Being that I’m a drummer, I always thought the concept of how the Headley Grange line came to be was pretty damn cool. Jon Huber at Crowned Heads told Mr. Ernesto Perez-Carrillo he wanted to create a cigar that sounded like the drum intro to the Led Zeppelin song, ‘When the Levee Breaks.’ In fact, Jon’s quote said, “I wish we could blend a cigar that tastes the way the drums sound on ‘When The Levee Breaks.”
What’s cool, too, is that Mr. Perez-Carrillo is a former drummer himself. If you’ve never listened to that song, go do so now. Not only is it a great song, it’s also the inspiration for a fantastic brand of cigars, the Headley Grange.
This sized cigar is a Limited Edition Release for 2013; only 1,500 boxes were made (each box containing 10 cigars).
So, again, being that I’m a drummer and knowing this story about the Headley Grange, I was naturally stoked when I heard about the limited edition release of the lancero size of this blend, appropriately named the ‘Drumstick’ (I love a lancero!).
I should also note that the Headley Grange ‘Estupendos’ size (a 5 ½ x 52) was rated a 91 in Cigar Aficionado magazine…not a bad place to start!
One of the cool things about living in Nashville is that we’re close to the goings-on at Crowned Heads (based in Nashville). Both Jon Huber and Mike Conder are such great guys and are always happy to share with us the latest about what’s going on with their blends, happy to answer questions and sometimes, pass a couple of samples our way to review.
Jon graciously gave me a few samples of this Headley Grange – Limited Edition Drumstick to try and review and I can’t thank him enough. Full disclosure (and he knows this): I told him I would be very honest about what I thought (I think he appreciates that!).
The lancero-sized cigar has always been a favorite of mine. The small size really adds to the flavor (that’s what she said). Contrary to what a lot of people think, I believe the smaller ring gauge actually enhances the flavor so much more than a more modern-day fix, which is the very large ring gauged sizes of cigars (some go larger than 70+ compared to the 38 on this Drumstick).
I’ve had four of the five sizes (prior to this Drumstick) of the Headley Grange line and have loved the flavor and blends of every one of them. So, I thought, ‘this Headley Grange – Limited Edition Drumstick has got to be even better than all the other ones I’ve tried!’
As with all other Headley Grange sizes I’ve tried, the wrapper on this cigar is beautiful. From the first glance, it looks like a light brown, sun-dried leather. I found no veins, no soft spots and it was packed very evenly throughout. One of the hard things with blending this small, lancero sized cigar is you have a lot less room to work with so getting the blend correct can be a challenge.
On the head of this Headley Grange – Limited Edition Drumstick was a wonderfully executed pigtail cap. It really was beautiful. Hats off to the torcedors who hand rolled these cigars!
After taking this lancero out of the cellophane wrap, it glistened in the fading light of the sun. It’s fall in Nashville and was an even 65 degrees outside. The air smelled of fallen leaves and made me realize where we are in the year; cigar season! I smelled the wrapper and got a sawdust flavor married with barnyard. A very nice earthy smell.
On the foot, the same aroma floated into my nose along with a slight, lingering spice. After cutting the pigtail clean off, the cold draw brought a creamy, barnyard and sawdust flavor to my taste buds and a very subtle spice seemed to linger on my tongue.
I was ready to dive in and light this Headley Grange Drumstick up!
Immediately after toasting and taking flame, this Drumstick produced a thick, creamy-white smoke that surrounded me on my deck. I loved it!
The initial ash held on about 1 ½ inches and the ash itself stayed a light gray/white in color for the entirety of the smoke.
The actual smoke in the air smelled like burnt leaves and overall, just reminded me of fall.
The burn on this lancero was perfect. It stayed even throughout the entire 7 inches, all the way down to the ½ inch nub.
The first few puffs off this Headley Grange – Limited Edition Drumstick produced that same signature flavor from all other sizes of the Headley Grange line: spice, earthiness, sweetness and nuttiness. It was delicious!
There was an excellent amount of spice in the retrohale and even more than I remembered from the other sizes of the Headley Grange line.
About halfway through the 1st third I noticed a sweetness on my tongue. Overall at this point, the flavor was extremely balanced. A feat accomplished with the small size of this cigar.
The flavor throughout the entire smoke was very consistent although I noticed more of a nutty flavor once the 2nd third started.
At this point I could still definitely tell this was from the Headley Grange family but it was like the overall flavor was intensified and enhanced due to the smaller sized ring gauge. The spice was still prevalent and my nostrils were quite happy!
Into the final third the spice started coming out more in the overall flavor and not just in the retrohale. The flavor was still extremely balanced.
This cigar built up to what I would call full flavor and a medium-full strength. Right up my alley!
Towards the nub of this Headley Grange – Limited Edition Drumstick, surprisingly to me, a sweetness presented itself and went along very nicely with the spice that was there.
If there were enough of them made, this would be on my list of things to do everyday; smoke a Drumstick!
Without a doubt! Yes (if they were available).
I have to hand it to Jon and Mike at Crowned Heads and definitely Ernesto Perez-Carrillo. This Headley Grange – Limited Edition Drumstick is one of my favorite smokes!
The balance of flavor was very impressive. It went from earthy to nutty to spicy to sweet and at the same time, each of those flavors was there the entire time. It made me think of being onstage; the entire band is playing all the time but sometimes people take solos and get the spotlight.
That’s what this smoking experience was like for me.
The small sized of this lancero was deceiving; it lasted for about 55 minutes. I highly urge anyone reading this to seek out a Drumstick and try it for yourself. You just may find your 15 minutes of fame on the stage…or on your deck…to escape!
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