Over the past few years I have had the pleasure of introducing you to the wonderful team of Jeff and Casey Haugen from Crux Cigars. The cigars coming out of Crux have been awarded numerous awards year after year including top 25 placings in Stogie Press since the first year I got Cruxed in 2014. That was the company’s inaugural year, and as funny as this sounds, the Crux Bull and Bear was released that year and it took me till now to review it. It always seems I am smoking it where I get interrupted, or the lighting sucks to take photos. We all know a good review needs concentration and decent photos. So instead of reviewing it, I just enjoyed it time and again. Well that stops today, as I offer you a long-awaited review of the Crux Bull and Bear.
It was Christmas Eve and all the preparations for the big Italian, 7-fish dinner, were complete. I sat outside my Daughters house and just settled in a rocking chair on the porch in the perfect 72 degree weather and started my Crux Bull and Bear journey.
As mentioned, the Crux Bull and Bear was one of the company’s inaugural cigars presented at the 2014 IPCPR. The blend is described as:
- Wrapper – Habano
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Nicaraguan
There were originally two vitolas offered in 2014, and then the company added a 3 third (Toro) to the lineup in 2016.
- Toro – 6 x 52 – MSRP $8.49
- Robusto Extra – 5.5 x 55 – MSRP $8.49
- Gordo – 6 x 60 Marblehead – MSRP $9.35
Each vitola is offered in unique 20-count boxes. Unlike the traditional packing of cigars in the box, Crux decided to help the retailers by packing ten loose cigars on one side of the box and two 5-packs on the other side of the box. This allows the retailer to sell 5 packs easily from the same box.
This is just one of the many creative elements of the Crux Cigar company. They intrigued me in 2014 and still intrigue me today with their offerings, unique vitolas, packaging and marketing.
For this review I sampled the Bull and Bear Toro which I received at this years La Zona Palooza event. Let’s dive into the details of the review now.
The Crux Bull and Bear Cigar
The Crux Bull and Bear is a well constructed and solid cigar with its medium brown lightly marbled wrapper. There are a few veins and there is a light tooth along the shaft.It is finished with a well-applied triple cap that is indicative of the quality construction you get when you work with Plasencia SA, which is the factory that the Bull and Bear comes from.
The barrel has an mild sweet spice aroma and the foot teases the nose with notes of walnut, chocolate, and hint of red pepper.
I used a punch to open the cap and the cold draw had a nice restriction to it. The flavor on the cold draw was interesting similar to the Crux du Connoisseur, with a unique sweet flavor that I still can’t put my finger on – even I get stumped sometimes. There was also a mild pepper lighting up the lips.
Cigar Review Notes
- The first ignited puffs presented light pepper and hint of vanilla
- Light grey ash develops
- Earthiness enters
- The notes are all wrapped in a creamy smoke texture
- Walnut enters after inch plus of solid burn
- Extremely smooth smoke with a light spice
- Woody aroma fills the air
- As it tap the ash there is a well centered slightly protruding burn cone
- Cocoa powder enters early in the second third
- Cocoa is joined with a fresh honey note
- The early earth seems to spike now and then
- A subtle vegetable note enters near the end of the second third
- As it moves into the final, the earth and spice shine more
- Medium to full in strength
- Total Smoking time was 1 hour and 20 minutes
Overall, the Crux Bull and Bear was a splendid cigar. It performed excellently from foot to nub and fired up the palate sensors with some unique flavor components including vanilla, honey, vegetable, and walnut. The core of earth held these notes all together through a great burn and long ash. Naming this the cigar the Bull and Bear always had me scratch my head but once you smoke it, you begin to realize that the flavors are grounded in the earthiness but always seem to give optimism of even better flavor as these unique flavors spike then pull back to the earth – at least that’s my view!