HBTC Review: Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII Full Court Press

At the IPCPR Trade Show in 2018, the Nashville-based Crowned Heads displayed their new offering called Court Reserve XVIII (CHC). The cigar was developed and released to be a tribute and homage to the loyal fans of the Crowned Heads brand. It was originally available in three round sizes, and was extremely well received in the marketplace. Jump ahead to Autumn of 2019 and Crowned Heads announced a Box-Pressed line extension called Full Court Press. Here is Matt’s evaluation of that release.

The Court Reserve XVIII is also available in a 5 x 50 Robusto, a 6 x 54 Sublime, and a 5.625 x 46 Corona Gorda. For this Full Court Press vitola, only 1,700 10-count boxes were first produced.

Crowned Heads Court Reserve XVIII Full Court Press
MSRP: $11.99
Size: 5.875 x 52 Box Press
Origin: Tabacalera La Alianza (Dominican Republic)
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Binder: Ecuador
Filler: Nicaragua

One of the striking things about this cigar is the presentation. With bright golds and dark reds, it jumps off the shelf in a shop. The cigars alternating in parallel divided only by a thin strip of cedar. It is extremely dark, oily, and has a rough ant toothy texture. The color is very even, and the caps are slightly messy but not ugly. It smells of cedar and dark vanilla. The foot has intense aromas of pepper and molasses.

Act I
The first light comes on with a blast of spicy pepper, but soon mellows. I get flavors and aromas that remind me of charred cedar, molasses, black pepper, and dark cocoa. There is a richness to the texture of the smoke, and no shortage of smoke output. The retrohale is definitely spicy, but does finish off with some of that molasses sweetness.

Act II
Those same core flavors are still stars of the show in this middle section of the cigar. The only real changes are a little bit of an earthy note, and some of the cocoa notes are transitioning to more of a coffee kind of aroma. Black and red pepper spice still remain present in the nose, with slightly less sweetness, but just enough to balance.

As things wind down, I get more of those earthy notes, with the sweetness way in the background. A little more of the charred wood and dark-roast coffee are also there, along with the ever-present pepper spice. The retrohale is now an eye watering experience, but not in a bad way. It’s just really intense. Even so, there is still the tiniest hint of that sweetness on the final finish.

This is another example for me, where a limited line extension of a Crowned Heads blend turns out to be my favorite one of the line. I enjoyed the regular sizes from the Court Reserve line, but there is something about this box press that is above and beyond. It is intense and rich, while it still has balance in the boldness. Even though it is leaning toward the strong side, and all the way on the full-body side, I think this is a cigar that is good for transitioning yourself into some heavier blends. It is not overly complex, but I didn’t care. The flavors, aromas, and performance are very enjoyable.

Crowned Heads CHC Full Court Press – How Bout That Cigar?
Rating: How Bout A Box?
Overall Score: 93
PAD: +1.0 (What is PAD?)
Flavor Summary: Spice, Molasses, Cocoa, Coffee, Wood, Earth
Strength Assessment: Medium-Strong
Source: Cigars for this review were purchased by HBT Media LLC

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