While the news stories for IPCPR 2016 are certainly appearing on this site quite rapidly, there’s a relatively new cigar that made its first appearance at last year’s trade show, the Crux Guild.
The Crux Guild uses an Ecuadorian habano wrapper, a Nicaraguan binder and Nicaraguan fillers. Like the rest of Crux’s lines, it’s produced at Plasencia Cigars S.A. in Estelí, Nicaragua.
There are five sizes as part of the initial Guild launch.
- Crux Guild Corona (5 1/2 x 42) — $6.99 (Boxes of 20, $139.80)
- Crux Guild Robusto (5 x 50) — $7.99 (Boxes of 20, $159.80)
- Crux Guild Toro (6 x 50) — $8.99 (Boxes of 20, $179.80)
- Crux Guild Toro Extra Marblehead (6 1/2 x 52) — $9.99 (Boxes of 20, $199.80)
- Crux Guild Robusto Extra (5 1/4 x 54) — $9.50 (Boxes of 20, $190)
While each box contains 20 cigars, it’s not in the format you might be familiar with, as each box contains four paper-wrapped five-packs of cigars.
- Cigar Reviewed: Crux Guild Robusto Extra
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Length: 5 1/4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 54
- Vitola: Robusto Extra
- MSRP: $9.50 (Boxes of 20, $190)
- Release Date: May 25, 2016
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3
This seems a bit larger than a 54 to the eye, but once I begin to cut and light the Guild I’m relieved to find that it’s a bit smaller than originally thought. The wrapper smells of cocoa, hickory, some mild nuttiness and wet leather. It’s sweeter from the foot with the cocoa once again there, but now joined by pecans, orange peel and some hash brown-like greasiness. I get a distinct chocolate Oreo flavor, i.e. just the cracker portion, joined by Cointreau, nuttiness and a bit of sourness.
There’s a ton of starch and some umami to kick off the start of the Crux Guild. The former comes in a variety of forms: French fries, peanut oil, raw potatoes. Retiring from the cold draw is the Cointreau flavor, but there’s very little cocoa despite it being all over the pre-light notes. At times, I really struggle to pick out the individual flavors of the Guild, as it’s very compact, but I find a base of creamy cedar and sawdust. There’s lemon, caramel and some mild cilantro underneath it. The finish is almost entirely cedar although I find some black pepper towards the back. Flavor is medium-full, the body is medium-plus and the strength is medium. I make no real mention of construction in my notes, so that’s a good thing.
I unfortunately must make notes about the construction in the second third. One cigar has some tunneling issues and the other two both have a need for touch-ups due to unevenness. Flavor-wise, it’s a progression, but not a radical one. Minerals become a much larger part of the profile, eventually turning the Guild grittier. The cocoa returns in the form of a dark but powdery chocolate joined by a somewhat creamy coffee that reminds me of what my Nespresso glass smells like 15 minutes after I finish it and forget to move it off my desk.
Minerals continue to increase in their intensity, but there’s a campfire-like toastiness underneath helping to cut through it. In the mouth, there’s almost no sweetness, and the gritty but restrained black pepper isn’t helping. Retrohales of the Crux Guild provide lemon peel and ciabatta bread along with some generic creaminess. At the inch and a half mark, some thyme adds itself into the profile, an odd way to end things, but a decent one nonetheless.
- Another Crux, another aggressively-priced cigar. It’s not the absolute bargain that some of the company’s cigars are, but this is another instance of a cigar that is very friendly on the wallet.
- I cannot help but wonder how much the fact that the group behind Crux also runs Tobacco Grove, a Minnesota-based retailer affects these prices. While cigar retailers turned brand owners generally are more price-conscious, when you are in a state with tobacco taxes like Minnesota, I imagine this becomes a much bigger deal.
- If you aren’t retrohaling this cigar, you really have no shot at tasting much beyond a toasty profile with some pepper in my opinion.
- The Guild text in the bands is not so photography-friendly at night.
- There seems to be some World of Warcraft-related thing called Guild Crux or Crux Guild, or something.
- While I had issues with the burn at times, the smoke production was nothing but fantastic.
- Strength is medium, right aline with just about every other Crux not named PB5.
- I have not smoked any of the other Crux Guild sizes.
- I’m not a huge fan of pairing cigars with coffee and a combination of coffee and the Crux Guild would not be something I see working. I think this would be way too linear in terms of pairing given the roasted, gritty and creamy sensations that are highlighted here.
- Cigars for this review were sent to halfwheel by Crux Cigars.
- Final smoking time averaged two hours.
- STOGIES World Class Cigars (713.783.5100) carries Crux.
The Guild is a decent cigar, but certainly not close to the Crux PB5, which is one of the better cigars I’ve had all year. The flavors seemed like they never got a chance to break free from each other and as such the profile ended up being very concentrated. There were certainly complexities and a great balance, but a bit of room for the flavors to shine independently would have been much appreciated. I think more time--even just six months--will help, though I’m curious to try some of the other sizes as well.