|Four Kicks Mule Kick Limited Edition 2012
by Crowned Heads
The Four Kicks Mule Kick Limited Edition 2012 marks the third blend released by the Nashville, Tennessee based Crowned Heads company. It also marks the first time the company has issued a limited release cigar. The story of the Mule Kick is there was a batch of darker Habano Ecuador wrapper intended for Four Kicks. This wrapper was deemed “too dark” to use on the Four Kicks core line. A decision was made to include this wrapper on an amp’d up version of the Four Kicks blend. Since this was limited tobacco, the blend is a limited release and dubbed “Four Kicks Mule Kick Limited Edition 2012”. I recently have had an opportunity to sample the Mule Kick – and in my opinion this was a very good release by Crowned Heads. This is what I would consider the best rest to date by Crowned Heads.
Crowned Heads has released two blends prior to the Mule Kick, the core line Four Kicks, and the new core line Headley Grange. Much of the cigar community has rated these cigars highly. On this web-site, we’ve felt those cigars lacked a “wow factor”. The Mule Kick is a different story as this cigar did stand out. It’s amazing what a blend tweak can do. We’ve seen it over and over with cigar releases – and the Mule Kick is a prime example of this.
Let’s take a closer look at the Mule Kick and see what this cigar experience brings to the table.
There are two factors that distinguish the Mule Kick from the Four Kicks line. The first is that the Mule Kick will use a darker version of Ecuadorian Habano wrapper that is found on the original Four Kicks cigar. Secondly, there will also be some additional ligero incorporated into the blend as well (thus amping up the blend). As with all cigars done for Crowned Heads, the blend was done by Ernesto Perez-Carrillo.
Wrapper: Habano Ecuador (Darker Shade)
The plan is for only one frontmark – 5 7/8 x 52 toro to be released. The cigars are packaged in ten count boxes.
The “darker” Habano Ecuador wrapper of the Mule Kick has a definite milk chocolate color look to it. The wrapper itself has a coarse feel to it. It also has a slightly oily complexion to it. The darker color does a very good job at hiding the wrapper seams. There are also some visible veins as well.
There are two bands to the Mule Kick. The first is the same red and gold band found on the core Four Kicks line. That band features a gold crown on a red circular background. Over the crown is the text “FOUR” in gold font arranged in a slightly curved fashion. Below the crown is the text “KICKS” also in gold font in a slightly curved fashion. There is gold trim surrounding the red circular background and remainder of the band. This includes some gold medallions going around the back of the band.
Below the Four Kicks band is a secondary band. This band has a black and gold color scheme. It features the text “LIMITED EDITION” in gold font on a black background. Just below that is the text “2012” also in gold font. There is gold trim surrounding that band as well.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to my cigar experience with the Mule Kick, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. It was then on to start the pre-light draw experience. The dry draw notes treated me to a mix of chocolate, cedar, and citrus notes. Overall, I found this to be a very good pre-light draw from a flavor perspective. It was now time to toast the foot of the Mule Kick and see what the smoking experience would bring to the table.
While there are some common flavors to the core Four Kicks line, I found the way the notes meshed with the Mule Kick much more to my liking.
The start to the Mule Kick provided notes of orange citrus, pepper, and leather. The orange citrus notes quickly surfaced in the forefront while the pepper and leather notes were secondary. I also detected some chocolate notes as tertiary notes. Those chocolate notes would slowly increase throughout the first third. By the start of the second third, the chocolate notes were a close second behind the primary orange citrus notes.
In the second third, the chocolate notes remained a close second behind the orange citrus, but it never surpassed it. It was during this part of the cigar experience where the spice kicked up and moved toward the forefront. The spice meshed well with the citrus creating a citrus spice that seemed to linger on the tongue.
The last third of the cigar saw the chocolate notes diminish a bit and move further into the background. The orange citrus and spice notes remained in forefront. I also detected some cinnamon toward the very end. I did find the close to the Mule Kick to have a little harshness to it. The resulting nub was soft to the touch, but cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Overall I found the Mule Kick to have outstanding construction and this was reflected in the burn and draw of the cigar. Both attributes scored well throughout the smoking experience. The burn line remained straight from start to finish – requiring minimal touch-ups. The resulting ash was tight and white in color with virtually no flaking. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
The draw was outstanding. This made for a very good smoking experience from beginning to end.
Strength and Body
At the start of the Mule Kick, the nicotine profile seemed to be of medium strength. However as you smoke the Mule Kick, there is a definite increase in strength. By the end of the last third, the strength moves into the medium to full range. The strength continues to build slowly and by the end of the cigar, the Mule Kick is a full strength cigar.
The flavors to the Mule Kick are deep and robust. This is a full-bodied cigar from start to finish. I found the increased strength create a better balance than the original Four Kicks. I always felt the original Four Kicks line needed some increased strength. The Mule Kick does this well – without resulting in an overpowering strength. I’d still say the Mule Kick emphasizes body over strength, but the attributes have a better equilibrium than on the core line.
When I assessed the Four Kicks Seleccion No. 5, I commented, “It was in the last third, where the Seleccion No. 5 began to take on flavors more along the lines of my flavor profile. I found the chocolate notes to take center stage. I found the flavors quite pleasant at this point.” Although the chocolate notes never fully took center stage, a good chunk of the Mule Kick reminded me of that last third of the Seleccion No. 5 – which I found to be the best part of that particular cigar.
Overall, the flavor profile of the Mule Kick just meshed better with me, and this cigar’s amp’d up blend made it preferable to this author over the core blend. This is definitely the best blend to date by Crowned Heads. I see Crowned Heads’ cigar enthusiasts really liking this cigar. I do think both a novice and experienced cigar enthusiast can like what this blend offers. As for myself, this is a cigar I would definitely smoke again.