Two years ago at the 2012 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, Crowned Heads followed up its initial release line Four Kicks, with a new line called Headley Grange. Named after the legendary recording studio, Jon Huber stated he wanted the blend to taste like the drum intro sounds in “When the Levee Breaks” by Led Zeppelin. Initially a limited release of only 1,000 boxes of the Estupendos size, the line expanded to regular production in 2013. Since then two limited edition sizes have been released. The first being the Drumstick in 2013 and the second being the Snaredrum, which is what we’ll be taking a look at today. While the Drumstick was a nationally-released limited edition, the Snaredrum is a limited edition store exclusive for Federal Cigar of New Hampshire. Rick Gadway, Federal Cigar’s owner, told halfwheel the release is to commemorate the opening of the company’s new 100-seat cigar bar in Portsmouth, N.H.
- Headley Grange Estupendos (5 1/2 x 52) — 2012 — Regular Production
- Headley Grange Eminentes (5 1/4 x 44) — 2013 — Regular Production
- Headley Grange Corona Gorda (5 5/8 x 46) — 2013 — Regular Production
- Headley Grange Hermoso No. 4 (5 x 48) — 2013 — Regular Production
- Headley Grange Dobles (6 1/8 x 50) — 2013 — Regular Production
- Headley Grange Drumstick (7 1/2 x 38) — 2013 — 1,500 Boxes of 10 Cigars (15,000 Total Cigars)
- Headley Grange Snaredrum (6 x 38) — 2014 — 300 Boxes of 10 Cigars (3,000 Total Cigars)
- Headley Grange Laguito No. 6 (6 x 56) — 2014 — Regular Production
- Cigar Reviewed: Headley Grange Snaredrum
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 38
- Vitola: Corona Especiales
- MSRP: $9.25 (Boxes of 10, $92.50)
- Date Released: July 10, 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: 300 Boxes of 10 Cigars (3,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
Maybe it’s the petite nature of it, but picking up the cigar it doesn’t look like it’s a full six inches long. Getting out the measuring tape confirms it somewhat, with the actual body of the cigar being only about 5 3/4 inches with the pigtail cap almost getting the cigar to the 6 inches mark. The cigar does look good though, and would catch my eye on the shelf of a store since this size is right down my alley. It’s medium brown wrapper is crisscrossed with darker veins that pop against the lighter color. Giving it a squeeze it’s not quite what I would call squishy, though it does compress a little more than the normal give you might see. The aroma off the wrapper is a very pleasant mix of mild tobacco, barnyard and leather. The cold draw is quite delicate with the overall impression of creamy milk chocolate accentuated with plums and herbs. The diminutive 38 ring gauge foot lights easily, starting out the first third with a profile that is made up of herbs, lighter spices, a touch of black pepper and some sweet dried fruit. While the profile starts out fairly light, it gets a heavier after about half an inch with toasted grains and espresso notes. The draw is ideal and the burn is almost perfect, with the compact light gray ash holding on easily to an inch. Each draw produces plenty of smoke though it quickly dwindles to a trickle while resting. The herbs and light spices slowly fade while the toasted grains and espresso replace them up front. The black pepper and sweet dried fruit remain background notes, though they are joined by some light cedar shavings. As the cigar transitions into the second third the profile remains fairly steady. Toasted grains, espresso and a touch of hay lead with black pepper, sweet dried fruit and cedar shavings follow in the background. The burn continues to be impeccable, without any touch ups needed. The ash doesn’t seem to hang out as long as it did in the first third, though it still lasts until around three quarters of an inch before dropping. The final third doesn’t change much with the profile staying mainly the same. The toasted grains, espresso and hay are still up front complementing notes of black pepper, dried fruit and cedar continuing on in the background. Construction is still as solid as the first two thirds, with the burn line staying sharp and even. Towards the last inch of the cigar the profile starts to wane a little bit, getting slightly harsh, but at this point it’s easy to call the Snaredrum a win and put it down. Final Notes
- This is the first store exclusive that Crowned Heads has done.
- Federal Cigar tweeted out that the new lounge opened up on August 24.
- It bears repeating: like most small ring gauge cigars, if you smoke the Snaredrum fast, it will get harsh and nasty. Slow, steady and even draws will let the cigar shine.
- I would put the strength of the Snaredrum at a medium, perhaps a medium-full at most.
- All three samples smoked consistently the same – from the flavor development to the construction.
- Autocorrect continuously wants to change Snaredrum into Snare drum. That would be fine normally, except the cigar’s name is Snaredrum, as shown clearly on the box by the lack of a space.
- You can read more about the legendary Headley Grange location here.
- Federal Cigar said they still had enough of these in stock, though they didn’t have an exact number. You can reach them at 1.877.424.4270. Don’t forget to tell them halfwheel sent you.
- The samples for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time averaged an hour and 45 minutes.
Update: The original version of this review was missing the Laguito No. 6 from the collections shot.
I like the Headley Grange line, but when they compress the blend down to 38 ring gauge, I really think it shines. The Drumstick was good, but I think the Snaredrum is just a little bit better. Solid construction allowed me to smoke the cigar slowly without going out or getting a bad burn line, which in turn allowed the fantastic profile to reach its full potential. This just reaffirms my desire for a regular production 38 ring gauge size in the line, but in the mean time we’ll have to settle for the limited editions that have been released. Though some people might think the price point is a little high, the good news is that it’s a 10-count box so you can pick a box up for under $100. I can easily suggest you get your hands on these, especially if you were already a fan of the Headley Grange line.