Mason Dixon Project Northern Edition
I don’t think it’s any sort of secret that I’m a huge fan of Crowned Heads cigars. In fact some might even go as far as to call me a fan boi. Honestly, I don’t think I’m that bad though. I’ll forever stand by the fact that Headley Grange is my favorite cigar of all time though! Well, if you are a fan boi of Crowned Heads then 2014 must have been the best year of your life. They released so many cigars that it was hard for me to keep up with all of them. In fact there are still some that I haven’t smoked. The Angel’s Anvil for one, and the Arrington Vineyards cigar is another. I only live 40 mins from Arrington, you think I’d have time to make it out there. Maybe sometime soon.
If you haven’t heard about this Mason Dixon project from Crowned Heads then you’re obviously not up to snuff on all of your cigar news! Brooks at halfwheel did a great write-up about the entire project with some insights from Jon. Go check out the article here.
The most important fact to remember is that there is a Northern, and a Southern cigar. They are both are 6″x 52 and priced around $10. They both use Nicaraguan filler & binder. However the main difference between the two are the wrappers. Those Northerners get a Connecticut Broadleaf and the Southerners get a Ecuadorian Connecticut. Both vastly different looking leaves. I’m excited to smoke this Mason Dixon Project Northern Edition mainly because it’s broadleaf and I’m a huge fan of broadleaf. Or at least I think I am. I get confused. Lets get this cigar lit and see what comes out of it!
The packaging on all the Crowned Heads cigars are typically very intricate and have some cool hidden objects in each one of the designs. However the Mason Dixon Project they went with simple and to the point. The box is a 20 count box with a wood burned looking logo on the top. It simply says Mason Dixon with a line separating the two. This same logo carries over to the band. This Northern Edition is a gold backed band with black writing.
The wrapper on this Mason Dixon Project Northern Edition is what I love! That rich-thick broadleaf with a nice oily sheen to it. Then right below the shine is the rough texture that offers some nice tooth along the way as well. It looks rugged, I love it. It has that similar look and feel as the Liga Privada 9 which of course also uses Connecticut Broadleaf. I’m starting to see a trend here.
Whipping out my favorite Xikar Xi cutter I quickly snipped the cap. Either my cutter is starting to wear down a bit or this cigar is packed pretty full with tobacco. I’m hoping it’s the latter. Either way the cap comes off nice and clean, it just takes a little extra effort with my fingers to squeeze the blades through. They needed a workout anyway.
The draw on this Mason Dixon Project Northern Edition was excellent. A nice smooth draw all the way through. Very little resistance. So that must mean that the barrel of the cigar isn’t overstuff with tobacco, which may ultimately mean that my cutter is getting a bit dull. Either way, that’s not the important point here. The actual point is that this cigar is ready to get some fire on the foot. So that’s what I’m going to do.
This Mason Dixon Project Northern Edition is a bit stubborn to start, but then finally warms up and takes off. The thick wrapper leaf starts is slow burn and has one hell of a lip curl to it while burning. It’s swelling up and then slowly peeling back to leave behind a trail of ash. It’s quite intoxicating to watch it all go down.
The ash ends up holding for a max of around 1 inch. That’s when I start to get nervous and go ahead and leave it behind in my ash tray. It continues to burn and draw perfectly. Great construction throughout, something we’ve all come to expect from the Garcia family and their rollers. Now onto the exciting part, how does the Mason Dixon Project Northern Edition actually taste?
Initially when I’m tasting this cigar on the pre light I begin picking up a lot of sweet tobacco notes. It’s like I just opened up a jar of pipe tobacco. Overall sweet, not much spice that I can pick up right away. When I start testing the cold draw there is a hint of spice right at the very end that hits my tongue and then fades away.
Once I get the cigar lit and I’m well into it I start picking up some nice hefty notes of hickory and bark. It’s a hearty flavor overall. To me it really reminds me of some smoked meats like brisket. I get a lot of that savory note that makes my tongue salivate. It’s followed up with a bit salty tinge to it and just enough spice to keep you excited and coming back. It’s a bit of a departure from what I’m used to with other broadleaf. Typically, I feel like when broadleaf is used as the wrapper you get a lot more in your face type of flavors. This cigar is a bit more mellow and balanced. It’s even a departure from the Tennessee Waltz that Crowned Heads released earlier in the year which also uses broadleaf. It’s interesting to see all the different flavor profiles that the guys can create using a similar leaf.
To me this cigar never really built up to more than a mild-medium smoke in terms of strength. It certainly had it’s medium points for flavor though. Right at the end of the 2nd and beginning of the final third it really hit its stride in terms of flavor for me.
Would I Buy It Again?
I certainly would, it’s a bit harder to find down here in the South, but I think I have a line on where I can find a few more.
Is It an Every Day Smoke?
Probably not for me, I enjoyed it but not sure it’s something that I would smoke everyday.
Would I Buy a Box?
Of course, I feel like this is one of those that would age very well and I’d love to see how it smokes 6 months to a year down the line.
Overall, this Mason Dixon Project Northern Edition isn’t my favorite release from the Crowned Heads guys in 2014. That honor still goes to the Jericho Hill. However, this is still a solid cigar. Again, I love seeing the versatility of using the Broadleaf and seeing all the flavor profiles that it can bring out. The other thing that I love is that the guys at CH are bringing something different to the table each and every time. We’re not really able to pigeon hole them into one particular style of cigar. They’re all over the place with the flavor profiles, in a good way. Offering up something slightly different each and every release. So do yourself a favor, pick some of these cigars. Smoke em and see what you think then come back here and leave a comment and tell us!