It’s no secret that Crowned Heads is one of my favorite cigar brands and has been for some time. I had the pleasure of stopping by their office in Nashville for a very brief time last year and met co-founder Jon Huber. We didn’t have the opportunity to visit for long but it was a great day for me to meet the man behind some of the best cigars I have tried. A little bit about the brand (taken from their website)
“Crowned Heads is a premium cigar company committed to producing cigars of artisanal quality that are defined by a combination of excellent flavor, balance, and consistency.We believe in continuous improvement, and in a marriage of tradition with innovation. We feel that tobacco lives, breathes, and speaks to us; it leads the blend and it names the brand. As Michelangelo once said, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.”Crowned Heads is influenced by a time when quality, pride, and integrity mattered. We strive to bring our vision to reality and invite you to live in our world. We are not here to do it like everyone else. When the rules don’t make sense to us, we carve our own path.We are bonded to a belief in strict attention to detail, and we remain meticulously focused upon every aspect of our products and our brand. It is an exclusive and select group of retail partners that will offer our brands. Our goal is not to be everywhere, but rather, to provide an unparalleled level of service, attention, and excellence to those that support Crowned Heads.”
I can tell you that these are not simply words that they put together to market the brand and sound good, they live by this. I had interactions with Jon before I met him and the things said above are things they live and breathe. The one thing missing from their line-up, until recently, was a milder cigar. They certainly checked that one off the list with and huge check mark and an exclamation point.
Luminosa (Luminous) certainly shines bright in the mix of mild-medium bodied cigars. Produced by Ernesto Perez-Carrilo Jr’s Tabacalera La Alianza S.A factory, this cigar uses an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper over undisclosed binder and fillers. I picked up the 5 x 50 Robusto for this review but it comes in a 6 1/2 x 52 Toro also. Both are priced under $8.00. From what I hear the official release will come at IPCPR 2017 and will be available in 4 sizes.
Looking at the cigar, it is a nice caramel brown with a nice oily shine. There were a couple of minor flaws with on the foot and shaft. This is a delicate cigar so if you try them, treat them with care. The construction is solid with very tight seams and the veins blend into the wrappers nicely. The band is a vibrant orange that really stands out against the light brown color. The triple cap is rounded nicely to top things off.
The cigar smells of cedar, hay, cocoa on the shaft and the foot offers the same with some pepper and a bit stronger wet hay note. It is a earthy scent.
I used a V-cut and matches and off we go. Right off the bat this thing produces a serious combo of flavors. Black pepper, chocolate, creamy coffee, earth, and a subtle sweetness I can’t pinpoint. I wasn’t expecting this at all. I underestimated this cigar when I heard mild-medium. I should have known better. It is from Crowned Heads so silly me for sure. There is a creamy smoothness to this. Connecticut’s usually have this nice smoothness but this is different. May be why this is such a delicate stick. The Ecuadorian Connecticut really take the smoothness to a different level. The draw offers a little resistance but offers just the right amount of flow. Burn is nice and even.
I let this cigar spend a little over a month in my humidor and I think that additional time brought out some additional flavor profiles, to include the spice I am enjoying a lot. Talking with a few others and seeing some other reviews on this, they said they never got much of that so I think aging this stick for a bit would be a recommendation if you like pepper and spice.
The second third blends nicely into a woodsy cedar, cocoa, and the sweetness comes a bit more to the forefront. I still can’t decipher exactly what is is but I like it. This is one of the more complex mild-medium blends I have had. Everything about this one is good. Draw, burn and flavor are all still great.
The final third sees a return of the black pepper spice, cedar, chocolate, the same sweetness and a touch of coffee/espresso. The complexity of this cigar is very intriguing. I would be interested in trying the Toro to compare. The strength is more medium at this point. I am really liking this cigar.
I know from reading some info about this that the idea behind this cigar was to make it a good morning coffee companion or after dessert stick, but for me, I could smoke this cigar just about anytime and be happy with my decision. I paired this cigar with water for about 90% of it as I always do with cigars I haven’t tried but I actually did pair it with a cup of coffee for the last bit of this cigar. It is sleeting and snowing out and the mixture of the coffee blended with this cigar perfectly. I enjoyed it a lot but I was enjoying it just as much prior to.
Final thoughts. For me, this is another terrific addition to an already great portfolio. Of course not everyone will have the same experience but for me personally, this would be a great addition to my humidor. I was certainly caught off guard by the complexity of this cigar and it was certainly a pleasant surprise.
I could see this being a great cigar for beginners and the flavor profile is enough that experienced smokers will overlook the mild-medium strength. At this price point, this is a great cigar to have in your humidor and would be great for any smoker if you wanted to share them. A box worthy pick for me. As someone that typically smokes darker cigars, this Connecticut is certainly one of the most flavorful lighter cigars I have tried. I am a big fan of the Charter Oaks by Foundation and this one ranks right at the top for sure.
I hope you enjoyed this review. As always leave your comments here. If you have reviewed this stick and would like to share it, let me know. Until next time, long ashes and full glasses friends. Peace.
“The purpose of this review is to provide a true, honest opinion based on my own experience. I am under no obligation to provide favorable feedback for this product and receive no compensation for doing so. This cigar was purchased by me, for my own enjoyment.”