Blind Review: Crowned Heads: The Lost Angel TAA 2022
The Tobacconists’ Association of America, better known as TAA, is a group of high-end cigar shops in the US, with about 80 retail stores and 34 manufacturers. The club was established for shop owners and manufacturers to get acquainted and get to know one another. They would host meet-ups and herfs around the country. Since then, the purpose has evolved into more business-oriented ventures. There is a yearly meeting similar to PCA to share ideas, give feedback, and have the opportunity to carry the TAA exclusive series. And to be considered a candidate to be a part of this exclusive club, the retail shop has to be at least three years old and be recommended by other members.
Since 2014, Crowned Heads released their exclusive limited edition TAA cigar named The Angel’s Anvil. The concept is based on a story of a fallen angel finding his way back to heaven. Fast forward to 2020, Crowned Heads revised their exclusive release for it to come out with The Lost Angels, aspiring to be the prequel to its predecessor. Due to COVID, the release was delayed, and it didn’t hit the shelves until 2021. As a result of the success of that release, Jon Huber, the co-founder of Crowned Heads, decided to bring back The Lost Angels to Tobacalera Pichardo.
- Cigar Reviewed: Crowned Heads: The Lost Angel TAA 2022
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: Mexican San Andres
- Filler: Dominican & Nicaraguan
- Size: Robusto Extra (5 3/4″ x 52)
Appearance & Construction
The dark espresso bean color cigar has a silky-smooth surface. There are few visible veins, but it hardly takes away from the smoothness of it. The cigar is filled to the brim, and there are no soft spots, but at the same time, it feels light in my hand.
Flavor and Smoke Characteristics
The wrapper gives off a faint sweetness, and I get barnyard hay and pepper spice on the foot of the cigar. After slicing off the cap with my Xikar XO cutter, I get a unique minty taste on the cold draw. On top of that, I get the flavor of oats. I don’t get any spice from the cold draw, but my lips tingle from the wrapper.
I use my Visol duel-jet torch to set the foot ablaze and start my smoking experience. The first few puffs are a little bitter, the smoke is creamy, and I get the taste of oatmeal, sunflower seeds, and raw sugar. Initially, I’m disappointed because I don’t get any spice from the puffs, but it creeps up on me 5 to 10 seconds later. The retrohale gives me an abundance of black pepper spice. After my senses came from the shock, I get toffee, cedarwood, and sunflower seeds.
The bitterness in the smoke disappears as the ash falls after about an inch. The smoke profile becomes even creamier. At this point, I wish I’d eaten before smoking this cigar; I can feel the nicotine slowly make its way down to the pit of my stomach. The construction of this cigar is as good as it can be. The burn line is straight, and the draw is 8 out of 10, which is a bit tight for my liking, but it produces ample smoke.
Arriving at the second third, I predominately taste sunflower seeds with a hint of cedarwood in the background. I wish the pepper spice would stick around longer but it leaves as quickly as it came. Black pepper spice still dominates the retrohale, along with roasted nuts and honey.
The accumulation of nicotine in my stomach makes me a bit queasy, but I soldier through and make it to the final third. The profile mellows, and I can taste more than sunflower seeds: roasted peanuts, charcoal, oakwood, and honey. Similar on the palate, the spice is manageable with roasted nuts and honey. Each puff becomes sweeter as it gets closer to the nub, which gives me the perfect sweet ending as I take my last puff.
The Lost Angel 2022 had a unique start, from the minty cold draw to the mouth numbing spice. The overall flavor was good. I really liked the combination of sweet honey and sunflower seeds throughout the smoke. The construction on this cigar was solid, and the airflow opened towards the end. The one negative is the amount of nicotine it produces. This is not a cigar for newcomers or anyone with a weak heart. Unfortunately, I was even overwhelmed with the nicotine level.