First launched in 2014, Las Calaveras has become one of Crowned Heads most anticipated releases every year. According to Jon Huber, Crowned Heads co-founder, the limited edition series was inspired by Las Calaveras Catrina, a zinc etching by José Guadalupe Posada, and is meant to commemorate the memories of people who had died the year before.
The 2017 edition featured four different vitolas: three were sold in 24-count boxes, while an additional size was available exclusively in a four-count sampler. The blend for last year’s release was made up of an Ecuadorian habano maduro wrapper along with all Nicaraguan tobacco used in both the binder and filler. The cigars were rolled at My Father Cigars S.A. in Nicaragua and shipped to retailers on June 14, 2017.
“Since we first introduced Las Calaveras in 2014, the marca has risen dramatically in popularity and notoriety,” said Huber in a statement to halfwheel. “One of the things I’m personally most proud of, however, is that the underlying message of the brand, i.e., to celebrate (rather than mourn) the lives of those who’ve passed on in the previous year, has been heard and received literally around the world.”
There were four different vitolas in the 2017 release of Las Calaveras.
- Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2017 LC46 (5 5/8 x 46) — $9.75 (Boxes of 24, $234) — 1,700 Boxes of 24 Cigars + 3,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (43,800 Total Cigars)
- Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2017 LC50 (5 x 50) — $10.75 (Boxes of 24, $258) — 1,700 Boxes of 24 Cigars + 3,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (43,800 Total Cigars)
- Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2017 LC52 (6 x 52) — $11.75 (Boxes of 24, $282) — 1,700 Boxes of 24 Cigars + 3,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (43,800 Total Cigars)
- Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2017 5 1/2 x 54 —$9.70 — 3,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (3,000 Total Cigars)
Here is what I said about the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2017 LC50 16 months ago:
There is no doubt, the Las Calaveras is one of the releases I look forward to every year, and although some years are better than others—most notably 2014 and 2015—Crowned Heads has not let me down yet. This year’s incarnation is no exception, with a profile that is dominated by a sweet barbecue mesquite note, along with some other flavors that are balanced nicely and very good construction overall. It is hard to live up a blend as good as the Las Calaveras 2014, but the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2017 comes close and is a very easy cigar to recommend, especially if you are a fan of past releases.
- Cigar Reviewed: Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2017 LC50
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano)
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 5 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Robusto
- MSRP: $10.75 (Boxes of 24, $258)
- Release Date: June 14, 2017
- Number of Cigars Released: 1,700 Boxes of 24 Cigars & 3,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (43,800 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Redux: 1
This sample of the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2017 LC50 was so gorgeous, I actually stopped and took a bit of time to stare at the combination of mottled dark espresso brown wrapper and so much oil it looked like it was dipped in a vat of it just prior to shipping. There is a bit of tooth present but the ample oil means that the wrapper is slick to the touch for the most part and the cigar is a bit more firm than I remember from my first review. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of sweet cedar, hay, nuts, manure and earth, while the cold draw brings flavors of cinnamon, creamy cedar, black pepper, bitter chocolate, hay and some noticeable spice on my tongue.
The Las Calaveras 2017 LC50 starts out quite a bit like the first review samples, with dominant notes of mesquite—albeit more creamy wood and not as sweet as I recall—along with lesser flavors of cinnamon, espresso beans, earth, creamy cedar and a touch of toast. Much like the first time, there is quite a bit of black pepper on the retrohale that remains consistent throughout the smoke and combines nicely with some lingering floral sweetness. The second third continues the trend of creamy wood and sweet floral, but the black pepper on the retrohale becomes less of a player in the profile as the cigar burns down, although there is also more noticeable spice on my tongue. There’s a very interesting peppermint note that shows up on the finish during the second third that continued to be a player in the profile until the last puff.
Construction-wise, the Edición Limitada 2017 LC50 is excellent in virtually every way, with a draw that gives me just the right amount of resistance for the entire smoke after a shallow v-cut as well as a burn line that needs zero attention until the very end of the cigar. Smoke production was right around average during the one hour and 12 minute smoking time—a bit faster than my average during the first review—while the strength ends up just south of the medium mark by the time I put the nub down with less than an inch left.
I have long considered the Las Calaveras to be some of Crowned Heads’ best creations, and was looking forward to seeing how the Limitada 2017 LC50 had developed over the past year and change. Thankfully it did not disappoint; a complex profile that included not only the familiar notes of mesquite and cinnamon but also new flavors like toast, peppermint and even a little bit of a floral sweetness. No, the barbecue sweetness was not nearly as pronounced this time around as it was when I first smoked it, but the multitude of new flavors in the profile more than made up for it. A great cigar when I first smoked it and a great cigar now, and one that I bet will only continue to change for the better for the foreseeable future.