There are many different sources of inspiration for new cigars. Few companies disclose those sources in as detailed a way as Crowned Heads does, and even fewer are willing to acknowledge that they are trying to make a cigar that is inspired by another cigar.
Jon Huber, co-founder of Crowned Heads, has oftentimes cited various Cuban cigars as the inspiration for adding line extensions to some of Crowned Heads’ brands. Unlike many other brand owners who will say something like, “it’s inspired by great Cuban cigars from the 1990s,” Huber will name names, even if it’s a current Cuban cigar.
The newest size for Mil Diás is inspired by a relatively new Cuban cigar, the Hoyo de Monterrey Escogidos, which is an exclusive release for La Casa del Habano stores.
“We actually put the Escogidos into production not too long after the Mareva began shipping,” said Huber in a press release. “While the vitola is a radical left turn from the Mareva XX, one of the cigars that always captivated me when I was coming up was the Hoyo de Monterrey Double Corona, and this release is an homage to that iconic cigar.”
It measures 7 1/8 x 49—the same size as the Hoyo de Monterrey—and uses the same blend as the rest of the Mil Días line: an Ecuadorian habano wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and fillers from Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Peru.
Mil Días debuted in August 2020 in four regular production size. The name—which means “1,000 days” in Spanish—is a reference to the blend taking roughly 1,000 days from the time Tabacalera Pichardo began working on it for Crowned Heads.
The Escogidos has an MSRP of $12.50 per cigar and is limited to 3,000 boxes of 10 cigars.
- Mil Días Edmundo (5 3/8 x 52) — $10 (Box of 20, $200)
- Mil Días Corona Gorda (6 x 46) — $9.25 (Box of 20, $185)
- Mil Días Sublime (6 x 54) — $11.50 (Box of 20, $230)
- Mil Días Double Robusto (6 3/8 x 50) — $10.75 (Box of 20, $215)
- Mil Días Mareva Edición Limitada XX (5 1/8 x 42) — $8.95 (Box of 30, $268.50)
- Mil Días Escogidos Edición Limitada 2021 (7 1/8 x 49) — $12.50 (Box of 10, $125)
- Cigar Reviewed: Mil Días Escogidos Edición Limitada 2021
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Tabacalera Pichardo
- Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano)
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Costa Rica, Nicaragua & Peru
- Length: 7 1/8 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 49
- Vitola: Double Corona
- MSRP: $12.50 (Box of 10, $125)
- Release Date: May 14, 2021
- Number of Cigars Released: 3,000 Boxes of 10 Cigars (30,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
This is a great-looking wrapper, particularly for the size. The color is rather uniform and there are plenty of oils, though I’m not sure if that’s any different than the rest of the Mil Días I’ve smoked to date. Two quick notes about the bands: first, the main band seems like it’s a bit lower than it typically would be found on similarly-sized cigars; second, the Edición Limitada band is pretty well done, something that rarely happens when non-Cuban companies try to reproduce the style. The aroma from the wrapper has barnyard and some sweet brownies and cocoa, around medium-full. The foot has lots of barbecue flavors, peanut butter and some beef jerky, around medium-full to full. If you are looking for a cigar with the ideal amount of resistance on a cold draw, the Mil Dias Escogidos is about as good of a candidate as I can recommend. Flavor-wise, it’s a full mixture of chocolate, woodiness, an almost orange juice-like fruitiness, green grapes and some acidity.
It takes a bit longer than normal to get the foot of the Escogidos fully ignited, but once it does the first thing I notice is that there’s a ton of smoke production from both the foot and the head. Flavor-wise, there’s a deep meatiness, woodiness, red pepper, leather, sunflower seeds and creaminess. It’s an extremely deep and layered profile, though it’s not as nuanced because there’s a lot of other homogenous flavors. As it develops, it becomes a bit clearer as to what this cigar is going to be, as there are a lot of non-sweet flavors, which I think makes sense to describe as “bitter,”—cedar, earthiness, mushrooms, oregano, saltiness etc.—and there are some flavors that help bring sweetness, namely creaminess and floral sensations. When it works, it’s great, but on one cigar the balance is way out of whack and the profile ends up being quite bitter. The profile finishes with cedar and redwoods over herbal and chalky flavors. Retrohales have sourdough bread, cedar, creaminess and some floral flavors. Once again, the finish is chalky though there’s also an uptick in black pepper and some olor-like herbal flavors. Flavor is full, body is medium-full and strength is medium-full. While the cold draws had the ideal amount of resistance, once the cigar is lit the draw tightens just a tick. It’s still very, very good, it’s just a hair or two off of what I would consider ideal or perfect. Smoke production is absolutely massive, though there are some times I need to pick up my smoking rate a bit to make sure the cigar doesn’t go out.
With each puff, the Mil Días Escogidos Edición Limitada 2021 seems to be like a spin of a game show wheel to determine whether the profile will be “lean towards bitterness,” “heavy bitterness,” “lean towards sweetness,” or finds equilibrium. When the latter happens, the Mil Días is awesome. When the “leans toward bitterness” option happens, things are fine; but that “heavy bitterness” option continues to dominate one of the cigars smoked for this review, and it’s not great. The bitter flavors are slightly less bitter now and a bit more detailed—nuttiness, mustard seed, olor-like mushrooms, leather, meatiness—while the sweeter flavors are still creaminess and floral. The finish adds minerals and grains to the floral flavors, which combine to produce extremely high levels of salivation in my mouth. Retrohales have mustard, minerals, a deep earthiness, black pepper, something that reminds of daffodils, and floral sweetness. There’s a lot going on and it takes me about 10 minutes to decipher most of it because of just how much there is to process. The finish sees the sweetness increase—the floral flavor transforms into bubble gum—and there’s also minerality, green pepper, creaminess and leather. Flavor remains full, body is medium-full and strength is medium-full.
Everything seems to get more intense in the final third, earthiness and meatiness are the leading candidates for the “bitter” flavors, followed by mustard and sunflower seeds. While not at the same level of increase, there’s an uptick in the floral sweetness as well. The lack of saltiness in the final third makes a huge difference as I no longer feel like the cigar is teetering on the edge of being too bitter for its own good. While the earthiness and sunflower seeds remain, they just don’t have the same effect on my palate like they did at the beginning. The finish is a bit more reminiscent to the earlier parts, the olor-like mushrooms and meatiness are fighting out for the top spot, over sunflower seeds, earthiness and a bit of black pepper. There’s not a consistent sweetness, but every third puff or so it seems to show up, joined by some red pepper. Retrohales add a grassy flavor, mustard, saltiness and some floral sweetness. The finish is a bit sweeter than the main retrohale, though I can also pick up a bit of saltiness. Flavor is full, body is medium-full and strength is medium-full. Construction is similar to the second third.
- Whether this version or the Cuban version, I always want to write “Escodigos” and not “Escogidos.”
- While I’m not hoping for an increase in price, there’s not a lot of new cigars around this size that come out for less than $13.
- I’ve smoked the Mil Días blend in a number of different vitolas and have been pretty impressed with it, at least until the second sample smoked for this review. There was a combination of bitterness and sourness that took over the profile after the third or fourth puff. It was particularly bad on the mouth flavor, though the retrohale and finish were also noticeably worse than I’ve ever smoked in another one of these blends. Unlike the other two cigars, there wasn’t much sweetness to balance the bitterness out.
- This balancing act between bitter and sweet isn’t how I would describe the other Mil Días cigars.
- If you want to challenge your palate—that combination of taste receptors and your brain—this is a great test as there are few cigars that will vary this much from puff to puff. Furthermore, it’s easy to understand the end result: is this too bitter or is this still balanced? But the Escogidos will make you work for the reason as to why the profile is going one way or the other.
- I write the tasting notes and then work on the rest of the review, meaning I hadn’t recalled what the blend was until after the four tasting note paragraphs were written. I was a bit surprised to not see any Dominican tobacco used given that I detected a bitter mushroom flavor that I usually associate with some Dominican olor tobacco.
- While the smoke production was plentiful, at times the cigar’s burn declined a bit. It led to touch-ups on two cigars, but otherwise, construction was great.
- Cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time varied between two hours and 30 minutes to over three hours and 30 minutes. I’m guessing if I tried to smoke this as slow as possible I could have done it for close to five hours.
- Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co., Cigar Hustler, JR Cigar and STOGIES World Class Cigars all carry the Mil Días Escogidos Edición Limitada 2021.
At its best, the Mil Días Escogidos Edición Limitada 2021 is an incredibly complex, yet demanding cigar. When the profile is able to sit on this edge—or even quite close to it—the profile is fun, though it requires a lot of work to figure out what’s going on. Unfortunately, the area around the apex of that edge isn’t that large, and there’s plenty of room to fall when things aren’t going well. For most of the other two cigars, the Mil Días was able to be somewhere in between that large area of “problematic” and the peak of the cigar. Unfortunately, that second cigar was in free-fall after about five minutes in and didn’t help the score here. Like anything that teeters on a proverbial edge, this isn’t for everyone. If you want a good cigar that’s easy to understand, smoke any of the other Mil Días vitolas, but if you’re up for a bit of a challenge, this is an interesting cigar that can be extremely rewarding when it goes well.