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Crowned Heads Arrington Vineyards Double-W

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Chulo Savage
Rating - 100%
78   0   0
Aug 21, 2014
Lakeland, FL, USA
Review: Arrington Vineyards Double W – by Crowned Heads
Size: 6x50
MSRP: $10.00
Date: 23th day of November, the year 2014…..
Smoking Environment: A misty Florida morning. Not a pleasant mist, either. This is the moisture that coheres to your face and back of your knees and will never let go. Smoking outside is not an option this morning. Though the air temperature is a comfortable 71 degrees Fahrenheit, I’ll be smoking in my bear cave: the former carport I closed in with block. This is the place where my bad habits live; a comfortable home for my work-aholism, cigars, home brew, and wine. A place where loud music triumphs and overflowing ash trays are a welcome sight. It is here that I write, and where I’ll be smoking today.

Wrapper:Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua

Appearance/construction: Espresso colored and seamless wrapper, with minimal veining and a semi-oily feel. It is clear that the construction and leaf selection is top-notch from My Father as always. Clean and strong triple cap. The squeeze reveals minimal give and rebound, which leads me to believe this baby is stuffed to the brim with long leaf filler, based also on the appearance of the foot. There is a small vein knot about an inch from the foot of the stick, but it shouldn’t cause any problems with the burn. Wonderful construction, overall. The box and presentation are also notable, packaged with utmost class from Crowned Heads and with a great little letter explaining the blend and pairing intentions of the cigar, from Jon Huber.

Aroma Pre-Light: Spice and vanilla with a hint of dark fruit.

Cold draw:
Ubiquitous dark chocolate and cherries with a little bit of vanilla. Draw is perfect, with just enough resistance. I used a straight cut with the Xi1.

Using a triple in-line torch to light, giving the foot a thorough toasting beforehand. Lit easily, but slow to burn. Looks like this could be a deceivingly long smoke.

First impression:
First impression is nutmeg, brown sugar and wheat flour. No nicotine bomb or spice bomb right off the bat. This stick just jumps right into the flavor. The impression Crowned Heads is attempting to purvey with this blend is abundantly clear. The retrohale is holding all of the cherry and spice, while the tip of my tongue savors the sweet buttery notes in the forefront. This stick would be a delightful match with a semi-sweet red wine, as intended.

Aroma Post-Light: Walnuts, or maybe pecans, with a hunt of fruit.

First Third: A touch of spice falls into the background behind brown sugar, cherries at the top with a nutty earthiness in the middle of the palate. The burn is even, but the ash falls at about 1 inch, yet stays compact on the drop. There is a grittiness on the draw that I can only attribute to tobacco grown in mineral-rich soil. The smoke is plentiful and heavy, leaving a spice bread flavor in the aftertaste.

As I move towards the second third, the spice dies down and walnut, earth and cedar flavor push to the front of the palate. Dark fruits, mostly cherry, and now cinnamon in the retrohale close out the first third of this smoke.

Second Third: Sweet subtle notes of chocolate and brown sugar coming into the mix on the draw. The retrohale has been extremely consistent in the cherry and dark fruit with a little cinnamon and smooth butter. The spice is almost non-existent. There is still a background flavor of nuts and cedar, but it’s almost a “backstage” kind of flavor. This stick would go very well with a hearty chili or BBQ ribs.

Moving through the ‘meat’ of the cigar and towards the last third, I’m beginning to pick up some warm notes like bread or pie, paired with the cinnamon and nutmeg now making any appearance in the draw. The sweetness of the brown sugar has faded from draw and moved into the retrohale with the cherry flavors. Vanilla is now also present in the aroma and the top of my mouth in the aftertaste. The smoke is still copious and heavy with butter and bread. Smoking this cigar has been like eating a huge piece of cherry pie à la mode, as I move into the final third.

Final Third:The ash is still holding solid on the drop for the most part, but doesn’t seem to stick to the cigar for more than an inch, at the most. This stick is burning incredibly even and the spice has come back into the picture for the last third, along with a sweet and warm whiskey flavor. The flavor profile on this stick has all but mimicked the tasting notes Jon mentions in his letter found inside the box of Double-Ws. There is some heat coming into play now, inevitably releasing the spice into the front of the palate and retrohale. The dark fruits and brown sugar still present, but taking a back seat to cinnamon spice and bourbon whiskey.

There is less smoke production in the last third, and I’m smoking noticeably faster to keep it lit, but not necessarily having trouble (if that makes any sense).

Moving into nub status easily, keeping in line with the warm spice and whiskey flavors, and again cherries. It’s utterly astonishing that a flavor as specific and subtle as dark fruits has remained at the core of this smoke for the entire stick. Roasted nuts are also making another bold presence in the nub as the heat intensifies. It also seems like the lapse in smoke production was short lived, as there is an abundance of smoke off the nub.

Overall Impression/Final Notes:
Holy smoke J. This is one of my favorite Crowned Heads cigars to date, and honestly one of the top 5 smokes for me this year. As much as I would like to age a box, I don’t see these making it very far past January. I sincerely hope that the demand for these is enough to justify continued production by Crowned Heads. Also, I would like very much to get my hands on some Arrington Antebellum to give this stick it’s intended pairing, potentially unlocking even more to this already complex flavor profile. Fantastic cigar, overall, with an intense but medium bodied smoke and impeccable construction from My Father. If this stick stays in production, and the wine is good as well, I can’t see having less than 2 boxes and 6 bottles in my aging rotation.

Smoke time: 1hr 45min

Appearance and Presentation: 19/20
Lighting and Burning Properties: 14/15
Construction Properties: 28/30
Taste Properties: 33/35
Total: 94/100

As always, I welcome any constructive criticism so that my reviews can continue to get better. I will be trying to review some of the newer sticks that have not been previously reviewed here. As a service to my brothers, I intend to write with as much detail as I can muster, and with an honest opinion. However, it is only MY opinion, so please try a stick before you buy a box if you have any hesitation or have the intention of being fiscally responsible with this beloved affliction for fine tobacco that we all have :). Thanks for reading.
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SGT Hulka
Rating - 100%
146   0   0
Aug 4, 2014
Ft Hood, TX
Damn, Bear. That was a fine review. I'm looking forward to the day that I can define the nuances of a cigar like you just did. Great work.


Chulo Savage
Rating - 100%
78   0   0
Aug 21, 2014
Lakeland, FL, USA
@Senor Perfecto
BOTL - We'll be at Arrington Vineyards for the official "AV Double-W" launch on Wednesday, November 19, at 6:00pm.

Franklin Cigar currently has stock--call (615) 771-6767 and ask for Paul.

Jon Huber
Crowned Heads

Thanks for posting this Mischman. Franklin cigars was extremely helpful, and very fast shipping. Watch out, Senor... Paul is a hell of a salesman! Haha! I checked out with about three times as many cigars as I called for.