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As part of its contribution to the 2015 Cigar Bazaar at Elite Cigar Cafe in Addison, Texas, Crux Cigars created a very limited amount of a 5 3/4 x 46 corona gorda vitola in its Classic line that would be made available to attendees as part of an event sampler containing a total of 11 cigars from various manufacturers, as well as a small can of butane from XIKAR. How limited of a release, you ask? Just 100 cigars were created, and all of them went into the samplers.

The event is a unique one for the store, bringing together a dozen or so boutique cigar brands for an afternoon of cigar smoking and meet-and-greet with brand owners and sales representatives. Consumers are able to pick up the very reasonably price sampler—$50 at the event, with remaining samplers available for $60—as well as take advantage of a number of deals and sales incentives.

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It was the first event exclusive for Crux, and the company told halfwheel that it didn’t have plans to make any additional cigars in this size, choosing to focus on the three regular production sizes: Robusto (5 x 50), Toro (6 x 52) and Churchill (6 3/4 x 47), as well as the other cigars in its portfolio.

Crux Classic Corona Gorda 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Crux Classic Corona Gorda
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A.
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano (Jalapa)
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 5 3/4 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 46
  • Vitola: Corona Gorda
  • MSRP: n/a (Samplers of 1, $50)
  • Release Date: May 16, 2015
  • Number of Cigars Released: 100 Samplers of 1 Cigar (100 Total Cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3

The wrapper has a beautiful, oily sheen to it, highlighting its coffee bean brown color and giving it a slightly oil feel on the fingers. It really is an attractive shade of brown, and for whatever reason stands out as one of the better colors I’ve seen lately. There’s a bit of give to the samples but no outright soft spots or visual imperfections. Veins are noticeable but standard in terms of size and quantity, while the cap looks to be applied well on all three sticks. The aroma from the foot of the first sample is bright and fragrant with with a note that seems to be more at home in a bottle of cologne than on a cigar; it’s a touch woody but also reminds me in a way of red wine vinaigrette due to a slight acidity. The second and third are much more subdued, keeping most of the same notes but nowhere near as eager. The cold draw has a similar offering but also a bit of peach on top of a light earthiness, with the bunch allowing the air to flow with just the slightest firmness.

I’m not quite sure what to make of the first few puffs of the Crux Classic in this corona gorda size, as on the first sample I get a bit of biting white and red chili pepper along with some dry wood that comes together in a texture that feels thinner than what I expect from most cigars, though the amount of smoke certainly isn’t lacking. The second and third samples are a bit more traditional, but a tight draw on that second cigar limits the amount of smoke I can get it to produce, thought the more subtle flavors are preferable. The smoke develops into a more recognizable texture fairly quickly, and adds a campfire note to the aroma while the pepper fills out on the palate and brings balance to the profile. Retrohales stay peppery but far from overpowering and the flavor seems to be settling into a good spot with some earthy richness framing top notes of chalk and white pepper. The smoke picks up an ever-so-slight oily texture in the transition to the second third, while the burn line and smoke production have been very good to this point and the tight ash holds on for over an inch before breaking off. When it does, the pepper picks up a bit and the nose gets a much more distilled, raw and punchy sensation.

Crux Classic Corona Gorda 2

Almost as soon as I finish writing the previous sentence, I get a wonderful woody smoke aroma off the cigar as it rests, much more complex and rich than typical campfire and making me think of mahogany or maple. There’s not a definitive pattern of how the strength and body progress from sample to sample; one cigar seems to settle a bit while another begins a steady building that not only brings about more flavor and body, but provides a good bit more nicotine than other samples. In the half inch leading up to the midpoint, the Crux Classic Corona Gorda staking its claim as a fairly robust cigar that while not harsh, has a bit of roughness to the smoke that may or may not appeal to every palate. The finish on the tongue is fairly lingering, and seems to be getting longer lasting with each puff. A slight aroma of teriyaki jerky—the first sign of any sort of sweetness to this point—wraps up second third of the cigar, with the burn line as sharp and even as ever.

Crux Classic Corona Gorda 3

The cigar has taken an impressive step forward in both body and strength as it enters its final third, with the flavor brightening up as the overall body continues to round out. There’s no denying the earthy roots this cigar has, though I’m getting my first taste of warm nuts with a continuing note of campfire both on the palate and in the nose, an evolution that keeps the senses engaged. Even with the pronounced flavor, the cigar stays balanced and fairly clean on the palate, at least as clean as a Nicaraguan puro using a Jalapa habano wrapper can. The earth begins to fall away with two inches left and leaves the pepper to do most of the talking, while a bit of chalk and rock hit the nose and set the Crux Classic up for a bright and ringing finish that stays palatable down to a very small nub.

Crux Classic Corona Gorda 4

Final Notes

  • When I took the cellophane off the first cigar, I was worried the band had been placed too high on the cigar and would be in my mouth while smoking it; fortunately it slid back down to its proper place, and all three came off without any damage to the wrapper.
  • At Elite’s Cigar Bazaar on May 16, the Crux Classic Corona Gorda was part of an 11 cigar sampler that sold for $50 and included cigars from A.J. Fernandez, Illusione, La Palina, PDR, Crowned Heads, Fratello, Southern Draw, Nomad and more. The store still has a few left, though the price is now $60.
  • I certainly think the pre-light aroma on the first cigar was a bit of an anomaly as the other two cigars were nowhere near as forward, something that carried over to the opening puffs of each cigar.
  • Final smoking time was two hours on average.
  • The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Site sponsor Elite Cigar Cafe is the only place to get the Crux Classic Corona Gorda; you can contact the store at 972.661.9136. Be sure to tell them you heard about it on halfwheel.

 

87 Overall Score

While the overall profile of the Crux Classic Corona Gorda may be a bit much for some palates, if you like cigars with pronounced notes of punchy earth and pepper that are almost synonymous with Nicaraguan puros, it’s hard to argue against what this stick has to offer. The construction was pretty much fantastic and the blend seemed to be just a bit amped up in this ring gauge, the smallest the company has produced in the Classic line to date. It’s unfortunate that this isn’t a regular production vitola, though fortunately the similarly sized Churchill is and should give you a pretty good idea of what the blend can do in this ring gauge.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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