The Angel’s Anvil 2017 marks the fourth consecutive year that Crowned Heads Cigars has provided an exclusive release for the Tobacconist Association of America (TAA) retailers. One can make a strong argument that Crowned Heads, along with Tatuaje and La Flor Dominicana, have had the most consistent and popular TAA exclusive releases over the past four years. When it comes to this project, Crowned Heads has worked with its long-time Dominican partner, Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr. and Tabacalera La Alianza. Today we take a closer look at the 2017 installment of this series.
The TAA Exclusive Series consists of cigars made by leading manufacturers that are exclusively sold at TAA member retailers. In terms of the TAA as an organization, it is a small group of retailers. At press time the number of retailers is approximately 80. As per their website, 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.
For 2017, the following new cigars have been released for the 2017 TAA Exclusive Series:
- Crowned Heads The Angel’s Anvil 2017
- Rocky Patel Martinique
- Tatuaje TAA 2017
- La Palina Bronze Label
- Kristoff TAA Exclusive 49
- La Flor Dominicana TAA (49)
- Alec Bradley Black Market Illicit TAA Exclusive
- Jaime Garcia Reserva Especial TAA 2017
- Asylum 13 Box Pressed 70 x 7
As mentioned above, this is the fourth consecutive year (and fourth time overall) that Crowned Heads has released a TAA Exclusive cigar. There is a planned release for 2018 as well. For completeness, we list the five releases.
- 2014: Crowned Heads The Angel’s Anvil 2014
- 2015: Crowned Heads The Angel’s Anvil 2015
- 2016: Crowned Heads The Angel’s Anvil 2016
- 2017: Crowned Heads The Angel’s Anvil 2017
- 2018: Crowned Heads The Angel’s Anvil 2018
We have described the background and story behind The Angel’s Anvil release:
One other interesting footnote: The name “The Angel’s Anvil” shares the same acronym as the Tobacconist Association of America (i.e. TAA).
Without further ado, let’s break down the Crowned Heads The Angel’s Anvil 2017 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Other than the fact that The Angel’s Anvil 2017 utilizes a Habano wrapper, most of the blend details have not been disclosed.
Binder: Not Disclosed
Filler: Not Disclosed
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic (Tabacalera La Alianza SA)
The Angel’s Anvil 2017 is available in one size – a 6 1/4 x 54 Toro. The cigars are packaged in 20-count boxes.
The Habano wrapper of The Angel’s Anvil 2017 had a medium-caramel color to it. There wasn’t much in the way of oil on the surface of the wrapper. The wrapper itself had a slightly rough texture when touched. At the same time, any visible veins were minimal and any visible wrapper seams were also minimal.
The band to the Crowned Heads Angel’s Anvil 2017 is similar to previous editions, but with a different color scheme. The band itself has a beige and black background. At the center of the band is the black Angel’s Anvil logo consisting of a black “T” along with two interlocking letter “A”s sitting on a beige background inside a gold circle. There is an outer ring surrounding that circle in gold with some arc-shaped segments. The first segment is on the upper part of the ring and says “THE ANGEL’S ANVIL” in black font – arranged in a curved fashion on a beige background. Going clockwise is a black colored segment with a gold adornment; toward the bottom is the text “TAA-2017 ” arranged in a curved fashion in black font on a beige 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 and gold adornments.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
I commenced my smoking experience of the Crowned Heads Angel’s Anvil 2017 with a straight cut. Once the cap was removed I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of natural tobacco and earth with a touch of cocoa. Overall I considered the pre-light draw of this cigar to be satisfactory. At this point, I was ready to light up The Angel’s Anvil 2017 and await what the smoking experience would have in store.
The Crowned Heads Angel’s Anvil 2017 stated out with a combination of earth, bread, and sweet natural tobacco. Early on these three flavors became the primary flavor notes. The natural tobacco had a subtle sweetness to it. At the same time there were some black pepper and cocoa notes that emerged in the background. The black pepper was also prominent on the retro-hale
As the cigar progressed through the first third, the flavor pattern remained the same. The earth, bread, and natural tobacco alternated in intensity. During this stage, there were also subtle notes of citrus that joined the black pepper and cocoa in the background. The cocoa and citrus also varied in intensity while the black pepper was more distant on the tongue
The second third of The Angel’s Anvil 2017 saw the earth and bread notes gradually assume control as the primary note. The natural tobacco shed some of its sweetness. At the same time, the cocoa and citrus provided touches of additional sweetness while varying in intensity. It was also during this stage that the black pepper began to slowly increase in intensity.
The earth and bready notes remained in the forefront in the last third. The black pepper was now on-par with the natural tobacco flavors. There were still touches of citrus and cocoa present, but the presence of these notes had diminished. This is the way the Crowned Heads Angel’s Anvil 2017 came to a close. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
From a burn perspective, the Crowned Heads Angel’s Anvil 2017 maintained a straight burn path. There was a slight curvature on the actual burn line. There were some touch-ups required to maintain the burn, but these touch-ups were not excessive in frequency. The resulting ash was firm with a silver-gray color. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both were ideal.
The draw to the Crowned Heads Angel’s Anvil 2017 performed excellently. There was a nice balance between resistance and openness with the draw. This was a cigar that was low in maintenance to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, I found The Angel’s Anvil 2017 to be the boldest offering to date. This was a cigar that started out medium to full in strength. While there was a slight dip in strength in the second third I still found the cigar remained in the medium to full range. The strength ramped up in the last third and still remains in the medium to full range.
As for the body, The Angel’s Anvil 2017 delivered a medium-bodied smoking experience. I didn’t find much variance in the intensity of the body from start to finish.
In terms of strength versus body, this is a cigar where the strength had the edge throughout the smoking experience.
If you are looking for a cigar that is going to deliver radical and exotic flavors, the Crowned Heads Angel’s Anvil 2017 is not going to be the cigar for you. If you are looking for a cigar to deliver a classic Habano profile from start to finish, The Angel’s Anvil 2017 is going to be a cigar that satisfies and satisfies well. I liked how this cigar had some strength to it. I never found the strength overpowered the flavors delivered. While I’d put the 2015 and 2016 editions of The Angel’s Anvil ahead of this cigar, the 2017 edition is still a very good cigar – and one worthy of being a part of a TAA Exclusive series.
This is a cigar I’d recommend to a seasoned cigar enthusiast. As for myself, it’s a cigar I would smoke again – and it’s one worthy of buying several of these to have in your humidor.
Key Flavors: Earth, Bread, Natural Tobacco, Citrus, Cocoa, Black Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Complexity: Medium to High
Strength: Medium to Full
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy Multiples
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop