Team Cigar Review: Crux Epicure Maduro Toro

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Cigar Details: Crux Epicure Maduro Toro

  • Vitola: Toro Extra
  • Length: 6.25″
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez
  • Blender: Jeff Haugen
  • Price: $11.50
  • Release Date: May 2019
  • Source: Crux

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The Crux Epicure Maduro Toro wrapper is a consistent very dark brown and carries a few visible veins that are well pressed. The seams are visible in a few spots where it is slightly lifted, but otherwise they are blended well. The head is finished off with one deep cap and another shallow cap. The band is of the new design and primarily an aqua green with gold and white text and accents. There is a cut out strip on each side of the band so the wrapper shows through. The aroma from the wrapper is a mix of very dark stewed fruit and light campfire. The foot brings wood, tobacco sweetness and white pepper. The pre-light draw brings a light profile of stewed fruit and cedar while a mild spiciness is present on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The Crux Epicure Maduro Toro is nice in hand and sports a solid maduro wrapper. It is giving off an aroma of cherries, tobacco, rich earth and dark chocolate, and the wrapper has some espresso beans to that. There is a lovely cold draw and the cigar is firm throughout.

Pre-light Experience

The Crux Epicure Maduro Toro has a dark wrapper and features the new band design that Crux has implemented for 2019. The Maduro band is white lettering with teal, white and gold accents. An interesting complication to the band is that it’s split in the middle to show the dark wrapper. Nosing the cigar, I pick up a smokey barbecue, almost like hints of fire cured tobacco, with cedar underneath. In the foot, there is a sweet raisin tobacco at a light plus.

Pre-light Experience

The Crux Epicure Maduro Toro, as the name suggests, has a spot on maduro wrapper shade. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll even and head with a well wrapped cap. Aromas from the wrapper give baking spices and cedar. Foot aromas tell rich nuttiness and cedar. Cold draw gives the same smell as the wrapper (cedar and baking spices).

First Third

The cigar begins with a very dark wood that has a bit of spice to it. The retrohale carries the same dark wood with spice but adds a faint mustiness. The spice in the profile carries a very long finish. As the third comes to a close, some mustiness has joined in, but the rest of the profile has stayed pretty much the same. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

First Third

The first third opens up with some dark chocolate notes and there are some espresso beans on top of that. I am picking up rich earth and tobacco notes as well, and it has some toast and spice qualities on the finish. I would classify the cigar as being medium to medium-full in strength and body, and the flavors are right there as well.

First Third

The flavor profile is quite sweet to open with faint cedar on the post draw. There are some spices on the retrohale at a medium strength, that linger with some pepper which sits at the back of my throat. Some smokiness lingers under the layer of spices. As the cigar progresses, the post draw pepper lingers on the sides and center of my tongue at medium to medium plus, with some syrupy sweetness underneath. Once the cigar has established itself, the spice intensity reduces to light plus, allowing a creaminess to push through. Some leather joins the post draw. In the bottom half, there is a drying mouthfeel, with syrupy sweetness coming at the end of the retrohale. Chalky cocoa joins at around the 35 minute mark which moves to take over the middle of the flavor profile. Post draw leather moving up to medium almost medium plus.

First Third

The first third gives a medium bodied medium strength delivery of baker’s chocolate, baking spices and cedar. Retrohaling gives a sharper baking spice. The finish is entirely earth driven with soil and cedar.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the mustiness picks up a bit. At a half inch in, the spice has increased a fair amount and is leading the profile over the dark wood and mustiness. At an inch in, a fair amount of char has joined the profile which has knocked down the spice level. The retrohale consists of dark wood, mustiness and some spice. As the third comes to a close, the dark wood and mustiness are up front and the spice and char are faint in the background. The strength in this third remained at slightly above medium.

Second Third

When I get into the second third of the cigar, I see a drop in the flavor profile and complexity. I am picking up some dark earth notes and it is paired with some spices, minerals and toast. Like before, the cigar is smoking at a level between medium and medium-full. The flavors have taken a hit in this third, but it’s still performing fairly well overall.

Second Third

The flavor profile transitions to mild spices and cedar, with a tannic cedar on the middle of the profile. The post draw has some talcy chocolate with a smokey earth that pushes the chocolate aside. As the cigar progresses, smokey barbecue takes over the middle of the flavor profile and ends up as a flavor battle between the earth, cedar and smokey nature. By the halfway point of the second third, earth dominates all aspects of the profile.

Second Third

There are a couple transitions to note within the second third. The more apparent one is the strength ramp from medium to medium-full. Furthermore, the baker’s chocolate note is gone, which makes the profile that much more earth driven with dirt/soil, cedar and baking spices.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the charred and musty dark wood is up front with a very faint spice in the background. At a half inch in, the char picks up slightly. The retrohale has the char up front with the musty dark wood slightly behind. As the cigar comes to a close, the char remains up front, slightly ahead of the musty dark wood while some spice is still faint in the background. The strength in this third bumped up to medium-full.

Final Third

I am in the final third now and the cigar is losing some of its touch. It has been from the start, and I am left with a final third that is showing faint spice, toast and dark earth notes. There are some mineral qualities making a presence as well, but they are not thoroughly enjoyable. The body and strength have moved up to a solid medium-full level now, and the flavors are close to that as well.

Final Third

Cedar takes over the front of the flavor profile with drying mid palate cedar and dry earth taking it into the post draw. Sweet earth and leather on the retrohale. In the bottom half, there is a sweet stewed raisin and the post draw takes on a bit of a bitter or acrid aspect to the earth.

Final Third

Nothing new to really talk about within the last third. The profile is still medium-full strength and medium body with dirt/soil, cedar and baking spices.

Burn

The burn line was straight the whole way. The ash held on in inch and a quarter increments.

Burn

The burn on the cigar was fairly decent. There were some times when it was wavy, but nothing that presented a major problem.

Burn

The burn was straight through all thirds with some flakiness present to the ash. The cigar also produced a notable amount of smoke through the session. Overall, I found the burn to be flawless.

Burn

The burn performance was very good. The only unsatisfactory aspect was a couple quick touch-ups needed. Other than that, burning temperature was cool, good smoke production and sturdy ashes.

Draw

The draw was perfect with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.

Overall

The flavor profile was dark wood and spice to start and then some mustiness and char joined in which made up the majority of the smoking experience. Construction was perfect. I was interested to see what the Maduro version of the Epicure line would look like and it’s definitely the polar opposite of the initial offering. Very dark flavor profile with the strength to match. Overall, I thought the Crux Epicure Maduro Toro was OK and didn’t really have a wow factor. For those that are Maduro junkies, it’s definitely something to try to see how you like it.

Draw

Draw was great from start to finish.

Overall

I was disappointed with the Crux Epicure Maduro Toro. As a maduro offering and follow up to Crux Epicure, I was expecting more. I have always been a fan of the Epicure and this cigar does not reach that level. (With that being said, that does not go into the score on this cigar.) In terms of the cigar, it had a flavor profile that was continuously on the decline from beginning to end. It started out well, but instead of growing into something very enjoyable it crashed. I can live with some construction touch-ups, but if you don’t have a solid cigar in terms of flavors, complexity and depth to get behind, construction and draw mean nothing.

Draw

The draw was fairly resistant at 2-1/2 to 3 notches. The draw didn’t appear to impact the burn.

Overall

Crux is a brand that has always been consistently good over the years. The new packaging redesign is a reset on their marketing that not a lot of brands are able to execute. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I tend to review cigars as blind as possible, so it wasn’t until I hit the middle third that I became aware of the factory change for this release. Previously, all the cigars for Crux came out of Plasencia, but the Epicure Maduro is the first to come out of Tabacalera AJ Fernandez. Unfortunately, it shows as the cigar falls into the same one liner summary that I’ve used for most of the new cigars coming out of Tabacalera AJ Fernandez lately; great construction but the flavors are fairly average. I think the Crux Epicure Maduro Toro would appeal to cigar smokers who typically reach for the more mass market style of Maduro cigars.

Draw

The draw was a bit tight but nonetheless, very good.

Overall

This is probably the first Crux cigar not to my liking. That says a lot given the fairly large amount of brands and profiles the company delivers. In the case of the Crux Epicure Maduro Toro, the cigar was fairly linear, especially after losing the baker’s chocolate note. This led to a profile that was way too earth driven with a rather full strength profile which tipped the balance. I’d recommend perhaps to just trying a couple.

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
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Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.75

Cost/Point

$2.00

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

5.40

Cost/Point

$2.13

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

5.80

Cost/Point

$1.98

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

5.50

Cost/Point

$2.09

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Crux Epicure Maduro Toro
John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: Crux Epicure Maduro Toro

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