IMG_1346

Johnny cash had a number of shots in his song Cocaine Blues. He shot his woman down, he took a shot of cocaine and if he could…I’m sure he would have smoked a Jericho Hill Shot. Much like the line itself, the Jericho Hill shot is inspired by the song Cocaine Blues. The Shot is a new release by Crowned Heads, but is not a line extension for this very popular cigar. The JH Shot is in fact a “seasonal exclusive.” Jon Huber explained it as a seasonal release for people to have a unique cigar experience for 30 minutes or so. He stated, during his interview on Cigar Jukebox, that the shot is meant to suit colder smoking conditions in winter. There are 50,000 shots for 2015 and they come in cabinets of 50 cigars. Reports are that they are shipping out fast and there are only a small number of boxes unaccounted for. Jon is unsure if the shot will be a 2016 seasonal release; however, the popularity of the 2015 may persuade Jon to revisit this size in 2016. I not only hope that he does bring this out in 2016, I hope we see other short coronas from Crowned Heads. This is why…..

Information and Appearance:

  • Brand: Crowned Heads
  • How did I get it: This cigar was sent to me from Jon Huber at Crowned Heads
  • When did I smoke it: At night with a nice Pepsi Max and some water.
  • Length of smoke: This cigar took me roughly 35 minutes. However, you can go 5 minutes either side of that depending on how fast you smoke.
  • Factory Information: Like other cigars in the Crowned Heads stable, this cigar was made at the My Father factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. This is the same as other vitolas in the Jericho Hill Line.
  • Cigar Info:
    • Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
    • Binder and Filler: Nicaragua
    • This is a 4 x 42 petite corona. It also is similar in size to a “short.”

The cigar’s general appearance is stunning. The classic looking band is well set against that dark chocolate wrapper. Construction looks flawless and the cigar has a nice firm box press. The wrapper itself has a nice oily feel to it and the dry draw is easy with just the right amount of give. The flavors coming off the dry draw are wood and a rich tobacco taste. This is looking like it is going to be a great cigar.

Burn and Draw:

Overall the burn and draw are dead on. The draw is easy with just a little give. I attribute this to the firm box press on the cigar and how well the rollers packed the filler tobacco. Moreover, the draw remains consistent from beginning to end and does not loosen up in the final third. This cigar has such a wonderful draw for such a small vitola.

The burn was not as crisp. The burn line tends to wonder during the entire smoke and never seems to even out. Having said that, I did not have to correct the cigar once during the smoke. Also, the burn did not have a noticeable impact on the cigar experience.

Score: 90

Construction:

Like I alluded to in the appearance section, the construction looks flawless. The box press on the cigar is firm and all the seals on the cigar are nice and tight. There was no cracking during the smoke and the cigar kept its shape all the way to the end. Moreover, the combustion was dead on. The cigar smoked very well and the ash stayed on quite well. This, along with the combustion rate, really allowed the blend to perform well and the cigar itself to remain cool. I smoked this cigar all the way to my finger tips and the construction remained consistent throughout. The people working on this cigar did a fantastic job.

Score: 93

First Third:

Right off the bat I got a hit of spice with a nice creamy texture. This was a nice contrast and gave the spice a nice rich quality. There are some wonderful tobacco flavors in this third and the cigar develops a rich meaty quality. This is similar to some of Skip Martin’s RoMa Craft cigars. A “meaty” cigar is a mix of richness, pepper, slight salt and great body. it is the flavor you get from a nice rare steak. This hearty meaty flavor works well with rich tobacco notes.

Such a rich and hearty flavor is balanced well against the creamy texture that pops up from time to time. Also, the rich flavors in this cigar are a great match for the cigar’s strength. This is not an overly strong cigar but does sit in the medium to medium plus range. The strength gives the cigar a nice foundation and pairs well with the finish.

Burn, draw and construction are all performing well at this stage.

Score: 93

Second Third:

This is where the cream comes to the front and pairs well with rich tobacco flavors. The cigar itself is very smooth and everything is coming together very well. This third really highlights the wonderful balance of flavors in the cigar, as well as the balance of flavor and strength. There is a wonderful depth to the finish that I really enjoy. There are hints of caramel that pop up here and there. This is a nice sweet component that was very welcome. This caramel flavor was not evident in the first third, but is a great addition at this point of the cigar. The flavor does not last for long, but it adds a nice dimension.

The draw is still dialed in, but the burn is still an issue. The burn itself did not impact the smoke, but it was close to being too uneven. The combustion rate is still right on and the cigar itself is performing well.

Score: 93

Final Third:

The tobacco flavors evident in the first two thirds of the cigar carry through in this final third. They are met with a nice earth quality that really adds depth to the finish. The strength is amping up and keeping pace with the rich deep quality of the finish. There is a nice sweetness in the finish that really cuts through the rich flavors and adds a nice counterpoint to the finish. These main flavors last to the end of the cigar, which, for me, was a finger burner.

The key point about this cigar is its balance. The flavors are wonderfully balanced with each other and the finish was balanced well with the cigar’s strength. This balance creates a wonderful cigar experience and such a rich cigar does not weigh down your palate.

The draw and construction still perform well and the cigar does not burn hot.

Score: 92

Overall:

This is a wonderful cigar that performs on all levels. For such a small cigar, it packs more flavor and strength than some 6 x 60s that claim to be “full body” cigars. However, the key to the Jericho Hill Shot is not the strength. What makes this cigar a wonderful smoking experience is the balance and construction. Flavors are all well balanced and the finish matches the strength. The construction is amazing and combustion rate combined with the draw allows the blend to shine. This is my favorite vitola in the Jericho Hill blend and I hope Jon Huber continues to make them. Moreover, I hope Jon is inspired to try some of his other blends in this short corona size.

Overall Score: 93 / Excellent (I rounded this up from a 92.2)

Recommendation: This is a must smoke for all cigar smokers. I know the boxes are quite large, 50 cigars, but it is worth it. If you think you can’t get through 50, go in on a box with a friend and get yourself 25. Winter, spring, summer, or fall, this is a must smoke cigar that will perform well in all conditions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s