Every now and then I come across a cigar that I would describe as special in multiple dimensions of flavor, construction, and burn. So when I was visiting the Crowned Heads Cigar Co. headquarters last summer, I was more than pleased when the company’s co-founder, Jon Huber, presented me with some of his company’s craft, one of which was the Buckeye Land. Released in 2018, the Crowned Heads Buckeye Land cigar was a tribute to the strong brand following in the state of Ohio not to mention, Huber’s wife was born in Lancaster, Ohio.
When I came home, I set the sample pack in my humidor and let them rest until today when I was rotating the humidor and picked up that Buckeye Land. I have been looking at this for a while and today it just seemed right to finally turn it to ash, considering the LSU Tigers won the college football championship behind Heisman Trophy winner and graduate of Ohio State University, Joe Burrows. Yes that’s right, Burrows transferred to LSU after graduating in just 3 years from OSU!
So with the cigar of the day selected it was time to settle back, forgo lunch, and fire up the Crowned Heads Buckeye Land. So let’s get started with the review.
There is no question that I immensely enjoyed the smoking experience of this gem of a cigar. You may or may not know, the Buckeye Land is made for Crowned Heads by Drew Estate and as we get into the review, you will note how much it burns like a Liga Privada, pouring out smoke and doing everything it can to maintain a crisp even burn.
The Buckeye Land is one of 4 regional cigars that Crowned Heads makes, the other three are:
- Tennessee Waltz (Tennessee)
- Painolo Especiale (Hawaii)
- Yellow Rose (Texas)
All four are regular production and are only sold to retailers in the state they are honoring. The only exception is what the company calls Lawless Day, where all but the Painolo Especiale are made available to order to retailers across the country. Allow me to say it now, you all need to be ordering these Buckeye Land cigars.
The Buckeye Land is expressed in a single 6 x 48 vitola packaged in 20-count boxes and has a MSRP around $10.00. The blend is described as:
- Wrapper: San Andrés (Mexican)
- Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf (U.S.A.)
- Filler: Nicaraguan & Pennsylvania (U.S.A.)
Today’s review is going to be a little different than most of the ones you have seen here on Stogie Press. This cigar truly put me in a moment, maybe I got a great sleep last night, or maybe I was just in a really great mood, but either way I am going to take you on a Buckeye Land journey.
To start this journey, I shut off my work email for the lunch time hour and took the Buckeye Land out of its protective cellophane. I suggest you keep these in the cellophane because other than the sticker on the ‘cello’, there is no indication on the cigar of what it is. There is a bright red satin footer band but I would not want to get that confused with any other naked cigars that are banded that way. And yea, I do have a few like that now and then, especially when a brand owner solicits my input on a new blend they are considering.
Once the Buckeye Land was is in my hand I can feel the fine tooth and oils along the rich dark chocolate brown Mexican wrapper. It is quite a beautiful cigar and notably well constructed with solid packing and bunching. The wrapper is light on veins and besides the oily sheen and toothiness it also has a fine marbling throughout.
Like all cigars reviewed, I ran the Buckeye Land across the nose and was pleasantly greeted with a scrumptious note of baking spice both on the foot and along the barrel. A simple straight cut took me to the next leg of the journey where I cold puffed it for a little while. The draw was a tad open but certainly not airy and it offered a mild earthy component with a touch of natural sweetness. A few more cold puffs and it was time to set the Buckeye Land afire.
This is where things really start to get pleasing. I warmed the foot to an even orange glow which took to the flame perfectly and drew in some early puffs of savory smoke. Right off the first puff there was a full volume of smoke filling the palate to roll around. The retro-hale was easy on the nose with no bite or hearty burn.
As the Buckeye Land started to progress a solid white ash developed atop a thin crisp char line. The smoke is just billowing off the foot keeping the burn pristine as oils appeared immediately just above the burn line. As I said early it is burning much like the best Liga Privadas I have had.
It only gets better as dry fruit notes entice the palate along with a sweet floral aroma wafting off the foot. I just sat back and closed my eyes thinking about some of the many trips I made to the state of Ohio over my life. Yea I have been there quite often. I especially enjoy the spring and early fall. One of my all time favorite cigar lounges (Third Street Cigar) is located in Waterville, OH. I sure hope they carry the Buckeye Land.
The ash continues to grow, with no sign of falling. The flavor profile is quite smooth as the sweetness and a hint of earth join the party. Just as I am savoring it, my palate is graced with notes of malt and cocoa deep in the first third. Such a pleasant transition. The smoke does not seem to stop swirling off the foot, even without puffing it. The burn line is maintaining straight and crisp.
Moving towards the second third, the complexity increases with notes of wood and spice and a wonderful core of sweetness. Slow gentle puffs keep the ash growing deep into the second third. The aroma shifts to an earthy note and so far it is shaping up to be a pleasant, medium strength, cigar as the sweetness, oak, and earth form a balanced core.
Finally, after a long run, the ash fell, revealing a well formed burn cone. Nuances of dry fruit and mild cinnamon enter blending with the sweetness. Suddenly things start to ratchet up a bit, first a spice enters, that slowly shifts to a red pepper flake warming the tongue and cheek. Then the strength picks up, moving from medium to solidly full. Be careful here, this will light you up at this point. I slowed my puff rate, as my head got a bit woozy and I reached for a bottle of water to ease the moment.
Looking at the burn I notice there was a slight wave developing but not so much that it would require a touch up. Fruit and woodiness re-emerge joining the sweet core down to the final. The ash picked up right where it left off and continued to burn solidly to the final. This Buckeye Land journey completed in 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Let me say this one more time, this is a fabulous cigar and it sucks that they are only available in Ohio except for that one ‘Lawless Day’. This is box worthy, and I highly recommend adding some of these to your rotation, but don’t be like Boston Jimmie and smoke it on an empty stomach, it will surprise you at the end. Even with our tweaked rating system this year, I rate this a solid 97. The cigar lovers in Ohio are damn lucky to have these available.
Point Deductions: (-1) Wave in burn deep in second third
Bonus Points: (+1) Excellent Oiling on Burn Line; (+1 Buy a Box; (+1) Complex; (+1) Extreme Ash