Wrapper: Jalapa, Nicaragua
Binder: Jalapa, Nicaragua
Filler: Jamastran, Honduras and Esteli, Nicaragua
Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A.
Price Range: $8-$10
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I enjoy reading about locally sourced and limited releases as much as the next smoker, but few of these cigars make their way to Minnesota, and I must be content to smoke vicariously through those in warmer climates. And so I was pleasantly surprised when I heard that Minnesota can call at least one brand their own. The Crux Cigar Company was launched in 2014 by Jeff Haugen and Joel Rogers, the co-owners of Tobacco Grove in Minnesota. I had the pleasure of meeting some BOTLs at that brick and mortar and per their strong recommendation I smoked a cigar from this surprisingly local cigar company: the Crux Passport Toro.
Jeff and Joel have been in the tobacco industry for many years, and after the success of their brick and mortar, as well as their experience with bulk tobacco sourcing and blending, they decided to develop their own brand. Crux Cigars was born out of a love for cigars, an appreciation for tobacco and the community it can foster as well as their understanding of retail and a desire to serve their customers with a truly remarkable experience. I found Crux Cigars to be simultaneously refined and exclusive while also accessible and comforting.
Crux Passport Toro 6 X 48 First Third
Before lighting this cigar, I took a moment to admire the Crux Marblehead, a unique style of cap construction which Crux says is modeled after the Cuban 109. It is effectively a slightly tapered cap, not as much as a traditional belicoso, and the purpose is to allow the smoker to choose how much cap to remove to cater to their preferred draw. The passport utilizes Honduran filler, and carefully selected Nicaraguan wrapper and binder tobacco. The cold draw yielded notes of leather and a bit of chocolate, deliately balanced with a black pepper note. I gave it a few retrohales and was hit with a nice creaminess, rather than sharp spice as I had anticipated.
Crux Passport Toro 6 X 48 Second Third
The pepper picks up strength but is complimented by chocolate and coffee and there are a handful of sweeter notes that come and go–mostly orange and other citrus. I’m very impressed with the complexity I got out of this cigar, and am keen on trying the other available vitolas: Half Corona (4 x 42), No. 4 Marblehead (4.875 x 47), Corona (5.5 x 44) and Lancero (7 x 40).
Crux Passport Toro 6 X 48 Final Third
The fruit notes start to subside and the flavors in the final third of the Passport starts to get a little darker: I’m tasting black coffee, earth and the pepper lingers in the background. As I get near the end of this cigar, I’m hit with a surprising nicotine punch, although it doesn’t detract from my enjoyment. This is a complex blend with a lot to offer, even at its very reasonable price point (most cigars has a suggested retail under $10). I will certainly be reaching for more of these in the future, and I’m looking forward to how the other vitolas measure up. Crux has been very well received, and for the low price point something worth adding to your humidor.
Complex, bold, well balanced at a
very affordable price point
Needed some touch ups, but
not enough to warrant lower marks