In the Spring of 2019, Crowned Heads announced the sixth installment of its Las Calaveras series. Las Calaveras is an annual limited edition release that first made its debut back in 2014. At the time Las Calaveras made its debut, it was significant because it marked the first time Crowned Heads would produce a cigar outside of Ernesto Perez-Carrillo’s Tabacalera La Alianza factory in the Dominican Republic. For Las Calaveras, Crowned Heads would team up with the Garcia family at My Father Cigars in Nicaragua. Since 2014, each subsequent release has featured a different blend and different packaging. Today we take a look at the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2019 in the LC50 (Robusto) size.
The name “Las Calaveras” translates to “The Skulls”. It is a line that pays homage to those who have passed away over the past year. As opposed to being a mournful symbol, it is intended to be a celebration of those lives and remembrances of those who are no longer with us. In the past, the bands of each release of Las Calaveras have contained the initials of four individuals who have passed away. This year, the cigar contains the initials of one person – the late Cano Ozgener, founder of CAO Cigars who passed away last June. Crowned Heads co-founders Jon Huber and Mike Conder both worked with Ozgener at CAO Cigars.
The following are the releases of Las Calaveras. One significant note is that each year has highlighted a different blend and a different wrapper.
- Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2014: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
- Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2015: Ecuadorian Habano Rosado
- Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2016: Connecticut Broadleaf
- Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2017: Ecuadorian Maduro
- Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2018: San Andres Mexican
- Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2019: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Without further ado, let’s break down the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2019 LC50 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2019 utilizes an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper. This was a wrapper that was used on the first release of Las Calaveras, the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2014. The remainder of the blend features all Nicaraguan tobaccos.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
The cigars are presented in four sizes. One of the four sizes is a Torpedo that is only available in a sampler containing each of the four vitolas. The other three sizes are available in 24-count boxes. There were 1,700 of the 24-count boxes produced. In addition, there were 2,500 samplers produced.
LC46: 6 x 46
LC50: 5 x 50
LC54: 5 1/2 x 54
Torpedo: 6 1/8 x 52 (sampler only)
The Ecuadorian Havana Oscuro wrapper of the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2019 LC50 had a milk chocolate color to it. Upon closer examination, some darker mottling could be seen on the surface. There wasn’t much in the way of oil on the wrapper. While there were some visible veins and visible wrapper seams, the LC50 had a relatively smooth surface.
As mentioned above, each year the band of the Las Calaveras changes. For the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2019, the band is primarily red in color. On the center of the band is the text “LAS CALAVERAS” in large white font. Above that text is the text “EL 2019” in dark font arranged in a curved fashion. The lower part of the center of the band has the text “ESTELI NICARAGUA” in dark font. A black and gold ring surrounds the center of the band with a gold crown at the top of the ring. The left and right side of the band has a red pinstriping pattern with two gold medallions on each side. The inner medallions contain the initials of Cano Ozgener.
For the first time, Las Calaveras features a footer band. This is something that has been seen on several Crowned Heads releases as of late. The band is gold with black font. On the band is the “CROWNED HEADS” name featuring the company’s logo font. Black trim surrounds the text on the upper and lower portion.
A straight cut was used to commence the cigar experience of the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2019 LC50. After removing the cap it was on to the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of cocoa, leather, and a slight citrus note. Overall this was a satisfactory pre-light draw. At this point, it was time to remove the footer band of the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2019 LC50 and await what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2019 LC50 started out with notes of cocoa powder, natural tobacco, citrus, and cedar. During the early stages of the first third, the cocoa powder and natural tobacco moved into the forefront. The citrus and cedar settled in the background with the citrus notes having a slight edge. The retro-hale produced a combination of red pepper and citrus.
By the second third, the natural tobacco notes took sole control as the primary note. During this stage, the natural tobacco developed a savory component and to a lesser extent a slightly bitter note. The bitter note shouldn’t be considered a negative as it helped balance out the flavor profile. The cocoa receded into the background joining the citrus and black pepper. The second third also saw a slight amount of black pepper emerge on the tongue.
The last third saw the natural tobacco remain in the forefront with the savory and bitter components remaining. There was another slight increase in the pepper which remained in the background. Meanwhile the citrus, cedar, and cocoa notes remained distant secondary notes. This is the way the cigar experience of the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2019 LC50 closed out. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
While there was a slight amount of jaggedness on the burn line, the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2019 LC50 had no issues maintaining a straight burn path. The resulting ash had a mostly silver gray color. This wasn’t an overly firm ash and at times had some minor flaking. Meanwhile the burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
The draw to the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2019 LC50 had a touch of resistance – which is something that I look upon as a positive with the draw. This was a cigar that also produced an ample amount of smoke.
Strength and Body
The Crowned Heads Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2019 LC50 delivered a medium strength and medium bodied smoking experience from start to finish. There wasn’t much in the way of variance of the intensity levels during the smoking experience. In terms of strength versus body, there was a slight edge with the strength, but that didn’t have a negative effect on the overall smoking experience.
Given both the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2014 and 2019 versions use the Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper, there are going to be inevitable comparisons. At the same time, its impossible to do a side by side comparison simply because the 2014 version is five years old. In terms of the 5 x 50 Robusto (LC50) size, I’d have to go by memory and say I believe the 2019 version has a slight edge. I particularly liked some of the savory qualities the natural tobacco flavors brought to the table. I also liked this blend in the Robusto size. In the end, this is a cigar I could recommend to either the novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, this is a cigar I would definitely purchase and smoke again.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Cocoa, Cedar, Pepper, Citrus
Burn: Very Good
Complexity: Medium Plus
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
News: Crowned Heads Las Calaveras EL 2019 Slated for June Release
Source: Purchased, Crowned Heads
Brand Reference: Crowned Heads
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted