Shortly after last year’s 2014 IPCPR trade show, Crowned Heads began debuting a series of regional cigar releases; some tailored towards individual states, while others were released to larger regions of the US – this series is known as The Mason Dixon Project. Like many of their recent releases, Mason Dixon is well-branded and limited in production (1,250 boxes). The Mason Dixon Project arrives in boxes of 20, and while the cigars are only distributed in their respective regions, many retailers have made trades and are now carrying both cigars.

This review will be focused on the Northern Edition cigar – for a full comparison, see our review of The Mason Dixon Project: Southern Edition LE 2014.

Crowned Heads The Mason Dixon Project Northern Edition cigar

Mason Dixon North Breakdown

  • Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Binder: Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Nicaraguan
  • Factory: My Father Cigars S.A. (Nicaragua)
  • Production: Limited to 1,250 Boxes of 20
  • Vitola: 6″ x 52 Toro
  • Price: $9.85

The North is not as smooth and flawless as the South, the cap was a bit sloppier and there are some prominent veins, but it is still a good looking stick. I like the simplicity of the band, it conveys the branding well; working seamlessly with both cigars and allowing each version to be easily identifiable. The cigar smells of coffee and cocoa with some leather undertones, a really complex aroma.

Crowned Heads The Mason Dixon Project Northern Edition cigar review

My first impression is of rich, heavy flavors that would go well with an imperial stout. I personally wouldn’t smoke this too early in the day because it is a beast in the first third! North is pumping out some dark, rich, malty smoke and I also taste some dark chocolate. There are slight black pepper notes and, I might be coming out of left field here, but a juicy plum flavor. The ash is almost milk white, compared agaisnt the South’s darker, charred ash; and it is holding quite well, a testament to the brand and the consistency of both cigars

As North progresses, there is no dynamic flavor changes. It has smoothed out significantly, however, and the unsweetened chocolate flavor is still present, along with some nice, roasted coffee. The burn is absolutely perfect and the draw is killer too! North ends somewhat as it began, with a bit more strength. However, it is a different kind of strength, more black and red pepper and less of the cocoa. It is still smooth and the billowing smoke is nothing but bliss.

Crowned Heads The Mason Dixon Project North cigar review

Would I smoke this cigar again?

Yes, it was a really solid cigar. Although I’d probably limit this one to a 5-pack purchase.

North vs South
History will speak of the victory of the North, but in this battle, the South reigns supreme. The North was like the infrastructure and industry of the civil-war-North; well constructed. The South, however, is reminiscent of a hot, humid, southern court house, where a guy dressed like Colonel Sanders is fanning himself with a straw hat, saying, “I do declare…” What I’m getting at (you’re welcome for that vivid imagery), is the North is a safe choice with good construction, but the South is more complex and interesting – the better cigar, after the smoke has cleared…

Crowned Heads The Mason Dixon Project Northern Edition cigar review  and rating

The Mason Dixon Project: Northern Edition LE 2014
Overall, North is refined in character and has a full-bodied flavor that could go with an espresso or a stout. Though the flavors didn't change much throughout the cigar, this a maduro for maduro lovers. The construction could be described in no other way than masterful. It is strong but not overpowering, flavorful but not extremely complex. Classic flavors meet expert craftsmanship.
  • Perfect construction
  • Slow burner
  • Not extremely complex in flavor/unchanging
  • Didn’t really see a connection (through flavor profile) to the region represented, unlike the Southern Edition
88%Northern loss
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