In the Spring of 2019, Crowned Heads announced the seventh installment of its Las Calaveras series. Las Calaveras is an annual limited edition release that first made its debut back in 2014. 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. Over the years Las Calaveras has emerged as one of the more popular annual limited cigars in the marketplace. Today we take a look at the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2020 in the LC52 (Robusto) size.
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.
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
- Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2020: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Without further ado, let’s break down the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2020 LC52 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
The Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2020 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 and last years’s edition, the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2019. The remainder of the blend features all Nicaraguan tobaccos.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2020 is available 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.
LC48: 5 1/2 x 48
LC52: 5 x 52
LC56: 6 x 56
Torpedo: 6 1/8 x 52 (Sampler only)
The Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper of the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2020 LC50 had a medium brown/dark caramel color to it. There was a slight amount of oil on the surface of the wrapper. While there were some visible veins and thin visible wrapper seams, the LC52 had a relatively smooth surface.
As mentioned above, each year the packaging of the Las Calaveras changes. For the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2020, the band is primarily purple in color. On the center of the band is the text “LAS CALAVERAS” in large white font. Above that text is the text “EL 2020” in black font arranged in a curved fashion. The lower part of the center of the band has the text “ESTELI NICARAGUA” in black 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 purple and white pinstriping pattern with two gold medallions on each side. The medallions contain initials of people (not specified by Crowned Heads) who have passed away.
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.
Prior to lighting up the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2020 LC52, a straight cut was used to commence the cigar experience. Once the cap was removed from the cigar, it was on to the pre-light draw ritual. The cold draw delivered a mix of cocoa, citrus, fruit, and earth. I consider this an excellent pre-light draw experience. At this point, it was time to remove the footer band, light up the LC52 and see what the cigar experience would have in store.
The start of the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2020 LC52 started off with a combination of earth, citrus, cocoa, and black pepper. Early on the earth notes moved into the forefront. The citrus, cocoa, and black pepper settled into the background. As the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2020 LC52 moved through the first third, a natural tobacco note also surfaced in the background. Meanwhile, there was an additional layer of black pepper on the retro-hale.
At the start of the second third of the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2020 LC52, the earth notes remained primary. The natural tobacco, citrus, and pepper varied in different degrees. Just past the midway point, the natural tobacco joined the earth notes in the forefront. Meanwhile, the pepper emerged as a more prominent secondary note on the tongue.
By the last third, the natural tobacco became the sole primary note. In the background there still were notes of pepper, earth, citrus, and touches of cocoa. This is the way the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2020 LC52 came to a close. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
The burn of the Crowned Heads Las Calaveras Edicion Limitada 2020 LC52 performed very well. This is a cigar that maintained a straight burn path and a relatively straight burn line. Along the way minimal touch-ups were performed. The resulting ash was silver-gray. This was an ash that was on the firm side. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature were both ok.
The draw to the Crowned Heads Las Calaveras Edicion Limitada 2020 LC52 was on the open side, but not loose. Normally I like a little more in the way of resistance on a draw. In this case, there were no adverse effects other than my preference for a little more resistance.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, the Las Calaveras Edicion Limitada 2020 LC52 delivered a medium strength, medium-bodied smoking experience from start to finish. There wasn’t much in the way of variance of the intensity levels of the strength or body. At the same time, the strength and body balanced each other nicely with neither attribute overpowering the other.
The fun thing about an annual limited edition series is comparing the releases. In particular when it comes the Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro releases of 2014, 2019, and 2020, it becomes even more fun. While I know a lot of people hold the 2014 release in high regard, I would still give the edge to the 2020 edition. It’s impossible to do a side by side comparison simply because the 2014 edition has some age on it, but in terms of performance at the time it was assessed, the 2020 edition gets the nod. This was a well-balanced cigar that delivered excellent flavor. This cigar also performed well in the Robusto (LC52) format. This is a cigar I could recommend to either the novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. At 90 points, it achieves the Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence status. It is a cigar I would definitely smoke again and buy multiples of.
Key Flavors: Natural Tobacco, Earth, Citrus, Cocoa, Pepper
Draw: Very Good
Value: Buy Multiples
Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence
News: Crowned Heads Las Calaveras EL 2020 Slated for July
Brand Reference: Crowned Heads
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop