The Angel’s Anvil 2015 is the second cigar by Crowned Heads Cigars to be made for the Tobacconist Association of America (TAA). It is one of ten exclusive cigars made available to TAA retailers by various manufacturers for 2015. As the company did last year, Crowned Heads turns to its long-time production partner, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo’s Tabacalera La Alianza factory to produce this cigar. Recently I’ve had an opportunity to smoke several Angel’s Anvil 2015 cigars. Overall, I found this to be an excellent installment into the 2015 TAA Exclusive Cigar series.
The name “The Angel’s Anvil” is derived from a story of a fallen angel who seeks to find his way back to heaven. During this time, the outcast Angel finds a blacksmith who provides him with a hammer and anvil – the tools that can be re-used to re-build his wings. As many know, Crowned Heads was formed by a group of four CAO employees who had left the brand after the acquisition by General Cigar Company. The cigar name is an analogy to that story as it is based on the personal experience (the fall and rebirth) of one of the company owners at the time of that acquisition – namely a company and having to rebuild things from the ground up. The name “The Angel’s Anvil” also has the acronym “TAA”.
The TAA is a small group of retailers. At press time the number of retailers is approximately 80. As per their web-site, the TAA is defined as:
The Tobacconists’ Association of America, Ltd. is a trade organization established in 1968 by visionary retail tobacconists. By providing education, communication, research, advocacy, and member discount programs, The TAA works with our members and the industry they support to offer the tools and relationship building opportunities needed to maximize professionalism and success.
The TAA Exclusive Series has grown over the past few years and 2015 represents the most ambitious series to date as ten new blends were released. When adding these blends to five on-going TAA releases it brings the total cigars for 2015 available to TAA members to fifteen.
This year, the following new cigars have been released for the 2015 TAA Exclusive Series.
- Asylum Nyctophilia Maduro (*)
- Casa Magna D. Magnus II TAA Exclusive Hadrian
- Crowned Heads – The Angel’s Anvil 2015
- La Antiguedad TAA Exclusive 2015 Toro by My Father Cigars
- La Flor Dominicana TAA 47
- Nat Sherman Panamericana (*)
- Padrón Serie 1926 No. 47 (Two blends – Maduro and Natural)
- Por Larrañaga TAA En Cedro by Altadis U.S.A.
- Tatuaje TAA 2015
* – Denotes cigar being released in multiple vitolas
The ongoing (annually released) TAA releases are:
- Ashton VSG Robusto Especial TAA Exclusive
- Drew Estate Acid Big Bang TAA Exclusive
- Padron 1964 Anniversary Toro TAA Exclusive (Natural and Maduro)
- Rocky Patel 15th Anniversary TAA Exclusive Robusto Grande
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at The Angel’s Anvil 2015 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Angel’s Anvil 2015 has been said to be similar to another Crowned Heads release, 2012’s limited edition Mule Kick.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Tabacalera La Alianza)
The Angel’s Anvil 2015 is available in one size – a 6 x 52 Toro. The cigar is packaged in twenty count boxes with a total production of 1,000 boxes.
The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper of The Angel’s Anvil 2015 has a medium brown color. The wrapper itself has a light coat of oil on it. The wrapper seams are quite thin on this cigar. While there are some visible veins, I considered the surface of this wrapper to be smooth.
The band to the Crowned Heads Angel’s Anvil 2015 is similar to the 2014 edition, but with a different color scheme. The center of the band is the black Angel’s Anvil logo consisting of a “T” square along with two interlocking letter “A”s. A thin black circle surrounds the logo. There is a second outer ring surrounding that circle in gold. In between the inner and outer rings, there are some arc-shaped segments. The first segment is on the upper part of the ring and says “THE ANGEL’S ANVIL” in pale yellow font – arranged in a curved fashion on a red background. Going clockwise is a black colored segment with a gold adornment; toward the bottom is the text “TAA-MMXV” arranged in a curved fashion in pale yellow font on a red background; and finally there is another black colored segment with a gold adornment. To the left and right of the circular pattern are gold medallions, gold adornments, and a black and red design.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I normally do, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap of The Angel’s Anvil 2015. Once the cap was clipped, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of chocolate, citrus, and a slight cedar note. Overall I considered the pre-light draw of this cigar to be excellent. At this point, I was ready to light up The Angel’s Anvil 2015 and see what the overall smoking experience would have in store.
The start to The Angel’s Anvil 2015 began with notes of earth and citrus. I also detected slight notes of cedar and milk chocolate in the background. The milk chocolate note had a nice effect on the after-draw. Meanwhile on the retro-hale, there was a nice, but not overpowering black pepper spice.
Throughout the first third, I found the earth and citrus notes remained primary. During this stage, the citrus notes began to dial back and the milk chocolate notes increased. By the second third, the milk chocolate notes joined the earth in the forefront and the citrus notes were now grounded in the background.
During most of the second third, the milk chocolate and earth notes continued to share center stage. By the end of the second third, the milk chocolate notes moved into the background while the cedar notes moved into the forefront.
The last third, saw the cedar notes take control. There still were touches of milk chocolate and citrus. This is the way the cigar experience came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Overall I found The Angel’s Anvil 2015 to be a well-constructed cigar and this was reflected nicely in the burn and draw. The burn path remained straight from start to finish. There was a slight curvature on the actual burn line, but overall this was a cigar that did not require an abnormal amount of touch-ups. The resulting ash had a silver gray color and was on the firm side. Both the burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
The draw was outstanding. I considered this cigar to have an open draw. The Angel’s Anvil 2015 is also going to be a cigar that produces an ample amount of smoke.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, I found this cigar to be a little more dialed back from what I was expecting. I assessed The Angel’s Anvil 2015 as mild to medium in strength to start before progressing to medium in the second half. As for the body, I found this cigar started out medium. There was a slight increase in body along the way, but The Angel’s Anvil 2015 didn’t move out of the medium range. In terms of strength versus body, I gave the edge to the body.
The past couple of years I’ve been on the record stating there are too many TAA releases and the series has become somewhat diluted. This was quite evident with the 2014 series. While there are more cigars in the 2015 TAA series, I have this year’s set to have some better offerings. The Angel’s Anvil 2015 is one of those cigars.
Overall, I found The Angel’s Anvil 2015 release to be excellent. This is a cigar that had excellent flavor and a nice amount of complexity. One thing that works in favor of this blend is that it is not overpowering in strength and body. This slightly dialed back profile allows the flavors and complexity to really shine. This is a cigar I’d recommend to a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would smoke again – and it’s one I’d recommend a box split.
Strength: Mild to Medium (1st Half), Medium (2nd Half)
Assessment: 3.5-Box Split
News: Crowned Heads – The Angel’s Anvil 2015 to be TAA Exclusive
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