One of the cigars I was really looking forward to at the 2012 IPCPR in Orlando, Florida was the Crowned Heads Headley Grange. The Headley Grange is the follow-up release from Jon Huber and Michael Conder of last year’s Four Kicks and is also produced by E.P. Carrillo Cigars in Santiago, D.R. I was really looking forward to this one since I really love the Four Kicks. In fact, it is one of my go-to smokes. However, to my great dismay, I was unable to get a sample of the Headley Grange at the show. Now that they have been release, here is my long awaited exploration of the Headley Grange Estupendos.
Size: 5½ x 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Strength: Medium (Medium to Full near the end)
Cigars Smoked For Review: 1
Construction and Appearance: The band on the Headley Grange is fairly simple black band with gold tracing and white writing. In the center it says Headley Grange and Republica Dominica below it and gold coins on the side. The wrapper is a medium brown, and a slightly mottled color with moderate veins and a nice bit of oil to it. The construction is excellent, nearly seamless, solid in hand, and topped off with a tight triple cap.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper on the Headley Grange Estupendos has notes of very rich cedar and grass. The foot, much like the wrapper, has a very rich cedar scent along with a bit of earth and grass. To prepare smoking the Headley Grange Estupendos I use a straight cut, which was like slicing through butter. The cold draw offers a little more resistance than expected, but the flavor of cedar, floral notes, and earth are all well defined along with a subtle undertone of spice.
Smoking Characteristics: The Headley Grange Estupendos opens up with a slightly tight draw, which was expected after the resistance on the cold draw. While the body of the smoke isn’t quite full, the flavors certainly are. From the get-go there is just an amazing amount of very rich cedar and semi sweet natural tobacco. These flavors are complimented by notes of leather, pepper, nuts, and earth working as undertones. The smoke is very cool, smooth, rich, and creamy. The strength in the first third sits right in the medium range, with a nice mellow buzz, but not overpowering.
Into the second third of the Headley Grange Estupendos, the draw opens up and starts to provide a much fuller body of smoke. No correction is needed to open up the draw, just a little bit of time. The flavor remains fairly consistent to the first third, the primary notes still a blend of rich cedar and semi sweet natural tobacco with undertones of leather, pepper, nuts, and earth. During this third, a bit of a meaty savory tones joins the blend as well and lingers on the palate between draws mixed with the cedar. The construction is proving excellent with the ash holding very firm, and the draw remaining very sharp. The strength remains right in the medium range, not increasing in anyway during this third of the cigar.
During the final third of the Headley Grange Estupendos, there is a nice rich evolution which occurs, the cedar flavor still dominates the profile, but now there is also a rich blend of cocoa, espresso, nuts, leather, pepper, and earth. The evolution is quite sudden. The pepper has a nice little spiciness too it, with a bit of an asian spice. The strength kicks up a bit as well, entering the medium to full range, but still not overpowering. The ash still holds firmly, easily holding well, and the draw is now fantastic. The Headley Grange Estupendos smokes cool to the nub, becomingly slightly soft, but not pulling any heat.
Conclusion: The Headley Grange Estupendos was an amazing cigar, just packed with flavors and providing a wonderful smoking experience. The flavors are rich, full, complex, and extremely well blended. The construction is excellent, the ash holding firm, the burn remaining sharp, and the draw opening up and becoming very amiable. Once you smoke the Headley Grange Estupendos, you will certainly be picking up some more!