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Mason-Dixon 'South' by Crowned Heads

Mason-Dixon South by Crowned Heads 1Wrapper - Ecuador Connecticut
Binder - Nicaragua
Filler - Nicaragua

Note: The cigar spent a month resting in my humidor prior to being lit for this review. (It is the one on the left in the image, the other cigar being the 'North'. Look for my review of the latter next week on the Cigar Weekly Home Page.)

The cigar was rustic light brown in color, and sported a simple yet fitting band. There were some prominent veins on the wrapper, and the stogie had a slight give to the touch. The smell of the wrapper was predominantly of hay and barnyard, with the slightest tinge of cedar. After cutting the cap, I took a cold draw. The cold draw seemed to have a perfect pull, with notes of sweet raisin coming through.

Upon toasting the foot and lighting up, I was amazed at the burst of white pepper that greeted me with the first few puffs. A hint of leather began to come through soon thereafter, before the spice grew even more prominent with a cayenne pepper kick. I was actually taken aback by the flavors I was sensing, because I could not recall this type of intense pepper early on in my previous run-ins with this stick. As a matter of fact, I had always looked at the 'South' as a fairly straightforward cigar.

Mason-Dixon South by Crowned Heads 2The draw was smooth, and the grey ash held for well over an inch before falling. The burn line was a tad uneven at times, but it corrected itself as I went.

The beginning of the middle third started off with a slightly sweet taste that was, quite frankly, hard to put a finger on. When I went back for another taste, the flavor seemed to have disappeared, the spices scaling back quite a bit as well. Cedar began making its way to the forefront, and it was quite pleasant. Following the cedar was a distinct citrus sweetness – the exact kind one might find in Aging Room's M356 cigar. Even more surprising was the presence of a 'bready' texture – almost pudding-like. It did wonders for the body of the cigar! Here, the 'South' started to taste more like a medium-bodied smoke and less like a mild one. This evolution continued on before the ash fell and the cigar made its way to the final third.

The finish was fairly straightforward – cedar and leather, without much variation until it was finally time to put the cigar out.

This smoke is one of the more difficult cigars I've ever graded in terms of recommendation. The flavors were definitely there. However, there wasn't very much cohesion, and the transitions seemed to be extreme. Overall, if I were being a little generous, I would give this stick a final verdict of 7/10.

If you are a previous fan of Crowned Heads smokes (which I am), then it is a no-brainer for you to try at least one 'South'!

Pre-light: 6.5
Light: 7.5
Draw: 8
Construction: 7
Flavor: 6.5
Power: 7
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Steven is a people-person who enjoys visiting lounges across the country, and getting to know the people who make the cigar industry what it is today. From his visits to former speak-easy's under the North End streets of Boston to the smoke-shops in the suburbs of Atlanta, there is a cultural history, and he wants to be there to hear it. Steven is a regular on 'Cigar Life Radio', voicing his stogie reviews as well as his take on the latest in the industry. He also enjoys Scotch, Bourbon, wine and craft brews.