Following the release of both the Tennessee-exclusive Tennessee Waltz and the Hawaii-exclusive Paniolo Especiale 2015, Crowned Heads released a third state exclusive, this time a 6 1/4 x 54 box-pressed torpedo for Texas named Yellow Rose. All three cigars feature different colored foot bands made of ribbon, and all three cigars share the same blend: a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper covering binder and filler tobacco from Nicaragua.

Crowned Heads Yellow Rose 1

Crowned Heads Yellow Rose 2

Crowned Heads Yellow Rose 3

The marketing materials for the Yellow Rose release have this to say about the background of the name:

“The Yellow Rose of Texas” is a traditional folk song that dates back to circa 1836.

The song became popular among Confederate soldiers in the Texas Brigade during the American Civil War. General John Bell Hood introduced it as a marching song to the Army of Tennessee in July 1864. It is in the spirit of this song that Crowned Heads presents, “The Yellow Rose,” a cigar created exclusively for the great state of Texas.

Yellow Rose is rolled at My Father Cigars S.A. in Esteli, Nicaragua and retails for $9.50 with boxes of 20, selling for $190. As with Tennessee Waltz, Yellow Rose will be made in small batches depending on production demands.

Yellow Rose 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Yellow Rose
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Connecticut broadleaf
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 6 1/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 54
  • Vitola: Torpedo
  • MSRP: $9.50 (Boxes of 20, $190)
  • Date Released: March 21, 2015
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3

The Yellow Rose looks quite rustic from first glance, with a gnarly dark espresso brown wrapper that is both exceedingly rough to the touch and covered in a copious number of veins. It is actually a little more spongy when squeezed than I expected, and if there is any oil present, I can’t see it. Aroma from the wrapper is a combination of strong manure, hay, earth, sweet raisons and pepper, while the cold draw brings flavors of barnyard, baker’s spices, leather and oak, with a touch of spice on the tongue.

A dominant gritty earth note starts off the first third of the Yellow Rose, interspersed with flavors of anise, bitter espresso, hay, dark chocolate and leather. There is an interesting saltiness on my lips, and it makes for a very interesting combination in conjunction with the same raison sweetness from the cold draw that is present on the retrohale. The earthiness recedes after about 10 puffs, and I am left with more of a creamy leather note as the dominant flavor. While I am picking up just a little black pepper on the finish, but almost no spice at all. The smoke production is well above average and both the burn and draw are excellent. The strength makes it close to the medium mark by the time the first third comes to an end.

Yellow Rose 2

The earthy flavor is still present in the second third of the Yellow Rose, but it has taken a back seat to a interesting combination of creamy peanuts and smoky mesquite. Whatever spice was present is long gone. Other flavors of espresso, slightly tart citrus, leather, baker’s spices and cedar flit in and out, while the raison sweetness one the retrohale from the first third has morphed into a noticeably stronger vanilla note, joining a touch of black pepper. The construction continues to impress with and plenty of dense white smoke coming from the foot The overall strength has not increased much, but does hit a solid medium before the end of the second third.

Yellow Rose 3

The final third of the Yellow Rose holds a few more surprises, with more of the same smoky mesquite note dominating until about halfway through, when a more tame creamy leather flavor taking over. There are other flavors of earth, espresso, dark cocoa, cedar and grass combine with a very slight meatiness that is only present on the finish. The vanilla sweetness on the retrohale is still going strong and the black pepper has actually increased enough to notice, although it is nowhere near an overwhelming amount. Both the burn and draw are still excellent, with just the amount of resistance on the draw and a burn that has only had to be touched up once. While the strength stalls out just a touch above the medium mark, the smoke production remains high until I put the nub down with less than an inch to go.

Yellow Rose 4

Final Notes:

  • The whole “ribbons instead of bands” thing was cute the first two times, but after three releases, they might be getting out of hand. I do wonder how many more colors Huber has access to.
  • Yellow Rose is limited in production, not a limited edition. The cigars will be released in batches to Texas depending on demand.
  • As with quite a few of Tatuaje’s Connecticut broadleaf releases,  on every sample of Yellow Rose that I smoked there are what look to be very small shiny specks on the wrapper. Pete Johnson has mentioned that it comes from the heavy mineral content in the soil where the broadleaf is grown.
  • Interestingly, not only was the glitter visible on the wrapper before it was smoked, but it was present in the ash as well.
  • I respect Jon Huber and Mike Conder for not producing a larger ring gauge cigar just because “Everything is bigger in Texas!” Yes, Alec Bradley, I am talking about you.
  • Both the burn and draw were excellent all all three cigars I smoked, in fact, the burn was very close to razor sharp for most of each of them, and only one had to be touched up a couple of times.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • The final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 40 minutes.
  • If you would like to purchase Yellow Rose, site sponsors Elite Cigar Cafe (972.661.9136), Lone Star State Cigar Co. (972.424.7272),  Serious Cigars and STOGIES World Class Cigars have them in stock.
88 Overall Score

I have made no secret of the fact that I am a big fan of most of what Crowned Heads has released so far, and Yellow Rose is no exception. While the gritty earthiness of the Connecticut broadleaf wrapper does tend to overwhelm some of the other flavors at certain points — especially the first few puffs and at the very end — there are is still plenty of complexity in the overall profile. The middle third is easy the best of the cigar, with very distinct flavors and plenty of smoke production, while the construction was excellent for each of the three samples. Overall, another very good cigar for Crowned Heads, but I think I do like the Tennessee Waltz just a touch more.

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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.