Crux Cigars Sports
After a long, hard morning of skating, I decided to “Celebrate my Victory” by relaxing out back with a Crux Sports, and a glass of St. Julian’s Gunga-Din Hard Cider.
The Good Stuff:
The Crux Sports made it’s debut at the 2014 IPCPR show and was scheduled to be released later that year. Due to production restraints Jeff Huagen and Joel Rogers (Owners of Crux Cigars and Tobacco Grove in Maple Grove Minnesota) had to hold the release back until earlier this year. The idea behind the sports is to create a “short cigar” that produces a similar experience to a standard premium cigar, only in a shorter time period. These cigars are then marketed to “Celebrate your Victories”. Produced at the Placencia factory in Nicaragua the Crux Sports carries a Jalapan Habano wrapper, Indonesian Binder and Nicaraguan fillers. The cigar comes in a single 4.625 x 35 format and is packaged in boxes of 30 with six individually wrapped 5-count soft packs in each running $3.75 a cigar. Thanks goes out to the Crux Team for sending these our way for review.
Size: 4.625 x 35
Wrapper: Jalapa Habano
Pairing: St. Julian Gunga-Din Cider (5.2% ABV)
The Crux Sports starts out with a dark brown wrapper that has many orange, darker brown, and lighter brown areas scattered throughout. The texture is smooth, with some slight oil, as well as some slight tooth in areas further away from the cap. The cigar is very light, and somewhat spongy throughout. The wrapper carries a few small veins leading up to the cigar’s tiny round double cap. The Crux Sports is polished off with a very simple gray and red band which carries the Crux crest along with the word “Sports” embossed which white ink.
The wrapper on the Crux Sports gives off almost no aroma at all. I was able to reach deep and picked up only some very slight earthiness. The foot of the cigar is mild as well, but it carried more aroma starting with some spot spice, and ending with some interesting grassy scents. The cap cut clean and easily using my Palio double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces a great mixture of sweetness and spice with some great cedar aftertastes.
The Crux Sports caught me off guard starting out with a whole mess of black/cayenne pepper. The first puff or two put me back in my seat. After the first few puffs the pepper started to settle down and the cigar showcased some great brown sugar, cedar, musk, and soft fruit flavors. I was impressed with the amount of flavor this cigar starts out with the first time I smoked it and I’m still impressed with it today. The draw on the Crux Sports is fantastic. Each tiny puff kicks out a great deal of thick white smoke while the cigar gives off very little stationary smoke as it rests in my ashtray. The burn line has one deep wave, but it’s not too concerning at this point since the rest of the burn line is razor thin and dead even as it leaves behind a beautiful trail of tightly compacted bright white ash.
As I venture into the second half of the Crux Sports the flavors have really started to blend together and become a nice, medium-bodied mixture. The cigar now leads with great spice and a decent amount of sweetness which meshes into the cedar/butter flavors hidden underneath. The retrohale adds much more spice to the experience, but pepper as well and I honestly enjoyed the less-peppery version of the cigar that I’ve been experiencing. The burn line has completely corrected itself and burned flawlessly down to the nub. It took me about 50 minutes to smoke this cigar down to the very end of the nub. I closed it out with absolutely no harshness and surprisingly no extra heat.
I’ve been a big fan on Crux Cigars, and the Sports is just another great addition to an already solid portfolio. I’m huge on short cigars, and smoke them a few times a week so having more options for great quick-smokes is always something I look forward too. The flavors are bold at the start and really mellow out as you continue to smoke the cigar resulting in a really relaxing experience. The burn was great, and the price is perfect. I would put the Sports above the Skeeterz, and just below the Passport Petite Coronas. This is box-worthy for sure and I can see myself adding these to my regular quick-smoke rotation alongside the Passport, Tatuaje Verocu 5, Tatuaje Petite Cazadores, Drew Estate Liga Privada Papas Fritas, and Illusione Epernay Le Petit.
This isn’t the first time I’ve paired with a cider. I think it’s the hot, spring/summer weather that makes me crave them from time to time. In the spirit of this cigar celebrating your victories I went out and threw down a 4.5 hour solo skate session before coming home to relax, and write up this review. The cider really helped in adding a more refreshing take on my after-skate routine. Gunga-Din is a hard apple cider brewed at the St. Julian winery in Michigan. You guessed it, Jeremy was kind enough to bring this beverage down for me in his recent visit. The Gunga-Din Cigar starts out dry with modest pear and apple flavors and a bit of sweetness with a very thin mouthfeel before finishing incredible sweet with lots of sugar, pear, and crisp green apple. This pairing was actually one of the better ones I have had of late. The cider meshed in well with the spices in the Crux Sports while it really helped lift up the sweetness in the cigar. I’ve often talked about how I love to smoke cigars with apple juice, and often neglect apple juice’s more alcoholic partner.