When Crux Cigars first launched in 2014, their portfolio consisted of cigars themed around characters such as Ninfamaniac, Skeeterz, and Bull & Bear, which arrived with cartoon imagery and edgy slogans such as “Can’t get enough” (in relation to the Ninfamaniac) and “Go Crux Yourself” (generally used as a hashtag for the overall brand/company).
Logically, the company’s style seemed to shift over time, taking on more regal and mature themes with releases such as the Crux du Connoisseur and, most notably, the debut of the Crux Epicure in 2017. Both releases featured cues from classic Cuban brands, with the latter being quick to receive critical acclaim throughout the industry. With an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper and a more sophisticated style, the Epicure was a precursor for the company’s rebranding in 2019, which now offers a more established, sophisticated aesthetic, top to bottom (as well as the welcomed slogan refresh: “Find your Crux”).
Further capitalizing on the success of the Epicure, Crux launched the Epicure Maduro in 2019, and has now rounded out the line this year with the Epicure Habano.
“The Habano will complete the Epicure trifecta and we couldn’t be more excited for this cigar to get in the hands of customers across the country.” Said Jeff Haugen President of Crux Cigar Company “We are blessed to work with Plasencia Family making some of the highest quality cigars in the world and the Habano is no exception.”
Epicure Habano Toro Breakdown
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano (Seco)
Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A. (Nicaragua)
Production: Regular Production
Vitola: 6¼? × 52 (Toro)
Price: $13.49 (MSRP)
Like each Epicure before it, the Crux Epicure Habano was teased a year before the eventual launch, being shown at the annual trade show in 2022 before its eventual shipment in June of 2023. The cigars are crafted from a Nicaraguan puro blend, making use of a seco priming of Habano for the first time in Crux’s portfolio. The remainder of the blend is said to be the same Nicaraguan core seen on previous Epicure blends, slightly tweaking the ratios of tobaccos to accommodate the Habano experience.
The cigars debuted in a range of four sizes, being priced from $11.25 to $14.49 per cigar MSRP:
Corona Gorda: 5?” x 46 | $11.25
Robusto: 5? x 50 | $11.99
Toro: 6¼? × 52 | $13.49
Gordo: 6? x 60 | $14.49
As expected, the look of the Epicure Habano is largely the same as former Epicure cigars, featuring Crux’s updated logo displayed prominently atop “EPICURE Habano” throughout the box and band. While the original Epicure features a red/white color scheme and the Maduro a teal/white, the Habano offers a similar look with a new beige/white palette. Finally, the “Habano” portion of the logo takes on a script font, invoking Miami vibes à la Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.
The toro begins with what looks to be a double cap, winding down the cigar with nicely placed seams throughout. The wrapper is a reddish Colorado hue, showing a spattering of medium-fine veins. The cigar is smooth to the touch, and appears to be around a medium (or medium-plus) bunch density.
The wrapper has a musky aroma, being joined by an overall tanginess and underlying notes of cedar and barnyard. Moving to the foot, I pick up a brighter tone, including sweet florals, sage, and chamomile tea. With a cut, the Epicure seems to be medium on the draw, giving additional tea-like flavors as well as some nutmeg.
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While a touch on the dry side in terms of texture, the Epicure Habano lights up with a clean overall impression. There are delicate spices through the retrohale, being bright and lively and leaving a lasting sweetness on the palate. Floral herbs abound, lighting up the senses without much of a stinging sensation. While the aforementioned dryness can come across like thyme, this is gradually replaced by sage and—eventually—a juiciness not unlike Juicy Fruit gum.
From slightly dry to fully mouthwatering, the cigar performs a one-eighty rather quickly in the experience, taking shape with an overall sweet, balanced, aromatic profile. This seems to be aided by a cool smoking temperature, allowing each puff to linger long on the palate, providing a subtle tingle across the tongue. The juicy/floral component often combines for a flavor that reminds me of Smarties candy, complete with the powdered sugar-like coating when the candy first hits your tongue.
While the cigar begins at mild-medium strength, medium flavor, and medium body, it ramps up to more of a medium strength, near-full flavor, and medium-plus body by the two-inch mark (which also happens to be about how long the ash holds on). With a near-perfect draw (a slight resistance), I get medium to medium-plus amounts of smoke on each puff, providing a chewy, fairly voluminous texture. The smoke primarily operates on the front of the palate, though it’s also detected on the front sides and back of the tongue.
It’s not all fruits n’ florals, though, and the Epicure Habano eventually lets off the gas in this region. This is first evidenced by flashes of butterscotch taffy in the first inch or so, now reemerging with sweet, doughy pastry, clean sugarcane, and creamy cappuccino. None of these come across as cloying or overbearing, as the cigar maintains an eye for balance. At around the halfway mark, this includes white pepper in the retro, with oregano and similar baking herbs through the finish. There’s a subtle bitterness across the palate—an acidic buzz that allows florals and citrus a path forward. Sweet cream (with a light caramel stir), clean cedar, and something along the lines of macadamia nut can also be picked up in this region.
The cigar begins to darken up in flavor, as most do, though it’s not abrupt. Instead, we get something along the lines of browned butter, having touches of toffee and nuttiness. At this point, the tingling sensation on the tongue increases, especially on the front of the palate. Chestnut and nutmeg bring in a toasty character—though still finishing with sweetness. It’s actually close to medium-full in strength at this point, pulling back on flavor and body to a degree. Clove and anise eventually kick off a darker, zestier vibe, bringing added bitterness into the mix. A musty coat closet is perhaps the final standout note, eventually heading down the path of dark pumpernickel and root-like spices.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
In case you skipped the review portion: YES, I absolutely love this cigar! It’s bright and citrusy, sweet and balanced, and backed by a nice chewy texture—it’s right up my alley.
I’ve smoked the Crux Epicure Habano in Robusto and Toro formats. While I enjoyed both, I think the Toro is the clear winner, having a cooler smoking temperature, more discernible flavor, and chewier smoke texture.
I didn’t mention this in the Appearance section, but the packaging is so unique and clever on these, as well as all Crux cigars (which you can see in the photos above). Inside each box is a split between singles and five-packs, giving retailers three ways to sell the cigars (box, five-pack, and single) and also being handy for the consumer as well. If you don’t need the five-packs, just toss the packaging and you’re back to your standard 20-count box.
Between the three blends, I’d rank them as such: Epicure Habano > Epicure > Epicure Maduro.
The Crux Epicure Habano currently ranks in the top 36 percent of cigars on the Dojoverse leaderboard, and is scored as “100% Smokable.”
Flavor: Medium / Full
Smoke Time: 1 hour, 55 minutes
Pairing Recommendation: Cappuccino | Salt water taffy | Whiskey sour | Cream soda
Purchase Recommendation: Box
Nice flavor shifts, from bitter/floral to juicy to creamyOverarching sweetness (without being cloying) throughoutGood smoke output and chewy texture
Some samples had firmer drawsCould benefit from a true “it factor” flavor to reach the next level
Originally posted on December 6, 2023 @ 5:18 am