At the 2018 IPCPR Trade Show, Crowned Heads Cigar unveiled a limited production line known as the Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII (CHC Reserve XVIII). Crowned Heads has always done an exceptional job at tying a theme and/or a story to each of its releases, and the CHC Reserve XVIII is no exception. Crowned Heads is also known to have one of the most loyal fan bases out there. With the CHC Reserve XVIII, it pays homage to that fan base. To produce this cigar, Crowned Heads turns to its long-time manufacturing partner, Tabacalera La Alianza – the factory owned by Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr. Today we take a look at the Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII in the Corona Gorda size
In terms of how the name “Court” ties into that fan base Crowned Heads explained this when they announced the project:
“The genesis and inspiration of the company name ‘Crowned Heads’ was a far cry from anything ‘royal;’ however, over the years the Crowned Heads legion of supporters has been quietly and reverently referred to as our ‘Court.’ By literal definition, a court is an extended royal household, which in some cases would be comprised of thousands of individuals. It is in this spirit that Crowned Heads is very proud to announce ‘Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII.’ CHC Reserve was crafted specifically with a spirit of gratitude and humility towards those and for those that have supported Crowned Heads over the years.”
In addition this technically was the first line that has been branded with the name Crowned Heads.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII Corona Gorda and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
Part of the rationale in using Tabacalera La Alianza is that was the first factory Crowned Heads worked with when they released its debut line Four Kicks line. The blend is highlighted by a Mexican San Andres wrapper. While Crowned Heads has worked with Mexican San Andres before, this is the first major release out of Tabacalera La Alianza for Crowned Heads to use this wrapper.
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza
The Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII is available in three sizes. The vitolas are three of the first sizes Crowned Heads put into production with their inaugural Four Kicks line. Each of the cigars is presented in 20-count boxes.
Corona Gorda: 5 5/8 x 46
Robusto: 5 x 50
Sublime: 6 x 54
The Mexican San Andres wrapper of the Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII Corona Gorda had a dark chocolate color to it. Upon closer examination, there was some subtle mottling on the surface of the wrapper. There wasn’t much in the way of oil on the surface of the wrapper. There were some visible veins as well as some thin visible wrapper seams.
There are two bands on the Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII. Both have a red, gold, and black color scheme. On the center of the band is a gold insignia containing the initials CHC sitting on a red background. Above the logo is a gold crown on a black background. There are two gold medallions on the left and right side of the band. The remainder of the band had various gold adornments on it.
The secondary band has a thick black stripe with gold pinstripes above and below it as well as red trim. On the black stripe is the text “XVIII” in large gold font.
After using a straight cut to clip the cap off the Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII Corona Gorda, it was time to commence the pre-light draw stage. The dry draw delivered notes of chocolate as well as touches of light fruit sweetness and light earth notes. This cigar delivered a satisfactory pre-light draw experience. At this point, it was time to light up the CHC Reserve XVIII Corona Gorda and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII Corona Gorda started out with notes of chocolate, berry sweetness, earth, and black pepper. The chocolate took a slight edge as the primary note early on. The berry, earth, and black pepper notes settle into the background. The retro-hale produced an additional layer of black pepper with some of the berry sweetness in there as well.
During the first third of the Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII Corona Gorda, the berry sweetness occasionally made it into the forefront. By the midway point, the earth notes along with the berry sweetness, made its way into the forefront – pushing the chocolate notes into the background with the black pepper.
Later in the second third, the berry notes started to diminish and the pepper notes increased. As the cigar burned through the final third, the peppery notes joined the earth notes in the forefront. The chocolate and berry notes rounded things out with just a touch of sweetness. This is the way the cigar experience of the Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII Corona Gorda came to a close. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
While there was some waviness on the burn line of the Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII Corona Gorda, this was a cigar that was never in danger of getting off-track on its burn path. The resulting ash had a salt and pepper color to it. This was am ash that was skewed toward the firmer side. Both the burn rate and burn temperature performed at ideal levels.
The draw to the Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII Corona Gorda performed very well. This had a touch of resistance to it – which is something I always consider to be a positive. It was also a cigar that was a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
The Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII Corona Gorda started out as a medium strength, medium to full-bodied smoke. There is a very gradual increase in both of the intensity levels of this cigar. By the final third, the CHC Reserve XVIII Corona Gorda’s strength and body increased into the medium to full and full ranges of the spectrum respectively.
When looking at the strength versus body with the CHC Reserve XVIII Corona Gorda, the body had the edge throughout the smoking experience.
One thing that I really liked about the Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII Corona Gorda is that the San Andres wrapper didn’t have a pungent effect on the rest of the blend. This is a cigar where the earlier stages exhibited more in the way of sweetness and in the later stages there was more in the way of spice. At the same time, I found this cigar maintained an excellent equilibrium of flavors across the spectrum. This is a cigar I would recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast. At the same time, it’s a cigar that could be positioned to the novice looking to move into the “medium plus” range of strength and body. As for myself, it’s a cigar I’d smoke again – and buy multiples for my humidor.
Key Flavors: Chocolate, Berry, Earth, Black Pepper
Strength: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Last third)
Body: Medium to Full (1st 2/3), Full (Last third)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy Multiples
News: Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII To Launch at 2018 IPCPR
Source: Purchased, Crowned Heads
Brand Reference: Crowned Heads
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop