Just about a decade ago, a new cigar company called Crowned Heads made its debut with a cigar line called Four Kicks. In 2020, the cigar received a second version called the Capa Especial, and this year that blend added its second size.
The Four Kicks line was developed by Jon Huber and Mike Conder of Four Kicks along with Ernesto Perez-Carrillo Jr., and as is the case with pretty much every cigar that makes it to store shelves, there were versions of the blend that didn’t make it. In the case of Four Kicks, there were three finalists, two of which uses an Ecuadorian habano wrapper and one that used an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper. While one of the habano-wrapped versions was the one selected to become Four Kicks, the Sumatra-wrapped version wouldn’t be relegated to history. Rather, it would be released under the header Four Kicks Capa Especial.
The blend, which is the one that Perez-Carrillo preferred among the three finalists, uses an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, a Nicaraguan binder, and fillers from the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.
After being released in three sizes in August 2020, the line has added its fourth size, a limited edition that traces its roots to a cigar that Perez-Carrillo gifted to Huber during the blending process, a cigar he called Àguilas as it was close in size to the Cuban-made Romeo y Julieta Àguilas, a size that was discontinued in the 1970s. The name is the Spanish word for eagles.
- Four Kicks Capa Especial Robusto (5 x 50) — $9.35 (Box of 24, $224.40)
- Four Kicks Capa Especial Corona Gorda (5 5/8 x 46) — $8.65 (Box of 24, $207.60)
- Four Kicks Capa Especial Sublime (6 x 54) — $9.95 (Box of 24, $238.80
- Four Kicks Capa Especial Àguilas (5 1/2 x 50) — $10.95 (Box of 12, $131.40)
True to its designation as a limited edition, production is capped at 3,000 boxes of 12 cigars, a total run of 36,000 cigars. Each cigar has an MSRP of $10.95.
- Cigar Reviewed: Four Kicks Capa Especial Águilas LE 2021
- Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
- Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza S.A.
- Wrapper: Ecuador (Sumatra)
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 5 1/2 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Vitola: Perfecto
- MSRP: $10.95 (Box of 12, $131.40)
- Release Date: June 2021
- Number of Cigars Released: 3,000 Boxes of 12 Cigars (36,000 Total Cigars)
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
The double tapered vitola gives the Four Kicks Capa Especial Águilas LE 2021 an eye-catching and seemingly elongated shape, a simple but impactful touch of craftsmanship. The wrapper has just a bit of mottling but is a generally even shade of a decently dark brown. The veins are small but seem a bit bigger to the eye, but beyond that, there are no visual distractions. It is a fairy firmly rolled cigar, showing just a little in the way of give when given a gentle inspection. Aroma from the foot is soft, mild and familiar, bringing my mind to think of breads and other baked goods. There’s a bit of sweet fragrance that shows up, it’s not quite like a freshly cut apple or a cedar humidor, but it’s not too far off, while one sample reminds me of a cinnamon bun as it adds frosting into the mix. The tapered head is definitely providing the feeling of airflow being funneled, while the cigar itself seems to be just on the firm side of the spectrum. Flavors are mild fairly nondescript, but there is just a bit of oiliness coming through that glazes the flavor.
The Four Kicks Capa Especial Águilas LE 2021 starts off quite vibrantly, with mixed nuts, a bit of black pepper, and touches of wood and dry earth. It’s anywhere from a medium-plus to full profile depending on the sample, getting right to business. Retrohales are equally bright with pepper if maybe not as encompassing with the rest of the flavors. I didn’t think the foot of the cigar might be limiting airflow, but once the burn line is past the taper, it opens up quite remarkably, giving me a bit more smoke production as well. There is a bit of creaminess as the burn line progresses, softening and filling out the profile as well as combining quite well with the nuttiness in the profile. Just as I write that note down, the wood suddenly steps forward and hits the sides of my tongue with its dryness. Retrohales also become a bit brighter and more peppery as the first third starts to wrap up, leaving a rather lingering tingle in its wake. Flavor is medium-plus, body is medium-plus, and strength is medium-minus thus far. Construction is very good, especially with the draw opening up a bit.
I find myself retrohaling a good amount as the second third gets underway, as the pepper is about as bright and tingling as I want, and truthfully think is enjoyable. Any more, and it would be overpowering, distracting and out of balance, but it is in a great spot at the moment. The intensity of the flavor backs off a bit, shedding most of the earth and leaving nuttiness at the forefront, a flavor that comes with just a bit of oiliness on it. Pepper is still there, coming and going throughout this section in such a way that makes it unmissable when present and noticeably absent when it’s not. One sample goes awry on the flavor, and to my surprise, I find a bit of brown tar on the head, which I am inclined to believe is the culprit. Clipping the head resolves the problem but also opens up the draw a bit too much for my liking. That sample becomes an outlier in terms of flavor as it can’t quite shake the funkiness it has picked up, with the flavor getting dry and the body turning thin. There’s a bit more heat in the flavor of the cigar as the burn line approaches the final third, though it doesn’t feel like the cigar is necessarily getting hotter, rather it’s a physical heat like that from red chili pepper flakes. It’s a sensation that hits both the front of my tongue and the front of the roof of my mouth, and while I don’t want to call it distracting, I can’t convince myself the experience is better with it. But the cigar is still very enjoyable. It’s also problem-free in terms of construction and combustion. Flavor is medium-plus for most of this section, as is the body, while strength feels closer to medium but now seems to be building.
If the second third gave the flavors some time off the stage, they have all come back for an ensemble performance at the start of the final third. There is still plenty of nuttiness and black pepper, while earth is back but on a slightly drier note to provide a grounding flavor. Strength is now taking noticeable steps up the scale as well, and it’s not long into the final third that I feel the Four Kicks Capa Especial Águilas LE 2021 putting some nicotine into my system. As I mentioned in the second third there is still a bit of red chili pepper heat in the profile, which imparts a distinct sensation on the taste buds. Retrohales get a bit of that heat as well as their leading sensation moves more towards white pepper, while the lingering sensation is one reminiscent of how capsaicin hits my system. The final inches bring a great harmony of flavors to the palate, vibrant with pepper and wood but very well balanced and surprisingly light on the palate in terms of the weight of the smoke. That said, the one problematic cigar—which had the tar issue—does a decent job catching up but doesn’t quite reach the level set by the other two. Flavor finishes close to full, body is medium-plus, and strength is now well into medium-full territory. Construction remains fantastic and problem-free until it’s time to put the cigar down.
- We have touched on the good and bad of how non-Cuban companies and brands attempt to make a good-looking Edición Limitada/Limited Edition secondary band, and this one is definitely one of the better ones I have seen.
- I don’t know exactly how much it affected the final score, but I have to think the third sample cost the cigar some valuable points due to flavor and combustion issues.
- The Dominican baseball team based in Santiago de los Caballeros, which is home to the majority of the Dominican cigar industry, is also named Àguilas, or more specifically, Àguilas Cibaeñas, which references the Cibao region.
- As noted above, the Romeo y Julieta Àguilas isn’t quite the same size as this cigar; it measures 143mm long, a bit longer than the cigar being released by Crowned Heads, which is about 140mm long.
- While strength definitely builds throughout the cigar, I can’t say I was left with much of a nicotine buzz. Whatever it offers seems to dissipate fairly quickly.
- The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- Final smoking time was one hour and 30 minutes on average.
- Site sponsors Atlantic Cigar Co., Cigar Hustler, Famous Smoke Shop, JR Cigar and STOGIES World Class Cigars carry the Four Kicks Capa Especial Águilas LE 2021.
We don’t root for or against cigars, but there is a bit of disappointment felt by the third sample’s performance and what it might have done to the score that the Four Kicks Capa Especial Águilas LE 2021 will receive. Two of the samples, and even the first third of the other sample, did a very impressive job starting off with good flavor and developing it from there, impressively weaving its flavor components in, out and ultimately together to create a very enjoyable cigar. I certainly don’t want to focus on the one problematic sample, but tar is a tough hurdle to overcome, and that sample did a commendable job trying to do so. Even with that misstep, I still think the Four Kicks Capa Especial blend is one of the better ones in the company’s portfolio, and the Àguilas vitolas is easily on par with the others in the line, and a cigar worth trying before they are gone.