Crux Cigars, one of the latest cigar brands to launch into the premium cigar market, is set to release their first three cigars on April 1st.
We posted a news story about it last month, detailing the cigars and information about the new brand. Jeff Haugen and Joel Rogers, co-owners of Tobacco Grove in Maple Grove, Minn., started over two years ago developing the brand with a planned launch of 2013. Because of some trademark issues the project was delayed while the company was rebranded and the new launch date for 2014 was set.
Haugen had this to say about the brand:
We have been retailers of premium cigars for over 20 years and have been truly blessed to be involved in selling a product that has done so much good for so many people. We look forward to the next chapter in our company’s future as manufacturers. We believe that our ‘front line’ retailer experience is a huge advantage that will enable us to build cigars of the highest quality, develop new cigars for the underserved markets and service our retail partners with the greatest respect.
The company will ship three cigars next month. Two are in the 7 x 33 Ninfamanic line, the other is Skeeterz, a 4 x 32 petit corona.
A small cigar and a short smoke, the Skeeterz is offered in paper wrapped bundles of 10 with four bundles to the box.
- Cigar Reviewed: Crux Cigars Skeeterz
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A.
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Jalapa Habano
- Binder: Indonesia
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 4 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 32
- Vitola: Purito
- MSRP: $2.99 (Boxes of 40, $119.60)
- Release Date: April 1, 2014
- Number of Cigars Released: Regular Production
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 5
The diminutive Skeeterz has a mottled dark brown wrapper with nearly invisible seams. It has a very smooth and slightly oily wrapper and when squeezed has a couple of soft spots, but nothing that worries me. The wrapper has a very mild barnyard and leather aroma coming off of it, while on the cold draw I’m picking up licorice, cocoa and hay.
Starting into the first third I’m immediately greeted with notes of fresh hay, a little licorice, a touch of light black pepper and some spice. Despite the earlier soft spots the draw is a little on the open end but still well within the ideal range. The smoke production from this little cigar is billowing and plentiful when drawing and drops down to almost no smoke coming off the foot a few seconds after setting it down. Less than an inch into the cigar and the black pepper has ramped up, coming more to the forefront to join the hay and the overall sweet spice while the licorice from the beginning has completely disappeared.
It doesn’t take long to move into the second third, which sees little change in the flavors at this point. A retrohale shows strong black pepper which overwhelms most everything else. Surprisingly this petite, small ring gauge cigar holds it’s ash quite solidly, dropping off right around the inch mark every time. The burn line is fantastic and I have only seen a small deviation that quickly fixed itself.
It feels strange saying it’s the final third with so little of the Skeeterz remaining between my fingers, but that’s the nature of short cigars. Black pepper, sweet spice, a little cocoa and leather make up the last little bit. Though it’s hard to keep smaller ring gauges smoking cool and smooth towards the end, the Skeeterz does just that as long as I’m careful with it.
- The ash was interesting on the Skeeterez. Between the different samples I smoked the ash would range from a ringed gray and white appearance all the way to stark white.
- As with any smaller ring gauge cigar, especially one this small, it’s imperative that you get in a good rhythm of timing your draws. Too quick and the cigar will easily become overwhelmed getting hot and bitter. Too slow and there isn’t much to insulate the ember and it will go out. Finding that sweet spot however will reward you with a great wrapper-to-filler ratio experience. Long, slow and spaced out draws work much better than quick and frequent ones.
- While the paper bundle of Skeeterz I was sent did not have bands, the company sent samples in an Armored Humidor, which is also owned by Haugen and Rogers.
- I would put the Skeeterz strength at a medium-full, though with an overall small amount of tobacco you might not feel they’re that strong unless you smoke a couple back to back.
- I found it fascinating that as a new brand, Crux Cigars started out with two lines that were such miniscule ring gauges. New lines you’ll see more traditional to large gauge options, with your initial offerings coming in with a few cigars in the 48, 52, and 60 range. While its three lines being released in May bring in some cigars closer to those sizes, it’s refreshing to see the focus on something for the fans of smaller ring gauges.
- The samples for this review were sent to halfwheel by Crux Cigars.
- Final smoking averaged 40 minutes.
While I haven’t had the time to smoke the other offerings by Crux Cigars yet, the Skeeterz is a great introduction to this new company. The size is ideal for a quick lunch break cigar, an evening walk, or any other situation that you find yourself with a shorter time to smoke. While a 32 ring gauge cigar might be too small for some, it’s right down my alley and I really enjoyed it. Though not overly complex, the flavors were enjoyable and the construction was consistent. With the only other thing I could ask for being a good price point, at $2.99 a cigar that was delivered as well. These will be going into my rotation of short smokes and I can easily suggest picking some up to try for yourself.