Mason-Dixon Project LE 2015 Northern Edition | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 6 x 52 “Toro-Box Pressed”
Body: Medium
Price: $9.85 MSRP

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Today we take a look at the new Mason-Dixon Project LE 2015 Southern Edition.
Thanks to Miguel Castro for the cigars.
Note 11-24-2015: I made an error and confused the two blends. I will do my best to correct the errors. Thanks to Charlie Hascall for the heads up.

BACKGROUND:
Factory: My Father Cigars S.A. Esteli, Nicaragua.
Limited production: 30,000 cigars in 20 count boxes for each Edition.
Released last week of October, 2015.
Comes in one size only.

The Southern Edition is the same size and price as the Northern Edition. The Southern Edition leaf stats are Ecuadorian Habano wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and fillers.
Last year’s blends came in a round vitola.

Found pricing much less at Atlantic Cigar ($7.95) and strangely; at Small Batch Cigar, there must be a misprint as it shows the Southern Edition for $7.00 twice for both 5 packs and boxes; but doesn’t show the Northern Edition at all. And Cigar Federation is charging full MSRP pricing. Of course, with both SBC and CF, you get a 10% discount. So SBC is your best bet. Other online stores seem to be selling the cigars for MSRP.

I reviewed the 2014 Southern Edition last year. And I while it was very flavorful, I had terrible construction issues. So I didn’t bother to review the Northern Edition.
Fingers crossed that the newer box press loses those construction issues.
I reviewed the Mason-Dixon Project LE 2015 Northern Edition yesterday and found it lacking in appeal.

DESCRIPTION:
Like the Mason-Dixon Project LE 2015 Southern Edition, this is a nice looking cigar. It has a soft box press. Nearly invisible seams. Lots of small veins and a couple of big ones. The wrapper is an oily caramel, russet brown color. Smooth to the touch.
Just like the Southern Edition, the triple cap is a little sloppy.

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell sweetness, floral notes, light lemon citrus, a touch of chocolate, and cedar.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell spice (Double sneeze), sweet notes, floral notes, chocolate, coffee, malt, toast, citrus, and cedar.
The cold draw presents flavors of strong cedar, spice, chocolate, generic sweetness, mocha java, and malt.

FIRST THIRD:
I see a lot of imperfections while using my Katman method of toasting the outside perimeter of the wrapper instead of flaming the foot directly. So, I expect some burn issues pretty quickly. Must keep my eyes open in order to correct them early.
The draw is even better than the Southern Edition.

Right away, I like the Mason-Dixon Project LE 2015 Northern Edition better than the Southern Edition.

Flavors: Caramel, strong red pepper spice, creaminess, chocolate, syrupy sweetness, diverse selection of malts (Chocolate Malt, Coffee Malt, Cara Munich Malt, and Chocolate Rye Malt – See Malt Chart), coffee, cedar, toasty, roasted nuts, and rich earth notes.

I can tell immediately this is the better blend of the two limited editions.
Strength hits medium/full like a light switch flipped on.
Complexity begins to dial in. The balance is very good. And it has a nice long chewy finish.

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That’s pretty impressive for only 1” of cigar smoked. What a huge difference between the two blends. The Mason-Dixon Project LE 2015 Northern Edition leaves the Southern Edition in the dust.
Creamy, sweet, and full of rich caramel and the malts make this a French dessert.

How could two sticks be so different? Well, yeah…I know they are different blends. But the outcomes are so completely different; I would have gone back to the drawing board with the Southern Edition because it doesn’t hold a candle to this one.
I had a bevy of problems with the Southern Edition and the Northern Edition is just sailing through.

That little imperfection, that happened to be on the front mark side of the cigar, has been burned through and now I expect no problems.
Construction, so far, has been excellent. No issues with the burn. Nice.

I expected this blend to be a solid medium but it is stronger and I like that. It flew out of the gate at medium/full but has now pulled back a few minor ticks.
It’s like two different blenders were involved in these two editions. You can taste the passion in the Mason-Dixon Project LE 2015 Northern Edition. The Southern Edition had no passion evident. Just construction issues and a flat flavor profile.

Transitions occur early. Like a soccer ball to the face, the flavors expand like the Universe. There is a perfect synergy from the nuts and toastiness, the creaminess and caramel, the chocolate and the coffee, the malts, the cedar, and the newly added licorice, blueberry, and kiwi.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 25 minutes.
Absolutely glorious.

I’m having a tough morning. Trouble figuring out how to use the camera is frustrating. What came natural is now an epic proportion of focused alignment with the constellation Mind Fuck.

I almost didn’t review the Mason-Dixon Project LE 2015 Northern Edition this morning. After yesterday’s debacle, I had a backup cigar ready to go in case the Northern went the way of the Southern. Not worth the time. But I have been very pleasantly surprised.

5third

With each puff, the flavors get stronger and more delicious. The complexity is stunning. Just a constant flow of flavor mixtures.
The other reason I chose to review the Mason-Dixon Project LE 2015 Northern Edition this morning is that it has the exact same humidor time as the Northern and I wanted the comparisons to be fair.

Prices are the same for both blends. But the Southern was in the $5 region while the Northern Edition is well worth the $10. And the way things have been going, they could have charged more. Kudos Crowned Heads for not gouging your customer base…like so many other manufacturers did after the IPCPR trade show this summer.

Pumpkin pie spices emerge: nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, and ginger.

I got a rude awakening reading all of the comments posted on Steve Saka’s FB page pertaining to my review of the Dunbarton Tobacco & Trust Sobremesa. A lot made fun of my extensive flavor tastings. I erased all of my comments because it was beneath me to defend myself to these jerks. But the greater amount of comments agreed with me so I felt better.

The Sobremesa hit an all-time record for number of hits. I haven’t counted them precisely but it is in the thousands. Wow. Saka has some juice. Of course, being only one of two reviews helps a lot. I can’t understand why the Big Guys haven’t reviewed it.

But the point to this rant is that I can’t stress strongly enough that this is the FIRST cigar of the day when anyone’s palate is fresh and ready to be assaulted by a great blend and be able to detect the most subtle nuances. I knew those jerks didn’t get this. Nor do they probably have much of a palate.

My last cigar yesterday evening was a big surprise. Normally, my palate is fried. But this cigar was fresh as a daisy and I intend on reviewing it tomorrow. And it is very inexpensive.

Back to the Mason-Dixon Project LE 2015 Northern Edition.
A big crack forms about half an inch back from the foot. I upped all of my humidifiers to 70% yesterday to compensate for the cold Wisconsin weather.

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I check the online boutique stores and I am flabbergasted at the price of the new cigars. It seems to average between $15-$20 per stick. This is nuts. If we collectively boycotted them, maybe the manufacturers would listen.
The halfway point is upon me. Smoke time is 50 minutes.

I have zero criticisms. No complaints. A great cigar. The difference in ratings between the Northern Edition and the Southern Edition will be enormous.

7half

The Mason-Dixon Project LE 2015 Northern Edition needs its first major tune up at the burn line. It occurs where the crack terminates.
The Mason-Dixon Project LE 2015 Northern Edition goes past sweet spot and directly to flavor bomb. I suggest you make this the first cigar of your day to capture the nuances.

There is no defiance in my heart over the $10 price tag. Worth every shekel.
Charlotte left for work. Music on. Nothing but drek crap playing. Figures.
Godamm the Pusherman. This is a phenomenal blend. The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper makes all the difference in the world.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is one hour 10 minutes.

The flavors one last time: Caramel, a return of strong red pepper spice, creaminess, chocolate, syrupy sweetness, the delicious malts, coffee, cedar, toasty, roasted nuts, rich earth notes, licorice, blueberry, kiwi, and pumpkin pie spices.
Didn’t lose a single flavor element. In fact, they are all much stronger than earlier.

8third

Crowned Heads has a new blend called “Mareas” that I only see on Cigar Federation. At a reasonable $9. As well as Protocol by Cubariqueno Cigar Company, Viaje Collaboration 2015, Herrera Esteli Norteno Limited Edition 2015, Velvet Elvis, and at Small Batch Cigar: Viaje Stuffed Turkey Dark Meat 2015, Viaje Stuffed Turkey White Meat 2015, Alec Bradley Fine and Rare JRS10, Regius LE Corona Gorda Cuban Box Press, CAO Wicked Winter, CAO Stingy Scrooge, Casa Fernandez Miami Aniversario 2015 LF. Celines, and Casa Magna D. Magnus II Marcus Arelius. This is my wish list. All intriguing sounding cigars.

“If I were a rich man,
ya ba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dum.
All day long I’d biddy biddy bum.
If I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn’t have to work hard.
ya ba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dum.
If I were a biddy biddy rich,
Yidle-diddle-didle-didle man.”

Back to the Mason-Dixon Project LE 2015 Southern Edition.

The blend hits full body and brings along some heavy duty nicotine. I can barely type now.
I didn’t see that coming.
In spite of the delirium, I can taste the entire flavor profile.
The Mason-Dixon Project LE 2015 Northern Edition is an extraordinary cigar.
I highly recommend it. I think I shall pass out now.
Final smoke time is one hour 30 minutes.

RATING: 91

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