What can I say about Crux Cigars that I have not already said. This is a company that had a huge 2014 year, their inaugural year was greater than many, and in their first year you could see their passion for cigars and tobacco. They currently have five lines on the market, and each line has been unique and appealing to a certain market. They truly have created a brand with lines that show very little if any similarities, and there are not a lot of companies that can't seem to master this one quality. I have talked about all of their lines except one, and today I look at that final line, the Bull & Bear. I look forward to completing my assessment of the brand, and let's conclude that assessment with the Crux Bull & Bear robusto extra.
One of the latest release from Crux Cigars, and the last line for me to review, the Bull & Bear is the opposite of the Ninfamaniac in terms of ring gauges. There are two vitolas in the line, a 6 * 60 Marblehead and a 5.5 * 55 robusto extra. For this review I was offered the robusto extra, and there is something about a 5.5" by 55 ring gauge cigar that just seems to work. I don't know why that is, but the blends I have in that size always seem to work out. The cigar is a Nicaraguan puro, and it features a Habano seed wrapper from Jalapa. The cigars are rolled at Plasencia Cigars in Esteli, Nicaragua, and they are rolled with the other Crux lines. The robusto extra has a lovely Colorado Maduro wrapper and it is slightly oily and smooth in texture. It has a nice firmness, and it is giving off an aroma of leather, wood and spices on the wrapper, with some cocoa and additional spices on the foot.
The first third begins by showing some really enjoyable spice notes. It is not in your face and very rich, but at the same it is not very dry. I would say that it is very elegant and aromatic. The spice is that of Asian spices, and I am getting some curry and soft coconut notes with that. There are some nutty qualities present as well, and it is showing some tobacco and woody qualities n the finish. Overall, I love the flavor profile being delivered, and it is probably my favorite of all Crux blends. The construction is solid overall with the cigar and it is showing a fairly even burn line with a nice charcoal ash on the end. The draw is cool, producing a nice amount of smoke, and it is a cigar you don't ever have to worry about. The strength is around medium to medium-full, and the body is there as well. This is a terrific first third and a great way to start the cigar and grab my attention.
When I get into the second third I find that the flavor profile really grows and changes, and I am getting some nice dark chocolate qualities that are fairly powder like. There are still a lot of spices and I am getting those pepper qualities which are pairing together wonderfully. I am picking up those nutty and leather qualities, and there are some faint coconut and toast notes present on top of that. It is a great flavor profile and one that is complex and balanced. The construction is absolutely terrific with the cigar and it is showing that razor sharp burn line that is perfect on the end. The ash is slightly flaky, but it is holding on firmly and I am getting a lot of smoke with each draw. The draw is cool and I would say that this is smoking around a medium level to medium-full level in terms of strength and body.
I am in the final third of the cigar now and it has an ending which is a combination of the first and second third. The chocolate and coconuts are working together now, and they are being followed by some lovely spice and pepper notes. There is a curry, nutty and leather flavor profile on the finish, and it is a complex blend that is very balanced. It is not overly rich, but at the same time it is not dry. It has a nice finish, but it is not a finish that is overpowering or lingers on the palate for an annoying period of time. The construction in this third continues to deliver all those great qualities that were present in the first two thirds and it is showing that even burn line with solid charcoal ash on the end. The draw is cool, producing a nice bit of smoke, and it is flavorful to the nub. I would classify the cigar as being medium to medium-full in strength and body, and it goes well with the medium-full flavors.
I have smoked and reviewed all of the Crux lines now with this review and I can tell you that looking back on the smokes, this is my favorite of the blends. It may not be my personal favorite of the vitola offerings, but the blend does very well in this robusto extra. With the 55 ring gauge, the cigar smokes cool throughout and it shows a perfect burn line with great construction. The draw is simply fantastic as well, and it is giving off a great bit of smoke on top of that. I think it is a blend that a lot of smokers could enjoy, it has the right characteristics I think in all of the areas, and it is a blend I would hold in my humidor. The flavors were really to my liking, and with the samples I smoked I was continuously picking up these great curry, spice, coconut and cocoa notes that were awesome. If you are going to smoke one of the Crux blends, grab this one. I am giving the cigar a 92 rating.
Seth's Humidor Rating: 92
*cigars for this assessment were provided to me by Crux Cigars