Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Crowned Heads La Careme Robusto


Country: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler / Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra, Nicaragua
Length: 5
Ring: 50
Cost: $8.85


Background: Another day, and we have another Crowned Heads smoke to give a review to. This one was created as an homage to a chef who helped to popularize the soufflĂ© – Marie Antoine Careme. As such, I would expect this one to be a rich decadent smoke.  

Appearance (0-20): E.P. Carillo took over the production of Crowned Heads a while back and it’s somewhat evident in terms of the appearance. That isn’t always the best thing in the world since he often chooses function over form. The La Careme is an example of that – the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper looks to be on the rugged side of things with some ridges and major veins along the stick. The foot has a nice swirl of tobaccos and looks to be well packed. The band is simple but elegant – a white backdrop with a large blue “C” and La Careme beneath it. There is gold embossing to finish off the look with gold emblems flanking the sides.
Score: 14

Construction (0-20): I have already noted my issue with the veins in the appearance, but otherwise everything feels pretty solid. The pack job feels consistent throughout, so that’s a good sign. Giving this a trim on the cap and it ended up with very little debris. The draw was nearly perfect, if not just a slight bit tight on the initial draw. Once it was lit though it was perfect and remained that way throughout. The burn line also remained straight the entire way and the ash held for multiple inches at a time. So despite any reservations that I had initially the cigar performed well.
Score: 18


Strength (0-20): This stick is listed as a medium strength cigar and pretty much hits that.
Score: 19

Flavor (0-20): Immediately after lighting up there is a strong earthy base to the cigar. You will find a nice bit of pepper on the tongue and retrohale along with a sweetness to balance it. The sweetness reminds me of a caramel flavoring. About halfway through there’s a nice cocoa flavor that joins the mix and melds in perfectly. All the flavors remain and continue the entire time.
Score: 19

Value (0-20): At close to $9 there are a lot of cigars on the market that this has to compete with. And compete it does. The flavors are enough to keep this one in the game.
Score: 17

Additional Notes: Paired with green tea. Cigar provided by Holt’s Cigar Company.

Overall (0-100): The La Careme comes through with a really solid smoke, despite the fact that it doesn’t look very pretty. Everything about this cigar otherwise is good. The construction is great, a medium strength profile that it hits almost to a T, and flavors that are hard to beat. While it isn’t an overly complex cigar, Crowned Heads is able to layer flavors that play well together – an earthy base, pepper, caramel sweetness, and a nice cocoa. With the $8.85 price, it’s got a lot to compete with but its worthy of that.
Score: 87

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