Today we review the Mason Dixon Project South, which is part of the latest limited edition from Crowned Heads. As we wrote in the Mason Dixon North Review:
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 South
Size: 6 x 52 (Toro)
Wrapper: Ecuador Connecticut
The Look: I will be the first to admit I miss when Connecticut wrapper was golden in color, opposed to the paper bag brown many currently are. I was far more attracted to those wrappers, but I realize the darker hue is to make the cigars look less mild in comparison to their counterparts. At least, that is my opinion. The Connecticut wrapper grown in Ecuador that adorns the Mason Dixon Project South is flawless. The seams aren’t barely visible, their vein structure is virtually invisible and there are a nice amount of oils. The band is the inverse of the North and in the hand the cigar is firmer, albeit lighter than its counterpart.
The Notes: Before I cut the foot, I took in the aroma of the foot which has some earthy components, but also some butter notes, and dare I say it butterscotch. The latter is there as an afterthought and one of my favorite aromas. Once the cigar is cut with my double guillotine cutter, the cold draw is of wood, and dry hay. Once the cigar is lit, there is some spice notes especially through the nose, and they feel stronger than the North, at least through the nose.
As we smoking into the first third of the cigar, there is a familiar note but I can’t quite put my finger on it right away but it almost reminds me of candy corn. Or perhaps, the spirit of Halloween has taken over my soul. Regardless, it is a sweetness that comes and goes on top of a canvas of hay. As the first third the sweetness of the comes back and still reminds me of the aforementioned candy corn.
In the second third of the cigar the sweetness begins to develop further over notes of nuts and cedar with a spice on the finish. The notes of the cigar re very fall like, as sometimes I am reminded of freshly baked pumpkin pie, specifically the crust of cinnamon and graham cracker. and at other times candy corn. I’ll be honest it is making me second guess myself and wondering if the season/holiday has anything to do with my perception. As the second third comes to a close some vanilla joins the party.
The last third of the Mason Dixon Project South continues to develop notes of vanilla and the nuts experienced in the middle portion of the cigar begin to take on a roasted like quality to them.
The Burn: The Mason Dixon Project South had a razor-sharp burn and a thin carbon line that got thinner as the cigar went on. The draw of the cigar was almost as perfect as the North, although it had a little less resistance then I would like. The light color ash held on firm, albeit a little flaky. The cigar stay lit from first puff to last exhale. It’s funny, when I lived in Miami with all the humidity I couldn’t keep a cigar lit to save my life. Now that I live in New England I love not having to relight a cigar.
The Finish: The North vs South, which is better. I guess the question is what do you look for in a cigar. The North was bold, strong, and flavorful. Much like the people who live up here. It was in your face and didn’t hold anything back, much like myself. The South however, was a more homey, subtle cigar that made you feel like you stepped into a country kitchen. For me it was a nice place to visit, but the North once again reigns supreme.