T** B*** H***
November 15, 2016
Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Canonazo
Size : 5 7/8 x 52
Wrapper : Connecticut Broadleaf Grade A Dark
Filler : Nicaraguan
Binder : Ecuadorian Sumatra
Hand-Made (factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.)
Price : $8.95 each
Crowned Heads Le Careme is a new release for 2016. They went with a culinary theme for this cigar, as the name pays tribute to Marie-Antoine Careme. He was a famous French chef who is well known for pioneering culinary arts like mother sauces and popularizing the soufflé in the 1800s.
Jon Huber blended the cigar, and the owner of the factory where this cigar is made, Ernesto Perez-Carillo, Jr., said, “This cigar tastes like chocolate soufflé blended this cigar.”
Personally, the blend profile is basically my dream combination. If I were to blend my own cigar, this would be one of my first ideas. So, that sounds AMAZING and let’s see what we get from Le Careme.
Appearance : [rating:4/5]
This is a very rustic looking cigar. The wrapper is very dark brown, and nearly black in certain lighting. It’s rough and thick with some nice tooth to it. The seams are slightly visible, and the cap seems to be a little sloppy. There are a few large veins wrapping around the length of the cigar. It feels dense and spongy.
Construction : [rating:4.5/5]
The cigar has an absolutely perfect draw. I got thick plumes of smoke the entire time. The burn was occasionally wavy, but mostly razor sharp, and required zero extra attention. It was really a joy to smoke. Final Smoke time was 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Flavor : [rating:5/5]
From the wrapper, I got notes of sweet barnyard, cocoa, hay, and cedar. At the foot, I get very nice sweet raisin and molasses note. Whoa. The cold draw is interesting with some chocolate, sweet cherry, cedar, and a black pepper tingle.
First light lends itself very well to the pre-light experience. I immediately get a creamy chocolate and a nice bit of bite through the nose with some black pepper. The retrohale is immediately chock-full of coffee and cream notes! I’m getting some black tea leaf, sweet cedar, and a little oak.
The burn is very slow to start, and the ash is coming in pearly white. After about an inch, BINGO, we’re at the sweet spot already. I’m going with Oreo cookie. There is an obvious sweet dark chocolate, vanilla cream, and some nice body with a spicy black pepper. The finish is amazingly clean, yet lasts a while and it’s a coffee bean that sits. The profile reminds me of an Oreo dipped in a cup of black coffee. Wow. What a start! The body is medium-full, however, no strength whatsoever, and the retrohale is smooth as glass.
Entering this portion of the cigar, the burn turns a tad wavy, but it does not negatively affect the flavors or smoke output. The chocolate is now a cocoa powder. There is a prominent black pepper base with some black coffee bean. The sweetness is really deepening too. I’m getting more of a thick caramel sweet. It’s so creamy and lush. The retrohale is unreal as you can pick up those coffee notes and some lingering sweet cedar.
The ash held on well over halfway. The contrast between the dark wrapper and the white ash is just great to look at. Ultimately, the ash only fell two times.
As I near the band, the Oreo cookie is still holding steady, and the sweetness is still there. The black pepper and earthiness has picked up a bit, making for a nice toasty ending. I got some more vanilla towards the end, and the black coffee finish is superb.
Value : [rating:5/5]
This tasted and performed like a $10-15 cigar. You can get a box of 20 for under $200, and this is going to age so well. I got over an hour, and I couldn’t stop puffing because it was so good. If you have more patience, you could easily get 1.5 hours. For me, this is a definite 5-pack purchase, and I’d be eyeing up a box purchase or maybe a split with someone.
Overall Rating : [rating:5/5]
Crowned Heads has done it for me with this cigar. I think perhaps my only knock, which is reaching, is that for some folks it may be overly sweet. I, however, enjoy dessert cigars, so for me, this was lights out! Another great part about this blend though is I could smoke this morning, noon, or night. There was hardly any strength of speak of, so, I had this after breakfast and felt great. It’s really more of a medium blend, but the flavors are clear. I could smoke this cigar every day. I’m impressed.
La Careme is very sweet. I started off pairing mine with a coffee with a drop of honey, and half way through, it was too much sweet, so I switched to water to cut the cigar. This would go amazingly with high proof bourbon, or definitely drier rum. A gin and tonic would be interesting as well, as that would work to cut the cigar. I think wine would be too sweet to pair, even a bold red or a dry white. I think just about any beer besides a stout would work amazingly. The stout would be overkill on the chocolate and coffee notes. If you’re a cigar and coffee person, go black or just with dash of cream, no sugar. Next time I smoke this, I’m going with bourbon or crisp beer.
[sz]crowned heads careme[/sz]
November 18, 2016
Just finished a Cosacos (5.375 x 42) about 30 minutes ago and I think your review is spot on. The only note I didn’t detect was the black tea leaf at the start. Very nice smoke. Smoke time was 1 1/2 hours which is impressive for this size stick. Thanks for the great review!
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