Bite Size Review: Crowned Heads Four Kicks Maduro
In just a handful of years, Jon Huber and Crowned Heads have gone from CAO and Torano might-have-beens to cigar town saviors. Building on a simple premise of authenticity mixed with a sense of redemption, the Nashville-based quartet have not only introduced cigar lovers to novel blends, but have managed to do so with a little attitude. CH lines have grown exponentially since those early days thus making choosing pleasantly difficult. Nah, just try ‘em all.
Finally drawing on the success of their initial Four Kicks line, it’s only surprising they waited so long to release a maduro version. Shipping in late 2017, the Four Kicks Maduro was reshod with a Connecticut Habano wrapper (replacing the original Ecuadorian) and all Nicaraguan binder and filler. Stepping away from the traditional broadleaf- or San Andrés-wrapped maduros is somewhat risky, but then again following convention would essentially delegitimize CH’s mantra of carving one’s own path.
Overall construction of our Sublime is very good although cap application looked rushed and the seams were raised. The Connecticut Habano wrapper appeared 2-tone and charred giving it a unique patina. The Maduro’s cold draw seemed firm at first, but loosened up in short order. Richly aromatic with notes of cocoa and raisin, the initial tasting impressions proved equally rich and creamy. While intonations of cocoa, leather and nougat abound, what was missing was the decadent richness we’ve come to expect from most maduros. Ay, there’s the rub.
In fact, the profile, in contrast, is pleasantly edgy, while still offering a floral essence and a savory kick. Complexity and balance throughout transitions never fails to satisfy. Combined with a unique flavor palette, the blend is not only incredibly tasty throughout but offers plenty of pleasant surprises. Combustion is very good producing a strong, evenly charred ash, but you hyper puffers out there are gonna have to slow down with this gal. The first conclusion that came to my mind is that we’re going to have to rethink what a maduro must be. Well, leave it to the creative CH team to show us what a great maduro COULD be. Two hours well spent. – In Fumo Pax!
Did you Know: The Four Kicks line was the inaugural offering from Crowned Heads.
- Profile: Med
- Vitola: Sublime [Toro]
- Length / Ring Gauge: 6.0″ x 54
- Purchased: B&M
- Origin: Dominican Republic
- Wrapper: Connecticut Habano
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Cutter: Colibri ‘V’
- Lighter: Colibri Firebird
- Price: $9.20
- Humidor Age: 13 mo.
- Box: 24
- Other Vitolas: Corona Gorda [5 5/8 x 46], Robusto [5 x 50], Robusto Extra [5 1/2 x 56]
Smoke Time: 1:50
Draw: Firm initially, but opens up
Construction: Two tone wrapper with a charred appearance; raised seams; good uniform firmness; sloppy triple cap; light on tooth and veins; holds 1″ salt-pepper ash.
- Wrapper – Chocolate, raisins
- Foot – Fudge brownie
- Cold Draw – Cocoa with hint of raisin
- Initial: Toasty with notes of cocoa, leather and an underlying cream; finishes with a nougat essence; texture is hard-edged, but pleasant; finish becomes woodier; floral notes develop as profile becomes more savory with a sweet and salty flare;
- Transition: Noticeably more espresso notes with hints of hickory on finish; profile overtly cedar with faint notes of nougat and leather; uptick in spice.
- Transition: Dominated by cedar, earth and espresso notes; spice lightens; noticeable hickory tang; toasty finish with caramel and cedar notes.
Touch ups: N/A
Combustion: Very good
Recommendation: 1. Boxworthy
- Go-to (boxworthy)
- Yard ‘gar
- Smoke a banana instead