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EXCLUSIVE: Crowned Heads Pair with Ernesto Perez-Carrillo

Crowned Heads LLC, the Nashville, Tennessee, cigar company formed by former executives from C.A.O., has joined with Ernesto Perez-Carrillo, the veteran cigarmaker who once rolled La Gloria Cubana cigars in Miami. Perez-Carrillo is going to make Four Kicks, the first cigar for Crowned Heads.

Four Kicks is scheduled to reach cigar stores in November. It will be rolled at Tabacalera La Alianza S.A., in Santiago, Dominican Republic, and will consist of Nicaraguan binder and filler and Ecuadoran Habano wrapper. The cigars will be triple capped and rolled in entubado style.

"We're looking for medium to full in body, but full flavor," said Jon Huber, who founded Crowned Heads in February with Mike Conder, Michael Trebing and Nancy Heathman. The cigars will come in four sizes: Corona Gorda (5 5/8 by 46 ring gauge), Robusto (5 by 50), Sublime (6 by 54) and Piramide (6 1/8 by 52). The suggested retail prices will range from $6.95 to $8.65 per cigar, and they will come in boxes of 24.

The team from Crowned Heads is excited to be working with Perez-Carrillo. "His cigars are just fantastic," said Huber in an exclusive interview with Cigar Aficionado Online. "I've never smoked a bad one. We feel very fortunate and lucky to be partnered with the Perez-Carrillo family." Said Mike Conder of Crowned Heads: "Ernesto's career and tobacco knowledge is nothing short of legendary, and we are honored that he has opened his factory to us and shared his expertise."

"When we started talking, it just became a natural thing for us to do," said Perez-Carrillo. "The brands that they like, I'd be very proud to be making for myself."

Four Kicks band.
An artist's rendition of the new Four Kicks cigar band.

Four Kicks is not only the first cigar for Crowned Heads, but it's a first for Perez-Carrillo, who has made cigars for more than 40 years. Four Kicks will be the first cigar he has made under contract for another company. Ironically, making cigars under contract was Perez-Carrillo's original game plan when he set out on his own after leaving General.

"When I first decided to go out on my own, that was the original idea," Perez-Carrillo told Cigar Aficionado. "But I'm glad it didn't turn out that way," he said. When his children, Ernesto and Lissette, joined him in his venture, the idea changed, and the E.P. Carrillo brand was born.

The partnership brings together several people who had previous relationships with General Cigar Co. The quartet who founded Crowned Heads left C.A.O. as it was being merged with General late last year and Perez-Carrillo was in the employ of General after he sold the La Gloria Cubana brand to Swedish Match AB, which later purchased General.

Huber said Four Kicks was inspired by a song from the band Kings of Leon. "The four kept coming up," he said, making reference to the four people at the company, four sizes in the brand.

Huber also said that people shouldn't expect a cigar with the name "Crowned Heads" on it. "Crowned Heads is the holding company," said Huber.  

Expect about 30,000 to 40,000 Four Kicks cigars in 2011. "They're in no rush to grow," said Perez-Carrillo. "We're in no rush to grow."

Craig Rich August 4, 2011 10:41am ET
Awesome news! Can't wait to try these. Congrats to Jon, Mike, Mike and Nancy!
Christian A August 4, 2011 10:51am ET
Ernesto has been putting out some choice smokes since he left La Gloria, I am curious to check these out.
This is going to be an awesome relationship, and product as well. Congrats. JD
riverviewtobacco August 6, 2011 11:28am ET
We are a new Tobacco Shop with 2 small humidors about 40 boxes. I would like to have first shot at getting some of these we pride ourselves on well made cost efficient product and customers like new stogies.... our price range is from $2.00 - $9.00 sticks and we offer our customers the opportunity to buy boxes at about $20.00 a box after shipping to us. We also have lots of parents who come in and get boxes to send to their sons overseas.... I hope you will have someone contact us
G August 8, 2011 8:50am ET
I just learned something new, "entubado". C.A. Thanks for the user friendly site. This sounds like a costly and time consuming process. I hope it works out for crowned heads.
David Savona August 8, 2011 9:15am ET
G, entubado is typically a slower process, and it's beautiful to watch. I'm glad you found our glossary inside Cigar 101 helpful. All the best.

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