Cigar: Mason Dixon Line South by Crowned Heads
Year of Production: 2014
â€œContinuing their use of history in the branding of Crowned Heads releases, Jon Huber and Mike Conder have announced the companyâ€™s latest release, The Mason-Dixon Projectâ€“Limited Edition 2014. At the 2014 IPCPR convention and trade show, Crowned Heads told halfwheel it was working on three different regional editions: one is due out this month, Tennessee Waltz which is exclusive to the companyâ€™s home state of Tennessee, while the others are due out in October, split between two regions of the U.S.
Two different cigars will be made, one for the northern half of the U.S. and one for the southern half. While the blends are different, many details are similar, including the 6 x 52 size, the price of $9.85 per cigar and that each will be limited to 1,250 boxes of 20.
The MDP-LE 2014 Southern Edition uses Nicaraguan tobacco for the binder and filler, covered in a Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper. For the MDP-LE 2014 Northern Edition there is a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper with Nicaraguan tobacco for the filler and binder. Both versions will be available exclusively at Crowned Heads brick and mortar tobacconist accounts within that respective territory.
Its name draws inspiration from a boundary created by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in 1767 to settle a dispute between the colonies of Pennsylvania and Maryland. The Mason-Dixon line is best known as an unofficial boundary prior to the Civil War separating free states from those that still practiced slavery. The line never stretched across the U.S., as such Crowned Heads is having to make its own boundaries regarding many western states.
This is the fourth release for Crowned Heads to be made at My Father Cigars S.A. Like Las Calaveras, the companyâ€™s first collaboration with My Father Cigars, Crowned Heads has indicated The Mason-Dixon Project will be an annual release.â€
-From Crowned Headâ€™s Website via Halfwheel.com
Vitola: Toro (6×52)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Appearance: The Mason Dixon Project South is quite straight forward in appearance. The Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper is very smooth with only minor veins present and covered in a nice oily sheen. The duo-tone black and gold band pops well against the golden brown wrapper.
Pre Light: The cold draw gave very traditional cigar notes of hay, tobacco, black pepper and cedar.
First Third: The first few moments of the Mason Dixon Line South are filled with rich, deep flavors of tobacco. The tobacco is a very prominent flavor during the first third and is complimented very well with mild notes of nutmeg and oak. The draw is perfect, the ash is holding strong and only needed to be ashed once towards the end of the first third and requires no touch ups or relights at this point. Surprisingly, the Mason Dixon Line is leaning towards the higher end of medium in strength, which many would not expect from a Connecticut shade wrapper.
Second Third: As the cigar progresses into the second third, I begin to find a pleasant sweetness, reminiscent of caramel, which presents itself on the finish. The caramel like sweetness on the finish balances out the spice from the black pepper very well. As for the flavors up front, the oak begins to become more prominent along with a very rich nutty flavor, like that of macadamia nut. The strength remains at the higher end of a medium body and the ash continues to hold tightly then fall about every inch or so with no touch ups or relights required.
Final Third: Into the final third, the Mason Dixon Line South takes one final shift in its flavor profile, presenting roasted almonds and cedar up front with vanilla on the finish with black pepper and earth on the retrohale.
Overview: The Mason Dixon Line South started off with a rich tobacco flavor complimented by mild nutmeg and oak. It then progressed into macadamia nut with oak remaining up front and caramel on the finish along with black pepper. In the final third, the black pepper remained on the retrohale with roasted almonds and cedar in the forefront and subtle vanilla notes on the finish. The construction was solid with the ash holding tight and falling about every inch or so, never requiring any touch ups or relights. The strength was consistently at the higher end of a medium body, perhaps a bit stronger towards the end.
Closing Thoughts: Over the past couple of years, we have seen some home runs by Crowned Heads, from the Headley Grange to the Las Calaveras and, more recently, the Jericho Hill. The Mason Dixon Line South is a great cigar to their already fantastic lineup of limited releases. I know many cigar smokers who prefer full bodied cigars will shy away from Connecticut shade wrappers, but donâ€™t let this one fool you â€“ it is certainly not for the weak hearted or empty stomached! Full of flavor, body and solid constructionâ€¦the Mason Dixon Line South by Crowned Heads is certainly a must try.