Crowned Heads Mil Días | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan, Peruvian, Costa Rican
Size: 6 x 46 Corona Gorda
Strength: Medium
Price: $9.25


BACKGROUND:
Regular Production
Released: August 2020
Factory: Tabacalera Pichardo (Nicaragua)
From Halfwheel.com (10-22-2020):
“The cigar gets its name—Mil Días—from that wait. It is the second Crowned Heads line to come from Tabacalera Pichardo in Nicaragua, joining Juárez, which came out in late 2018. The work for this cigar began in 2017 when Jon Huber, co-founder of Crowned Heads, was given some blend samples by Luciano Meirelles and Eradio Pichardo, co-owners of ACE Prime Cigar and Tabacalera Pichardo. Those samples led the trio on a three-year journey to the finished blend that is Mil Días.

“…1,000 days results before this blend turned into a released cigar.

SIZES AND PRICING:
Edmundo 5.375 x 52 $10
Corona Gorda 6 x 46 $9.25
Sublime 6 x 54 $11.50
Double Robusto 6.375 x 50 $10.75

APPEARANCE:
In room light, there is a nice oiliness that reflects light. In other worldly light, the cigar wrapper shows off a rusty/honey hue that glistens with oil. The triple cap is proficient. Some funky length of the cigar veins gives the cigar a bumpy feel. Plus, there is just a hint of toothiness. Evenly filled, the cigar has just a touch of resistance when squeezed. Simple cigar band. Nice looking stick.

SMELL THE GLOVE:
First up is subtle hints of milk chocolate, malt, red pepper, floral notes, generic sweetness, potent honey, cedar, and kiwi.
The cold draw presents flavors of milk chocolate, red pepper, malt, cedar, nutmeg, creaminess, vanilla, and black raisins.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is just shy of how I like. Each dry draw forces me cheeks to collapse. I grab my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool and have at it. This is why I love my PerfecDraw…it encourages snobbery to the point that I can have the draw any way I prefer; instead of taking what the roller did or didn’t do. I feel like King Kong on top of the Empire State Building…except KK has a Barrett M107.

As usual, the plug is in the area of the cigar band and it is eradicated in one step. Now we’re ready to boogaloo. The Jerk, if you prefer…just put on a back brace before you start.

Nice start with a satisfying balance; somewhere between the first time you had sex and an orgy where no one picks you…sort of like Junior High…sorry, Middle School. Going to my grave without that ever-kicking in.

The char line is crisp…good sign.

Rather than a phalanx of individual flavor points, the first level of complexity tantalizes my giant uvula( an important part of the arachnophobia family). Right away, a buttery popcorn finish coats my teeth and lips. Transitions kick in slowly with a modicum of red pepper, creaminess, maybe caramel, and Ritz crackers.

Strength is mild/medium. A morning cigar to have with your first cocktail of gin and prune juice…adorned with raw shrimp and fried liver twist.

Oh yeah, I’ve had these cigars for nearly 3 months. I know, I know. You’ve probably already tried this cigar. Or read the 1,079 reviews…and made up your own mind. So, let me interfere with what your brain has stored. I have a box full of brain electrodes and I’m not afraid to use them.

The cigar is bready. Fresh French. And schmeared with unsalted butter. The red pepper transitions to spicy cinnamon. The two really don’t sync but I’m only at the beginning of this great and hazardous adventure. “Look out! A hippo!”

In my teens, all my friends got a job with Disneyland. I had a moustache. Nixed. One day, I went with a friend to pick up his paycheck. We were behind where the public was allowed and I’ll never forget this…one of the characters with a human inside, flew the door open from the park, took the big furry head off, walked over to a big trash can, and puked his guts up. His hair was plastered from sweat. All of a sudden, the chance to be a character and be able to kick and slap young kids no longer seemed appealing.

The blend improves with each puff…disseminating a nice balance and bigger doses of complex physics theorems.

The strength noodles into medium territory. Keto noodles of course. They are made from ocean plankton and ferret droppings. Taste better than you think…but keep the floss nearby.

The blend is genteel. Delicate. The growth of character takes its time. But it’s an interesting ride.

Remember when boutique blends were around $8…maybe 6-8 years ago? Now the standard pricing is $10-$12.

I went years after the Wall St. crash in ’08-’09 where I got no raises in my Social Security each year. I believe it was only a year or two ago, that we all got 1.3% cost of living raises. Naturally, Medicare raised their pricing, and the dough came out of your SS…thereby making the tiny raise superfluous. Fucking government.

I like this cigar.
Notes of black pepper for the first time…chocolate covered raisins, bread, caramel, and a blanket of creaminess.

The sweet v. savory components appear to hold a nice balance.

I’m getting nicotine early in the cigar. I know how to type so I really don’t need to see the laptop screen.

Honey graham crackers appear. Nice touch. Remember grade school when we were given a break that included the driest graham crackers and a little carton of milk? I saw one kid shiv another to get his milk. He was forced to sit in the corner for two days. The kid that got shiv’d grew up to become a dentist. He should have sued.

Still medium strength.

SECOND THIRD:
Complexity spreads its legs so the crabs can leave en masse.

Once again, I really enjoy a blend that evenly distributes the flavor profile in order to achieve the blender’s intent. And the focus is returned to the depth of the cigar’s character as a unit.

The raisins and chocolate and the creaminess are upfront. The black pepper retreats and turns into the spicy cinnamon once again. Sometimes, that ache in the back of my throat turns me off to black pepper.

First sip of water and the cigar becomes crisp and unified. Local 43.
Aarghh…Fleetwood Mac. I’d love to get through one review, just one…

Ever notice that Stevie Nicks’ vocal vibrato is dangerously close to that of Buffy St. Marie’s?

Halfway point and the blend surges in all manners pleasing to the John Gacy in me.

Oh shit. The cigar is flying now. Turbo charged with a flat V-6.
Balance, nuance, and complexity spew like the first time you drank too much Boone’s Farm. Your parents found out and took away your…uh…back then, we had no electronic possessions…now I don’t remember what they did. Maybe forced us to drink Mad Dog 20/20 until the bottle was finished. To this day, if I see a bottle of Manischewitz on a store shelf and I go into the dry heaves.

Not a flavor bomb…but never short of interesting and intriguing flavor points.

The moment I finished the last sentence, I get a rush of flavors: caramel, creaminess, chocolate, malt, raisins, very nutty, cedar, pretzel, cinnamon, and buttered bread.
Still…not a flavor bomb.

The char line is magnificent. Not a single construction issue. Nor with the two I smoked prior to this review.

Until his death in 2003, at 80, my dad would always introduce me to new friends as the banjo player. I’d hang my head and correct him. He would say, “No. You’re a banjo player.” And the man never had dementia. Just born an altakaker. He must have liked my banjo but could care less about the bass guitar. A lot of that going around.

The quantum leap in the second half is amazing. The cigar goes from nice to jump back, Jack.
Strength still remains at a modest medium.

I would have loved this cigar even more if the cigar started with this slam bang approach. Maybe more humi time.

Crowned Heads did good. I tip my glass eye to them.

The cigar blend has won me over. I’m his BFF. Or is it a she? I look under the bottom to look for a nutsack…and see none. It’s a she. Of course, it could have been neutered but then I’d still see its wiener. No wiener.

LAST THIRD:
Strength moves to medium/full. The nicotine hasn’t gotten intense, making it easier to consume for a huge pussy like me.

Speaking of huge pussies…a subject for another review. Oh wait. I do have a comment. After I’d been in Curved Air a year, I remember a car ride with the entire band. I was sitting upfront. Stew, Sonja, and Mick were in the back. Sonja had some recent surgery. Didn’t know for what.

So, she showed us during the car ride. She pulled the zipper down on her pants and displayed a newly remodeled pussy. It was now petite. And she had shaved her pubes into a large heart and dyed it red. A sight to behold. I still have occasional nightmares.

The Mil Dias is cruising. What a great stick. I’m positive that with a few more months of humidor time, my wish for the stick to start with a bang will come to fruition.

Again, construction and burn line is par excellence.

“Further On Up The Road” by Bonamassa. Not a blues band on the planet that doesn’t include this tune in their set list.

Okie doke…strong impressive flavors are stomping through the jungle looking for fresh octopi. Little known fact…Calamari is the preferred food of all jungle animals.

Crowned Heads offers up three additional larger sizes. I plan on scoring another fiver of a bigger stick. I don’t want the stick to end. But then I have a noon appointment for a body wax.

The first half, if it had stayed the same throughout the cigar’s life, would have gotten a solid 90. The second half trumps that.

Transitions move quickly across my palate…like a gazelle with a gimpy leg. The finish is spot on.

No additional flavors to add. What its got is plenty good. The spiciness is completely derived from the cinnamon now.

The blend is dense. It’s fat. It can sell you a retirement home in Beijing.

I’m sure you’ve all smoked this cigar before I had my chance so I’m probably not telling you anything you didn’t know.

I use my PerfecDraw to poke the roach and I need to finish the cigar like a J.

Did you know that Ryan Seacrest is gay? Never saw that coming.

The stick would have scored higher if the first half was as good as the second half.
I’m done here my dears. Great way to start my day.

RATING: 94

And now for something completely different:

I have a great Streisand story. Then I remembered that I’ve told this story before. So, my apologies to my long-time readers as I write this memoir anecdote.

I did a lot of bass session work for a man named Gary Gladstone. (He has since passed away) He had his own studio in Beverly Hills and engineered and produced a lot of acts for other producers at their studios. His most famous act was the African American rock band called The Bus Boys. This was circa 1982.

Gary had this weird saying that, which at first, put me off. When we would do multiple takes, he kept telling me I was approaching “average.” I felt insulted.

And then he explained that in his mind, average was perfect. Go figure.
Gary got lots of calls to engineer big acts. He began to recommend me and I got work through him.

It was during this time that I did a crash study of sightreading notes on charts.

Gary got the call to engineer a Streisand gig. The recording was done with a 12-piece band playing at once instead of the tried-and-true method of recording the rhythm section first and then layering.

Outside of doing big commercials in the studio, with the assistance of drummer Hal Blaine giving me the thumbs up to the producer, this session was not rock n roll. And so far, all the sessions I’ve done were rock music.

The point being is that Streisand’s music was out of my comfort zone. Very complex tunes and I had to read every note written. It was hard at first, but I quickly made the adjustment and kept on chooglin’.

It just so happened that that night was the first night of Passover and I was supposed to be with the family for Seder. But the Streisand gig was good money. Hal got me into the musician’s union without much trouble.
I think I got around $440 per song. But I had to sign away my rights for royalties. Standard procedure.

As we were finishing for the night, Streisand walked in. She was supposed to put down vocals to help the rest of the band while they recorded. She was late. These were not her final vocals.

It was around 7pm. Gary introduced me to Streisand and when she heard my last name, she asked why I wasn’t at someone’s Seder?
I schmoozed her and told her I would rather be here.
I said that I was going to try and get to my dad’s house for leftovers and was packing my gear quickly. I was in Hollywood and had a good hour ride home to Long Beach.

All of a sudden, she proclaimed to everyone that she was coming with me. Everyone laughed. She had a big entourage who laughed on cue.

I grabbed my gear and headed to the parking lot. It was 1982 and I was driving a beat up 1971 Datsun station wagon.
She followed me out to my car. She opened the passenger side and got in. “Let’s go, hon.”

Her manager was right behind her screaming that they had time booked and she needed to get her ass back into the studio.

He went over to her side of the car and she rolled up the window. They screamed at each other for a couple minutes and I sat there like a schlump.

Finally, she leaned over and gave me a kiss and winked.
She had no intention of going with me. She just wanted to fuck with her manager.

When I got to my dad’s, I told everyone what happened. My evil stepmother went nuts. She was from Brooklyn, just like Streisand, and that’s all she talked about. For years, she would tell people this story whenever she had a get together and I was there.

It was sort of crazy and lots of fun. Imagine Streisand sitting in my 1971 Datsun and you can’t help but laugh.



Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

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13 replies

  1. Great story and review Kat man. Gonna have to try this one. Prices of cigars just seem to keep going up and it’s getting ridiculous. I remember being able to buy a box of new worlds for around $100 without them being on special or using a discount code. Now they’re almost $50 more. Not gonna be able to keep this habit up much longer at this rate.

    • Hi Zach,
      1968. My first year of college. I went to the cigar shop my dad used. They knew me. And in those days, you could buy cigars or cigarettes from stores that knew you.
      I bought my first 20 count box of Fuente Lanceros for $28.
      Just since 2010, when I began reviewing, I’ve seen prices go through the roof.
      Anyone gotten a massive raise at their job in the last decade? Probably not.
      Yet, the cigar industry ratchets up the price with every release.
      Not unusual to see a well known boutique brand come out with a $16 stick. Yet, 5 years ago, that same cigar would have probably gone for $10.
      The labor in Central America is cheap.
      The tobacco may have gotten more expensive.
      Yet, it is nothing for a cigar manufactuer to jack up prices by 60%. Or 12% per year over 5 years..meanwhile the cost of living index was 0% from 2009-2018. Since then, it’s been static at 1.3%.
      Greed is rampant in the mainstream cigar industry.
      Not that the cigar industry is the only greedy bunch of assholes out there.
      The cigar companies will just keep on getting away with it as long as schmucks give in and buy those fucking ridiculously expensive new cigars…limited edition, of course.
      This is why I just refuse to buy and review expensive cigars. I sometimes do when the cigar is a gift. And when I do review the cigar, 90% of the time it is just a good $7 knockaround stick.
      If we cigar smokers refused to give into the bullshit and not buy the crap, maybe it would signal the cigar manufacturers…well, a man can dream.
      Lastly, I just reviewed the Nat Sherman 2017 Timeless Limited Edition ($17) and it was one of the worst pieces of shit I’ve smoked. They were very limited but you can get them on Cigarbid.com for $5-$6 each. But getting them cheap doesn’t turn them into a good cigar.
      I had a recent comment in which the reader complained I had reviewed only catalog cigars for the last 7 reviews.
      This is what most smokers can afford…especially as so many smokers have been in financial dire straits like the rest of us during the pandemic.
      I’m done ranting…Carry on.
      Phil

      P.S. I am sitting here smoking a $6 Punch Diablo by AJ that I’ve had marinating for 9 months, naked, in my humidor. It is crazy good. This is why I’m not a snob and am willing and able to review catalog cigars. There are gems out there if you look and do your research.

      • I’ve paid a lot of money on expensive,limited edition cigars that sucked,so i know exactly where you are coming from. Honestly I’m not as concerned about the expensive cigars getting more expensive,I’m worried that the great $5 sticks out there are gonna be $20 within the next few years. Very frustrating continuously buying the same product and each time it’s more and more expensive. I’ve always said a cheap cigar doesn’t mean it’s badand an expensive cigar doesn’t mean it’s good.

  2. Taxes too keep raising the price, tobacco products are the always the first thing to get a big spoonful of taxes tossed on em, but you’re right about base price of these damn things..if only they weren’t so good.

    • Hi Paul,
      You know my Commonwealth readers think we Americans are a bunch of whiny pussies.
      The taxes on their cigars are sky high…no matter what our Congress does to raise taxes on cigars, the British Empire is way ahead of our elected officials.
      Cigars are a luxury item. When I worked last year at a cigar lounge, I’d see guys go into the humidor and come to the register with five $4 cigars. In online cigar sales, that means they bought $2 sticks.

      Plus who hasn’t had their dear wives raise the roof when they found out how much we just spent on cigars?
      This is a common denominator for 90% of smokers. Try and hide our purchases from the old lady.

      But yeah, the aggravation is worth it once we light up a fine cigar.
      All the best,
      Phil

  3. I purchased several of the Sublime size, and unfortunately they had plugs that the Perfect Draw really couldn’t help. Only one of the cigars had a decent draw. It’s a shame, because I actually liked the blend. But I won’t be buying them again due to the draw issues.

  4. Get the Mil Días Sublime. It will do the trick for you .

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