Review | The Mason Dixon Project North
According to the Crowned Heads website, “Crowned Heads is a premium cigar company committed to producing cigars of artisanal quality that are defined by a combination of excellent flavor, balance, and consistency”. There early cigars were made from EP Carrillo including EP Carrillo and Headley Grange. In 2014, the company has developed a closer relationship with My Father Cigars, the factory behind the releases of Las Calaveras, Jericho Hill and now the Mason Dixon project.
The cigars are being sent to the North using a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, while the south is getting a cigar wrapped with an Ecuadorian Connecticut. Each release is limited to 1,250 boxes and is available in one size only, coming in at 6 x 52.
Cigar: The Mason Dixon Project North
Size: 6 x 52 (Toro)
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
The Look: The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper that adorns the Mason Dixon Project is gritty and full of character. I guess that is the nice way of saying this is one ugly mofo, as most broadleaf tends to be. There are a couple of nasty veins that run down the length of the Mason Dixon North and some creasing near the cap. However, this is usually just esthetics as often it doesn’t affect the smoking experience. The black and gold band has a generic familiarity about it (CAO Cameroon, anyone?), and it would have been nice to have as reference to the north on it. In the hand, the cigar is firm with a hefty weight to it and the foot reveals a nice swirl of darker tobaccos.
The Notes: The cold draw of the Mason Dixon is very earthy with notes of an old barn consisting of a taste that reminds me of the aroma of dry earth, hay and wood. The foot of the North Edition serves up some wood, specifically cedar shavings.
Once the cigar is lit there are notes of pepper which is to be expected given these are made at the My Father factory, but at a less potent rate then was expected. With the cigar first lit there is a familiarity to it that makes me feel like I am visiting and old friend. There are notes of espresso of and cedar and slight sweetness.
As we start the second third and the ash drops into the ashtray the cigar develops some spice, but once that fades, the sweetness that appeared in the first third begins to become more recognizable. The espresso notes remain as a hint of dark chocolate works its way into the mix. The finish has a hint of cedar as well and some notes of the char on a steak that was sitting on the BBQ.
In the last third of the Mason Dixon Project North Edition, the char from steak notes remain which are extremely enjoyable and the notes of espresso become well-defined, the sweetness remains in the background where nuts reminiscent of cashews begin to emerge as well.
The Burn: A Connecticut Broadleaf can be one of those wrappers that can give you a burn issue due to the thickness of it. If the other tobaccos aren’t placed properly they burn at a different rate, and that is not the case here. The result is that the Mason Dixon Project burns to perfections with a thin burn line that remains crisp all the way through. The cigar which burned cool all the way to the end had a perfect draw. The light-colored ash held for a third of the stick, and each time it dropped some of the spice returned creating a nice experience.
The Finish: While the Mason Dixon Line had a familiarity about it, it also had a distinctness as well. If you were a fan of Las Calaveras, I believe you will be a fan of this, medium to full bodied smoke. It is a quintessential Connecticut Broadleaf with enjoyable notes that are both smooth and complex that is enjoyable until the nub.