Crowned Heads released two new cigars officially at this year’s IPCPR Convention & Trade Show. They usually launch one new regular production during IPCPR, but this year they released Las Mareas, which had two smaller releases earlier, and Le Carême.
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.
Le Carême is a tribute to Marie Antoine Carême, a pioneer in French food amid the 1800’s whose considerable rundown of achievements incorporates the invention up of mother sauces, productive documentation of French cooking and advancing the soufflé. E.P. Carrillo describes the finalized blend, saying, “it tastes like a chocolate soufflé.”
Le Carême is rolled at E.P. Carrillo’s Tabacalera La Alianza S.A., the factory that also makes the Four Kicks, Headley Grange and J.D. Howard Reserve. Le Carême comes in four vitolas: Cosacos (5 3/8 x 42, $6.95), Hermoso No. 1 (6 1/2 x 48, $8.75), Robusto (5 x 50, $8.25) and Canonazo (5 7/8 x 52, $8.95). All of the sticks are soft box-pressed and packaged in 24-count boxes.
Ring Gauge: 42
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Grade A Dark
Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.
Blender: Jon Huber
Number of reviewers: 4 – Mickey T. (irratebass) Gregg (McGreggor57) Steve (ThaGreatWazoo) Ryan (Youngryan216)
Age: 3 Months
Release Date: July 2016
Contributed by: Crowned Heads Cigars
“This dark wrapper is very oily and toothy with a few medium-sized veins running along the body. There is a slight box-press leaving the edges round on this ruggedly handsome corona.” –Ryan (Youngryan216)
“Mostly barnyard along the wrapper with a bit more hay at the foot. The cold draw is a nice mix of leather and bakers chocolate.” –Gregg (McGreggor57)
“Musty flavors right off the bat with some cream on the finish. Getting strong vegetal notes on the retro. The caramel sweetness is on my lips.” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
“Leather and tobacco with some bakers chocolate on the finish. The bitterness of the chocolate creates the needed interest. Near the end of the third I pick up a little cedar on the retrohale as the flavors begin to strike a balance” –Gregg (McGreggor57)
“The second third is starting to come around. The harshness has subsided and a little bit of nice flavors are coming thru. I’m picking up some oak, pepper, and earth. A nice little mix coupled with a good amount of smoke.” –Steve (ThaGreatWazoo)
“The flavors reach a beautiful crescendo in this portion of the cigar and really are at their best. While I am digging the flavor and overall feel of this smoke, there is something missing. The smoke leaves me wanting more body and overall identity. There is something a bit common about the flavor profile, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. That said, I am a bit sad this cigar is halfway done. ” –Ryan (Youngryan216)
“As the leather fades the cedar begins to develop a harshness. Burnt toast and bitter coffee in the background add to the acrid taste. If not for the review this is where I would toss the cigar.” –Gregg (McGreggor57)
“The flavors begin to muddle around the end, but this was a solid smoke. After settling in, the leather flavor and espresso grounds are now in the forefront of the blend.” –Ryan (Youngryan216)
“The draw was nice with a straight cut. Allowed a good amount of smoke and overall flavor.” –Steve (ThaGreatWazoo)
“Burn was great. No touch ups needed and the it stayed cool til the end.” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
“The wrapper is a bit rustic, but it is well applied and the cigar was skillfully rolled.” –Ryan (Youngryan216)
Overall Strength: Medium
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium
Experience Overall: 90
“A really good cigar with some strong vegetal notes in the first third with some caramel sweetness. These flavors didn’t stay long before wood seemed to take over. Interesting cigar, and I really liked the shape.” –Mickey T. (irratebass)
“Performance scores raised my overall evaluation. The flavors of the first two thirds were OK, but not special. Unfortunately the harshness of the final third would have me thinking twice about trying this one again.” –Gregg (McGreggor57)
“This was a tough cigar. The beginning was really harsh and almost had me abandoning the cigar during the first third. However, I hung in there and the cigar shifted and neutralized into a really nice smoke. Again, this cigar could have probably settled better with a little dry boxing before smoking. This might be the trick and one that’s worth it because the finish to this cigar was exquisite.” –Steve (ThaGreatWazoo)
“I really liked the overall vibe of this smoke. It had the espresso thing going on, but it was never too heavy or spicy. The slight box-press and the corona size were right up my alley. And, the burn was great. The only thing this cigar is missing is a wow factor. While it was great, there was still some room for a bit more body and overall strength.” –Ryan (Youngryan216)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 79
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.