Crowned Heads Four Kicks Robusto

L1040963

Been a couple of days since my last cigar and tonight’s the night! Was looking for a quality experience after recent let downs, so I looked to the recent hauls from r/cigarmarket. Why not start with my first Crowned Heads cigar.

Background

L1040970

From Jon Huber of Crowned Heads:

Four Kicks is a brand that was born as a rebellious child, evolved into an angry adolescent, and finally matured into an adult whoʼs personality centered around excellence, confidence, and determination. In a way, the final blend we selected smokes in this same manner. It opens big, bold, and in your face. It then takes you on a ride of complexity, richness, and finesse. It finishes bright and clean and leaves its fingerprints on your palate to remind you that it was there.

Four Kicks is about sticking to your guns, and remaining loyal to those whom you love, and the hometown that brought you to the dance.

Four Kicks is about turning your back on the corporate machine, and making your own rules.

Five vitolas are available in the Four Kicks series:

  • Selecction #5 (6.5 x 44)
  • Corona Gorda (5.5 x 46)
  • Robusto (5 x 50)
  • Sublime (6 x 54)
  • Piramide (6.25 x 52)

Vital Stats

L1040968

  • Release : Four Kicks
  • Vitola : Robusto (5 x 50)
  • Wrapper : Ecuadorian habano
  • Binder : Nicaragua
  • Filler : Nicaragua
  • Strength : Medium
  • Release date : 2011
  • MSRP : USD$7
  • Pairing : None
  • Number of cigars smoked for review : 1

Prelight

L1040965

Appearance : Its a nice stout little cigar to look at. There’s a reddish tinge to the tan wrapper. Fair amount of oily sheen under the light. Wrapper feels a little silky to the touch…a bit of friction but no tooth really. Network of veins fairly pronounced. No spots or blemishes, but the foot of the cigar gets a bit darker with a rash of darker brown overlaying the tan. The Four Kicks cigar band is also simple and attractive, with elborate gold trimmings.

L1040967

Construction : Feels a bit light to hold, being a robusto that’s par for the course. Double capped but the capwork looks a bit rough. Seams are clearly distinct, and I dont find that attractive. The cigar feels solidly packed all the way down to the foot, with a stem running down on one side. A couple of soft spots at the head. Binder feels firm with a bit of spongeyness in the filler.

Cold draw : Smells of dark, sweet leather. A hint of pepper on the tongue. Opt for a V-cut, results in a perfect draw.

Time to get lit.

First third

 

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6:58pm

  • Decent pepper on the retrohale — 6/10 strength.
  • After about 3-5 puffs, the dominant flavours start to come out.
  • Leather, dark wood (oak?) and cream. The mix is leather 70:30 oak with the cream being support act. Hint of sweetness.
  • Off to a nice start!

L1040973

8 mins

  • Smooth retrohale, pepper dialing back down to 4/10.  A bit of something I cant identify…mineral?
  • The dominant flavour is now leather 50:50 oak.
  • Chocolate, butter and toast increasingly coming into play now. This is more like it!
  • Pepper fading out now, also non-existent.

L1040974

17 mins  1cm

  • Flavour mix is now oak, leather 70:30 sweet chocolate, butter, toast
  • Hints of stone fruit (plums) and orange showing up now
  • Retrohale completely smooth now
  • Cigar feels light in the hand, ash is looking solid and white
  • Very flavoursome so far, tasty
  • Herfing brings out a metallic flavour

L1040975

28 mins  1inch

  • A bit of musty, vegetal, even hay flavour starting to come in
  • Flavour mix is approx 60% oak & leather, 20% sweet chocolate butter & toast, 20% musty vegetal
  • The hint of stone fruit and orange pops up occassionally and fades. This compliments the chocolate quite well.

Second third

L1040976

40 mins

  • Ash falls off. Not a lot of weight to the ash, unsurprisingly.
  • Dominate flavours consistently there, but the secondary flavours are competiting with other other.
  • Flavour mix is now 60% oak & leather, 20% sweet chocolate butter & toast, 10% vegetal, 10% orange and plums (kind of a fruity, citric influence).
  • Medium-full finish with a medium strength at this point.
  • Overall a pretty tasty cigar with a nice long rich aftertaste.

1hr  at the mid-point of the stick

  • First puffs brings out the chocolate and fruits, second puffs turns more vegetal
  • Flavour mix 60% oak & leather, 15% sweet chocolate butter & toast (that sweetness is fading), 15% vegetal, 10% orange and stone fruit.
  • When you smoke the smoke directly wafting off this thing, there’s a definately citric sour twang to it
  • Those secondary flavours are competing, they cycle around each other…some moments one will be 10%, 15% or 20%…but the leather & oak are consistently primary all the way.
  • Nice, long, creamy woody leathery finish, but the stick doesn’t leave you feeling dry.
  • Strength stepping up to medium-full now, I’m getting a bit of a buzz

Final third

L1040978

1 hr 14 mins

  • Musty wet leaves. The vegetal nature is becoming more prominent. Complexity of the overal flavour profile is flattening out as the vegetal notes increase.
  • Woodiness is also increasing. From 50:50, its now oak 70:30 leather.
  • Flavour mix is now 60% oak & leather, 10% chocolate butter & toast (sweetness fading but occassionally popping back to remind you), 25% vegetal, 5% orange and stone fruit.

L1040979

1 hr 29 mins

  • Things are definately past the peak.
  • Flavour mix is 50% oak leather, 30% vegetal, 10% toast cream and citrus, 10% plain tobacco “nothingness”

L1040980

1 hr 34 mins

  • I pull the pin with 2 fingers to go.

Verdict

The Four Kicks blend is tasty, rich and complex; there’s a lot happening in the first third, which peaks and consolidates into the second. The peak of the cigar is I think somewhere between the middle of the 1/3 and 2/3.

Apart from a peppery kick at the beginning, the dominant characteristic are wood and leather, which accounts for about 60% of the flavour consistently throughout the 1.5hrs of its life, with the remaining 40% split between three secondary groups — Group A (sweet chocolate, butter, cream, toast) Group B (musty, vegetal, almost hay like flavours) and Group C (hints of plum and oranges). These 3 groups of secondary flavours were constantly competiting with each other, with Group A tending to stick around the most.

By the start of the final third, the complexity and tasty flavours already flattened out and, I think, it finishes poorly on a “meh”. Which is a shame because it was quite enjoyable for at least the first hour.

Construction-wise, well packed and solid to the press. A V-cut resulting in a perfect draw. Burn line was mostly perfect with a couple of minor touch ups to correct a somewhat wonky line, but the binder and filler burned evenly throughout the experience.

Would I buy it again? Yup, worth picking up for an afternoon or evening smoke.

Would I buy a box? If the price is right, why not. But at full retail price, I’d still prefer the Oliva Master Blends 3 I think.

The Lobster

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