Null

There are no shortages of sayings and quotes about the merits and value of patience. In the case of one of Crowned Heads’ newest releases, it was a matter of waiting somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 days results before a blend turned into a released cigar.

The cigar gets its name—Mil Días—from that wait. It is the second Crowned Heads line to come from Tabacalera Pichardo in Nicaragua, joining Juárez, which came out in late 2018. The work for this cigar began in 2017 when Jon Huber, co-founder of Crowned Heads, was given some blend samples by Luciano Meirelles and Eradio Pichardo, co-owners of ACE Prime Cigar and Tabacalera Pichardo. Those samples led the trio on a three-year journey to the finished blend that is Mil Días.

Null

It uses an Ecuadorian habano wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and fillers from Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Peru, and is offered in four sizes.

  • 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)

The cigars began shipping in August 2020.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Mil Días Sublime
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera Pichardo
  • Wrapper: Ecuador (Habano)
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Costa Rica, Nicaragua & Peru
  • Length: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Toro Gordo
  • MSRP: $11.50 (Box of 20, $230)
  • Release Date: August 2020
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

The Mil Días Sublime looks like what I would refer to as an example cigar, meaning its looks like a fairly polished example of a typical cigar, the kind of thing you might see in a book about cigars. The wrapper is smooth with a slightly oily sheen and feel, veins are small, seams are slightly visible, and the cap is applied nearly perfectly. The only thing I might argue with is the placement of the band, which feels a few millimeters closer to the head than average. But if you needed a stock photo of a cigar, this is as good as any. It’s a firmly rolled cigar, with a density that is easily detected by the fingers without needing to squeeze the cylinder. The foot offers a light and slightly sweet aroma that has a very light sliced bread smell at first, honey graham cracker behind that, and then a green grape sweetness finishing things off. I think there is some pepper in there as well as I get a slightly tingle, though it doesn’t want to really stand out on its own. The draw is also nearly textbook, just a bit firm but without any concerning resistance. Flavors are comparatively flatter here, with some of the breads appearing and just a bit of the graham cracker, but there’s little fruit sweetness or pepper, at least until the very end of a few draws when my tongue gets a very slight tingle.

The Mil Días Sublime starts with a fairly mild profile that is smooth, creamy and offers a hint or two of black pepper on the finish. Body is fairly full, giving the palate a thorough coating as the flavor builds and adds some dry wood, an initial combination that has me focused on the Ecuadorian habano wrapper and does occasionally overstep. Smoke production is a bit lower than what I would have expected from the cigar in the first inch, but so far that’s my only issue and not a consistent one across the three samples. White pepper comes in near the one-inch mark, and once the first clump of ash drops, the flavor takes a step forward that reminds me of going over a hill on a roller coaster and catching that fleeting bit of airtime. The flavor change is uplifting to the entire profile in a way I can’t say I’ve experienced many times before. From there it’s a quick shift to black pepper on the retrohale, which brings on a fuller flavor and intensity, bringing on the more traditional habano flavor even if the flavor hasn’t gotten particularly heavy. Construction has been great overall, though if I could I would open the draw up just a touch on one sample in hopes of getting a bit more smoke and making each puff feel a bit less labored. Flavor is just shy of full, body is medium-full, and strength is medium-plus and seemingly building.

If the first third of Mil Días is a gentle buildup in flavors, the first puffs of the second third step on the gas pedal, further developing the black pepper and dry woodiness while introducing a medium intensity earthiness. It’s a profile that works until it doesn’t, as things can get a bit aggressive and robust, turning into some irritation in the throat, but for the most part the profile remains enjoyable. It also seems to disjoin the retrohale from what the palate gets, as the former now feels a bit thin in comparison. As the burn line progresses, there is a subtle balancing and rebalancing of all the components, with each cigar getting its own distinct profile as a result. For example, the second has more creaminess to it, which softens the rougher spots but doesn’t completely shield the palate from them. The third cigar has the most creaminess, which offers the more enjoyable profile among the three, cushioning the toasty profile that comes with a lighter pepper, both of which are generally agreeable but benefit from the complexity the cream adds. Despite the quick buildup of flavor at the start of this section, it doesn’t continue and things level off fairly quickly at just shy of full, still medium-full in body, and about the same for strength. Construction remains essentially flawless, with an occasionally wavy burn line and slightly decreased smoke production the only things I’ve noticed. 

The final third starts by continuing the ongoing balancing of flavors, an interesting experiment for the senses to monitor if a bit frustrating in the sense of wanting the cigar to just get to that sweet spot and stay there. It seems to be getting closer with each puff, with smoke production increasing, the flavor picking up some enjoyable creaminess even as the pepper, earth, woods and other base notes seem to get a bit sharper, something felt most distinctly on the lingering finish. The woodiness steadily takes over the profile, a dry and occasionally sharp profile that harkens me back to the thoughts of the Ecuadorian habano wrapper, minus a good chunk of the pepper, eventually reaching a point where I realize the creaminess has left the profile and the resulting flavor becomes so singular that it’s not worth smoking the cigar much further as it doesn’t seem like things will change much. Construction is still great and I haven’t had to do anything to fix the cigar’s combustion or performance. Flavor is medium-full for the most part, body is not far behind and strength has caught up and now sits at medium-full if not full depending on the particular sample.

Final Notes

  • Not that the sequencing of the samples affects scores, but in this case the first sample set a very high bar for the Mil Días blend, and while the other two were close, they had a hard time matching it.
  • Similarly, there was just enough variance among the samples that it was challenging to match that of the first sample.
  • I’d love to know how fans of Crowned Heads view the company’s releases in regards to the factory they come from. Is a Crowned Heads cigar from one factory more appealing than another? Feel free to answer in the comments.
  • The M logo on the band is fitting not only as an abbreviation for Mil Días but because it is the Roman numeral for 1,000.
  • I really like the clean design of the band, as well as the paper selection. Simple, clean and fairly easy to remove are all positives in my book.
  • While the flavor takes some pronounced steps forward, the strength is much more gradual, building into the final third and hitting with some sneaky punch by the time there are about two inches left. Only one of the three had me reaching for sugar, but there are definitely some after-effects.
  • Crowned Heads distributes ACE Prime’s cigars in the United States.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time was one hour and 45 minutes on average.
  • Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co., Cigar Hustler and STOGIES World Class Cigars (713.783.5100) carry the Mil Días Sublime.
92 Overall Score

They say good things come to those who wait and that patience is a virtue, both of those sayings seem to be perfectly applicable to the Mil Días blend. The cigar has almost everything I could ask for, with a complex and nuanced flavor profile, a bit of strength, fantastic construction, and a finished cigar that is truly greater than the sum of its parts. While it does have some puffs where there's a bit more roughness than I would like, they are generally low on the irritation schedule and fleeting in their time on the palate. An incredibly impressive cigar that should easily deliver a very rewarding experience for anyone who gives it the opportunity to shine.

Null

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.