In case you're thinking that I'm late to the party when it comes to reviewing Four Kicks, well you may be correct. However, I was one of the lucky ones to get to Uptown's Smoke Shop (first of the original 66 retailers to carry Crowned Heads) on launch day and snap up several Four Kicks. With that said, I wanted to enjoy my first Four Kicks with the group at Uptown's and do a proper review later, taking notes and photos. But with the holiday schedule encroaching, all the traveling and the parties that I must or should attend for both business and personal, let alone normal business, made personal time for doing a proper review and writing a bit difficult until after Christmas. I can't count how many times I would get home at 4am but get up again around 7-8am. Whew~!
But finally here is my review!
So there's a really good chance that if you're reading this blog, you are already aware of Crowned Heads and their line Four Kicks. It is something that I've not only mentioned in my previous blogs, Facebook, and Twitter, but it definitely was on the lips of everyone in the cigar industry all year long. I don't believe anything was as greatly anticipated as Four Kicks and now is the time to see if it lives up to the hype.
The first thing I noticed about this Corona Gorda was the aroma. It was an intoxicating sweetness of molasses with some spice and a hint of earthiness. Best I've smelled all year. The Ecuadorian Habano wrapper had small veins and had a nice light sheen to it. The cigar was well constructed with a nicely packed foot.
Lighting the cigar was a breeze. It lit well and produced ample amounts of creamy smoke. The initial notes I tasted were the same as those I smelled earlier. Plentiful, smooth, and delicious. The ash remained tight and held on for an inch and a half to two inches.
As I started entering the 2nd third, the cigar became more peppery and woodsy while the sweetness tapered off. The burn was even and smoke was always plentiful. Interestingly enough, the first couple of cigars had issues with going out at the 2nd and final third mark. I assume that since these cigars were right off the truck, they had encountered some higher humidity being shipped from the Dominican Republic and needed some time to "dry out". I say this because after having the cigar(s) in a more controlled area for several days before smoking made this stick perfect with no need to light more than once.
Entering into the last third, most of the pepper subsided and the spice once again returned. A hint of leather and molasses finished up the cigar for what ends up being one of the most flavorful cigars I've enjoyed this year.
Before I reveal my rating for this cigar, I would like to hearken back to something Jon Huber of Crowned Heads mentioned in early November. He said that the jury for Four Kicks was still out, and when he said "jury", he meant the individual and their own individual taste. With that in mind, I decided to do something a little different. I already had my taste, my experience and my rating of Four Kicks, but what about others?
I decided to suggest to a couple of people to try Four Kicks. One is an avid cigarette smoker who may have a cigar or two a year. The other was a social cigar smoker who only smokes cigars at special events, but other than that they don't smoke anything. I told them about Four Kicks and let the aromatic bouquet pull them in. The rest, as they say, is history. They both enjoyed Four Kicks very much and have since bought more, with the cigarette smoker telling me he wants to back off cigarettes and get more into cigars. If that doesn't speak volumes, then I don't know what does.
I must compliment Jon, Mike, Ernesto, and the rest of the crew involved with Crowned Heads on a job well done. Their years of experience is evident in their first outing with a cigar that has caught the attention of the industry. I commend you all. I rate Four Kicks with a 95.