|Crowned Heads – The Angel’s Anvil TAA Exclusive 2014|
Crowned Heads – The Angel’s Anvil TAA Exclusive 2014 marks the first cigar provided by the Nashville, Tennessee-based cigar company for the Tobacconists Association of America’s (TAA). The Angel’s Anvil also is one of eight exclusive cigars made available to TAA retailers by various manufacturers for 2014. For this cigar, Crowned Heads turns to its long-time production partner, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo’s Tabacalera La Alianza to produce this cigar. Recently, I’ve had an opportunity to smoke this cigar. This is the fifth cigar we’ve assessed of the eight 2014 TAA Exclusive Series cigars. Overall I have found this year’s class of TAA releases to be one of the weaker sets in recent years. While The Angel’s Anvil isn’t a bad cigar, it didn’t do much to help elevate this year’s series in my book.
The name mentions that 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 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 leaving the company and having to rebuild things from the ground up . The name “The Angel’s Anvil” also has the acronym “TAA”.
As for the TAA, this represents a small group of retailers (at press time the TAA web-site lists a total of 75 members). For the past several years many manufacturers have made available cigars that are exclusive to TAA member retail shops. 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.”
At this time, let’s take a closer look at the Crowned Heads – The Angel’s Anvil TAA Exclusive 2014 and see what this cigar brings to the table:
The Crowned Heads – Angel’s Anvil TAA Exclusive 2014 represents a new blend from the company.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Havana
The Crowned Heads – Angel’s Anvil is available in one size – a 7 1/8 x 49 Churchill. This marks the company’s first vitola that would fall into the Churchill category.
The cigars are packaged 20 per box with a total of 1,000 boxes made.
The Ecuadorian Havana wrapper of The Angel’s Anvil has a medium-brown / caramel color to it. There is some oil on the surface of the wrapper. There are some visible wrapper seams and some visible veins, but I consider the wrapper to lean toward the smoother side.
The band to the Crowned Heads Angel’s Anvil has a pale yellow background with a blue and gold color scheme. At the center of the band is the blue Angel’s Anvil logo consisting of a “T” square along with two drawing compasses. A thin blue 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 blue font – arranged in a curved fashion. Going clockwise is a blue colored segment with a gold adornment; toward the bottom is the text “TAA-2014” arranged in a curved fashion in blue font; and finally there is another blue colored segment with a gold adornment. To the left and right of the circular pattern are gold medallions, gold adornments, and blue trim.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
As I typically do, I went with a straight cut to start things out. Once the cap was successfully clipped I moved on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw provided a mix of a sweet natural tobacco flavor along with some floral notes. Overall, I considered this to be a satisfactory pre-light draw, but it wasn’t one that had me doing handstands. Since the pre-light draw is not scored as a part of a Cigar Coop assessment, there is no loss of points here. At this point I was ready to light up the Angel’s Anvil and see what the smoking stage would have in store.
The Angel’s Anvil started out with a mix of natural tobacco, black pepper, and some light floral notes. The natural tobacco notes soon moved to the forefront with the pepper a close secondary and the floral notes more distant. The natural tobacco had some sweetness early on. By about the five percent point, some cedar mixed in with the pepper notes. There was also some floral spice on the retro-hale.
In the second third, the flavors did change up. The cedar notes became primary and there were some notes of nut and toast that I could also detect. The natural tobacco notes receded to a secondary note joining the pepper and floral notes.
The last third saw the flavor profile take on more pepper. The cedar notes were still very much present. I also could still detect some of the natural tobacco flavors. The toast and nut notes of the second third had dissipated.
Burn and Draw
Construction-wise, The Angel’s Anvil performed quite well and was at the level I would expect for a TAA Exclusive cigar. The burn line remained relatively straight from start to finish requiring minimal touch-ups. The resulting ash was tight and firm with a light gray color. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of Crowned Heads – The Angel’s Anvil TAA Exclusive 2014|
The draw was excellent as well. This was a low maintenance cigar to puff on making it easy to derive flavors from this cigar.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength, The Angel’s Anvil starts off in the medium range. The strength does build on this cigar and by the second half, I assessed this cigar as being in the medium to full strength zone. The strength level never gets to a point where this cigar becomes a nicotine bomb. The body of this cigar follows a similar path. The flavors start out medium-bodied. As the cigar burns, the flavors do take on more weight and by the second half, they move into the medium to full-bodied range. The strength and body do a good job at balancing each other .
This is the fifth of the eight 2014 TAA Exclusive releases reviewed on Cigar Coop. This cigar like most of the others in that series had one major shortcoming – it lacked a “wow” factor. Given this cigar is heading to a top tier of retailers in limited production, I would expect nothing less and expectations were high. The Angel’s Anvil is a good cigar, but this is a classic case as we say on Stogie Geeks “this cigar could not make up its mind what it wanted to do”. To me the flavors seemed a little all over the place throughout this cigar and in the end, I felt did not mesh with my pallet. This is a cigar I’d recommending trying one, seeing what you think, and forming your own opinion.
Strength: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Body: Medium (1st Half), Medium to Full (2nd Half)
Assessment: 2.5 – Try One
News: Crowned Heads – The Angel’s Anvil TAA Exclusive 2014
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