Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Rosado
Size: 5 x 50 “Robusto-LC550”
Price: $9.95 MSRP
Today we take a look at the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2015 LC550 by Crowned Heads.
The dear reader who sent me a couple sticks doesn’t want you lads to know who he is.
Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
Date Released: May 2015
From the Crowned Heads web site:
“Crowned Heads Las Calaveras was inspired by “La Calavera Catrina,” a zinc etching by Mexican printmaker and illustrator, Jose Guadalupe Posada.
“The image depicts a female skeleton dressed only in a hat, and has become an icon of the Mexican Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. The holiday focuses upon gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember those who have died.
“Las Calaveras is packaged in 24-count boxes, each containing 3 rows of 8 cigars. The 3 rows represent life’s cycle of a beginning, middle, and end. In biblical terms, the number ‘8’ signifies new beginnings, and in mathematical terms an ‘8’ laid on its side symbolizes “infinity,” as in eternal life.”
As you can see from the photos, this is a very rustic looking cigar. Sloppy seams. A lot of veins. Bumps and lumps everywhere.
The wrapper, though, is a beautiful reddish hued dark chocolate brown with a lot of oiliness. And as smooth to the touch as my bottom.
The triple caps are flawless. The cigar band differs only slightly from the 2014 version. Instead of red highlights inside the circle and black dots inside that circle, the colors are black and gold respectively.
SIZES AND PRICING:
LC50 5 x 50 Robusto $9.95 MSRP Cigar Aficionado rated it an 88
LC46 5.625 x 46 Corona Gorda $8.95 MSRP CA rated it a 91
LC52 6 x 52 Toro $10.95 MSRP CA rated it an 87
1,250 Boxes of 24 Cigars for each size
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell sweet cream, spice, roasted nuts, cocoa, and cinnamon.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell dark chocolate, spice, barnyard, spicy cinnamon, and cedar.
The cold draw presents flavors of chocolate, allspice, spice, cinnamon, cedar, and cream.
I carefully torch the outside perimeter of the wrapper. Eventually, spreading to about an eighth of an inch. But there is a serious imperfection on the back side of the cigar band position and I just know I will have a run issue so I lay the cigar down to rest for a few minutes.
A big burst of flavors start us out: Chocolate, malts, red pepper, espresso, cinnamon, oak, nutmeg, creaminess, and some sort of combo of dried and fresh fruit.
The draw is exactly how I like it. Some resistance but a perfect draw. Smoke pours from the foot like a 3 alarm fire.
And just as predicted, a few puffs in, I get a “V” run in that spot I saw imperfections. So as not to allow it to go further, I torch about a quarter of an inch to let the rest of the wrapper catch up and then let it sit for a few minutes so the V burn cools off.
Strength is medium body.
OK. A few minutes pass and I start puffing away at the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2015 LC550.
After ¾” burned, the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2015 LC550 has become very complex. A wonderfully long, chewy finish.
Graham cracker, orange liqueur, black licorice and strong ginger appear.
The tiger seems to have been tamed. The char line is OK.
So, the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2015 LC550 is wonderful. I read my Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2014 LCC550 Cigar Review and I clearly loved the blend. Will the 2015 version be as good?
I get another run on the front side this time. I torch it and lay it down. The 2014 had some early burn issues but self-corrected and went on its way.
In spite of the construction issues, the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2015 LC550 is a superb blend. I’d love to have a 2014 to compare it with. Instead, I have only my review. And I went nuts over it.
Crowned Heads doesn’t process consistent blends. There are some I absolutely love and others I can do without. The La Imperiosa was a great release as well as the Jericho Hill. The Mason Dixon Project was sort of hit or miss. And its early releases seem to be a warm up for the newer blends. Four Kicks is just OK.
I smoked a La Imperiosa the other night and was blown away.
The Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2015 LC550 is super complex now with a shit load of transitions occurring.
No added flavors except for mixed nuts; heavy on the peanuts. It also has a summer fruit quality. I can taste prune in the background. The sweetness branches out to include Courvoisier cognac,
Smoke time is 25 minutes.
Here they are: Chocolate, creaminess, fruity sweetness, nuts, orange cognac, malts, prune, espresso, cinnamon, oak, nutmeg, melon, and spice.
Strength remains at medium body.
The Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2015 LC550 is excellent but based on my review of the 2014, I’m not sure I like the newer model better.
First, the 2014 version was stronger. Billed as medium/full body. And ending full bodied. That strength gave the blend a bigger kick in the pants and brought out more interesting flavors.
And second, I’m not much of a fan of medium body blends. I like a strong cigar. The other disappointing thing about the 2015 version is that the spiciness has dropped off altogether. So have the chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, fruitiness, and the other smaller ancillary flavors.
This is what’s left: Creaminess, graham cracker, sweetness, malts, nuts, oak, and some coffee.
That’s a big cliff to fall from.
Plus, I’ve had constant small burn issues. And they don’t occur while puffing away. This occurs while the cigar is at rest in the ashtray. Burn issues occurred in the 2014 blend but then disappeared.
Could it be the cold and damp weather eking its way into my two humidors? Both have electronic humidifiers so inconsistency cannot be blamed. I found that dry boxing in this cold weather just makes things worse and I see wrapper issues.
I keep my humidifiers at a steady 67%-68%. And I use double digital Zederkoff hygrometers to double check the accuracy.
I hit the halfway point. Smoke time is 40 minutes.
The Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2015 LC550 just won’t commit to a state of perfect burn line.
With 2” to go, the blend takes off like a rocket. It has become a major flavor bomb with the original flavors nesting back in place.
In order of potency: Red pepper, chocolate, malts, creaminess, espresso, almonds, peanuts, fruity sweetness, graham cracker, Courvoisier liqueur, oak, cinnamon, black licorice, and nutmeg. Plus some new flavors: allspice, a touch of clove, and pine.
Based on the 2014 version, I would guess I’d have rated it somewhere in the 92 range.
The 2015 version will not be so lucky.
The construction has put the kibosh on an excellent rating. I just think the cigar was poorly rolled. I had hoped this would not be the case but the initial lighting of the cigar showed a significant imperfection at the foot. It just wasn’t terminated correctly. And it’s been that single source that has caused the problems.
Strength seems to be barely medium body.
Smoke time is one hour 5 minutes.
The flavor profile wavers. Instead of a steady buildup of interesting transitions, it seems to come and go with too much regularity for my preferences.
I was looking forward to this review. Clearly, the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2014 LCC550 was a much better blend.
Instead of bringing the strength down, Crowned Heads should have shot for a full body smoke.
Creaminess, chocolate, coffee, and malts run the show.
I can accept that maybe outside elements affected the burn. But I cannot ignore that the flavor profile has been inconsistent. The real issue I have with the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2015 LC550 is the lackadaisical, limp strength.
The price. $9, $10, and $11 for the three sizes. The 2014 version of the same size as this reviewed cigar was a buck less.
Cigar Federation has only one cigar left in the Robusto size. Literally, just one single. But it says: “Pre-Order.” I have no idea what that means. The other sizes are completely sold out.
Small Batch is out.
Barring any burn issues, the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2015 LC550 is worth the $10 based on current cigar price points.
If the 2014 version popped up somewhere, I’d be right on top of that.
Still, I’m glad I got to try this cigar.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS