Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano (Jalapa)
Size: 6.75 x 47
Price: $8.00 by the Box
Today we take a look at the Crux Classic Marblehead by Crux Premium Sticks. Until I saw them on the menu at the Cigar Federation Store web site, I had not heard of them.
So I dove in with both feet and got 3 singles of the Classic and the Passport from the Cigar Federation Store.
The cigars made their debut at 2014 IPCPR trade show.
They are made at the Plasencia factory.
There are only three sizes: 5 x 50 Robusto $6.99, 6 x 52 Toro Marblehead $7.49, and the 6.75 x 47 Churchill Marblehead $7.99.
From the Crux Premium Sticks web site:
“Inspired by the classic Cuban 109, the Crux Marblehead™ is a tapered and rounded cap with eye-catching aesthetics. This sleek and elegant finish allows the cigar smoker to control the flow for a smaller or larger draw. Additionally, it gives larger ring gauge cigars a more desirable mouth feel. Who among us doesn’t appreciate that?”
The wrapper is a dark and oily coffee bean brown. Seams are tight in some places and invisible in others. The sheer darkness of the wrapper conceals what little veins are visible. The sticks are jam packed with tobacco but are not hard and have the proper amount of give when pushed. Like me. There is some considerable amount of tooth on the wrappers but it so small that my photos don’t pick it up.
I clip the cap and find aromas of dark bittersweet cocoa, rich tobacco, fruit, raisin, cedar, and wood.
Time to light up.
The draw is tight. I gently massage the shaft in my palms to loosen the tobacco. That doesn’t work so I resort to my cigar awl. The blockage is from the bottom halfway point to the foot. I’ve succeeded without cracking the wrapper and the draw is fine now.
The start is all about the earthiness of the tobacco and the mineral content of volcanic soil.
A nice campfire note surrounds my head with the expelling of smoke from the foot of the cigar and my giant open maw.
The woodiness appears for the first time.
The char line is spot on.
Sweetness appears but has several elements to it. There is a caramel aspect. There is a berry component. Brown sugar,
The strength is medium body.
With only an inch smoked, the blend finds a nice complexity. The Crux Classic Marblehead finds the flavors becoming subtle rather than bold while spinning on an out of control disco ball…spitting out flavors as it chooses.
Here they are: Caramel, cocoa, earthiness, sweetness, creaminess, smokiness, floral notes, black pepper, wood, cedar, and savory notes.
The Crux Classic Marblehead is most definitely for the refined palate. The blend is nothing close to having a flavor bomb status; but rather, goes the other way in making you search for flavors like a treasure hunt. If this was anything but my first cigar of the day, I’d miss half of the flavor profile.
The caramel changes direction and gets essence of hickory wood. Now that’s unique.
A lot of the flavor comes afterward in the finish. Long pauses between puffs exhibit the flavors in a more defined arena. Sort of like a dissection. Pulling layer after layer off the experiment.
The wood maintains an even keel. Its influence is steady and enjoyable. The sweetness factors of caramel, fruit, chocolate, and now an orange influence are all joined at the hip making for an unusual concoction.
There is a meaty element now. And I can almost taste Worcestershire sauce. They love this stuff in England. When I was there, they called it “Worster sauce.” When I tried to pronounce it correctly, they just laughed at me.
I now look forward to trying the Crux Passport and the rest of the blends: Skeeterz 4 x 32, Ninfamaniac 7 x 33, and the Bull and Bear 5.55 and 6 x 60.
All of the Crux blends are only available at your local B & M’s. The only online store is Cigar Federation. The list of B & M’s is impressive. Even two stores in Milwaukee.
This is a very slow smoke. But I am rewarded with the patience the Crux Classic Marblehead forces upon me.
I have burned down 1-3/4” and it’s taken me a good 25 minutes. Plus the flavor profile begins to build in intensity at this point. No flavor is left behind as they are all highly accentuated as the burn continues.
I am trying not to sink my chompers into the fancy schmancy cap and therefore am puffing away like a little girl playing house and sipping imaginary tea.
Because of my method of smoking and writing, I must take breaks from writing and just sit back and enjoy the Crux Classic Marblehead. Otherwise, my habit of ranting on and on will make this a small novella.
Sophisticated palates are going to love this blend. It is anything but a ball peen hammer over the head concoction. No flavor bomb status. Just a cornucopia of subtle and nuanced flavors that make the Crux Classic Marblehead a highly desirable cigar.
The second third begins.
The creaminess moves to the front of the line. The balance of the flavors are becoming more prolific: Caramel, smokiness, cedar, sweetness, fruit, chocolate, wood, leather, orange citrus, and Worcestershire sauce.
My only criticism is that the draw remains a little tougher than I hoped. But this is the only cigar I’ve smoked so it is not a fair criticism. I have two more. If the same problem occurs with those, I will return and report.
The construction is holding up admirably. The char line, the cap and the wrapper have not a single issue to complain about.
I wrote a review about the Bloodline OPA a few months ago and got complaints from the manufacturer. So they sent me new ones. Very nice of them. My issues were not with the flavor profile; but rather, with the construction. It just fell apart on me in the second half. I’ve tried two of the three they sent me and both had the same problem. So just when you are beginning to believe you are a bad host for your cigars, you realize it ain’t me babe. It is the rolling of the cigar.
Normally, I don’t like a two hour cigar. But clearly, the Crux Classic Marblehead is going to make that happen. It is OK. One gets bombarded with so many over the top blends that one forgets about the art of cigar blending. This is classic cigar blending at its best.
Black pepper shows up.
The Crux Classic Marblehead is a complicated, multi-layered dessert.
I wouldn’t choose to smoke this in a herf of buddies. Unless everyone just shut up and enjoyed the same cigar together. The Crux Classic Marblehead is way too complicated to be distracted while smoking it.
The price point. $7.00-$8.00 per stick depending on size is just fine for this level of quality. To be quite honest, Crux Premium Sticks could have asked for more. The Crux Classic Marblehead could have easily been a double digit cigar. But thank goodness that the owners are level headed and are making this line of cigars affordable for everyone. Still, at $8 a pop, it is a treat cigar. And it would absolutely have to be the first cigar of your day or you miss out on a lot.
I reach the halfway point.
The dog is smarter than me. She is still sleeping in our bed. What a slacker. I got up early and it is 8:30am. The dog will probably snooze til 10am.
Deviation from the script. This is what my detractors really hate about me. Not sticking to the review. Had to take the 5 year old Boxer to the doc yesterday. Ear infection but brought on from yeast and not enough Omega 3 fish oil in her system. For chrissakes, we buy the dog that expensive Blue Wilderness stuff. But the doc said to get the salmon variety.
So now for the next 10 days, I have to shove an antibiotic the size of a Frisbee down her throat twice a day. And insert liquid medication into her ear canals and cover the top of her ears with it twice a day.
Back to the Crux Classic Marblehead.
Just a lovely cigar that gets better with each puff. This is what is called a slow roll. Or a slow burn. The cigar takes its time and becomes more intriguing as we go.
The last third begins.
The Crux web site doesn’t really tell us a lot about the background of the manufacturer. I did find on Halfwheel.com this:
“Crux Cigars is the creation of Jeff Haugen and Joel Rogers, who also happen to be co-owners of Tobacco Grove in Maple Grove, Minn., as well as the cigar case company Armored Humidors.”
The strength moves to medium/full and flavors just explode. I will clean it up later. Or let the dog do it.
Here they are: Spice, orange citrus, caramel, smokiness, fruit, creaminess, chocolate, cedar, and smokiness.
I am keeping tabs on all the cigars I am reviewing in 2015. Without a doubt, the Crux Classic Marblehead will make my Top 25 List of 2015.
This has been one of the most enjoyable cigar experiences in quite a while.
The Crux Classic Marblehead is masterfully constructed. The flavor profile is perfect in my book. I love the way the flavors build to a crescendo. I love the way that the spiciness doesn’t show up til the last third.
I am overjoyed that I still have a couple of these cigars left for another time.
Take a look at the Retailer’s List on the Crux Premium Sticks web site and see if there is a B & M near you. Or go to Cigar Federation Store. And of course, if you are a member, you get 10% off.
Final smoke time is a bit over 2 hours.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS