I just received the new Crux Cigars Guild the other week. They came along with the new Crux PB5 which I have yet to review. Crux Cigar Cigars announced both the Guild and PB5 at last years IPCPR and they are now shipping to retailers across the country. Make no doubt about it, I enjoy Crux cigars, so every time Casey ad Jeff Haugen release a new blend, they know the bar is set for my review based on their previous releases. The Crux website describes it as follows:
Striving to reach the highest of standards in a handmade product isn’t for the feint of heart. Constructed by our top artisians, the Crux Guild pays homage to the traditions of craftsmanship and excellence of decades past.
Lets see how the Guild stands up.
To start off with, the Crux Guild has been a much-anticipated cigar since being announced in July of 2015. It is described as a Nicaraguan puro with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and like all Crux cigars they are being produced by the masters at the Plasencia Cigars in Esteli, Nicaragua. There are five vitolas in the Guild lineup:
- Corona: 5.5 x 42
- Robusto: 5 x 50
- Toro: 6 x 50
- Toro Extra Marblehead BP: 6.5 x 52
- Robusto Extra: 5.25 x 54
For this review I sampled the Toro which was sent to me by Crux Cigars.
The Crux Guild has a rugged and veiny Ecuadorian Habano wrapper that has a bit of tooth to it and a slight sheen. The aroma is sweet on the foot and there is mild cooking spice aroma along the barrel. It is finished well, with a triple cap.The Guild has a decent weight in the hand, there are no soft spots along the barrel, and from the foot you can see it is well packed.
The band is simple from a Crux perspective. Black on black with gold and white and of course the signature red in the center of the Crux cross. The word Guild is emboldened in gold on the bottom of the band. I have to complement them with regards to black on black. It sounds simple but as my brother Larry, who is a master pressmen in the printing industry, will note – black is very difficult to get perfect as it can have no blemish or the white paper it is printed on will easily show through as small white divots. The extra touch of the varnish on the crossed swords just makes this simple band pop which tells me Casey and Jeff not only had artisan torcedors involved but also the right graphics arts and printing company.
The cap slices off easily offering an open cold draw with a touch of earth and a hint of red pepper. I chose to light the Guild with my single torch lighter. The foot took a longer than average time to get ignited which tells me there is a bit of ligero packed into this baby. As it was toasting up I noticed an enticing nut aroma during the lighting process which peaked my interest. Once ignited, the Guild hits the nasals with a dominant dose of pepper. I needed that, as I was working in the yard all day in the sweltering Florida heat, my nasals are wide open now.
I am not sure if nut is on my mind from the ignition of the Guild, but the first flavor note after the pepper is nut, which is then followed with citrus fruit. The pepper remains for a good inch into the burn before is fades back. The ash is salt and pepper in color with a thin char line. The wrapper shines like a freshly waxed car body and the smoke is full in body and medium strength. There is a slight wave that developed but did eventually correct itself leading to an impressive ash.
The profile is further enhanced with a subtle note of cinnamon as it moves into the second third and then builds on that, delivering an increasing spice component. A sweetness finds itself by the end of the second third.
The final third is where things got interesting with the profile shifting to earthy and woody notes that wrap around a cedar and spice. A resurgence of black pepper comes in near the end and the strength moves up to just shy of full. I smoke a lot of different cigars so I would certainly say that my experience of strength in a cigar may be understated.
Overall the Crux Guild is a welcome full production to all the Crux Cigar fans out there. If you have not experience the brand I highly recommend you give them a try, and with regards to the Crux Guild, you will enjoy a flavor packed, full body cigar, that would pair very well with a Islay Scotch or aged port wine. I would like to thank the Crux team for the samples and am looking forward to sampling their other new line – the PB5.