Crowned Heads released the original Headley Grange blend back in 2012 and was their second production cigar, Four Kicks was the first. The cigars’ inspiration came from the name of the studio where Led Zeppelin recorded Led Zeppelin IV. Also on the album Led Zeppelin IV was the song “Black Dog” was the name of JR Exclusive release line extension to Headley Grange in 2016. The dog that inspired “Black Dog” was a Labrador Retriever and now comes another cigar inspired by that Dog and album the Crowned Heads Headley Grange Black Lab LE 2018.
The Headley Grange Black Lab LE 2018 uses the same fillers as the original Headley Grange, but replaced with wrapper with a Connecticut (Habano) maduro . The cigar appears to be the same blend as the JR Exclusive Black Dog, but will be available to all retailers. One difference between the JR exclusive and this cigar is that this is box-pressed and closed foot. This is the first box-pressed cigar from Crowned Heads. There were only 1,500 boxes made for a total of 18,000 cigars. They come in 12-count boxes. Like the rest of the Headley Grange line, and many other Crowned Heads releases, this cigar is made at Tabacalera La Alianza by E.P. Carrillo. The cigars shipped December. MSRP is set at $10.95.
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.
- Wrapper: USA Connecticut Habano
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: $10.95 (Boxes of 12, $131.40)
- Cigars Released: 1,500 Boxes of 12 Cigars (18,000 Total Cigars)
There’s a slight sheen in the sunlight that I couldn’t see inside even though it doesn’t feel oily to the touch. The soft edge box press and the wrapper is slightly toothy to the touch; paired with the closed foot and somewhat sloppy application of the triple cap, I think the cigar looks a bit more rustic then it wants to be. I’m a little surprised at how light it feels, but there’s no soft spots I can find. There’s a nice dark chocolate and pepper on the pre-draw with barnyard and rich tobacco notes on the wrapper and foot.
I use a soft flame from a match to light the cigar and the initial note from the closed foot wrapper is floral, like roses. A nice level of pepper starts to develop a few puffs in, it’s a little more than mild but if I’m looking for a stronger level of pepper I can find it on the red pepper and heavy cream retrohale. After about half and inch rich leather and Spanish cedar start to develop with a semi-sweet chocolate finish.
Rich notes of leather and tobacco are still at the forefront of the profile with a slightly more than mild level of pepper. Notes of grain have started to develop at about the halfway point of the cigar and paired with buttery texture of the smoke gives an almost buttery popcorn effect. There’s still an occasional chocolate sweetness that sneaks in but it’s more of a bit player at this point.
The leather is really pronounced at the end giving a very dry mouth feel at the end. Pepper has picked up just a but is still just above a medium level. I still find a nice sweet level of chocolate and notes of grain with a very gentle floral note.
Everything you look for in a great cigar is here. Tremendous smoke output with creamy smoke, solid construction, and a nice balance of flavors. If there was a bit more evolution of flavors I think it would be the best Headley Grange release in years. I would definitely recommend picking up a fiver of these.