The Prime Time Awards are voted on by each of the three members of the Prime Time Podcasts. The awards look at the impact on the cigar industry. Today, we unveil our choice for 2018 Small Company of the Year. This award factors things such as innovation, ability to continue to deliver quality product, and impact to the industry.
Crowned Heads, the Nashville Tennessee-based company co-founded by Jon Huber and Mike Conder is the Prime Time team’s selection for 2018 Small Company of the Year.
Founded in 2011, Crowned Heads has a well-established a healthy portfolio of regular production lines. While the company is no stranger to producing limited edition lines, this year the company used those lines to round out a strong portfolio, both satisfying its consumer base and showcasing its strength in innovation. Many of these releases fell under the radar, but each delivered something special. Concurrently, Crowned Heads continued to maintain excellence with its regular offerings.
Right out of the gate in 2018, Crowned Heads fans were treated to a collaboration the company participated with Altadis U.S.A with the Montecristo Ciudad de Musica. Collaborating with a large company like Altadis might have surprised a lot of Crowned Heads fans, but not only was the project embraced, it delivered one of the better Montecristo releases in recent years. Working on a project for the Montecristo brand represented a huge opportunity for a company like Crowned Heads and the company came through with flying colors.
There were special limited releases and each brought something unique to the table. The Four Kicks Mule Kick 2018 and Headley Grange Black Lab showcased the Connecticut Habano Maduro wrapper. It’s a less than common wrapper that is used on the Four Kicks Maduro. The company also took its Connecticut box-pressed line, Le Carême, and made it in the iconic Cuban Belicoso-Finos size. Perhaps the most surprising move was the release of the Connecticut Shade Luminosa Gigantes LE 2018, the company’s first foray into a 6 x 60.
Traditional annual limited releases also continued. Las Calaveras and the TAA release, The Angel’s Anvil each showcased new releases for the fifth year in a row. As in prior years, each line featured a previously unreleased blend. Crowned also released a new limited Mexican San Andres line called the Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII as a tribute to its fans.
While Crowned Heads has had long-time relationships with manufacturing partners Tabacalera La Alianza and My Father Cigars S.A., the company also expanded its horizons in terms of production. This year Crowned Heads teamed up with La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate to produce the Ohio-regional Buckeye Land, and announced it has been working with boutique factory Tabacalera Pichardo in Estelí, Nicaragua to produce the Thompson Cigar exclusive, Juarez.
Crowned Heads was well-represented on each of the Prime Time Team’s End of Year lists. The company tied for three spots on the Cigar Coop Countdown of the best cigars of 2018. It was represented on Bear Duplisea’s Top 10 Cigars of the Year on #ElOsoFumarTakes, and two spots on Aaron Loomis’ Top 25 Cigars for 2018 on Developing Palates.
Honorable Mentions: Aganorsa Leaf, Southern Draw
The full vote results appear here.
Photo Credit: Cigar Coop