Today we will be taking a look at a cigar that has yet to be released, the Crémo Classic Excelsior! Handcrafted in “Little Havana” (Miami, Florida) the Crémo brand is a revival of sorts of an old New York City brand that gained much popularity in the early 20th century.

The company which rose out of beautiful Manhattan, New York City attained the largest sales of any cigar in its class. The brand was also famously linked to musician Bing Crosby in the early days of Broadcasting Radio. With a shift in the way cigars were made, factories moved south and all was lost… Now in the 21st century a new dawn awaits. After new buildings were built, and old ones were torn down, a piece of history remained. Now, that piece has been found. Walter Santiago, better known as “Lilo”, a native New Yorker, decided that this amazing company, a staple in the Cigar World, should rise from its ashes. With the revival of Crémo, the tradition continues with taste and quality as well as class. This was found in El Titan de Bronze (ETB) cigar factory, makers of the “Redemption”, which has scored 88 in Cigar Aficionado and 90 in Cigar Snob. Lilo, along with ETB owner Sandy Cobas and Master Blender Willy Herrera (now with Drew Estate), created an ultra-boutique cigar of masterful construction and excellent flavor. The factory located in Miami’s famed Calle Ocho, known best for its old school Cuban Entubado techniques, is a family owned and operated “fabriquita” which employs level 9 rollers from Cuba, who have worked for Cohiba, Romeo y Julieta, Corona and Partagas.  These Torcedores (cigar rollers), like a painter to a canvas, handcraft each cigar with meticulous detail. The days of early Manhattan may no longer be here, however a piece of those glorious days is back!  With class, style, and innovation we present to you the new Crémo Premium Cigar.

A couple months ago Walter Santiago was kind enough to send me a few samples of the first line of Crémo cigars that will be offered in early 2012, the Classic. I received the Robusto size officially called the Excelsior, which I assume is named after the landmark hotel in New York City of the same name. When the cigar launches there will be three vitolas available, a 5 ¾ x 46 Corona Gorda (Magnum Opus), a 5 x 50 Robusto (Excelsior) and a 6 x 52 Toro (Intrepidus).

The cigars will range from $8-12 and will be made in small quantities.Crémo Excelsior 1.jpg

  • Cigar Reviewed: Crémo Classic Excelsior
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Factory: El Titan de Bronze
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
  • Size: 5 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Robusto
  • MSRP: $8
  • Release Date: Early 2012
  • Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 2

My initial impression of this cigar is a good one for sure; it has a really nice smooth, light chocolate, uniform wrapper. It has a very few veins and a general oily shine to it. It’s packed well with no soft spots and it has a perfectly applied triple cap on top. I have always been very impressed with the cigars that come out of the El Titan de Bronze factory and this is no different. The pre-light aroma is faint but you get a touch of sweet tobacco and wood, the pre-light draw is full of cedar, tobacco and earth.

Starting off in the first third the cigar immediately takes on a rich, creamy texture and taste. There is a lot of earth, tobacco and coffee. As the cigar progresses into the first third a nice mellow cedar comes into play. There is a nice spice through the nose, a long finish with wood and coffee. There is very little to no pepper present but there is a slight roughness on the palate which actually compliments the creaminess very well.

Crémo Excelsior 2.jpg Coming into the second third with the ash holding extremely well, the flavors get deeper and darker with some leather and nuts, the creaminess has faded just a touch but the core flavors of earth, wood and tobacco are still in the forefront. The addition of the leather and nuts is extremely noticeable on the finish and it creates a more complex smoke. The cigar is a solid medium body at this point with a nice spice through the nose. The strength level is just under medium for me.

Crémo Excelsior 3.jpg Finishing up in the final third the cigar doesn’t change up too much from the last third, Still a lot of earth, wood, and coffee on the draw with some wonderful deeper flavors of leather and nuts on the finish. The overall performance of the cigar is top notch, simply a very easy going smoke with nice construction and great smoke production.

Crémo Excelsior 4.jpgFinal Notes

  • This cigar had a great smooth profile, it reminded me of the Oliva Connecticut Reserve only a bit more full bodied, where I would put the Connecticut Reserve at a mild-medium this was more of a solid medium.
  • The construction was absolutely amazing on every sample I smoked; you can most certainly tell that these are crafted with care and precision. The draw and burn was perfect in every way and the ash held on for almost half the cigar on every sample.
  • I really like the look and style of the band, it’s beautiful in it simplicity and it has a very nice off white color that is very warm and pleasing to the eye.
  • We are told by Crémo Cigars that there will be a Maduro line available at next year’s IPCPR 2012 in Orlando, Florida at which time Crémo Cigars will be officially introducing themselves to the cigar world.
  • Final Smoking time was 55 minutes
86 Overall Score

I really enjoyed this cigar and feel that it’s going to do very well when it hits the public. It’s an absolutely perfect everyday type of cigar that you could smoke in the morning and not be overwhelmed and also smoke during the afternoon or evening after you have had something heavy to eat. It has a lot of flavor and a solid medium body, the strength doesn’t over power and it’s just an all around easy cigar to smoke. I look forward to more offerings from Crémo Cigars.

Steve Valle

Steve Valle wrote for Smoking Stogie, a precursor to halfwheel, from 2010-2011.