By now, you probably know the story of the Las Calaveras line.

This is the eighth consecutive year that Crowned Heads has released a Las Calaveras, making it one of the longest-running and largest limited edition series of cigars that remains active. The name is based on a zinc etching by José Guadalupe Posada called La Calavera Catrina. The skulls, known as calaveras, have special meaning in Mexican culture as they are the symbol of Día de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday, celebrated Nov. 1-2, in which the living pay tribute to the dead.

That is what Crowned Heads does with each iteration of Las Calaveras. The company places gold coins on each side of the logo with initials, which are used to honor various people close to the company who have passed.

For the first two years of the series, Crowned Heads released three different vitolas—each in 24-count boxes—of a blend that has changed each year. Since 2016, the company has released four sizes each year: three in boxes of 24 and then one that is only offered in a sampler of each of the four vitolas. To date, every Las Calaveras release has been made at My Father Cigars S.A.

This year’s release is the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2021 which uses an an Ecuadorian Sumatra oscuro wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and fillers from Nicaragua.

It’s offered in four sizes, including the 6 1/4 x 40 Petit Lancero which is the thinnest Las Calaveras cigar to date and also the first to use a pigtail cap.

Production is limited to 1,250 boxes of each of the three sizes and 1,750 samplers.

With the 2021 release, there have now been 30 different Las Calaveras cigars.

  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2014 LC550 (5 x 50) — 1,000 Boxes of 24 Cigars (24,000 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2014 LC652 (6 x 52) — 1,000 Boxes of 24 Cigars (24,000 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2014 LC754 (7 x 54) — 1,000 Boxes of 24 Cigars (24,000 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2015 LC50 (5 x 50) — 1,250 Boxes of 24 Cigars (30,000 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2015 LC46 (5 5/8 x 46) — 1,250 Boxes of 24 Cigars (30,000 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2015 LC52 (6 x 52) — 1,250 Boxes of 24 Cigars (30,000 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2016 LC50 (5 x 50) — 1,500 Boxes of 24 Cigars (36,000 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2016 LC54 (5 1/2 x 54) — 1,500 Boxes of 24 Cigars (36,000 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2016 LC46 (6 x 46) — 1,500 Boxes of 24 Cigars (36,000 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2016 Pirámide (6 1/8 x 52) — 2,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (2,000 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2017 LC50 (5 x 50) — 1,700 Boxes of 24 Cigars + 3,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (43,800 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2017 LC46 (5 5/8 x 46) — 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) — 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 — 3,000 Samplers of 1 Cigar (3,000 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2018 LC50 (5 x 50) — 1,700 Boxes of 24 Cigars + 1,700 Samplers of 1 Cigar (42,500 Totla Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2018 LC46 (5 5/8 x 46) — 1,700 Boxes of 24 Cigars + 1,700 Samplers of 1 Cigar (42,500 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2018 LC54 (6 x 54) — 1,700 Boxes of 24 Cigars + 1,700 Samplers of 1 Cigar (42,500 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2018 Sampler Exclusive (5 1/2 x 56) — 1,700 Samplers of 1 Cigar (1,700 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2019 LC50 (5 x 50) — 1,700 Boxes of 24 Cigars + 2,500 Samplers of 1 Cigar (43,300 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2019 LC54 (5 1/2 x 54) — 1,700 Boxes of 24 Cigars + 2,500 Samplers of 1 Cigar (43,300 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2019 LC46 (6 x 46) — 1,700 Boxes of 24 Cigars + 2,500 Samplers of 1 Cigar (43,300 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2019 Torpedo (6 1/8 x 52) — 2,500 Samplers of 1 Cigar (2,500 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2020 LC52 (5 x 52) — 1,000 Boxes of 24 Cigars + 500 Samplers of 1 Cigar (24,500 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2020 LC48 (5 1/2 x 48) — 1,000 Boxes of 24 Cigars + 500 Samplers of 1 Cigar (24,500 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2020 LC56 (6 x 56) — 1,000 Boxes of 24 Cigars + 500 Samplers of 1 Cigar (24,500 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2020 Torpedo (6 1/8 x 52) — 500 Samplers of 1 Cigar (500 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2021 LC50 (5 x 50) — 1,250 Boxes of 24 Cigars + 1,750 Samplers of 1 Cigar (31,750 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2021 LC54 (5 3/4 x 54) — 1,250 Boxes of 24 Cigars + 1,750 Samplers of 1 Cigar (31,750 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2021 LC48 (6 x 48) — 1,250 Boxes of 24 Cigars + 1,750 Samplers of 1 Cigar (31,750 Total Cigars)
  • Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2021 Petit Lancero (6 1/2 x 40) — 1,750 Samplers of 1 Cigar (1,750 Total Cigars)

  • Cigar Reviewed: Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2021 LC50
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Sumatra Oscuro)
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $11.95 (Box of 24, $286.80)
  • Release Date: August 2021
  • Number of Cigars Released: 1,250 Boxes of 24 Cigars + 1,750 Samplers of 1 Cigar (31,750 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

I don’t think this is the darkest wrapper I’ve ever seen on a Las Calaveras, but it’s pretty dark. It’s not dark enough to where the wrapper appears purple, no doubt helped by some of the red hues that breakthrough and lighten the appearance. The aroma from the wrapper is medium-full and odd. After smelling three cigars I can’t exactly figure out how to describe the dominant aroma, and the best I can think of is kind of like a new carpet smell. There’s also some grain-like aromas and acidity underneath. The foot also has the maybe new carpet aroma, but it’s not as dominant within the profile as it was before. That’s because of an increased amount of sweetness that manifests itself as both berry and tangerine juice—the aroma of tangerine juice, not the flavor of the liquid—along with some woodiness. I also struggle to fully identify the flavors of the cold draw but I pick up sensations of key lime, some pear, woodiness, milk chocolate and floral flavors.

The Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2021 LC50 begins with nuttiness, orange peels and honey sweetness. After the smoke leaves my mouth there’s some sweet grains, a more traditional grain flavor, Nilla wafers and later some burnt flavors. It’s medium-full and quite smooth. The first third settles on a less sweet profile of leather, coffee, creaminess and multigrain bread. While it lacks the sweetness of the first few puffs, it remains the smoothness. The finish is toastier with nuttiness breaking through as the main flavor atop leather and something that reminds me of the dough inside of a donut. Retrohales have nuttiness, popcorn, leather, amaro, more of the donut dough, and a touch of harshness. The finish is led by nuttiness overtop coffee, herbal flavors and some mild harshness. Flavor is medium-full, body is medium-full and strength is medium. While it’s not the most intense cigar flavor-wise, the flavors do seem to be hitting all parts of my mouth including the sides and bottom of my tongue. Construction is excellent during the first third of each cigar.

This is a cigar where as the flavor progresses from one third to another, it leaves behind a bit of the flavors from the previous grouping of puffs each time. The second third adds buttermilk over the nuttiness. Underneath it is a weird umami-like flavor that is causing my palate to tingle in a weird along with some lavender. It finishes with more of the umami-like sensation along with nuttiness and a bit of herbal flavors. Retrohales have nuttiness, herbal aromas, creaminess and mustard greens. It’s just a bit rougher than the rest of the profile, though it’s still very smooth compared to most cigars. The finish of the retrohale is similar to the retrohale itself, though the mustard greens and umami sensation both get more intense. Flavor is medium-full, body is medium and strength is medium-plus. Construction remains fantastic on each cigar.

Nuttiness and creaminess are the two biggest flavors during the final third of the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2021, but both seem to decline in intensity as the smoke is still in my mouth. The secondary flavors include saltiness, french fries, citrus and a familiar umami flavor, the latter of which accents everything. A peanut flavor edges out the creaminess during the finish, both of those flavors are much more impactful than the secondary flavors which include sugar cookies and some herbal flavors. Retrohales are pretty balanced with oatmeal cookies, hickory, creaminess, leather and white pepper. The finish has toasted flavors, sugar cookies, hickory, creaminess, leather and a bit of harshness. Flavor finishes medium-plus, body is medium and strength is medium-plus. While two of the samples are pretty similar, one sample sort of falls off both flavor-wise and a bit with the construction. It’s a bit harsher than the other two cigars and needs a couple touch-ups to help with smoke production.

Final Notes

  • Collection shots like the one for this review are one of my favorite parts of what we do at halfwheel. That being said, it’s not the easiest of work. Taking that picture took about a half hour between ordering the cigars, straightening the cigars, straightening the bands and then getting on a ladder to get the camera in the correct place. Brooks then spent some time editing the picture and I had to reorder some of those bullet points.
  • That being said, I’m not sure if anyone else—maybe Crowned Heads—is capable of taking this photograph.
  • This is probably the most tamed Las Calaveras I’ve ever smoked, which isn’t a bad thing. This was very smooth and still plenty flavorful, but it also fell short of medium-full in flavor.
  • Similarly, cigars like this show just how wide of a range of flavor profiles are being made at My Father Cigars S.A. today. This lacks all of the sharp pepper flavors that the factory became known for when it first opened.
  • I haven’t smoked the Petit Lancero size, though I’d like to. There’s a bit of a “packaging costs money” tax on that cigar. If you subtract the MSRPs of the other three cigars from the price of the sampler, you are left with $14.10 which is more than $1 more than the next most expensive size. That higher price is almost certainly more to do with the ratio of the packaging costs to the cost of the cigars for the four-count sampler compared to the 24-count boxes. In short, I doubt the Petit Lancero would be $14.10 per cigar if it was sold in a box of 24.
  • Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • I found these cigars smoked pretty quick, at least for me. Two samples took around one hour and 45 minutes for me to smoke, one sample was closer to two hours. That being said, I definitely think these can be smoked a lot quicker without them getting that much harsher.
  • Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co., Corona Cigar Co., JR Cigar and STOGIES World Class Cigars all carry the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2021 LC50. Site sponsor Cigar Hustler carries two other sizes.
91 Overall Score

I am not going to pretend to be able to rank the eight different Las Calaveras blends in some sort of order from best to worst and let you know where I think this one falls into the order. I don't remember all of them that well, but I will remember this for being amongst the mildest Las Calaveras to date, if not the mildest. It's not too far off from the rest of the pack though and I think it delivers on what I've come to expect out of the Las Calaveras series: complex and harmonious flavors. The Las Calaveras series remains one of the few annual releases that really piques my interest each and every year, and the 2021 version—which is a very good cigar in the robusto format—does nothing to change that.

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 handle the editing of our written content, the majority of the technical aspects of the site and work with the rest of our staff on content management, business development and more. I’ve lived in most corners of the country and now entering my second stint in Dallas, Texas. I enjoy boxing, headphones, the Le Mans 24-hour, wearing sweatshirts year-round and gyros. echte liebe.