J.D. Howard Reserve, the third brand from Crowned Heads LLC of Nashville, has reached cigar store shelves. The smokes are rolled in the Dominican Republic from a blend of Brazilian, Nicaraguan and Ecuadoran tobaccos.
The brand takes its name from an alias used by Jesse James, the famous American outlaw who is best known for his legendary life of crime robbing trains and banks across the Wild West in the years after the Civil War. For a time he lived a relatively quiet life in Nashville under the assumed last name of Howard.
Jon Huber, who runs Crowned Heads with Mike Conder, saw an opportunity to name the cigar after James' relatively obscure alias.
"There's a fine line when you're inspired by something, and when you're making it obvious and gimmicky," Huber said in the February story on CigarAficionado.com that broke the news of the new cigar. "This is a very subtle homage and inspiration."
The cigars come in five sizes, all of them parejos. The original plan was to have an intriguing figurado known as an Aguilas as part of the lineup, but production shortages on that type of cigar (75 to 100 cigars per day, versus about 275 cigars for a regular cigar) led Huber to switch to a straight-sided smoke.
"The Aguilas is out—we didn't run it," said Huber. "We decided to replace that with the HR50, 5 1/2 [inches] by 50 [ring gauge]."
The wrappers on J.D. Howard are Brazilian, and the cigars range in price from $8.50 to $9.70. As with all the cigars in the Crowned Heads portfolio, they are made by Ernesto Perez-Carrillo in the Dominican Republic.
Look for more information on the J.D. Howard Reserve and a host of other new cigars in today's Cigar Insider.