Crafted by JR: Crowned Heads is the first in a series of entries where the team here at JR Cigar intimately works with leading cigar makers to create blends we can truly call our own. While many private labels are contracted out and developed almost entirely by the cigar maker, we created the whole brand from scratch, from the blend and sizes to the logos and packaging.
For Crafted by JR’s inaugural blend, we worked closely with the famous Jon Huber of Crowned Heads, who has a wealth of experience blending top-rated cigars. After several meetings, we decided on a finely aged blend of Nicaraguan long-fillers from Ometepe, Jalapa, and Condega, a chocolatey Connecticut Broadleaf binder, and a gorgeous reddish-brown Ecuadorian Habano wrapper.
We also found that the blend works best in a 5.5×52 format, perfectly balancing the ratio between the fillers and wrapper, and the pigtail cap adds a visual appeal as well as making it easy to enjoy. Coupled with boxes and designs that have an understated elegance, we could not be prouder of how Crafted by JR: Crowned Heads turned out.
Without any further ado, let us take a deep dive into the Crafted by JR: Crowned Heads and see how it performs!
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Cigar Strength: Medium
Smoke Time: 70 minutes
Cold Draw Impressions
Before I go in to cut the cap, I cannot help but admire the silky-smooth wrapper. It has a gorgeous reddish color, an indication I am in for a treat, and has some aromas of leather, spices, and slight floral tones. From the foot, the aromas of spices are richer and accompanied by aromas of barnyard, black pepper, and some sweetness.
Though I am tempted to bite off the pigtail cap, I do not want to risk any undue damage to the cap and instead opt for a straight cut. Providing the perfect amount of resistance, cold draws reveal layers of leather, earth, cream, and spices.
First Third Impressions
After I get the foot toasted and lit, my palate is immediately greeted by a burst of flavors. A bit peppery, but also incredibly smooth with complementary flavors of leather and roasted nuts. After a few puffs, the flavors settle into a solid medium body, far from flat but definitely not overwhelming. Hints of chocolate and earth are beginning to emerge along with some sweetness on the finish.
The burn so far has been flawless, moving slow and steady down the first couple of inches with no need for a touch-up in sight. The firm, solid-gray ash is also holding on strong, with me intentionally knocking off the first clump after about an inch and a half to avoid it falling in my lap. The first third has me beyond impressed, and excited for what the second third has in store!
Second Third Impressions
The pepper from the first few puffs has now transitioned into a flavor more akin to sweet spices, with leather, chocolate, and roasted nuts not too far off in the background. A creamy dimension has also entered the profile, adding balance to the flavors, and providing a base for them to come. With retro-hale, the pepper is vibrant yet not overwhelming, joined by notes of leather with an earthy base.
The construction continues to be top-notch, with the ash still holding on in clumps about one and a half inches big. The burn line also shows no signs of running awry, staying true from the first puff through the second third. The body is still holding at medium, however, as the second third ends, it ticks up closer to a medium-plus but not quite medium-full.
Final Third Impressions
As the smoke progresses to the final third, creaminess and sweet spices meld together, with baking spices like nutmeg and cinnamon joining the profile as well followed closely by roasted nuts. Background flavors of leather, earth, and chocolate are also perfectly balanced, slowly increasing in intensity as the burn line reaches the nub.
Retrohales continue to provide a vibrant yet methodical and subdued pepper, layered over creamy earth and roasted nuts. The final third also sees more sweetness come into play, enticing me to smoke the nub to within its final inch. With the cigar coming to an end, the body clocks in at a bold medium-plus just shy of medium-full, making for a satisfying ending.
Smooth, balanced, and complex, the Crafted by JR: Crowned Heads would make an excellent pairing with a fine scotch whisky. The whisky’s subtle sweetness and earthy, peaty flavors will accentuate the nuttiness of the Crafted by JR: Crowned Heads while complementing its spicy and creamy flavors. The sweetness of a spiced rum will also make a great pairing with the Crafted by JR: Crowned Heads.
For a more any-time pairing, a mug of creamed coffee or hot chocolate would also make a perfect pairing with the Crafted by JR: Crowned Heads. The darker flavors of the drinks will bring out the nuttiness and chocolatey flavors of the cigar without either drink or cigar overpowering one another.
If you enjoy boutique cigar blends with complex flavors and top-quality tobaccos, the Crafted by JR: Crowned Heads will be an excellent addition to your collection. Throughout the smoking experience, I was whisked away by the surprisingly smooth yet delectably rich and balanced flavors that had notable transitions to keep me engaged, serving as an ideal smoke for my seasoned palate.
The only downside to the Crafted by JR: Crowned Heads is there are only 500 boxes of 10 being made, so I will need to moderate how much I smoke going forward! Make sure you get a box for your humidor before the Crafted by JR: Crowned Heads winds up in somebody else’s collection. Order your box online today, available exclusively at JR Cigar!