Jon Huber Talks About the New J.D. Howard Line
Mr. Huber, I hope you don’t mind me asking you a few questions. Since I smoked the Grange I’ve been pretty caught up in the Crowned Heads movement. I was just hoping to fill in some of the gaps I have and gain a little more insight into your new line.
Cigar Brief (CB): I read that you aren’t going to use anything “gimmicky” such as guns and wanted posters for the branding of this line. Considering a lot of the industry loves gimmicks right now, and that this line name is fertile with possibility, what were your thoughts going into the marketing aspect? Was it hard to say “no” to the thought of endless images and references? I imagine the thought of a Jesse James alias got you pretty excited, it sure did me. Although, I imagine J.D. Howard was far less in-your-face than Jesse James, maybe a nice subtly the lack of markings highlights.
Jon Huber (Huber): J.D. Howard was really an /inspiration/…didn’t see the need to be so obviousl or in-your-face about it. I admire a more subtle approach. I looked at J.D. Howard as more of a ‘persona’–similar to Jack Daniels, Pappy Van Winkle, or Booker Noe. A brand built around a ‘persona’–but that still retained a bit of mystery about it.
CB: Does the story or idea behind the J.D. line of cigars influence the flavor profile your search for, similar to the lyrics of a song aiding in the creation of a melody, or do the two just meet somewhere along the line? I’m very interested in the tobacco choice, specifically the wrapper. I am also pleased that there aren’t any big fat 60+ ring gauges, I need a break from handling such heavy equipment.
Huber: The story of J.D. Howard will show its inspiration more in the packaging and presentation. The blend was a result of striving to create something that not only tasted different from our previous releases (Four Kicks, Headley Grange, Four Kicks Mule Kick LE 2012), but that was also unique and flavorful in its own right. I personally prefer more traditional ring gauges. I feel that most blends shine through better with RGs in the range of 44-52…we will include the occassional 52+ RG to appease the larger RG segment, though.
CB: As far as distribution, and availability, will the J.D. line see the same amount of exposure as the Headley Grange and Four Kicks lines? Can we expect to see these in the world’s finest cigar boutiques?
Huber: The 2013 production of J.D. Howard will be in the neighborhood of 5,000 boxes. It is not, however, a “Limited Edition.” As with both Four Kicks and Headley Grange, J.D. Howard Reserve will be a core brand for Crowned Heads.
Well, Mr. Huber, that’s all I have for right now. Thanks again for your time and thoughts!