It was 1968 when Johnny Cash sang Cocaine Blues at Folsom State Prison. Now, 46 years later, the Crowned Heads cigar company, based in Nashville, released their tribute to Johnny Cash, the Jericho Hill. Crowned Heads are known for using musical references for their cigars. The Headley Grange is a reference to the old English mansion that Led Zeppelin recorded the Zeppelin II album. Four Kicks is a direct reference to the Kings of Leon song of the same name, and Tennessee Waltz, well that is pretty self explanatory.
The Jericho Hill is the newest release from Crowned Heads and was introduced at this years IPCPR. The name Jericho Hill comes from the lyrical line in Cocaine Blues – “In walked the sheriff from Jericho Hill”. The use of Mexican San Andres wrapper is linked to the lyrical line “They overtook me down in Juarez Mexico”.
To complete the picture, the Crowned Heads website states:
“The four vitola names were all inspired by lyrics and music found on “At Folsom Prison,” and when recited from smallest to largest (.44S, LBV, OBS, and Willy Lee), take on a lyrical element of their own.”
I was so intrigued about this stick that it was one of the first samples I smoked when I returned from the IPCPR 2014 show. The Jericho Hill was so good, I decided to get another and smoke it again, just to be sure I was not imagining anything. Of course I waited about a month, letting it age a little in my humidor. The Jericho Hill comes in four vitolas:
- 44S – 5 1/8” x 44
- LBV – 6 1/2” x 46
- OBS – 4 3/4″ x 52
- Willy Lee – 6″ x 54
This review is based on the 44S vitola. All Jericho Hill vitolas are box pressed San Andres wrapped cigars with Nicaraguan filler and binder. Jon Huber, from Crowned Heads, decided to manufacture this fine cigar at My Father Cigars S.A., Esteli, Nicaragua.
Examining the Jericho Hill you will notice a smoother than normal San Andres wrapper. The scent of the foot is that of fresh cut grass, like the smell of a spring ball field while sitting in the stands. The barrel is packed tight and there are no soft spots at all. Cutting the head also reveals tightly packed sweet tasting tobacco.
There is woody scent as I light it up and there was immediate pepper on the retro-hale. I also detected some citrus after the first few puffs. The burn was perfect and the ash was dull white in color. As it burned through the first 3rd, the pepper diminished giving way to some short bursts of coffee and a more pronounced currant like flavor.
So far this is a pleasant smoke, as I sit outside on a cool, breezy, late summer Florida night. The Red Sox are battling with the Yankees on the tube, but there is no battle with the “Hill”, it is smooth and delicious. It is pure smoking enjoyment. It is amazing how there is no after taste. Though the smoke is full and flavorful, it does not linger on the palate.
Near the start of the second 3rd, the spice has fully mellowed out and the fruit is front and center as the citrus keeps my taste buds awake. The wrapper beads up with tiny oily droplets and the ash is still going strong.
As I burn into the second 3rd, the coffee is more pronounced in both scent and taste. The ash is long and straight and falls just before the label. This was identical to the first Jericho Hill I smoked, so 2 thumbs up for that consistency. This is living up to its full body full flavor description. I would even say, I recommend this to both newbies and aficionados alike, but the flavor profile is designed for the discerning palate.
A touch of pepper reappears in the final third. It is still well packed with no soft spots – even to the nub. As it finishes I get notes of sweet almond, almost like Amaretto but with a gentle white pepper background. You can smell the Amaretto at the foot of the nub. I did not want this cigar to finish, but then we all know, all good things must come to an end. Now of course, I can, and will always get more. The Jericho Hill will certainly be highlighted in Boston Jimmie’s top cigars of 2014.