and a hint of spice. I used my Xikar XO cutter to slice off the cap and continued with a cold draw. I get mint, herbs, and slight bitterness. The cold draw reminds me of a Chinese herbal shop in Chinatown.
I take out my trusty Visol Dual-jet light to light the cigar. I take my first puff as soon as the foot becomes bright red. Unlike the scent I got from the wrapper and the cold draw, the flavors are bland with creamy oats, oak, and red pepper spice. Thank god I did not give up on this; half an inch in, I get simple syrup sweetness which carries onto the finish alongside pepper spice. I retrohale the next puff, and it is simple yet delightful with hints of sweet hay, cedarwood, and ample white pepper spice.
Overlooking the first few puffs, I am enjoying this cigar. The construction is on point as well. The burn line is straight, and the airflow is 7 out of 10, which is perfect restrictiveness for me. It produces a plethora of smoke. And the ash held on past the one-inch mark.
There isn’t much change in the second-third portion of the cigar. I still get creamy oats, oakwood, simple syrup, and pepper spice. With the next retrohale the intensity of white pepper spice increased and made me sneeze several times. Those who know me know that I usually look for the complexity and nuances in flavor notes; yet for this cigar, I find comfort and enjoyment in the consistency. However, one thing I want to point out is that this cigar is drying my mouth out.
As if the cigar heard what I was thinking, there was a shift in the profile, and it gave me a jolt of excitement. The smoke is silky, and I taste roasted peanuts, syrup, and cedarwood. The spice is completely gone on the palate. On the retrohale, I get maple syrup, hay, and red pepper spice. My final note is that this cigar produces an abundance of smoke to my final puff.
The lesson for today is to never judge a book by its cover. Or, in my case, never judge a cigar by its initial puffs. The Crowned Heads las Calaveras 2022 was a breath of fresh air compared to the profiles I usually seek out. I was enveloped in sweet syrup, creamy oats, oakwood, and pepper spice. The constant warm and earthy profile was my anchor to this reality while slowly drifting off into a meditative state. Yes, I was THAT relaxed.
I was pleasantly surprised by Las Calaveras 2022. Because I tried this cigar when it first came out around the end of Summer, and it was a different experience. And this is the perfect example of giving a cigar another chance, and if it wasn’t for the blind review, who knows if I would ever pick up another one of the 2022 releases.