Cigar Review: Crowned Heads-Headley Grange Estupendo
Crowned Heads-Headley Grange Estupendo
Size: Estupendo (5 1/2″ x 52)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Price: $9.30 MSRP
One of the cigars that’s gotten a tremendous amount of attention since the annual trade show is the Headley Grange,, by Jon Huber’s, Crowned Heads. Crowned Heads broke out with the highly regarded Four Kicks, I reviewed the Selección No 5 here. Like the Four Kicks, the Headley Grange is blended and rolled by Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, who as you may know, I am a big fan of.
There is a great back story to the Headley Grange which is posted on the Crowned Heads website:
Built in 1795, Headley Grange is a former poorhouse in Headley, East Hampshire, England, UK. Best known as a recording venue in the 1960s and 1970s, it came to our attention as a result of listening to the Led Zeppelin song, “When the Levee Breaks,” which was recorded at Headley Grange. While listening to that particular song, we noted that we wanted to blend a cigar that tasted like the first six seconds of “When the Levee Breaks” sounded. The steady sound of John Bonham’s drums on that track are unforgettable: heavy, plodding, ominous, and thick. With that dense drum sound as our inspiration, we once again collaborated with Ernesto Perez Carrillo, Jr., and Tabacalera La Alianza,SA, to create a truly unique blend that has been described as “big, bold, and gutsy.”
I bought a 5 pack of Headley Grange just on the hype I had heard and read and after smoking the first couple I decided this was a cigar that despite their being already being reviewed pretty heavily, I wanted to post my thoughts on it.
But enough about that, let’s toast the foot!
Pre-Light: (1.7) The Headley Grange has a sandy looking Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper that is dry to the touch, a bit bumpy, features a number of prominent veins and some mottling. There is a soft box press to the Headley Grange. I really like the black on gold band with white print. It is simple but well stated.
The scent off the foot is fairly unique with a nice blend of grass, hay, earth, spice, and brown sugar. The pre-light draw reveals an oak flavor with that brown sugariness and just a mild hint of peppery spice.
Burn: : (1.7) The Headley Grange has a slightly taught draw. The burn line is a bit jagged but stays fairly even. The ash is a little flaky around the edges but the core holds strong. The Headley Grange burns cool to the nub.
Flavor: (2.7) With the first few puffs the Headley Grange starts off with flavors of charred pepper, some spice, and a damp oak flavor. About a half inch in there is a citrusy zest that enters the flavor profile as well as an increasing pepper spice over the oaky core. The smoke is thick and heavy on the palate. A little past the inch mark the citrusy zest transitions into a more defined orange peel flavor.
Now smoking into the last third and the smoke is still a full bodied, thick, syrupy smoke with the orange peel and pepper notes to the finish. Retro-haling brings out more of the oak to the flavor profile. The strength through the Headley Grange is on the upper range of medium and creeps to the lower range of full by the last third. The body of the smoke is super full, as is the flavor.
Overall: (2.8) The Headley Grange is a great addition to the Four Kicks portfolio and Ernesto’s blending skills are once again highlighted by bringing a very unique flavor and texture profile to this smoke. I actually liked the Headley Grange a bit higher than the score may reflect because of the uniqueness to the profile. It’s a really enjoyable smoke if you like a cigar that has a bit of a unique flavor profile that is not often captured. I burnt through my first fiver when I finished this review and I’ll most certainly be grabbing a few more from this limited initial release, after all there were only 1000 boxes released of this opening run of Estupendos. Fortunately there are plans for a wider release in 2013.
PS. Stay tuned, I will be announcing another contest shortly!