I still remember my first Las Calaveras. I don’t really remember my first La Imperiosa.

La Imperiosa was the follow-up to the most sought after Crowned Heads release of all-time, the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2014. The first in what has now become an annual limited edition release for the company. It was produced by My Father Cigars S.A., the first time Crowned Heads made a cigar outside of Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr.’s Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.

The inaugural release was good, really good. And as such, a year later, the company decided to follow it up with a regular production cigar. La Imperiosa is not the exact same blend as Las Calaveras 2014, it was never billed as such and it didn’t taste the same. I found out to be good, but still a noticeable gap from the 2014 Las Calaveras, which is one of the best dozen or so cigars I’ve smoked in the last five years.

Here’s what I said when I reviewed it in August 2015:

To me, La Imperiosa is the answer to that dilemma in regards to Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2014. It’s not the exact same cigar, size excluded. It’s unlikely they were rolled at the same time and made with the exact same components. So I see this as the path Crowned Heads would have taken—albeit in different vitolas—if they had to keep making last year’s Las Calaveras. In regards to how I find the comparison, it’s not the Las Calaveras 2014 LCC550, but then again, neither were the other two sizes released last year or Hecho Con Corazon. I find La Imperiosa better than those, but from what I’ve had of the new line, it falls short of matching what was the second best new cigar I smoked last year.

  • Cigar Reviewed: La Imperiosa Magicos
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 4 1/2 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Vitola: Petit Robusto
  • MSRP: $8.75 (Boxes of 24, $210)
  • Release Date: July 2015
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1

I found a La Imperiosa Magicos sitting in the bottom of a humidor—and I presume it’s from the original release two years ago. The wrapper certainly looks the same, a solid espresso color that would match my couch’s leather almost perfectly. Aroma off the wrapper is sweet chocolate with some leather, earthiness and peanut. The foot is much more roasted with a nuttiness that varies between peanuts and a nuttiness that reminds me of some of the nuttiness that I find while eating sushi. The cold draw is similar to the foot with an array nuttiness, some grass, oak, pepper on the back of the throat and a bit of a foreign rubber-like sensation.

The La Imperiosa Magicos starts a lot milder than I anticipated with some red rice, milder peanut flavors, creaminess and some happy. It remains largely the same through the first third, though the dominant flavor is a chunkier peanut butter. As the cigar enters the second third, I’m a bit surprised that things remains largely the same. the peanut flavor picks up even more as the cigar gets medium-full with earthiness and a soggy waffle flavor adding themselves to a mix. The final third changes quite a bit thanks to some toastiness on top of chocolate chip cookies and cinnamon, which begin to overtake the peanut flavors.

Construction is fantastic for the first third. The ash is a bit flaky, but it manages to hang on long enough for me to get the picture. Unfortunately, I need to make a touch-up in the second third to keep the cigar from going out. Fortunately, the cigar makes it through the final third without another use of the lighter.

89 Overall Score

I do remember reviewing the La Imperiosa and specifically grappling with the thesis that this was the regular production of Las Calaveras that Crowned Heads could make. And I think that still holds true, but it certainly is challenging to take this cigar two years later and compare it with those memories of the legendary cigar it was based on. It still has an incredible amount of richness, but it’s lacking the detail and vibrance as a fresh La Imperiosa and it's miles away from the original Las Calaveras. It’s an enjoyable cigar and one that makes me wish I had a few more two-year-old La Imperious around.

Original Score (August 2015)
Redux Score (October 2017)
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Charlie Minato

I am an editor and co-founder of halfwheel.com/Rueda Media, LLC. I previously co-founded and published TheCigarFeed, one of the two predecessors of halfwheel. I have written about the cigar industry for more than a decade, covering everything from product launches to regulation to M&A. In addition, I handle a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff here at halfwheel. I enjoy playing tennis, watching boxing, falling asleep to the Le Mans 24, wearing sweatshirts year-round and eating gyros. echte liebe.