Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Size: 7.5 x 38 Lancero
Today we take a look at the Four Kicks Maduro Limited Edition Lancero 2018.
Once again, thanks to Ty-Ty Jeffery from Havana Lounge and Cigar.
Released: June, 2018
Total production of 1500 ten count boxes
Courtesy of Cigar Coop (June 19, 2018):
“The Crowned Heads Four Kicks Maduro Lancero LE 2018, a cigar that was originally offered at the 2018 Tobacconist Association of America (TAA) Convention this past April, will have a more widespread launch. Today the Nashville Tennessee based company announced the cigar will now be featured at the 2018 IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas slated to open on July 14th in Las Vegas.
“It was difficult keeping this one quiet since its debut at the TAA Show; however, we wanted our TAA supporters to enjoy some time with this release before we made it available worldwide,” commented Crowned Heads founder Jon Huber in a press release.
“Consistent with the Four Kicks Maduro line, the cigar is produced at Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr’s Tabacalera La Alianza factory in the Dominican Republic. Perez-Carrillo Jr. is not known to produce many lanceros, but has done several for Crowned Heads including the Headley Grange Drumstick, J.D. Howard Reserve Single Action, and the shop exclusive Four Kicks H-Town Lancero for Stogies of Houston. Crowned Heads has used the lancero size for more limited releases. According to the company, the Four Kicks Maduro Lancero is a one time release.
“The Four Kicks Maduro Lancero is the fifth vitola to be introduced in the line. Four Kicks Maduro made its debut last year and it features a Connecticut Habano wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and filler.”
Clearly, this cigar was dipped in 10-40 oil before wrapping it in cello. A beautiful wrapper whose color is so dark that it not only represents fine espresso but underlying colors of rust, chocolate, and cinnamon.
The triple cap has a pigtail. But looking closely at the cigar, it almost seems like a crook with it being far short of being a straight as an arrow stick. Plus lots of veins with bumps and lumps covering the entire shaft.
The cigar is hard as a rock and I’m concerned about a free flow of air. Being so thin, this will be like brain surgery getting my PerfecDraw cigar poker through it without piercing the wrapper. But then I’m a professional and am able to clear plugs while eating fried eggs on compost.
AROMAS AND COLD DRAW POINTS:
From the shaft, I can smell caramel, dark chocolate, espresso, malt, black pepper, floral notes, cedar, almonds, and steak sauce.
From the clipped cap and the foot, I can smell strong barnyard, black pepper, red pepper, floral notes, espresso, dark chocolate, malt, cedar, earth notes, and Asian spices.
The cold draw presents flavors of black licorice, barnyard, malt, coffee, chocolate, cedar, cinnamon, black pepper, red pepper, and steak sauce.
It is impossible to get any air flowing through the cigar. And because of the dog leg configuration of the stick, my PerfecDraw cigar poker tool can only be inserted half way through the cigar. It grabs the biggest plug near the cigar band and it will just have to do; Que sera, sera.
An immediate blast of black pepper that singes my nasal hair. The draw shows more resistance than I prefer but this baby is so stuffed with tobacco that I’m helpless. Any more futzing around with it and I might irreparably damage it. And it’s the only stick I have. I shall tread lightly; like when I sneak into bed in the middle of the night after spending a rollicking good time at an LBGBTQRS-1.a meeting for tri-sexuals. I believe I have found the thing of my life in those meetings. He/She/It gives the best testicle haircuts I’ve ever had.
Where was I? The cigar is pumping out varieties of spicy things, strong espresso, dark cocoa, big almond notes, it’s screaming all those delicious flavors found in a good steak sauce with notes of sweetness that cover the spectrum from sugary to Sweet Tarts.
The burn ain’t so hot and not in the least impressive. I’m getting a big run. Quintuple cigar torch to the rescue.
The first impression of every cigar is its look and construction. While pretty due to its motor oil dunk, the construction fails on conformity, uneven rolling, and burn line. Still have 7” to go so who knows?
Strength is high medium.
No complexity yet but transitions are pedaling hard and the finish is the most impressive of the three components.
Strength is ramping up exponentially. Only moments ago, it was medium. Now it is strongly ensconced in medium/full. Great. Another morning in which I take the magical carpet ride to brain damage from nicotine.
There is no Wow factor present at this early juncture. 1-1/4” burned and it has nothing special going on. A very typical Nic puro offering in the $10 range.
I’ve given the cigar nearly a couple months of humi time. I got the stick right after it came out when Ty-Ty showed it to me while browsing at Havana Lounge and Cigar. I’m not a big Four Kicks fan. I was when it first came out but, like all of us, our tastes change over years from smothering our palates with a conga line of new blends.
The char line is a disgrace. I’m in constant “fix” mode. This does nothing to add to the inherent flavors of this cigar. Anytime you see a cigar stick with a serious dog leg to the left, this should be a red flag. Construction is abominable.
Humidity has been low the last couple of days here in Wonderland, Wisconsin. So, I was able to dry box it for 48 hours.
The entire blend seems to be hiding in the bushes with a homeless man smoking rum soaked crooks and drinking Sterno.
Lanceros are a tricky dick. I’ve found that not everyone can make them correctly. I believe it is due to the tiny circumference and trying to shove in filler and binder in minute quantities leaving the wrapper to carry the load. The shape of this lancero looks like something from a Peyronie’s Disease TV commercial. (Don’t wave that at me young woman!).
Man, this blend must need untold amounts of humidor time. Or it ain’t that great. I found several reviews of the Four Kicks Maduro Limited Edition Lancero 2018…high marks all…But one of them was written almost on the same day it was released; meaning they got samples pre-release. How long did they allow the cigar to humidor rest? And give it a mid 90’s rating?
Another review was very similar in its bowing down to Jon Huber’s creation. Everyone else seems to be either waiting for something to happen to make this cigar worthy of a review or are put off by the very limited edition status making a review months from now useless as the cigar should be sold out by then….or not.
Smoke time is a quick 20 minutes.
Strength is approaching full.
Flavors begin to disperse in an orderly manner. Some complexity rears its pretty head. Transitions are trying their best. I like the flowery and spicy finish the best.
The first third was a total waste of time. The second third, out of shame, brings the cigar to life as if Dr. Frankenstein zapped it with a Tesla coil and a Fleet’s enema.
Finally, there is a nice balance going on. But the black pepper is too much. Black licorice shows up giving it a nice sweet and savory note. Complex notes are doing their best but this cigar got so strong so quickly and with the overpowering black pepper that its balance now seems to be off.
I had the exact same experience with the Ezra Zion All My Exe’s Maduro lancero. I loved the natural version that came out first but the maduro didn’t do a thing for me and I’m a big EZ fan. The boys sent me new maduro sticks thinking I just got a bad batch. Nope. I gave the stick months of humidor time and it didn’t change my opinion. Maybe I have an allergy to maduro lanceros.
The fucking burn is pissing me off. WTF?
And the plugs seem to have healed themselves and I must use the cigar poker again on a lit cigar. Who rolled these cigars?
And then a godly glow of enlightenment and sorrow take over as the cigar struggles to put its best foot forward with endearing flavors. (Don’t ask).
The malts, chocolate, espresso, licorice, floral, cedar, and nuts come to life and beat back the extreme spiciness. Now I love a spicy cigar but this is like pouring black pepper directly on my tongue.
This was not what I expected. It could be that the stick needs otherworldly amounts of humidor time. Yet some other reviewers who wrote about this before me gave the cigar a 95. What am I missing? And if its so good, so soon, why aren’t there more reviews? Something is amiss.
Ahh..the classic rock station is playing Tom Petty and “Free Fallin’.” What a great anthem. Saw him live in the early 80’s. A radio DJ friend had comped tickets third row center at the L.A. Forum. We were surrounded by nothing but chicks. Honest to God, we felt totally out of place. But it was a great concert. And then the dumb schmuck kills himself from a drug overdose last year. What a stupid waste. So many baby boomers that think because they could do as much coke as they wanted when they were young meant they could continue doing harmful drugs into their 60’s. I’ve lost friends who had that same dumb fuck attitude.
That killed some time.
The cigar goes out.
I can’t believe my lousy luck. Another cigar blend that does nothing for me and in the end, I’ve put hours and hours into a review I wish I had never started. I’m hoping redemption shows up in the second half or the last third. What did those other reviewers smoke? Did they get pre-release samples dipped in Ecstasy?
Flavors disappear. And I’m left with an over amped spicy cigar reeking of bitterness and infidelity.
I’m going to stop writing until I see something positive happening. I can’t even taste the blender’s intent.
Haha…Pink Floyd is playing “Have a Cigar.”
From the Crowned Heads press release:
“Consistent with the Four Kicks Maduro line, the cigar is produced at Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr’s Tabacalera La Alianza factory in the Dominican Republic. Perez-Carrillo Jr. is not known to produce many lanceros.”
This explains everything. (I expect hate mail from Huber over this. He loves Ernie Carrillo. I know this because he reveled in Carrillo’s talents in a phone call with me a year ago.)
I’ve never been a Carrillo fan. I love the La Historia. But everything else seems to be geared to the inexpensive catalog brands.
General Cigar is a sponsor and sent me a bunch of the latest Carrillo blends about 6 months ago. I’ve tried them and tossed them.
The cigar is totally blah. My palate must be fucked up. Two reviews gave it high marks. I’m trying to talk myself out of ending the review and moving on to a new cigar tomorrow. I just can’t see how this cigar is going to get better.
50/50 chance they sell out quickly. Or this limited release is still available a year from now.
Smoke time is over an hour.
The black pepper is so overwhelming that this is no fun…like vomiting on your first date with a girl you have a crush on.
Strength is full bore.
This is a perfect example of just how different our palates are from each other. Rave reviews…shit review. This is exactly why so many smokers don’t think reviews are worth a shit. At the moment, I agree.
This may be a great cigar. Just not from my own current experience. But what the hell do I know?
No complexity. Transitions are lost in space. And the finish is burning my mouth. Maybe I shouldn’t have reviewed a cigar while I have trench mouth and my prostate is so big it’s sticking out of my ass. Damn cat keeps licking it…I’m not saying that’s bad but it may be distracting my palate.
We have touchdown. Finally. A big booming flavor element of barnyard. Woo Hoo.
The only answer my friends is this cigar desperately needs a lot of aging. I just don’t understand how some reviewers raved about this cigar with very little of that aging process since the cigar was only released a couple months ago.
I checked and every online store is selling them. No “Out of Stock” comments on any of them.
Crowned Heads makes some spectacular blends. I’m a fan. And they’ve also released some less than spectacular blends. It’s always a roll of the dice when a new blend comes out.
There hasn’t been a single change to the flavor profile. In fact, it was at its best in the first inch…like me. It’s like the first time Charlotte and I had sex. She said, “Wow. I’ve never seen one that small.” Name three Jewish male porn stars. Can’t do it. In fact, during the summer when I wear Bermuda shorts, I have a camel toe.
I really want to love this cigar blend. The Four Kicks Maduro Limited Edition Lancero 2018 is unrequited love.
Some creaminess appears. The black pepper begins to calm down. I’m getting renewed flavors of coffee, cocoa, malts, and licorice. Not a single sweet element in this blend. That in itself might be throwing me off. I can’t remember the last time I’ve smoked a good cigar that didn’t have a nice balance of sweet and savory.
Oh good. Perfect. The gardener is mowing the giant lawns of the apartment building is going at it spewing fresh mown grass and pollen right through my open window. A sign.
The cigar goes out.
And now for something completely different:
U2 made their American debut at the Whisky a Go Go circa 1982. My buddy, Marshall Thomas, got tickets and dragged me along because I had coke.
It was an invite concert only full of celebrities. I had never heard of the band.
Now the Whisky is a very small club. Everyone sits at tables. Couldn’t hold more than 150 people. It has a small dance floor that might be able to hold a dozen couples.
We sat at a small table maybe 10 feet from the band. After a few songs, I leaned over to Marshall and told him they would never make it. Every song sounded the same..which I still believe. An enigma.
Meanwhile, the crowd loved them. I got out of my seat and walked up to the edge of the stage, pushing photographers out of the way. I stood and stared and stared. The bassist seemed to have the legitimacy of a second year student. And if you watch him play today, not much has changed.
U2 did two sets.
Marshall got us back stage between sets.
Standing in the middle of the small dressing room was John Belushi. He was dressed up in a nice three piece suit. We introduced ourselves and he introduced the man next to him: Dad.
We kibitzed for a bit and then I whispered in Belushi’s ear, out of earshot of his dad, that I had some coke.
He and I went into the dressing room bathroom and did some toots.
We came out and he was much more the John Belushi the world knew him as.
The moral to this story is that I have no musical vision. I don’t know shit. And I got to share the white death with John Belushi.
And now for something completely different ~ Part 2:
I’ve told this story before so if you’ve read me for a while, go back to sleep.
Island Studios in the Jamaican section of London. We had just finished recording our studio album to follow the live album. All new songs. They even did a George Harrison and allowed me one song I had written.
It was called: “I Broke My Leg in Yucca Valley, but My Heart Lies in Palm Springs.”
Those were the entire lyrics. It was a jazzy scat type song in which the bass took a Stanley Clarke type lead line.
Rhythm tracks are always done first and then everything is laid down on top. So, my job was done in a week. But we still had 4-5 weeks of studio time left. I much rather hang in the booth than sit at home and watch BBC1. Plus, there was money to always feed us and I learned to love Jamaican food.
Jose Feliciano was touring Europe and had never been to England. England was all abuzz.
Our press agent was a friend of Feliciano and got him to stop by the studio one night. I was pretty excited.
In he walks with an assistant to help him get around and to fill his pipe with weed and hash. He also brought an unknown percussionist named Paulinho de Costa. He went on to be a big deal in the years to follow.
Feliciano had a big mouth and you couldn’t get a word in edge wise. Man, he could talk. Probably doing speed or coke.
He listened to our tunes and jumped up and got help to go into the studio. He pulled out his guitar and started laying down tracks on our tunes. After a while, it got weird. It wasn’t the Curved Air + Jose Feliciano album.
He took a break and sat on the couch. Our chick singer had a vocal coach who was currently a big star in “Jesus Christ Superstar” in London. His name was Derek.
Now Derek was as queer as a $3 bill. No offense but he was a raging queen. But he was a good guy. And was very funny. He loved being gay and would flaunt it til we couldn’t breathe from laughing; we enjoyed his company.
Derek was there the first night Feliciano was there.
And the second night Feliciano showed up as well.
Before the proceedings began, Jose took the floor. Word had spread and the booth was jammed with people.
He sat on the couch. I sat next to him. And Derek sat next to him on his other side. And you know that Feliciano is blind.
You’d think he would take that into consideration when talking about people because he lit into Derek.
“Did you hear that queer last night?” And then he went on to imitate him. Everyone in the booth froze in horror.
Derek just sat there and said nothing. Finally, he had enough and leaned into Feliciano’s ear, with his hand on Feliciano’s thigh, and said, “Lissssssten Ssssssweetheart.”
For a moment, we all thought Feliciano got his sight back by the way his eyes opened and his glasses flew off.
There was an uproar of laughter in that booth that night. All the time, Feliciano tried back pedaling saying shit like: “I don’t care about how people live their lives, blah, blah, blah.”
Apparently, Feliciano had no sense of humor when it came to himself.
He stood up, made his excuses and shuffled off into the darkness of the Jamaican section never to be seen again by Curved Air.
BTW- He liked my tune the best and even Paulinho played on it. This really pissed off our ego maniacal band leader. I never got a copy of that no matter how I begged. Later, I was to learn how nasty these people were.
I took this photo at Island Studios. L-R: Lyricist Norma Tager, Jose Feliciano, Sonja Kristina…and in the background: roadie Moray Snitzlegruber.
My apologies for the poor photo but it always seems that stoners show up fuzzy in photographs.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS