Just before the 2023 PCA Trade Show, Crux Cigars released the third installment in its Epicure Series, the Crux Epicure Habano. As the name indicates, the Crux Epicure Habano introduces a Habano-wrapped offering into the Epicure Series. Crux Epicure Habano has been long anticipated among Crux cigar enthusiasts. It was a cigar talked about in the pipeline for a couple of years. While it was showcased at the 2022 PCA Trade Show, it would be just under a year before the cigar would make it to retail shelves. Given the cigar was released so close to the 2023 PCA Trade Show, Crux opted to make the Epicure Habano its featured cigar for 2023. Today, we look at the Crux Epicure Habano in the Corona Gorda size.
As mentioned, the Crux Epicure Habano is the third installment in the Epicure series. The Crux Epicure series was launched in 2017 with the original Crux Epicure – which would be Crux’s first Connecticut Shade cigar. This was followed up in 2019 with the Crux Epicure Maduro – Crux’s first Maduro cigar. The Crux Epicure Habano is a little different in that Crux has previously released Habano-wrapped cigars; but it still is the first time Crux has worked with this particular Habano wrapper – a Nicaraguan Habano Seco leaf.
Let’s break down the Crux Epicure Habano Corona Gorda without further ado and see what this cigar brings to the table.
Blend and Origin
In addition to the Nicaraguan Habano Seco wrapper, the binder and filler of the Crux Epicure Habano consists of all Nicaraguan-grown tobaccos. The Crux Epicure Habano production comes from the Plasencia factory in Estelí, Nicaragua – the factory that handles the production for most of Crux Cigars’ lines.
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Seco
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Plasencia S.A.
The Crux Epicure Habano is offered in four sizes. Each is presented in 20-count boxes.
Corona Gorda: 5 3/8 x 46
Robusto: 5 x 50
Toro: 6 1/4 x 52
Gordo: 6 x 60
The Habano Seco wrapper of the Crux Epicure Habano is a darker Colorado shade. According to Crux Cigars, the wrapper is processed to get that darker color. The Corona Gorda had a very light sheen of oil on the surface. There were some visible veins on the surface, and the shade of the wrapper was dark enough to minimize any visual wrapper seams.
Before lighting up the Crux Epicure Habano Corona Gorda, a straight cut was used to remove the cap. After the cap was removed, it was time to commence with the pre-light draw experience. The cold draw delivered a mix of natural tobacco and leather notes. I considered this to be a satisfactory pre-light draw experience. At this point, it was time to toast up the foot of the Crux Epicure Habano Corona Gorda and move on to the smoking phase.
The Crux Epicure Habano Corona Gorda opened up with a slight blast of mixed pepper notes. This gave way to notes of earth, natural tobacco, classic wood, and mixed pepper. Early on, the wood notes moved into the forefront, with the natural tobacco, earth, and pepper notes settling in the background. As the cigar burned through the first third, the earth notes joined the wood notes in the forefront. Meanwhile, the retro-hale product had an additional layer of wood and some black pepper.
During the second third of the Crux Epicure Habano Corona Gorda, the combination of wood and earth remained at the forefront. In the background, the natural tobacco notes increased in intensity and closed in on the forefront. Meanwhile, there still were some pepper notes that were present in the background.
The last third saw the wood and earth notes still in the forefront. The pepper notes increase in intensity this time – and closed in on the wood and earth in the forefront. Meanwhile, there still were residual natural tobacco notes present. This is the way the Crux Epicure Habano Corona Gorda came to a close. The resulting nub was soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The burn of the Crux Epicure Habano Corona Gorda performed quite well. This cigar had no problem maintaining a straight burn path while keeping a relatively straight burn line. At the same time, the Crux Epicure Habano Corona Gorda didn’t require a large amount of touch-ups to keep things on track. The resulting ash was silver-gray. The ash itself was firm and came off the cigar in clean chunks. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature both maintained ideal levels.
The draw of the Crux Epicure Habano Corona Gorda also performed exceptionally well. This was a draw that had a touch of resistance – which I have stated countless times is something I have a preference for.
Strength and Body
In terms of strength and body, the Crux Epicure Habano Corona Gorda started out with medium strength and medium-bodied flavors. There was a slight increase in the intensity levels of both attributes, but the cigar stayed in the medium range for strength and body until the end of the cigar experience.
BANDING AND PACKAGING NOTES
Back in 2019, Crux Cigars underwent a major repackaging design. I’ve been a big fan of this packaging – especially the new logo and the use of colors. The Crux Epicure Habano is no exception. The pale yellow color works nicely with this cigar – especially with the darker Habano wrapper. One thing Crux has always done well is how it packages the 20-count boxes. This includes ten individual cigars on the right and two cardboard five-packs on the left side. The inside of the boxes also include some tasting notes and a QR code. Overall, a job well done by Crux.
Over the years, Crux Cigars has built up a very impressive track record on Cigar Coop. It’s on a short list of brands that I really enjoy. Add to that the Crux Epicure and Crux Epicure Maduro did very well on Cigar Coop, which led to high expectations for me regarding the Crux Epicure Habano Corona Gorda. That being said, you simply cannot love every cigar, and that’s the case with the Crux Epicure Habano Corona Gorda. It’s a cigar that had decent flavors but not great flavors. I would have liked for the cigar to have more in the way of complexity. Yes, the Crux Epicure Habano had excellent construction, but that’s something I’ve come to expect from Crux. In the end, this is a cigar I recommend trying a sample of first and seeing if it’s in your wheelhouse. As for myself, I’m curious to smoke some of the other sizes of this blend – and plan to do that.
Key Flavors: Wood, Earth, Natural Tobacco, Pepper
Complexity: Medium Minus
Finish: Very Good
Value: Try a Sample
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop
Originally posted on October 22, 2023 @ 10:17 am