Located in East Hampshire, England is the estate of Headley Grange. This home is the location of many artist recordings including the great Led Zeppelin. It is hear that they recorded some of their more famous tracks and greatest albums. One song that was recorded there was When The Levee Breaks; and it was this song that was mentioned in a tweet by Crowned Heads that gave them the name for their second project. The song inspired Crowned Heads to create a cigar honoring the great song and the studio/home in which it was recorded; and so came about the second release of Crowned Heads, Headley Grange. This idea to create this cigar came about late in 2011 and by the 2012 IPCPR they had the first batch of these smokes released.
Originally released in one vitola called Estupendos, and limited to 1,000 boxes the cigar moved incredibly fast and sold out quickly. I was fortunate enough to be one of the smokers to get the early release smoke and still have some tucked away in one of my humidors. Like their previous line Four Kicks, the cigar is made in the Dominican Republic at Tabacalera La Alianza S.A., home of E.P. Carrillo. The company released the four additional vitolas with the original vitola at the beginning of this month and I know many were eager to get their hands on them again. They offer so many great vitolas in the line that it was hard to choose which size to focus on this time around, but I went with the old faithful of vitolas for me and grabbed the Corona Gorda.
Measuring 5 5/8" with a 46 ring gauge the cigar is your standard corona gorda and is beautiful in hand. The cigar has possesses an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper and then is entirely Nicaraguan in the filler and binder. The cigar has a nice natural color to it and it is showing some light marbled brown notes which are like leather. There are a few veins present throughout and it has a nice soft gritty feel to touch. The cigar is pressed in a manner that is called trunk-press, so it is shows some roundness along with being pressed. There is a terrific triple cap present to the cigar and it is slightly firm throughout. I am getting an aroma of pepper, spices, grass, hay and leather to the cigar and the aroma on the wrapper is of wood and hay. There is a nice cold draw to the cigar and with the draw I am getting some similar notes to the aroma at foot.
There is a nice beginning to the cigar and it is showing characteristics that are similar to the Estupendos. I am getting a nice woody, hay and leather flavor profile, and it is accompanied by some nice sweetness with bits of herbs, grass and spices on the finish. It is a complex cigar and was perfect for this time of year. It doesn't have those winter flavor profiles going for it but is more of a summer cigar and that is what I prefer in general. The strength of the cigar is at a medium to medium full level and as a cigar in general it has a great body and strength level. The construction is stellar on the cigar and it is producing some terrific smoke with a gorgeous gray ash that is holding on firmly to the razor sharp burn line. This is definitely a terrific first third and a great line.
In the second third the cigar really opens up in terms of strength, but the overall flavor and body of the cigar remains fairly similar to that of the first third. I will say that the spice level of the cigar seems to be increasing, but overall it is more the strength of the smoke. The hay, wood, grass, and leather flavors are very present with the cigar, more grass than before, and it is very smooth and strong. There are still some great herbal and spicy flavors with the cigar as well and it has a great slightly dry finish. The strength in this second third is more medium full in this third and I would say it is on the higher end of the medium full spectrum, closer to full. The burn line on the cigar is still razor sharp and it has that lovely gray ash on the end which is great with a lot of smoking being produced on cool draws.
I am in the final third of the cigar now and it is finishing wonderfully. The strength level on the cigar seems to be diminishing and is now back to a medium full level that is closer to medium in strength. It has shown some great transitioning from beginning to end and is a well constructed and blended cigar. The flavor profile of the cigar is similar to what it has been in the fact that the flavors are full but slightly dry and very smooth. The herbal notes are balancing out the spices present throughout and there is a nice mixture of flavors with the grass, hay, oak, and leather notes. When you think it is going to be very spicy and overpowering there is a nice balance by some sweeter notes. I am getting some solid tobacco notes on the finish and the last draw on the cigar is cool and flavorful. The construction remains perfect to the nub, and continues to produce that beautiful charcoal colored ash.
Out of their two core lines in current production the Headley Grange is by far my favorite. I love the strength level that the cigar possesses and the flavors it produces as well. Another aspect of the cigar that I love is the trunk-press that it comes in. I think it really makes the wrapper pop as a cigar, and that appeals to me as a smoker. I have not had the Mule Kick so I can not take that cigar into account, but with the positive waves I have heard and read about from so many trusted individuals I know it is a great cigar. The cigar showed incredible complexities throughout and in the second third it really showed great transitioning from the first and to the third. The construction was terrific from beginning to end and it produced a nice bit of smoke with a cool finish to the nub. I find the Corona Gorda to be a terrific size and will probably be my favorite along with the Eminentes and Hermoso No.4. I give this cigar a 93 and find it to be a great smoke in the evening anytime of week.