Crux Limitada IPCPR 2018 | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Engañoso
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan
Size: 5 x 52 Box Pressed
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $10.99

Today we take a look at the Crux Limitada IPCPR 2018.
Thanks to Lee Holt for the samples.

BACKGROUND:
From Halfwheel.com:
“Having debuted in 2016, the Limitada IPCPR 2018 has returned. As with the past two releases, the cigar will only be available to retailers who order in person at the IPCPR show in Las Vegas and will be limited to 1,000 boxes of 10 and will begin shipping to retailers next month (September).”

From Crux Cigars:
“The Limitada IPCPR features the amazing Engañoso wrapper over a premium blend of filler and binder tobaccos. It is completed with a box press and detailed Marblehead™ finish. Since its introduction, each release has sold out in a matter of days to our Retail Partners across the country. It has become a favorite of consumers and reviewers alike, garnering Cigar of the Year honors.” (Me: Says who?)

APPEARANCE:
This cigar my dear readers is a stunner. A beautiful coffee and cream-colored wrapper with tight seams and very little veins. The Marblehead cap is truly a work of artisans. The box press is crisp and impressive. And I like the secondary cigar band as it oozes Vegas kitsch.

SMELL THE GLOVE:
Huge, surround-sound aromas of floral, chocolate, coffee, molasses, salted caramel, extreme creaminess, malts, red hot pepper (sneeze x 2), vanilla toffee, cedar, barnyard, pralines, marzipan, and a hint of citrus.

FIRST THIRD:
The draw is clear as the Beaverton Mountain Tunnel. I can put aside my PerfecDraw cigar poker for this stick. Don’t forget, we are giving away a free poker and cigar glue in a simple contest that ends October 15.

Flavors gang up on my palate like a ferret going after a Fudgsicle: Creamy, malty, lots of milk chocolate, roasted nuts, red pepper, a touch of allspice, rum toffee, and strong tea.

I smoked one yesterday and even though I’ve only had these cigars for weeks, I was shocked at how good the blend was with so little time in my humidor…so I decided to strike while the iron is hot.
Strength is a solid medium.

Complexity wastes no time getting a kick in the arse. Transitions begin to waterfall. The finish is long and chewy.

This is exactly what I expect from an $11.00 cigar. Jump in head first and hope the ground is soft. The Crux Limitada IPCPR 2018 is already an excellent blend only an inch or so in. While I’m not crazy spending this much dough on a cigar, I like to follow the rule that you get what you pay for…and the Crux delivers the goods.

The chocolate creaminess in concert with the maltiness and nuttiness makes for a fancy schmancy Starbucks flavored cigar. Lots of sweetness factors at play while maintaining a very savory quality that offsets the sweet element perfectly. Balance. The bane of most cigar blends with the most ridiculous P.R. Balance is everything for an experienced smoker. This is what leads us down a path that excites the palate and the pleasure part of your brain. Everything in play without ancillary distractions.

The cigar is packed with scientific precision. Even with my usual curse of the “Box Press Mis-burn,” the construction is noticeably near perfect.
The ash is heavy and thick and not going anywhere.

I’ve never been to an IPCPR trade show. I’ve been invited numerous times but no one ever offers to pay my way. As a cigar blogger, I actually have the right to be there. But a trip to Vegas hasn’t been in the cards…although I should get some sort of dispensation as my mother’s side of the family were Jewish mafia who helped build that town back in the day. My mother’s maiden name was Siegel and Bugsy was her second cousin. Never got to meet the man.

SECOND THIRD:
Such a joy to be able to say nice things in a cigar review even if I’m less witty and clever. (I am aren’t I?) I get a dog turd and I just go to town.

But when a splendid blend sends me to my happy place, I’d rather just convey the experience. I’ll be brilliant and clever next time. (I’m very insecure).
The strength is inching towards medium/full.

I’m listening to Jimi. Can you even imagine the player he would be if he hadn’t been a hedonist, a junkie, and an idiot before he died at 27? It boggles the mind. Who knows what modern rock n roll would be like if he had lived.

Massive sweet spot kicks in. The complexity is through the roof. I’d stop right now if you can and find a 5 pack. With only 1000 boxes made available, several online stores are selling 5 packs. And a lot of B&M’s who were lucky enough to be at the Crux booth at the trade show got a box or two.
The Crux Limitada IPCPR 2018 is intense and exploratory as it tests my ability to recognize the offering’s gifts.

Construction and burn are spot on.

Definitely medium/full now. But so smooth, it sneaks up on you like your wife giving you a BJ in the middle of the night while you’re sleeping.

I’d love to have a box of these sticks. But we would also like to eat this month. Remember, in order to shit, ya’ gotta’ eat.

The flavor profile doesn’t change from my earlier description. The only change is the increasing pleasantries exchanged from the cigar to my palate. Each puff is a new adventure; like watching “Ramar of the Jungle.”

The laundry list of flavors just keeps piling on until the blend morphs to its whole being greater than its parts. That’s a premium blend!

I slow way the fuck down. This blend needs to be savored. Milking every nuance it has to offer. Sometimes cigars are fun to smoke in a crowd. Other times, I want to be alone to fully insert myself into the body politic of a near brilliant blend. No distractions. Just me and my cigar. If I had a dog, he would be named Butch. And if it was a lesbian dog, I would still name it Butch.

My coffee is now cold. But my testes are hot. (I have no idea why I talk like this. Charlotte thinks I’m unbalanced but then she knew what she was getting into when she begged me to marry her). She disputes that claim.

LAST THIRD:
What a shame this is such a limited release.
Flavors: Creamy, black pepper, espresso, caramel, malt, chocolate, nuts, cedar, vanilla toffee, orange marmalade, and strong tea.
A convuncular, beneficent gift to mankind.

The Crux Limitada IPCPR 2018 is nothing short of spectacular. It possesses all the totems of a truly complex and interesting blend.

Micky Mouse decides to divorce Minnie Mouse. They go to court and each presents their side. The judge deliberates and tells Mickey, “Mr. Mouse…I cannot grant you a divorce based upon the accusation that Minnie is crazy.” Mickey replied (In a high voice)…”I didn’t say she was crazy, I said she was fucking Goofy.”

The blend is becoming very strong. It is teat hair short of being full tilt. Nicotine arrives in a rubber boat.

You ever milk a cow? Me neither. But I have had a cow sneeze on my face while she was sucking on my finger.

This review will shortly become totally useless as the word gets out about this cigar and then they will be gone. Do not hesitate. Yes, I know the price is a hurdle for many but consider it a treat cigar.

Rod Stewart is singing “Gasoline Alley” from 1970…back when the man could really play rock n roll.

RATING: 93

And now for something completely different:
Skip Behind the Wheel.

I had just passed the audition. A band was being formed around the famed violinist, Darryl Way. On drums was Stewart Copeland. On guitar was Mick Jacques. Our singer was an American named Butch Hatcher. And me, on bass.

We called ourselves Stark Naked. A band in the Berkeley area had that name and since Stewart had gone to school there, he remembered that name. So, he suggested it. After all, we were 5000 miles away.

We rehearsed in Miles Copeland’s house in St John’s Wood. A block away from the famous EMI Studio…or Abbey Road Studio.

Stewart got himself a bachelor flat about 5 doors down from the studio. We would sit on his stoop, smoking hash, and watch the tourists risk life and limb trying to get that famous Beatles’ crosswalk photo. But drivers rarely slowed down and it appeared to be a sport to see how close they could come to running them down.

Our first gig got booked in Nottingham. The money was lousy but Miles supplied us with equipment and roadies….sort of.

Nottingham was a couple hours’ drive north. Butch Hatcher got his best buddy to roadie but we needed one more. I asked my best friend, Skip, if he wanted to make 10 Quid? He said yes. Skip never roadied and took the gig for fun…and the $25.

The two roadies drove a huge lorry with the equipment. Neither had driven a stick on a big truck…let alone drive on the left side of the road. Skip learned on the job. He was a complete wreck on arrival. There was no freeway to Nottingham so one had to take the “A” roads through towns and neighborhoods.

Not only had he not learned to drive a stick, but he had to do it with his left hand and backwards. Apparently, there was a lot of screaming during the trip.

Meanwhile, the band was driven to the gig by our road manager.

The gig went really well. Butch had worked in carnivals in the Southern U.S. And he knew how to spew fire from his mouth. We decided to add that during our encore. As the band played furiously, he turned his back to the audience, slathered some Vaseline on his lips and chin, and then squirted lighter fluid into his mouth. A lot of lighter fluid.

He turned around. His buddy lit a torch for him and Butch held it to his mouth and out came fire. The crowd went absolutely bonkers. He did it a couple more times because he liked the applause.

The band was on Cloud 9 afterwards and decided to hit a restaurant for food and drink. Back then, most restaurants closed by 10 and it was only the Indian and Chinese places that stayed open til midnight so we had to hurry.

The roadies had a couple hours of packing…plus the horrifying drive back. Only this time in pitch blackness. There were no street lights then. You took your life in your hands driving those A roads in total blackness.

I still remember the look on Skip’s face when I told him I was going with the band. He was crestfallen. I wanted to stay with my best friend, but the band expected me to come with them. I was new to the band and this was not the time to act out. Butch had no problems with saying nighty night to his buddy.

The next day, (we lived in the same flat); Skip would not talk to me. I didn’t blame him. I felt pretty guilty and apologized.

We did several more gigs as Stark Naked but when I asked Skip if he wanted to roadie again, he politely told me to go fuck myself. A short, but brilliant, career as a roadie.

During a band rehearsal, Darryl told us that there would be a 3 month hiatus. Apparently, his old band (Curved Air) had one record deal to finish. They owed Decca Records an album so the decision was to put all of the original members back together and do a tour and record it giving them a live album. The easiest way to get that commitment out of the way.
And as Darryl finished telling this, he looked at me and said, “Kohn. You are going to be our bassist.”
Just like that.
I had no idea what he was talking about or what I was getting myself in to.

And now for something completely different Part 2:

Feb. 11, 1975, the day after my 25th birthday, and the huge LSD fest we had the night before still lingered in our blood stream.

We had our first gig of the European tour in London. Most tours were 7-8 weeks long. We’d take a month break and hit it again. I went crazy in that month. Once you’ve tasted the exhilaration of playing live, improvising, and the audience…well…it’s an addiction.

You wander the city or drive all day from gig to gig. But you live for those 2 hours on stage that night.

The band Renaissance had also taken the same acid as my bandmates. Another Miles Copeland band with a lead singer that was a chick; Annie Haslam. While her band was a bunch of regular guys who smoked the ganja like us, Annie did not.

Apparently, the potent dose of Berkeley California acid that Stewart passed around was too much for the Renaissance guys. They were too fucked up the next day to do anything and ended up canceling their first gig of the tour that night in London.

Of course, Curved Air members were tough fuckers. What’s a little LSD to idiots like us. We went on stage that night, high of course, and did 5 encores.

Now I didn’t hand out the acid. Stewart did. But it was my birthday party and the dumb bitch Annie decided it was my fault that they had to cancel their gig. Miles was furious with Stewart and the boys in Renaissance.

Just before going on that night, Stewart the drummer, decided to smoke a huge bowl of hash. Well, there were consequences to pay for that. It brought all that LSD rushing back.

We had the same boring set list every night. No spontaneity whatsoever. Just one night it would have been nice if Darryl called out a different song. But no. It was deemed by the All Mighty that we did the same songs in the same order every fucking night.

Throughout the 2 hour set, Stew kept doing long extended drum solos. Not only when they were designated, but during the songs. Stewart Copeland would go on to be a beloved drummer by the masses once he was in The Police. But while in Curved Air, he was an out of control mad man.

The violinist and guitarist did a lot of woodshedding by trading riffs during the instrumental breaks. Darryl would play 4 bars. Mick would play 4 bars, etc.

Stew would do a Keith Moon through the whole thing and the boys couldn’t find “1”. The first beat of the bar. They were completely lost because of Stew’s incessant soloing through their solos.

They were just completely lost and couldn’t find the beginning of each bar. I saw Darryl, the violinist, give Stew the stink eye a’ plenty.

But Stew was as high as a kite. He didn’t care. After all, his brother was our manager. And he was hooked up with the lead singer. So, his place in the band was secure.

I had to save the day. Instead of me playing what I would normally play, I hit quarter notes with the emphasis of hitting the 1 at each new bar. This allowed the boys to find their way back to the start of each bar.

After the gig, in the dressing room, Darryl fired Stew.
This was nothing new.

Stew got fired every week. Yes, the drummer from The Police got fired weekly.
But since Stew and Sonja were an item, Sonja would threaten to quit. This happened over and over. It got very tiring.
It basically gave Stew carte blanche to do whatever he wanted.

It was at this concert, that at the end of a song, Stew raised his arms to signify that the song was about to end and then bring his arms down with a flourish on top of the kit. But the acid threw him off his balance and he fell backwards off the stage.

Most stages were 6-8 feet or so off the ground. But even farther on the back side.
The roadies always stored the drum cases behind the stage and drum riser. The drum riser was about four feet tall making it about a 10 foot drop to the stage floor. Fortunately for Stew, the drum cases broke his fall as he tumbled through them; all the way to the floor.

Sonja went running back stage to see if he was alive. We stopped playing.
He jumped up with large dinner plate sized eyes, and said he was alright…meanwhile, blood dripped from his forearms where he scraped long layers of skin away from the drum case latches.

He jumped back on stage and we finished.
The audience, of course, loved it thinking it was part of the show.
The entire couple years I was with the band, we never did a gig where we weren’t high on hash or weed.
But this night was a most memorable experience.

Stark Naked:

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Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

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2 replies

  1. Hey, Phil, is that Andrew Slater grinning like the Cheshire Cat on LSD? I went to high school with that cat.

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