Ah! Collaboration – when two or more people (or organizations) put their creative minds, craft, and experience together to create something special, beyond what just one could have accomplished working alone. In the case of today’s cigar review, it is was the collaborative efforts of Jon Huber from Crowned Heads and Willy Herrera from Drew Estate that put a combined 40 years of experience together, to create what is now known as, La Coalición.
In the words of Jon Huber:
We believe that there is an undeniable synergy of philosophy and ethos between Drew Estate and Crowned Heads. More specifically, Willy (Herrera) and I share a similar vision towards tradition and artistry of cigars, blends, presentation and so forth.
What you are going to see with the La Coalición is truly a collaborative effort on every level between Crowned Heads and Drew Estate, and between Willy Herrera and I.”
The team took their time and selected a superb blend of quality leaf for La Coalición:
- Wrapper – Grade A Dark Connecticut (Broadleaf)
- Binder – Sumatra
- Filler – Nicaragua and Dominican Republic
They also made the decision to express La Coalición in 4 vitolas and packaged them in 20-count boxes with an MSRP of $10.95 – $14.95 per cigar. No fancy names for the vitolas, just classic, Spanish descriptive names.
- Corona Gorda (5 x 46)
- Gordito (5.5 x 50)
- Siglo (6 x 52)
- Sublime (6.5 x 54)
Finally, it was obvious, that La Coalición would be manufactured at La Gran Fabrica Drew Estate in Esteli, Nicaragua. In the end, Willy and Jon proclaimed:
“La Coalición have met the challenge to express the consumable experience of a cigar that truly encompasses the vision and philosophies of each entity in the union. “
So lets get into reviewing this collective work as you re-live my La Coalición journey after sampling and smoking through three La Coalición Siglos.
La Coalición is a beautiful broadleaf cigar with a dark brown, oily, and toothy wrapper. There are a few veins running through it and the seams are all but invisible. Gently squeezing the barrel between my finger I note it is well packed and solid. The cigar is finished with a simple cap.
The cigar is branded with a die cut red, gold, and teal band. The name, La Coalición, is prominently displayed in the center, using gold print on a bright red background. “Crowned Heads” is printed on the bottom in gold on another red backdrop. The right side of the band has a golden, Drew Estate, logo on a red backdrop and the left side notes that it is handmade in Esteli, Nicaragua. I like the band as it tells the story of the cigar.
The aromas are just as inviting as the presentation of this cigar, with a pungent fermented leaf aroma along the barrel and an enticing natural sweetness and baking spice note off the foot.
Dang, let me smell that again, and again!
Like all reviews, I sliced the cap at the shoulder with a simple straight cut and took in a few cold puffs. Oh yea, notes of earth, sweetness, and a touch of peppery spice. I am glad I smoked three of these, because I wanted to be sure this was not just a single moment. As I sampled the first one I kept thinking; if this delivers anywhere near the pre-light notes, once I fire it up, it is going to be spectacular.
And fire it up I did, using a double flame torch warming the foot, a foot that took to the flame perfectly, building a fine orange glow, I drew in the first puffs of floral and peppery smoke and started the journey to burn it to ash.
Cigar Review Notes
- First puffs offer a growing floral note along with a hit of white pepper, but not overwhelming on the nose and back of the throat
- Tinge of dry fruit mixes in quickly
- Thick creamy smoke pours out of both ends of this cigar – it acts like a Liga Privada!
- A fragrant floral aroma fills the air around me
- Mild grassy notes join the profile
- Light grey and solid ash forms on a thick char line
- Oils are dripping and oozing above the burn line
- Dark chocolate notes add to the mix deep into the first third
- Cinnamon spice starts to excite the lips, beginning the second third
- Aroma shifts to woody
- Delicate sweetness is building and wrapping the spice like a Cinnabon
- Super creamy smoke
- Ash holding on tight fell with a perfect centered burn cone
- Spice increases and sweet and savory notes enter in the background
- Bitter cocoa end of second third
- Burns hot to touch in final
- Predominantly spice with a hint of fruit and a slight bitter note
- Full Body – Medium Strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 45 minutes
Overall, the Crowned Heads/Drew Estate La Coalición was absolutely stupendous. The work of two great cigar men in the industry shine in the result of this cigar. Just like the pre-light aromas and cold draw notes, the flavors and aromas of the burn kept my interest down to the nub. It did burn hot to the touch near the final third, and there was a light bitterness that touched the palate in the final third. This is definitely worth picking up at least a five pack. I rate this a 94.
Point Deductions: (-2) Burned Hot to Touch near final third; (-1) Light bitter note mixed in the final third
Bonus Points: (+1) Incredible Oiling on the burn