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Cigar Review: Crowned Heads J.D. Howard Reserve HR46

11 Dec 2013

JDHowardThis review, my third for regular Crowned Heads lines (see my reviews of Four Kicks and Headley Grange here and here), focuses on the most unusual. The cigar is definitely different, one that didn’t particularly impress at first puff but came back stronger with each additional smoke.

The HR46 is a comfortably sized smoke (6 x 46) that retails for about $9. From beginning to end, it is markedly different from other Crowned Heads creations.

Most notable immediately is the rugged, thick texture of the Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper. Not Backwoods rough, but far from Davidoff smooth. Covering Nicaraguan filler and an Ecuadorian Sumatra binder, the strength is medium and the flavor is full.

The cigars are rolled in Ernesto Perez-Carrillo’s Dominican factory, and construction, in every aspect, is excellent. The burn is slow and produces lots of smoke.

The J.D. Howard—which takes its name from the pseudonym employed by outlaw Jesse James when he lived in Nashville, home base to Crowned Heads—starts off with notes of wood and leather. Later, those fade, as they get overtaken by a little spice and a bit of bitterness. In the final third, I picked up more of the leather again, with the not-unpleasant bitter taste remaining.

It’s a different cigar, and initially I wasn’t pleased. But by the time I was halfway down the first J.D. Howard, my opinion was changing. Smoking a few more, I grew to like it quite a bit.

This isn’t a cigar I’m likely to smoke on a regular basis, but one that I will certainly pick up on occasion. If you like experimenting, I highly recommend trying one of J.D. Howard’s five sizes. Maybe you’ll decide it’s for you right off the bat. If not, though, don’t be shy about giving it a second or third chance. Like me, you might be surprised.

I give it three and a half stogies out of five.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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