Cigar Review: Four Kicks Crowned Heads Seleccion No. 5

Cigar Review: Four Kicks Crowned Heads Seleccion No. 5

Four Kicks Crowned Heads Seleccion No. 5

Size: Lonsdale (6 1/2″ x 44)

Wrapper: Ecuador Habano

Binder: Nicaragua

Filler:  Nicaragua, Dominican

Strength: Medium

Price:  $7.70 MSRP

Grade: 8.8

Crowned Heads, founded by Jon Huber, formally of CAO, is one of the new darlings of the cigar blog-o-sphere.  The Four Kicks line is blended by Ernesto Perez-Carillo, of EP Carillo fame, and one of my favorite blenders.

I have been smoking a decent amount of the Four Kicks line as part of my afternoon rotation so I decided to review their newest line extension, the Seleccion no. 5, which is a 6 1/2 x 44 Lonsdale.  The Lonsdale is a great Vitola because it matches the flavor increase and nuance of a Lancero, with some additional filler and shorter length almost making it in an “in between” size between Lanceros and Corona’s, my two favorite Vitolas.

Here’s a little back-story on the brand:

“After finding himself in the middle of a corporate merger between CAO and General Cigar, Jon went his own way and continued doing what he loved best for most of his life. According to the Crowned Heads website, “Four Kicks is about sticking to your guns, and remaining loyal to those whom you love, and the hometown that brought you to the dance. Four Kicks is about turning your back on the corporate machine, and making your own rules.”

For my tastes, a Lonsdale blended by EP Carillo, featuring Nicaraguan filler and binder with a Habano wrapper was enough to sell me!

But enough about that, let’s toast the foot.

Pre-Light:  (1.9)  The Four Kicks Seleccion no. 5 is a beautifully presented cigar.  The Habano wrapper has some veins, and a lot of tooth.  The triple cap is expertly applied.  The red and gold band has a classy look to it, something I appreciate given youth of the company and independent mind set of the marketing strategy.  When it comes to cigars I have a strong preference to the timeless and classy approach to band design.   The classy design of the band is in strong contrast to the rustic handmade look of the cigar. Winning combo for aesthetics.

The scent off the foot is fairly mild with a distinct cedar note.  The pre-light draw offers up notes of honey, sweet tobacco, and graham cracker (a common thread in a lot of Ernesto’s blends).

Burn: (1.7)   The Seleccion no. 5 offers up a very crisp burn line with god, not great, smoke production.  The draw has some resistance but not quite tight.  Their is a fantastic firm white ash as the smoke progresses.  At about the half way point I found it necessary to relight the no.5, and once again in the final third.  This hasn’t  been the case in all of the Four Kicks I’ve smoked, but it’s happened twice on the Lonsdale.

Flavor:  (2.6)  The Seleccion no. 5 opens up with a blast of black pepper, not as strong as the famed “Pepin blast”, but certainly note worthy.  The pepper rapidly fades into a more general spice with flavors of sweet tobacco, with notes of honey, cocoa, and that wonderful graham cracker note I love.  The flavors are not screaming at you, but a far more delicate and interwoven which lends to a nice complexity.  Body is mild through the first third.

Smoking into the second third and the creaminess of the smoke has really picked up.  The notes are a bit more muted, but the smooth smoke has some grassy notes with a mild spice bringing up the finish.  The body is slowly edging towards medium in the second third.

Heading into the final third and the pepper and creaminess have picked up.  The dominant flavors through the final third are sweet tobacco and cedar, and sadly an absence of the graham cracker note I loved so much earlier in the no. 5.  The smoke ends never really moving beyond medium in it’s body.

Overall: (2.6)  As I mentioned earlier in the review, I’ve been smoking the Crowned Heads pretty regularly since they were released.  Mostly the Corona Gorda and now the no.5.  I like the gentler strength as an afternoon smoke, and that’s why I gravitate towards them.

The Four Kicks no.5 is a moderately complex, creamy smoke, with some interesting flavor.  While I enjoy the Four Kicks line, the flavors do not scream at you, they are a bit more gentle and subdued.  Great for not frying your palette early in the day, but that mildness of the flavor, and the dissipation of my favorite notes after the first half, affected the score. Definitely worth trying for an afternoon smoke, or in my case, keeping a few on hand.

Total: 8.8