Crowned Heads has returned to the business of pairing songs with cigars with the creation of Jericho Hill, a Nicaraguan smoke inspired by the Johnny Cash hit "Cocaine Blues."
The song, a toe-kicking tune Cash made famous during his performance at Folsom Prison in 1968, is the story of a criminal named Willy Lee, who gets off to a brisk start in the ballad by murdering his lady with a .44 after a shot of cocaine. He makes a break for the border, but fails to get away, and is captured by the authorities in Mexico before being brought to justice by a sheriff from Jericho Hill:
"Late in the hot joints takin' the pills/In walked the sheriff from Jericho Hill/He said Willy Lee your name is not Jack Brown/You're the dirty hack that shot your woman down."
The size names all harken back to songs on Cash's album At Folsom Prison. The smallest in the line, .44S, is 5 1/8 inches by 44 ring gauge and refers to the gun used by the protagonist, Willy Lee, which is the name of the biggest cigar in the line, a 6-inch-long, 54-ring-gauge smoke. The LBV (6 1/2 by 46) and OBS (4 3/4 by 52) refer to different songs on the album.
This is the second time Crowned Heads, based in the music town of Nashville, has made a cigar with a connection to music. The first was Headley Grange, a cigar brand released in 2012 that Crowned Heads named after the building where Led Zeppelin recorded some of its best songs.
The cigar is made by My Father Cigars, who also made the limited-edition Las Calaveras for Crowned Heads. Jericho Hill, however, is a regular-production brand. The cigar has Nicaraguan filler and binder, with a dark wrapper leaf from Mexico's San Andrés Valley.
Crowned Heads' first three regular-production brands are made by Ernesto Perez-Carrillo's La Alianza factory in the Dominican Republic.
Jon Huber of Crowned Heads told Cigar Aficionado there was "No change in relationship with Ernesto or La Alianza. We currently have three regular-production brands (Four Kicks, Headley Grange, and J.D. Howard Reserve) coming from that factory and that won't change."
Huber said he expected the new brand to begin shipping by the end of July or early August.