June 23, 2014

Cigar Review: Ninfamaniac Dark (Crux Cigars)


In a time when every manufacturer strives to create a cigar that is a 60 plus ring gauge, there is one company that began by taking a different approach. They are a company that actually went the opposite direction and whatever the reason may be, it is a bold approach. I as a cigar smoker appreciate it and admire the company as a whole for doing it. I think their actions in doing so just might hit home with cigar smokers and have them reach for a smaller cigar. The cigar I am referring to is called a ninfa, and it is a ring gauge that is set at 33 with a length of 7". This is a size that was once in demand and you could find it with many of the well known Cuban brands. Over time the demand decreased and production came to in end, but there are some non-Cuban manufacturers who are releasing cigars in the size. The most vocal of these is Crux Cigars.

A true ninfa, measuring 7" with a 33 ring gauge, the Ninfamaniac Dark is made by Plasencia in Nicaragua. The cigar features a dark sun-grown wrapper from Jalapa, Nicaragua and has an Indonesian binder. The filler is all Nicaraguan and it is the same blend as the Ninfamaniac Natural, but it has a different and darker wrapper. What makes this ninfa very unique though is that it is a perfecto and has a tapered head and foot. The ninfa is beautiful with both a tapered head and foot, and the dark wrapper is a nice touch on the cigar. There are a few oils present to touch and it has some minor veins throughout the entire wrapper. There is an aroma of spices, sweet floral notes and cocoa on the wrapper, and with the cold draw I am getting spice, tobacco and floral bits. I would say the coloring is right at a solid maduro and I am ready to light this cigar up.

The first third begins by showing some tobacco notes and it has some dark coffee, dark chocolate and pepper notes present with that. As the name implies, the cigar gives off darker qualities and while it is not over the top in terms of strength and body, the flavors are filling. The construction is quite solid in the first third and it is showing an even burn line with a solid charcoal ash on the end. The ash does not hold on for a long period of time, but it does hold on long enough to get a solid glimpse of the quality. The draw is cool while giving off a nice bit of smoke. I would say the strength of the cigar is at a medium level and the body is right there as well. So far it is a nice beginning to the cigar and I am enjoying this cigar.

When I get into the second third of the cigar I find that it is continuing to deliver those chocolaty flavors that were present before and it is showing a little bit more complexity with some dark fruit notes. I am picking up this berry/jammy quality and it is great. There are still lots of tobacco flavors present with that, and it has a finish of spices, leather and pepper. The ninfa continues to deliver solid construction and it has a razor sharp burn line with that lovely charcoal ash on the end. The draw is cool and with that is a nice bit of smoke. Overall I would say that the body and strength are at that medium level still and this is a smooth cigar that is flavor focused. I am loving this offering and to be honest with you, I have loved the Ninfamaniac Naturals and Darks tremendously.

I am in the final third of the cigar now and it is continuing to show those tremendous flavors that were present in the second third. Notes of dark coffee and chocolate are present up front, and it is followed by those jammy berry flavors that are paired with tobacco, spices and pepper notes. The flavors are complex and have tons of depth, and this is the showing of a terrific smoke. The construction remains perfect in the final third as well and it has a razor sharp burn line with a nice charcoal ash on the end. The draw is perfect, could not ask for anything better, and there is a decent amount of smoke being produced. I would say that the body and strength are at a medium level as well in this third and from beginning to end the cigar has focused on the flavors and kept a solid medium level for body and strength. I have been very pleased with this cigar and would recommend it to so many.

I have been a fan of what Crux Cigars has been doing since I lit up my first cigar of theirs and I can tell you that the Ninfamaniac Dark continues to reassure me in my statements that this company knows how to make a great cigar. Whether you pick up the Natural or the Dark, the company has a hit with the Ninfamaniac line. The Ninfamaniac Dark delivers complex flavors that are rich and filling from beginning to end, and it is a cigar that has transitioning and plenty of depth present as well. The construction was terrific throughout as well and it delivered a cool draw with a wonderful burn line as well. I know a 33 ring gauge may not speak to a lot of smokers out there right now, but it is a great size if blended correctly. I can tell you that the company has spent a lot of time on this blend and the result is an incredible stick. I am giving this cigar a solid 92 rating and look forward to my next Ninfamaniac Dark.

Seth's Humidor Rating: 92


*cigars for this assessment were provided to me by Crux Cigars