Cigar Makers

Master Blenders: Jon Huber & Mike Conder of Crowned Heads Cigars

Cigar Advisor Podcast: Jon Huber & Mike Conder of Crowned Heads Cigars

Based in Nashville, TN, Crowned Heads Cigars is a boutique cigar label founded by former CAO execs, Jon Huber & Mike Conder, who have achieved remarkable success via social media and in-store events. Their cigars are made at two of the world’s most esteemed factories: My Father (Don Pepin Garcia) in Nicaragua, and Tabacalera Alianza (Ernesto Perez-Carrillo) in the Dominican Republic. During the podcast, Huber & Conder discuss their marketing philosophy and unique approach to the cigar business while revealing the lighter side of their personalities, making it well worth a listen.


An Interview with Jon Huber & Mike Conder of Crowned Heads Cigars

By Gary Korb

In 2011, cigar industry veterans, Jon Huber & Mike Conder, decided to carve their own path in the business and founded Crowned Heads Cigars. Jon & Mike share a long history and also worked together at CAO Cigars as the Director of Lifestyle Marketing and Vice President of Marketing, respectively, so they know a lot about what it takes to bring a brand to market. After incalculable hours of hard work, including a concentration on social media and listening to a lot of music for inspiration, their efforts have paid-off by receiving some of the highest cigar tasting scores and glowing reviews.

jon mike crowned heads cigars interview podcast
Podcast host, Gary Korb, with Crowned Heads’ Mike Conder (holding a box of Four Kicks Black Belt Buckle) and Jon Huber.

A lot of time was also spent deciding which manufacturer would be the best fit for their cigars, and it eventually came down to two: Don “Pepin” Garcia’s My Father factory in Nicaragua, and Ernesto Perez-Carrillo’s Tabacalera La Alianza in the Dominican Republic. (Most industry insiders would tell you that it’s pretty hard to miss with either factory.)


Every business has a mission statement, and the Crowned Heads philosophy is both unpretentious and logical: When the rules don’t make sense, carve your own path. It’s been quite an impressive path, too, with cigars like Las Calaveras, Four Kicks, La Imperiosa, Jericho Hill, and J.D. Howard Reserve, to name a handful of their successes.

crowned heads cigars las calaveras 2017 interview
Mexican artist, José Guadalupe Posada’s famous “La Calavera de Catrina,” which became an icon of Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos (“Day of the Dead”), and provided the inspiration for Las Calaveras cigars. Click the pic to learn more about them.


Music plays a significant part in many of their cigars, from Johnny Cash (Jericho Hill), to Led Zeppelin (Headley Grange), to Kings of Leon (Four Kicks and Black Belt Buckle). As Jon puts it, every Crowned Heads release is regarded “the way a record album would be to a band, with Crowned Heads being the band.” Moreover, each “album” has a unique story and vibe behind it, from the blend in the cigars to the graphics on the box.

crowned heads cigars black belt buckle buy four kicks

“I think people kind of gravitate towards us because we’re authentic, we’re real, we’re honest, we have some integrity,” says Jon Huber. “We’re very transparent in our branding. We’re not trying to fool anybody, and I think people kind of gravitate towards that in this day and age.”

Click here to listen to the podcast:



Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

Show all Gary Korb's Articles
#nowsmoking feb 19 2019 asylum medulla oblongata cigar review maduro toro Cigar Advisor cover

#nowsmoking: Asylum Medulla Oblongata Maduro Toro

#nowsmoking Asylum Medulla Oblongata Maduro Toro: “a dense, medium-plus smoke brimming with…”, well, LOTS of flavors. Click now for the tasting notes, and everything else you need to know about this cigar in under 60 seconds…

Read More
cacover top cigar brands

2018 CA Report: Top Cigar Brands You Should Know (And Why)

If someone asked you which cigars you like, what would you tell them? And what would you say if that person asked, “why?”
If you’re on the hunt for a go-to cigar, you should know at least a little something – even one thing – about what makes these cigar brands and their makers special, and why they’ve earned a spot in so many humidors.

Read More
nowsmoking july 23 2018 foundation cigar the tabernacle cigar review torpedo CACover

#NowSmoking: The Tabernacle

Trending: #nowsmoking The Tabernacle Torpedo from Foundation Cigars...see our 10-second cigar review here, and share! Find us on Instagram: @famoussmokeshop and @cigaradvisor
Read More
rookie cigar smoker tips

The Rookie Cigar Smoker: Here’s How Not to Look Like One

New to cigars and having trouble fitting in with the crowd? No problem: Zman has tips any rookie cigar smoker can use to boost his self-esteem. Read it now!
Read More