Cigar: Headley Grange by Crowned Heads
Wrapper: Ecuadoran Sumatra
Appearance and Construction: The first thing that catches the eye is the subtly of the band: It’s clean, simple, and elegant. The lettering and color scheme feels very old school and doesn’t distract from the beauty of the cigar. The wrapper smooth, slighly shiny, and flawless. The color is a creamy shade of brown, reminicent of a nice cafe con leche. A gentle squeeze reinforces this is a quality cigar made with an attention to detail.
Pre-Light: I’ve smoked this cigar 3 times prior to the review, each time opting for a cut. Tonight I thought I’d change it up and go for a punch. The initial draw is very even, smoooth, and effortless. This cigar has been sitting for 3 months and it’s definitely ready to smoke.
Flavor and Notes: I light up tonight’s cigar with a match and it starts up beautifully. The inital notes off the first few draws are a little sweet, almost citrusy. Enough of the formalities, let’s get down to business.
First Third – The smooth draw makes this cigar easy to smoke, I have to remind myself to slow down as I continue. The citrus notes are still present, and a little dried fruit and spice is starting to appear, as are notes of cream and caramel. The smoke has a little zest on the retrohale: a slight sting of the nostrils, but the flavors are tremendous. The burn is a little off on one side, but overall burning nicely. The ash is beginning to turn a darker shade of grey, quite different than the nearly white ash my first time smoking this cigar. A couple of puffs later and the ash is down for the count.
Second Third – The burn has corrected itself, and is now an even line. The flavors are beginning to transition into a boldness and the citrus is all gone. The smoke is luscious, particularly on the retrohale. You can feel the viscosity as you let out the smoke, and yet it does not linger in the air. The cigar gives off very little smoke as it sits, waiting to be puffed. I’m about 40 minutes into this cigar and still have about half left. As someone who tends to flash through cigars quickly, this is a pleasant surprise. As I near the final third, a little sweetness with leather notes begin to appear. Ash drops for the 2nd time.
Final Third – A little more spice is starting to sneak into the fray as I plod along towards the end. To my surprise, the smoke stings the nostrils a bit and the flavors are starting to pick up again. I can still pick up some fruit flavors on the aftertaste as I cleanse my palate with a sip of water. As I take a few more draws, the spice isn’t as prominent as it was for a short time: no more sting of the nostrils. The leather and earth tones are starting to pick up, mellowing out the flavors to the finish. The ash drops for a 3rd time as I take the cigar to the finish line.
Body: I’d consider it medium bodied with moments of spicy, but definitely not overwhelming. This cigar isn’t going to leave you feeling light headed.
Overall Smoking Experience: Considering its namesake, based heavily on a heavy drum beat, the cigar is really quite smooth and almost Cubanesque. It’s easy to smoke, with lots of subtle flavors and reminds me a little more of The Rain Song than When The Levy Breaks. This is a cigar meant to be enjoyed slowly when you have time to unwind and take in all that it has to offer. I’ve smoked Headley Grange while drinking liquor and dark beer in the past. Tea or a nice wheat beer seems like a better pairing that won’t mask any of the flavors. Clocking in at around 90 minutes for a cigar of this size, this is not a cigar you want to rush. No touch-ups needed, either.
Desi’s Rating: This was my favorite cigar from IPCPR. It was the one cigar that I smoked and could not wait until the boxes finally shipped to the store. I would rate Headley Grange a 9 out of 10. Everything about this cigar is in harmony, from the soft spoken band to the flawless wrapper, the creamy smoke, and the smooth subtle flavors.
Buy Again: Absolutely. I stashed away a box when they were released and I’m looking forward to enjoying them until the rest of the vitolas are released later this year.
Chooch Rating: 0/5. Headley Grange is a chooch-free zone.