Remember last year when Crowned Heads released the Las Calaveras Edición Limitada 2014, and everyone went crazy over it? Well, they did the unthinkable—they released it again! But this time for good, and with a new name and sizes. The La Imperiosa is the exact same blend as the Las Calaveras EL ’14, and that’s a good thing. Las Calaveras quickly sold out of stock last year, and people have been begging Crowned Heads to bring the blend back—they listened.
La Imperiosa, or, “The Imperative”, is an old Cuban cigar brand from the 1900’s. The cigars also boast a very special band for Crowned Heads, representing profound meaning to both the Cuban heritage and Crowned Heads personally.
So, did Crowned Heads make the right choice to bring back the blend?
Crowned Heads La Imperiosa Breakdown
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan
- Factory: My Father Cigars S.A. (Nicaragua)
- Production: Regular Production
- Vitola: 5 3/4” x 46 “Corona Gorda”
- Price: $8.25
Although it is the same blend, La Imperiosa will launch in all new sizes compared to the Las Calaveras ’14, as to preserve the collectors status of the original cigars. Looking at the band, it’s clear it is a Crowned Heads cigar—retro-inspired, with a baby blue background and an embossed gold crown. But looking further than that, you will find a sword, snake, and dragon—all representing special meaning for Crowned Heads. The band masters the art of being simplistic, yet still maintains depth and beauty.
The cigar itself boasts a medium brown, oily Habano wrapper. Minimal veins and tight seams to boot, with a nice triple cap holding it all together. A general tobacco and hay aroma come from the wrapper and foot, nothing particularly appetizing. A straight guillotine cut removes the triple cap flawlessly, revealing a perfect draw, with cold notes of light earth and citrus.
Upon a gentle toast, the first draw fills my mouth with abundant, chewy smoke. Notes of earth, leather, and a slight sweetness, like a milk chocolate, can be easily identified. Through the retro-hale, a gentle cedar and oak wood aroma, with added notes of spice and licorice, rush easily down the sinuses. At the start, the cigar is about a mild-medium body with no strength detected yet.
The first third reveals a rather flaky ash, but still holds on for a good two inches at a time. A heavier leather and cedar wood flavors seem to begin dominating the palate, with just a hint of harsh earth coming in on the finish. The retro-hale remains the same, still maintaining a surprisingly smooth exhale.
Comparing the Imperiosa with last year’s Las Calaveras, there is very obvious similarities. Starting with the look, the cigars share the same Habano Oscuro wrapper, but I found the Imperiosa to be slightly darker. Flavor-wise, it is clearly the same blend—both containing similar quantities of sweet milk chocolate and vanilla, wood notes, as well as the lightly smooth retro-hale. It will be interesting to see how they compare down to the nub.
Reaching the halfway point, a deeper earth continues to emerge through the finish, rounding out the smoke to a solid medium-full body. Consequently, the rich, leather flavors slowly die away. On the draw and retro-hale, the cedar wood has developed further, combing nicely with the earth and helping the smoke to stay less harsh. After the second ash drop, I did have to make one relight and touchup. The smoke still maintains its chewy texture, but easily heats up, producing an even harsher smoke.
Down to the nub, no further changes occurred. Earth and cedar wood still make up the draw flavors, with the milk chocolate remaining a background note. With the increased heat, the retro-hale has gotten increasingly spicy, losing all of its smooth qualities. At this point, the cigar still has a good two to three inches left, but it’s heating up extremely easily. Most cigars can keep a cool smoke much closer to the nub. With the increased heat, the earth notes continue to get harsher, removing all of the good flavors and forcing me to put down the Imperiosa a bit earlier than I would have liked.
Would I smoke this cigar again?
Yes I would. Although I seem to be complaining about the harsh qualities of the cigar, this was still a minimal complaint—only losing about 10-20 minutes of smoking time. Disregarding this issue, the rest of the cigar performed extremely well, both in burn and flavor.
- Perfect draw
- Fun flavor variety
- Solid ash
- Heats up easily
- Doesn't take well to touchup maintenance