Team Cigar Review: Crux Sports

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Cigar Details: Crux Sports

  • Vitola: Sports
  • Length: 4.62″
  • Ring Gauge: 35
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Habano Jalapa
  • Binder: Indonesia
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Plasencia S.A.
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $3.25
  • Release Date: January 2016
  • Source: Crux Cigars

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The first thing that catches your eye about the cigar is its small size. It’s pretty rustic looking with a nice milk chocolate brown color, but it’s not uniform and has some darker brown areas which makes the cigar visually appealing to me. The wrap lines are pretty easily visible based on the color changes, but they are wrapped well. The caps are applied very well for as small as the head is. There are a few decent sized veins visible and then a network of smaller ones. The aroma from the wrapper is a fairly sweet tobacco and the foot gives the aroma of dry grass or hay. The pre-light draw brings that same dry grass/hay and a bit of leather.

Pre-light Experience

The Crux Sports has a blotchy medium brown wrapper with a nice oily sheen that is evident on the finger tips. The cigar feels well rolled with just the right amount of give. The parejo head is finished off with a well adhered double cap. Nosing the wrapper gives an immediate red chili oil followed by pungent barnyard and slight cedar. Nosing the foot gives namely cedar and black pepper spice. Cold draw tells mainly lip and tongue numbing black pepper spice and cedar.

First Third

Upon lighting, I’m getting a very bright, super concentrated sweetness. This dies down after about 4 draws and settles into a sweet oak flavor with a little bit of spice on the finish. The retrohale is slightly sweet as well and the spice is a bit more present. A little further in, the sweetness disappears from the retrohale but is still present in the mouth. The sweetness I am getting I would liken to an artificial sweetener, but it is not off putting. The retrohale is really refining itself to be a heavy oak which is quite pleasing. The strength in this third was right about medium.

First Third

First thirds initial wave of flavors provides balanced and fairly rich notes of semi-sweet chocolate, dry roasted nuts, cedar, graham crackers and black pepper spice to round out the aforementioned flavors. Through the retrohale, the black pepper spice and cedar is intensified but never overwhelming. The extent of the first third yields a solid medium for both strength and body.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the artificial type sweetness that I was getting in the mouth has gone and is now primarily oak. On the retrohale, a bit of sweetness has come in, but not of the artificial variety. A little further in, I begin to get some damp wood and a little bit of mineral flavor. As quickly as it appeared, the damp wood and mineral went away and a slightly spicy cedar took over. As the third transitions, the cedar changes to oak, and the retrohale is oak as well mixed in with a fair amount of creaminess. The flavors are very full as the cigar progresses which is a great trait. A bit of mineral makes its way into the retrohale to mix with the oak and cream. The strength in this third was also at a medium.

Second Third

Second thirds flavors creates an intensified flavor experience as compared to the first third. Instead of a generic black pepper spice, the spice has become fairly oily, sticking to my palate. The graham cracker note has also intensified, showing more of that dry, sweet, biscuity note. A new note of under-ripe stone fruit is also welcomed into the mix. All in all, flavors of semi-sweet chocolate, dry roasted nuts, cedar, intensified graham crackers, oily pepper and under-ripe stone fruit. The body and strength is still at a medium but knocking on medium pluses doors.

Final Third

As this third begins, the mineral flavor has returned to mix with the oak. The mineral fades away pretty quickly again and leaves the oak as the sole flavor as well as in the retrohale. Mid way through the third, some coffee joins in with the oak to give a nice profile. The retrohale now has a unique aroma of toasted oak. The head gets pretty soft as the cigar reaches the end which is to be expected with thin ring gauge. The strength in this third was closer to mild/medium.

Final Third

The complexity and flavor profile dies down quite a bit as compared to the second third. I am mainly left with an oily palate sticking pepper, cedar and slight graham cracker. The cigar shows its ring gauge, as the smoke gets considerably hot. Body and strength reverts back to a solid medium.

Burn

The burn was pretty good as it stayed straight with slight variations for the duration. The cigar did go out once which I think is more attributed to the draw than anything else.

Burn

The burn line and ash were picture perfect. Solid and sturdy ash marks throughout the entire cigar. The burn should be featured in a photo shoot.

Draw

The draw was pretty tight. I was a bit hesitant of going to the draw tool due to the small ring gauge, but I did anyway as I wanted to try to free things up, but it didn’t help much. I did do a second cut at one point which didn’t help either. Sometimes squeezing the head with my teeth helped, but the draw was the weak point of the cigar.

Overall

The flavors from this cigar were pretty good and the level of fullness that they reached in the second third was fantastic. I really wish it had a better draw as I needed to be attentive to how frequent I was drawing and how hard as to not to overheat things but also to keep it lit. I did experience some negative aspects in relation to this, especially during the final third, where the cigar got soft. Overall, the experience was very good and I’m hoping the draw is better in other cigars. Price doesn’t factor into our scores, but the price of this cigar in relation to the experience is great. This is where Crux excels in giving a good experience with a lower price point. I would recommend this cigar to just about anyone and based on the size and price could see this as a daily smoker for some. Also fits in well with people that live in cold climates and want a shorter smoke time.

Aaron
Jiunn
Very Good Pre
Light
Good
Good First
Third
Good
Very Good Second Third Very Good
Good Final
Third
Average
Good Burn Amazing
Poor Draw Poor
Very Good Overall Good

Draw

The draw was poor. Very tight draw. I understand that a slim ring gauge is tough to roll so not entirely surprised here. I guess I would take a tighter draw as compared to a loose draw, especially for a thin ring gauge, as a loose draw may create hot draws.

Overall

Overall, a slim and short cigar well worth checking out. Given the lack of slim ring gauge vitolas out there (let alone a tasty one), this one for the most part has got it all; good flavors, complexity and balance. Well worth grabbing a few to pay attention to and smoke.

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

6.73

Cost/Point

$0.48

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.33

Cost/Point

$0.51

Scoring System

Aaron LoomisTeam Cigar Review: Crux Sports

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