Las Mareas by Crowned Heads | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 6.125 x 46
Body: Medium
Price: $9.00

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Las-Mareas_4

Today we take a look at the Las Mareas by Crowned Heads.
A big thank you to Miguel Castro for gifting me the samples for review.

BACKGROUND:
Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
Release Date: September, 2015
Regular Production.
Debuted at the 2015 IPCPR trade show.
Comes in boxes of 20.

From the Cigar Federation Store web site:
“The Crowned Heads, Las Mareas, or “The Tides”, is a unique cigar which was inspired by the surf culture that Jon Huber experienced while in Hawaii. While it is nothing new that this cigar is being made at the My Father Cigar factory, it is the first time Crowned Heads has used a wrapper, binder AND filler, all grown by the Garcias.

“Las Mareas will be a regular production cigar starting in July of 2016, but a very select group of retailers are getting them now. Jon Huber referred to it as a “…Preview. Of a preview. Of a 2016 brand.” These cigars are going to bear the test blend style label and are packed in unfinished cedar boxes. As the marketing and artwork is still being finalized.”

DESCRIPTION:
The cigar is a non-descript looking thing. It could have come from a $20 bundle. Lots of veins. Lumps and bumps. Fairly tight seams. Wrinkles. And inconsistent triple caps. One sample has a flat head while the other has a typical round head.
The ring gauges are also inconsistent. One is 46 and the other is 49.
The wrapper is the color of gingerbread with caramel icing. Probably makes no sense but that is what it looks like to me.
I’m wary of $9 cigars that either don’t come with a cigar band or, as in this case, a blue ribbon footer. It reminds me of Lost & Found rummaging through the warehouses of Central America and then re-marketing the sticks as something cutesy. And of course, over charging.

SIZES AND PRICING:
4.5 x 48 $8.25
5.5 x 52 $9.75
6 x 54 $10.50
6.125 x 46 $9.00
As far as online stores that carry this blend: Cigar Federation, Smoke Inn, Fine Ash Cigars, Cigar King, Serious Cigars, and Small Batch Cigar.

AROMAS AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
From the shaft, I smell barnyard, cedar, chocolate, spice, and fruity sweetness.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I smell barnyard, spice, and chocolate.
The cold draw presents flavors of roasted salted nuts, fruit sweetness, chocolate, cedar, and buttered wheat toast.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is good with a bit of resistance.
First flavors are chocolate, toffee, malts, spiciness, cream, graham cracker, charry oak, black cherry, coffee, floral notes, and nutty.
Not bad at all. I’m curious to see where it goes from here.

I’m either hot or cold when it comes to Crowned Heads. Sometimes they deliver like the Carolina Panthers; and other times they come across like the Dallas Cowboys.

Strength is touching the hem of medium/full body. Just a tick away from nailing it.
Since the Las Mareas by Crowned Heads is made by Pepin Garcia, I waited for the famous pepper blast but it didn’t come. Just a nice, even going peppery flavor.

I read one review (Can’t remember who) and the reviewer said he tasted burnt marshmallow. I don’t know if it is the possibility of suggestion or not; but I can taste that exact flavor. If not for that review, it would have been muddled up in my description. And never delineated.
The ash is wavy at the 1” point. The Las Mareas by Crowned Heads must be packed perfectly as it is a very slow smoke.

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I use that Santa Fe Super Chief Turquoise Room ashtray in a lot of my photos. Short anecdote…..My mother and I came out to California when I was 5 (1955). My father had gone ahead a month or two before us to go to work for a structural steel fab shop in Long Beach. He became sales manager.
It was a 3 day trip that I can remember to this day. One day, while fiddling around in the garage, I found this ashtray. I told my father, who was also in the garage fixing something, that I plan to take it.
Now I’ve had this memento for 60 years. It is made of very thin glass. Maybe 1/8” thick. How it lasted this long is beyond me.

4

Back to the Las Mareas by Crowned Heads.

So far, it is a nice cigar. Nothing outstanding about it. Just nice.
I never know what to expect when I review a Crowned Heads blend. I loved the Mason-Dixon Project LE 2015 Northern Edition. But not so much for the Mason-Dixon Project LE 2015 Southern Edition. I thought there was a big difference in quality.

At the moment, the Las Mareas by Crowned Heads tastes like a gazillion $6 blends.
No transitions. No complexity. The balance is nearly non-existent. And it has a short finish. So I predict that the last third shows promise. I hope. I’ve said that before only to be let down. We shall see in about 90 minutes, my time…CDT.

A very perfumey floral note appears. It already had a floral note but not like this. The aroma is wonderful.
With 1-1/2” burned, the Las Mareas by Crowned Heads comes to life. “It’s alive. It’s alive I tell you!!”

The spiciness becomes a Garcia pepper bomb. Flavors explode and you have to wash the complexity off your tux. That was like turning on a light switch.

A whole new aspect is upon the flavor profile now: Spiciness, creaminess, caramel, chocolate, malts, espresso, lemon citrus, marshmallow, cedar, buttered wheat toast, black cherry, cinnamon graham cracker, floral notes, and very nutty.
Now I’m impressed.

I’m still half an inch from the second third. I must have invested half an hour so far. Nothing ticks me off more than buying an expensive cigar and it whittles down to nothing in an hour. One of my recent reviews exhibited that. Can’t remember which one.

Speaking of can’t remember…I’m in a new phase of my illness. I no longer remember movies I’ve seen many times. We have compiled a huge DVD collection over the years. Now I can watch any of them and not remember much about them; so it’s like watching them for the first time. That is, so far, the only upside to Alzheimer’s. LOL.

The Las Mareas by Crowned Heads is super smooth now. Very complex. Nice balance. And a gorgeous, multi-flavored finish.
Strength is a solid medium/full body.

SECOND THIRD:
Smoke time is 40 minutes.
The lemon citrus is very strong. Like drinking lemonade.

It seems kind of silly to keep taking photos of a plain looking cigar without a cigar band.
Miguel Castro and Bruce Cholka also sent me some Velvet Elvis and Honey Badger cigars. I look forward to reviewing them but I don’t think Cigar Federation still has them in stock.

A woody element appears. The complexity of this blend is like a bottomless well. So many great flavors that also appear on the finish. I’m digging it. Speaking of “I Dig a Pony,” I watched the “John Lennon’s 75th Birthday” show on AMC last night. I shall be discussing this at the end of the review. (BTW- Lennon didn’t appear). Too soon?

5third

The Las Mareas by Crowned Heads is a pretty good godamm cigar. Who needs a stinkin’ cigar band? We don’t need no stinkin’ bands.

Badges

I’m getting a honeydew melon component. With a wisp of alcohol…like Midori. (My reviews now take 4 hours instead of 2 because I constantly need to use an online dictionary. I couldn’t remember what that green melon was called. So frustrating.)

Transitions a’plenty. There is a constant turnaround of flavors. One moment, the chocolate and creaminess run the show. The next, it’s the ancillary flavors at the helm.
We have hit full body and nicotine arrives with it. Oy Gevalt.

I must admit that the Las Mareas by Crowned Heads is a fine entry to the Crowned Heads catalog. The lack of presentation fooled me. This is a great cigar.

And as you can see from the list of online retailers, the stick is readily available. But it doesn’t seem that any of the stores carry the entire list of 4 sizes. And I believe that all are charging the MSRP.

The char line needs its first minor touch up.

If you would like to help out our fellow cigar smokers, it would be nice if you comment below by bestowing as many promo codes for the different online stores as possible. I am always looking for them but can’t find any except for Cigar Federation and Small Batch Cigar. So I don’t buy cigars.

Charlotte and I have new Medicare Part D prescription plans starting January 1. Much worse than 2015. We both have to come up with $360 deductibles, individually, before the plan kicks in and we take a few expensive meds. So for a couple months, every nickel will go towards the outrageous cost of prescriptions.

The Las Mareas by Crowned Heads becomes a bona fide flavor bomb. My head is spinning from the nicotine. But the flavors come through loud and clear.
The second half begins at one hour 5 minutes.

The photo below shows how funky looking the sticks are:
6half

Flavors keep building. Transitions make the cigar.
Las Mareas by Crowned Heads is worth the dough. You don’t get a pretty cigar but you do get quality.
Charlotte’s flu seems to only have been a 48 hour version. Last night, she put up our phony tree and some decorations. It makes her happy. We stopped years ago getting live trees. I love the smell but it is just too much of a hassle for us old folks.

LAST THIRD:
Smoke time is one hour 30 minutes.
I’m amazed at how much smoke pours from the foot after each puff.
Construction has been perfect. And only one minor touch up required at the burn line. A well rolled cigar.

I like how the intense spiciness remains throughout the experience.
I can’t discern any changes. The Las Mareas by Crowned Heads keeps getting better.
Some reviewers get very technical about describing the cigar. For me, I don’t find that interesting. Zzzzz….
Describing the minor changes aren’t important. A review should be about the big picture.

7third

The Las Mareas by Crowned Heads should definitely be smoked after a meal. I feel like I’ve taken acid. The dog turns into a monkey and then a zebra.
Anything else I could say at this point will be redundant.
I highly recommend the Las Mareas by Crowned Heads.
All of the available sizes seem appealing.
Once again, thank you Miguel Castro for broadening my horizon.
Final smoke time is one hour 55 minutes.

RATING: 90

And now for something completely different:
I mentioned earlier that I watched the “John Lennon’s 75th Birthday” show on AMC last night. 2-1/2 hours.
Lennon must have been spinning in his grave.

w-johnnyc

The producers couldn’t have picked a worse group of artists to do Lennon’s songs.
The Beatles are god head to me. I grew up with them. Each album release was a very big deal. Same goes for the albums released after they broke up.
I was ashamed and astonished at the lack of artistry by the singers. They even had “The Roots” doing a rap version of “Mother.”
And some Latino super star sang a song and fucked it up royally. They even showed Yoko looking horrified for a moment.

I had to turn it off after 90 minutes. Kris Kristofferson singing…or botching…”Working Class Hero” was painful. That man can no longer sing a note on key if a gun was pointed at his head.

They had this huge band made up of the finest session players. I was pleasantly surprised to see Lee Sklar playing bass. What a master. He only plays for the intensely artistic musicians in a live setting. He hit every single McCartney riff like it was butter.

lee

He has this long white beard. And usually, has a pipe hanging from his mouth; but not last night.
The first time I ever heard of Sklar was at a Grass Roots concert in 1968. It was at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. We had front row seats.

A three piece band, I had never heard of, opened the show. Only instrumentals. Sklar was the bassist. After watching him play, I wanted to burn my bass.

The producers only picked the young up and coming singers to contribute. Even country acts. It was devastating what they did to Lennon’s memory.

McCartney didn’t show. They had a couple minute pre-taped thing with Paul saying he wish he could be there, etc. But he probably didn’t show because of the lineup of players. It was beneath him. Although, Charlotte said he should have been there.

Ringo was there of course. Ringo shows up at new Arby’s restaurants to inaugurate them.

I’m not a racist but the black artists “blacked” up the songs. Heresy. This was all done to bring in the younger viewers.

Can you imagine the level of quality artists that could have been there? It is a real mind fuck.
Even when they had the artists do the talking head thing between numbers, they sounded like idiots.
I taped it so I will watch the last hour today.

But I am so disappointed in what could have been a master stroke by the producers that I am not expecting any spectacular moments in that last hour.

They could use the Kris Kristofferson moments as torture at Gitmo. Put the song on a loop and the prisoners will give away every secret plan and all the members of ISIS and where they are.
I’m sure it will be shown again. But if you are a fan of Lennon and The Beatles, prepare to be horribly disappointed.

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4 replies

  1. Sir – I wanted to leave a comment and thank you for your in-depth review of Las Mareas…that said, I also read the previous comment where you attribute some /other/ comment to me…???

    Not sure what was said or who said it; however, it wasn’t from me or anyone here at Crowned Heads. That said, it is nice to see that I have a chip on my shoulder and that I’m as big of a tool that I always thought I was….(hahaha).

    Take it easy, man–hope you and yours have a great Holiday Season–and thanks again for the review.

    Jon Huber (the ‘real’ one–lol)
    Crowned Heads

    • I am terribly sorry Jon. But the email address from the sender is this: jon@crownedheads.com.
      I take back everything I say. Obviously, someone pulled a prank. How they got your email address..well, I don’t know.
      I shall remedy all the comments and links. I am terribly sorry.
      But you should see if you’ve been hacked because when someone signs up to comment, they get a confirmation email.

      • Well….as you can see, “Jon@CrownedHeads.com ” is NOT my email address. So, while I may’ve been insulted, I wasn’t hacked….thank goodness for /that/….

        Cheers.

        Jon A. Huber

        Crowned Heads, LLC 748 Freeland Station Rd. Nashville, TN 37228

        Email: Huber@CrownedHeads.com Twitter: @TheCrownedHeads

        615-499-4169 (p) 615-750-2590 (f)

        >

  2. I purchased five on a whim from my local tobacconist. Went back and was surprised that they still had a few left. Wish I had bought the box!
    My favorite NC of the year