Black Dog is a JR Cigars exclusive line extension of the Crowned Heads brand Headley Grange. This blend replaces the Sumatra wrapper with a Connecticut Habano Maduro wrapper. The original Headley Grange cigar came out in 2012. It got it’s name because Jon Huber wanted to create a cigar that tasted as distinctive as the opening drum beat of Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks,” which was recorded at a studio in England known as Headley Grange. That song appeared on the album Led Zeppelin IV. Black Dog is a name of an song appearing on the same album. Today we are revewing the Crowned Heads | Headley Grange Black Dog Dobles.
This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
The original brand was released in five sizes: Estupendos (5 1/2 x 52), Eminentes (5 1/4 x 44), Corona Gorda (5 5/8 x 46), Hermoso No. 4 (5 x 48) and Dobles (6 1/8 x 50) as well as a few limited editions such as the Drumstick (7 1/2 x 38), the Snaredrum (6 x 38) for Federal Cigar and the Laguito No. 6 (6 x 56). Black Dog comes in three sizes: Dobles (6 1/8 x 50, $9.45), Estupendos (5 1/2 x 52, $9.25) and Laguito No. 6 (6 1/2 x 56, $10.50).
Length: 6 1/8″
Ring Gauge: 50
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Connecticut Habano Maduro
Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.
Blender: Jon Huber and E.P. Carrillo
Number of reviewers: 4 – Daniel S. (Daniel S.) Isaac M. (The Nothing) John I. (John I.) Diana (ArmyRN)
Age: 1 year
Release Date: February 2016
Contributed by: Blind Man’s Puff
“Looks to be a pretty standard toro. Nice and dark, with a bit of tooth to the wrapper and a nice glossy sheen. ” –John I. (John I.)
“I picked up some sweet hay and barnyard as I took in the cigar. Upon trying the dry draw it confirmed what I was smelling. I caught a whiff of chocolate but other than that the cigar is not overpowering in scent but not repulsive either.” –Diana (ArmyRN)
“The flavors seem subtle at first light. I am getting some chocolate and on the retro. I am also getting a balanced spice flavor. As the first third continues the flavors on the draw are still pretty subtle. The flavors on the retro are quite full now, still getting spice but also getting some espresso flavors on the draw.” –Daniel S. (Daniel S.)
“This cigar started with a bit of green peppercorn, savory spices, with hint of dark, bitter chocolate and dark roasted coffee. The retro was a bit spicy with a blend of woods including cedar and mesquite. The ash stacked nicely and held firm. ” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
“The smoke has smoothed out into the second half. There isn’t a lot of change but personally I’m glad the hazelnut has died down a bit. It’s still there and again, not my personal preference but for those that like it this might be a very tasty stick for them. There is a nice oak flavor mixed in with a bit of leather and the bitterness that I previously tasted reminds me more of a tartness that is similar to
a sour patch kid flavor without the fruitiness.” –Diana (ArmyRN)
“The burn has been dead even up til the start of the mid portion. Things are starting to get pretty wavy.
Overall the dominant flavor continues to be a really sharp dry bitterness. It’s just not cool.
The draw has continued to improve in the second third as well. To no great benefit. ” –John I. (John I.)”
“The smokey, charcoal harshness of this cigar got to be too much in the last half of the cigar. In this final third it started to come across like an old firepit. It was astringent to the palate. ” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
“At a couple points the flavor profile here has hinted at moving into a roasted earthy flavor before slinking back to dry and bitter. It happened again a bit into the final third. Very disheartening. ” –John I. (John I.)
“I found the draw to be just a little tight through the first third. It opened up as the smoke progressed and I believe helped the flavor to blend together better. It certainly was not a loose draw although I probably would have preferred it to be just a slight easier.” –Diana (ArmyRN)
“From start to finish, the cigar burned solidly. Whenever it got the least bit wavy, it corrected itself. ” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
“The cigar looked great and as very well crafted. It it were not so tough on the draw, it would be even better. ” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Experience Overall: 85
“Overall I enjoyed the cigar but would have to say it was nothing special. There was nothing that stuck out flavor wise. On a positive note I did enjoy the flavor on the retro hale.” –Daniel S. (Daniel S.)
“Rolling up a bag of mesquite charcoal might be easier to smoke in the long run. I was into this cigar for the first bit, but it turned the wrong way. It was harsh, astringent, and not something I could bring myself to recommend trying.” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
“Just didn’t like this at all. The dominant and overwhelming astringent dry flavor was just tremendously off-putting. Probably could have gotten fifteen or twenty more minutes out of this but I gave it up at the hour mark. ” –John I. (John I.)
“This was a not a flavor profile that fit my wheelhouse. Having said that, for someone who likes hazelnut and some black licorice this will be a decent cigar for them. I didn’t like the bitterness of the cigar but it did progress into a tartness that wasn’t distasteful to me. I would have thought the cigar would be stronger than it was given the types of flavors but it remained a medium to full, on the more medium side for me. A decent smoke for a specific palette.” –Diana (ArmyRN)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 90
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.