Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran
Size: 6 x 52 Toro Box Pressed
Price: $10.00 (Can be had online for $8.00)
Samples were provided by General Cigar.
I’ve had these marinating naked for 3 months.
3000 boxes released
Factory: Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez in Estelí, Nicaragua
From Cigars International:
“There is a true art form needed when it comes to crafting the perfect cigar. One, that many have tried to master over the years and well…failed miserably at. So, when General Cigars approached cigar legend AJ Fernandez with their desire to craft a perfect cigar for their Diesel brand, he knew he had his work cut out for him. Hard to blend, and even harder to perfect, but together Diesel and AJ have done it once again and emerged triumphantly with Diesel Crucible! The third, and final, installment in the ‘Elixir’ series is a full-bodied masterpiece, that is just what you never knew you needed!
“This Toro sized, box-pressed, Nicaraguan puro starts with Habano fillers the Jalapa Valley and combines them with a Habano binder from Esteli and encases this magical blend inside of a Nicaraguan Habano Wrapper. The result is an enchanting profile with notes of leather, nuttiness, nougat, and subtle spice that conjures up your senses and charms your palate from start to finish.”
The stick is nicely constructed with an appealing box press. The paper bag/golden wrapper has a slight toothiness. Seams are barely visible and tight. The significant veinage does not impede the good looks of the cigar. The triple cap is expertly applied.
The cigar band and the footer band are subtle but give the stick a nice dose of class. The stick is evenly packed…not a single hard or soft spot. Heavy in the hand.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
Aromas are not striking but do provide nuanced bits of dark chocolate, black pepper, raisins, malt, cedar, creamy vanilla, and a touch of floral.
The cold draw presents flavors of dark chocolate, espresso, raisins, cedar, caramel, vanilla, and tiny scoche of licorice.
A densely packed cigar but after using my PerfecPunch, I find no need to use my trusty PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool. Another good sign of nicely applied cigar construction.
First up is a peek at upcoming complexity and character. We have a dense earthiness, creaminess, milk chocolate, black pepper, malt, cedar, and espresso.
For a Diesel, this is a surprising start…because I find myself enjoying it. Well rounded and nuanced. The finish has some spicy cinnamon coating my lips.
I have terrible luck with the burn on box pressed sticks. Gonads crossed this won’t be the case for the Crucible.
Strength is already a potent medium.
And then I get a run. Damn. I smoked two prior to this review and both had the same issue. Putting torch to the cigar over and over does not help its taste one bit.
If I was an evangelist preacher, I would slam my palm into the head of the cigar and bellow, Demons Be Gone!!. Naturally it would faint and be caught by a minion.
The blend is full of savory qualities but missing significant sweet factors. I hope this changes.
Chocolate is standing in the corner, alone and ashamed. Plenty of black pepper supplanting any chance of other flavors that are too subtle to overcome the strength of the spiciness
I get some Indian spices on my palate…cumin, coriander seeds, and cardamom…with a hint of cinnamon.
When I was a young man touring with Curved Air, the only places safe to eat at was the myriad of Indian restaurants. Every restaurant had 5 levels of heat one could choose for their main dish. I chose number 2. Our roadie, Beric Wickens, always chose the hottest…#5. He was a big man and no longer than 5 minutes into his meal, his face would turn beet red and sweat just poured from his forehead. He swore he lived for this. Masochists come in all sizes and species.
After an inch, the Crucible makes a quantum leap. Flavors intensify, still missing any sweet factors, and some real complexity kicks in. Transitions are all spicy Indian food. The finish on my palate is nothing but spiciness.
First sip of water and almonds appear; actually, more a marzipan taste…and the first glimpse of some sorely needed sweetness.
The balance is off kilter.
The growing complexity is not sufficiently imposing enough to create a decent character.
I make no bones that I’m an AJ fan. Unfortunately, the blend tastes like a million other Nicaraguan based blends. Nothing stands out as unique.
The stick sucks all the wetness from my mouth. More water please.
Maybe the cigar needs more than 3 months, but I truly doubt this. The CI description is not making me feel fuzzy and warm: “Leather, nuttiness, and nougat.” I don’t see how this is a compliment.
I do taste almonds but nougat? Don’t think so. This stick is as far away from tasting like a candy bar as the chance of a hooker paying you for her services.
The stick is falling into a linear mode. The advancements I just described seem to be in stasis. The complexity is now minimal. Transitions do not exist in this universe. And the finish is garbage.
Bummer, Moon Doggies…
Unless a baby Jesus miracle occurs, this blend is going nowhere fast.
“Good Vibrations” is playing. Always loved that song. My old bass teacher, Carol Kaye played bass on the tune. I remember sitting in her living room during my lesson and I asked her to show me what she played on that song. I spent most of that time with my jaw hanging open like a panting dog.
The burn issues are in check, but just barely.
The stick seems to be leaving its linear connotations behind. The spiciness calms way the fuck down allowing the subtleties to shine: lots of malt, creaminess, caramel, almonds, espresso, mild cocoa, cedar, and a Milky Way candy bar. Whaddya’ know…the nougat has landed.
The Crucible settles down. Fingers crossed it makes some substantial progress.
The blend, for some reason, decides that the second third is a pathway to a better cigar.
Transitions begin with some sweetness…at last. Followed by aforementioned flavor elements.
“Blackbird” by The Beatles is playing. In the 60’s, you could not call yourself a guitarist if you could not play this.
This cigar is sending plumes of smokestack lightning into the air.
I’ve found, for the most part, that AJ blends are spot on at the three-month mark. Extended humi time only allows a minimum of added character. So, what I taste is pretty much the blender’s intent.
“Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie is playing. A good song because of Bowie. I had a producer friend in England who told me a story. He was engineering a Bowie session. David was alone putting his vocals over a finished tune. Apparently, the song moved him greatly and he began to cry as he finished singing. My buddy told an assistant to grab some tissues to give to Bowie. This numbnuts grabbed a roll of toilet paper from the bathroom…stepped into the recording area and threw the roll at Bowie, hitting him directly in the head. I’m glad I wasn’t there to see that.
This isn’t a bad cigar…just unimpressive. I guess the $8 price tag might be appropriate, but I expect more from AJ; especially on a limited edition. The pundits predicted this cigar would disappear immediately after its release earlier this year. You can still buy all the Crucibles you want half a year later. Word of mouth is a deadly indicator.
The complexity and balance are crawling at a snail’s pace. It should be moving forward much quicker. Alas…
Strength has passed medium/full and is now in full tilt territory. Nicotine arrives without an invitation.
I don’t know…maybe another three months of humidor time would have done the trick.
My eyebrows explode into flames.
You ever use a tiny pair of scissors to snip offending nose hairs and you fuck up and cut the inside of your nose? Me neither.
The minimal amount of character is the only glue holding this blend in place.
The complexity is a halting experience. It rises and falls with the tides. This is not a consistent blend. It keeps taking unwanted forks in the road destroying any progress it can make.
The Beatle’s tune, “Paperback Writer” came out when I was a teen. For the first couple days I heard it, I thought they were singing Paper Bag Tiger. My big mistake was saying this to friends who never stopped laughing at me.
I just passed the halfway point. This is disappointing. The character of the blend is like staring at a chart of parabolas…wave lengths that can’t find its base.
Parabola is Italian for ‘tiny sink holes.’
And then the blend struts its stuff as it recovers from its nap. Soon to be vanquished to the mediocre.
The blend is still savory heavy. Nothing sweet inhabits these leaves.
“You Got It” by Roy Orbison. What a brilliant songwriter with one of the most unique voices in rock history.
The nuclear strength is not for newbies. And this nubile reviewer is having trouble staying conscious.
I’ve hit the Crucible’s sweet spot with 2-1/2” inches to go. Everything comes together at last. But still missing the crucial balance of sweet v. savory.
The limited flavor profile is all there is. It does not want to become a cigar whose whole is greater than its parts. I feel like it wants to kick start itself but doesn’t know how.
The blend will not provide any surprises of the third kind in the last portion of the burn.
It is wildly inconsistent.
No one will miss this cigar when all 3000 boxes are gone.
I want to take a moment to thank all the wonderful gentlemen that sent me cigars for review. At this moment, Charlotte is working the streets so I can accrue enough dough to send each one of them a hooker. I will try to make sure they are all women.
The sweet spot disappears as quickly as it appeared.
The black pepper makes a strong comeback squashing every flavor into dust.
I’m very happy I did not put out $40 for a fiver. Thank you, General Cigar.
I’ve gone through an entire bottle of water to douse the flames. This mother fucker dries the fuck out of my mouth. My throat feels like the Gobi Desert.
Only a handful of reviews online. They rate this stick from good to bad.
The lack of reviews makes a huge statement.
I have no idea why they chose to give this cigar a fancy box presentation. A gimmick to fool you into thinking this is a fine, fine blend.
I’m having trouble getting through the last third because no advancements are being made. It’s like getting your dick caught in a Chinese finger trap.
In order to keep writing, I’ve asked for a continuation of help in the form of asking for donations via Paypal. The trolls are having a field day over this. More than half of reviewers do the same thing…but it’s me they go after. Trolls are merely damaged men with emotional issues. I actually feel sorry for them. What a terrible way to maneuver through life…
I have 1-1/2” to go but I’m done. The cigar has explained its purpose emphatically and there is no point in hoping for any positive changes at this point.
I count on the consistency of AJ. I’ve been let down.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS