In September, we reported that Crowned Heads would be releasing its smallest limited edition yet, the Hecho Con Corazon—LE 2014. While the name and backstory are different, the cigar is a 6 x 50 box-pressed toro in the Las Calaveras blend, which was released earlier this year in three vitolas.
The cigar was produced exclusively for the Hickory Cigar Club at its 20th anniversary dinner which took place on Oct. 1, 2014 in Hickory, N.C. Founded in 1994 by Sandy Porter and Dan Stewart, the Hickory Cigar Club boasts over 150 members and has hosted multiple cigar owners and manufactures at dinners over the years. In fact, earlier this year, the Club hosted Rocky Patel, who also created a special cigar for the club’s 20th anniversary.
Like that Las Calaveras, the cigar is covered in a Ecuadorian habano oscuro wrapper and uses Nicaraguan tobacco for both the binder and filler. A red foot band takes the place of the normal Las Calaveras band, and it is sold in boxes of 10 instead of 24. Only 100 boxes of 10 were produced, with the leftovers sold by Tinderbox Cigars South Park of Charlotte, N.C.
The name, which means made with heart in Spanish, has quite a backstory, as told by Jon Huber, co-founder of Crowned Heads.
Some 40 years ago, there was a young cigar roller by the name of Juan Miguel who worked 13-hour days in one of the more ‘famous’ cigar factories in Havana, Cuba.
Day after day, Juan Miguel would craft some of the most exquisite cigars the world would ever see and smoke. One day, the factory foreman approached him and said, “Juan Miguel, we have a very special project that I want you to be a part of. All of our puros are labeled, “Hecho A Mano (Made by Hand),” but we have a very important political diplomat who is seeking something more. He wants only the finest 1% of our cigars to be made specially for him. I don’t want you to just make these cigars with your hands–I want you to make these particular cigars with your HEART. I want you to make these cigars, “Hecho Con Corazon (Made with Heart).”
From that day forward, there was a special ‘underground’ code created in this Havana factory that became secretly known as “HCC,” or “Hecho Con Corazon.” This code was used when only the best of the best cigars were to be selected for VIP clients and cherished limited releases. To this day, there remain rumors that such a code ever existed; however, if Juan Miguel were alive to tell the tale, he would likely confirm that there were specially selected cigars that were graded above ‘Hecho A Mano,’ and that those cigars were made ‘Hecho Con Corazon,’ or ‘Made With Heart.’
With the addition of the Hecho Con Corazon, there are now four different vitolas in the Las Calaveras blend.
- Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2014 LC550 (5 x 50) — May 2014 — 1,000 Boxes of 24 Cigars (24,000 Total Cigars)
- Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2014 LC652 (6 x 52) — May 2014 — 1,000 Boxes of 24 Cigars (24,000 Total Cigars)
- Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2014 LC754 (7 x 54) — May 2014 — 1,000 Boxes of 24 Cigars (24,000 Total Cigars)
- Hecho Con Corazon—LE 2014 (6 x 50) — October 2014 — 100 Boxes of 10 Cigars (1,000 Total Cigars)
- Cigar Reviewed: Crowned Heads Hecho Con Corazon—LE 2014
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 6 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Toro
- MSRP: $10 (Boxes of 10, $100)
- Release Date: Oct. 1, 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: 100 Boxes of 10 Cigars (1,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
The Hecho Con Corazon is a gorgeous specimen, covered in an extremely toothy-to-the-touch mocha brown wrapper that has the slightest hint of oil on it. A soft box press is evident, and a red ribbon band on the foot is the only ornamentation present. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of strong earth, leather, dark chocolate and spice, while the cold draw brings flavors of leather, dark fruit, grass and nuts.
The cigar starts out with flavors of gritty and dank earth, creamy leather, citrus and oak. There is a very pleasant almond nuttiness underneath that works well within the profile, and just a touch of spice on the tongue. I am noticing a great amount of black pepper on the retrohale that seems like it is going to stick around, as well as a generic sweetness that is just not that strong as of yet. Smoke production is well above average, while both the burn and draw are excellent so far. Strength-wise, the Crowned Heads product comes close the the medium mark by the end of the first third but never quite punches through, and does not seem to be going anywhere very fast.
The sweetness in the blend takes a huge upswing in the second third of the Hecho Con Corazon, strong enough now to remind me of maple syrup. It is still relegated to the retrohale at the moment, and other flavors of creamy nuts, leather, wood, chocolate and coffee flit in and out on a regular basis. The pepper on the retrohale has increase slightly, but the spice on the tongue is long gone by the halfway point. Smoke production is still massive from the foot, while both the burn and the draw remain excellent. The strength hits the medium mark by the end of the second third, but stalls out there.
The final third features more maple sweetness through the nose, mixed with just the right amount of black pepper. Dominant flavors are creamy oak, leather, dark cocoa and espresso, along with a touch of citrus tartness every once in a while. Smoke production is down, but still above average, and the strength is stayed at a solid medium. Construction-wise, the burn and draw continue to impress, and I easily smoke the cigar down to less than an inch without encountering any bitterness.
- At only 1,000 cigars, the Hecho Con Corazon is by far the smallest release that Crowned Heads has ever done.
- I find it interesting that Huber felt he had to come up with an entirely different (fake) back story for a cigar in the same blend as a cigar that already had a pretty good marketing scheme behind it.
- If you are counting, there are now six different Crowned Head lines that are being made at My Father Cigars S.A. that have been or will be released this year: Las Calaveras, Jericho Hill, Tennessee Waltz, Hecho Con Corazon—LE 2014, The Mason-Dixon Project and the yet to be released Arrington Vineyard Double-W.
- Crowned Heads started shipping their newest release, The Mason-Dixon Project, three days ago.
- The use of ribbons as the only ornament on the cigar is interesting, and was done in another My Father S.A. made Crowned Heads product, the recently released Tennessee Waltz, albeit in orange instead of red. The orange ribbons are also quite similar to a My Father product, the My Father 1922 Le Bijou, although that release features a main band as well.
- Despite the LE 2014 in the name, Huber told halfwheel there are no plans to make this an annual release.
- The average smoking time for all three samples was a relatively quick one hour and 35 minutes.
- The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Sadly, the Hecho Con Corazon—LE 2014 are sold out, so the only place to get them now is on the secondary market.
While I found the Hecho Con Corazon to be better than the two largest Las Calaveras vitolas — and interestingly, significantly better than the round toro, which was quite lackluster to me—it still cannot touch the robusto in the line, which is still one of my favorite cigars of the year so far. The box press is a nice touch, and is a great feature when smoking, while the obvious maple sweetness and black pepper on the retrohale combine nicely with the creaminess that is present on the palate. This release just proves what we already know: while some sizes are noticeably better than others, the blend overall is one of the best to come out so far this year.