In 2022, Crowned Heads released the Four Kicks Mule Kick Limited Edition 2022 (LE 2022). If you go back into the history of Crowned Heads, the Mule Kick is the oldest limited edition line in the company’s portfolio going back to 2012. It was in that year that there was a batch of Ecuadorian Habano wrapper that was deemed too dark to use for the Four Kicks line. A decision was made to combine the wrapper with a tweaked version of the Four Kicks blend and release it as a limited edition. As a result, Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2012 was born. The cigar became a huge hit for Crowned Heads and one of its most sought-after limited editions. In 2017, the Mule Kick was released again – using a similar blend to 2012. Following the 2017 release, the Mule Kick has been an (almost) annual release and the blends have been changed up from release to release. Today we take a closer look at what was the 2022 edition of the Four Kicks Mule Kick.
For completeness, we list the installments of the Four Kicks Mule Kick Limited Edition series. As mentioned, since 2018, the blend has changed from year to year. This has been highlighted by a different wrapper. For the 2022 edition of the Mule Kick, this cigar was highlighted by a Mexican San Andres wrapper.
Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2012 (Ecuadorian Habano)
Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2017 (Ecuadorian Habano)
Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2018 (Connecticut Habano)
Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2019 (Ecuadorian Sumatra)
Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2020 (Nicaraguan Jalapa)
Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2022 (San Andres)
Without further ado, let’s break down the Crowned Heads Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2022 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
In addition to the San Andres wrapper, the Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2022 features all-Nicaraguan tobaccos for the binder and filler. Production for all Mule Kicks, as well as the whole Four Kicks brand, is handled out of Ernesto Perez-Carrillo’s Tabacalera La Alianza in the Dominican Republic.
Wrapper: Mexican San Andres
Country of Origin: Dominican Republic
Factory: Tabacalera La Alianza, S.A.
The Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2022 comes in one size – a 5 7/8 x 52 Toro. This is the size that has been used for all of the Mule Kick installments. The Mule Kick LE 2022 is presented in ten-count boxes. There has been a total allocation of 4,000 boxes.
The San Andres wrapper of the Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2022 had a classic chocolate brown color to it. The surface of the wrapper had a light coating of oil. In addition, upon closer examination, a small amount of mottling could be seen on the surface. There also were some thin veins that were visible. Despite the darker color, some wrapper seams could still be seen.
A straight cut was used to remove the cap of the Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2022. Once the cap was removed, it was time to commence the pre-light draw ritual. The cold draw was simple and straightforward – delivering notes of bittersweet mocha (a fusion of coffee and chocolate) and cedar. Once the footer band of the Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2022 was removed, it was time to toast up the cigar and move into the smoking phase.
The Crowned Heads Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2022 opened up with notes of earth, cedar, mineral, and mocha. Early on the earth notes moved to the forefront. The cedar, mineral, and mocha notes settled in the background. During this stage, the flavors were bold, but there was a softness to the flavors. By the latter part of the first third, some mixed pepper notes also emerged in the background. Meanwhile, there was an additional layer of mixed pepper and cedar on the retro-hale.
During the second third of the Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2022, earth notes remained primary. The mineral, cedar, and mocha notes remained secondary. During this phase, the pepper notes remained in the background but slowly and gradually increased in intensity.
By the last third, the pepper notes joined the earth in the forefront. The mineral, cedar, and mocha notes rounded to the favor profile. When the Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2022 came to a close, the cigar had a nub that soft to the touch, but cool in temperature.
When it came to the burn, there was some slight meandering of the burn line as the cigar experience progressed. This required some touch-ups. While the touch-ups did the trick, I found the cigar needed more touch-ups than I preferred. The resulting ash was silver-gray. This wasn’t an overly firm ash, but it wasn’t a loose or flaky ash either. As for the burn rate and burn temperature, both maintained ideal levels.
The draw to the Crowned Heads Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2022 was on the open side. Normally I prefer a little resistance on the draw. While the draw was open, there were no adverse effects on the cigar experience. At the same time, this was a cigar that produced ample amounts of smoke.
Strength and Body
In terms of the strength and body of the Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2022, the strength started out medium. There was a slight increase in the intensity level along the way, but in the end, the cigar remained in the medium range of strength.
As for the body, the Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2022 was on the bolder side for a Crowned Heads cigar. I found this cigar delivered full-bodied flavors from start to finish. In terms of strength versus body, the body maintained the edge throughout the smoking experience. This was a perfect example of a full-bodied cigar that didn’t deliver a nicotine hit.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
The Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2022 uses the same banding scheme as the other Mule Kick cigars. This includes the red and gold Four Kicks primary band, and a black and gold secondary band indicating it’s a limited edition (in this case it says 2022). The one difference from some of the older Mule Kicks cigars is the inclusion of the Crowned Heads footer band. I like the banding scheme for this series, and like it even better with the Crowned Heads footer band.
One other nice feature of this cigar is the box is adorned with the color of the Mexican flag.
While the original Mule Kick from 2012 is a cult classic, I have liked the direction Crowned Heads has taken the Mule Kick line in over the past few years. While one can make a strong case that the Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2022 doesn’t really taste like a Four Kicks, one positive thing that I can derive from this is that demonstrates some different expressions from Crowned Heads. In the end, I found this cigar to be quintessential San Andres – earthy with some pungent spices that build along the way. In the end, this should satisfy many cigar enthusiasts. It’s a cigar I would recommend to an experienced cigar enthusiast or a novice looking for something on the full-bodied side. As for myself, this is a cigar I would definitely smoke again – and it’s a cigar certainly worth purchasing again.
Key Flavors: Earth, Mocha, Mineral, Cedar, Pepper
Burn: Very Good
Draw: Very Good
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
News: Crowned Heads to Release Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2022
Brand Reference: Crowned Heads
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop, except where noted
Originally posted on April 6, 2023 @ 1:17 pm