Crux Passport Half Corona
Thought I slacked it huh? I wasn’t feeling too well yesterday so I didn’t put my review together until today. And now I bring you the Crux Passport Half Corona.
The Good Stuff:
Crux is one of the newer faces in the cigar industry which have taken the cigar community by storm releasing a slew of solid cigars in a very short amount of time. Here at Casas Fumando, we have had the pleasure of smoking every Crux release to date:
While Jeremy already took a stab at the Passport, I decided to throw my hat in the ring while showcasing a new format just released by the company, the Half Corona. The Passport carries an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper from the Jalapa Valley in Nicaragua, Nicaraguan Binder from the Jalapa Valley as well, and fillers from Esteli, Nicaragua and the Jamastran Valley in Honduras. The cigars are manufactured at the Plascencia Cigars S.A. factory. There are 5 formats in the Passport series: The Half Corona (4 x 42), Corona Gorda (5 1/2 x 44), The Toro (6 x 48), Lancero (7 x 40), and the No. 4 (4 7/8 x 47) which range from about $6 – $8 a cigar. Samples of the Crux Passport Half Corona were sent to us by our friends over at Crux Cigars. I’ll be reviewing this cigar in halves due to the smaller format.
Size: 4 x 42
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Pairing: Blackrocks Grand Rabbits (Cream Ale 5.5% ABV)
Let me start off by applauding the Crux team on an absolutely beautiful cigar. The Crux Passport Half corona comes packaged in a nice little brown paper wrapping similar to what you’d expect a butcher to package your fine cut of meat in. Inside you’ll find a cigar that starts with an folded-over unfinished foot, and a beautiful pig tap cap. The wrapper on the cigar is incredibly toothy and very oily while it showcases a deep brown color with some darker webbing. The stubby little cigar comes with the standard blue Passport band which carries the Crux crest on the front of it.
The wrapper on the Crux Passport gives off a semi-sweet, floral, and natural tobacco aroma while the foot of the cigar boasts of strong spice, pepper, and tobacco. The cap cut clean and easy using my Palio double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces a ton of black pepper and spice with some soft leather and natural tobacco underneath.
The Crux Passport Half Corona stars out with a nice pepper greeting that isn’t nearly as dominant as it was in the pre-light/cold draw. Behind the pepper lies some great spice, bold tobacco, deep oak, and a bit of musk. The half corona starts out much more bold than some of the other formats I have smoked. The draw is perfect kicking out a decent amount of thick, white smoke with every puff. The retrohale is pretty sharp coating my nasal passage with some strong spice and oak. The burn line is a bit wavy, but not really concerning as it leaves behind a compact trail of medium gray ash which held on for about 3/4 of a inch before falling into my ashtray.
Into the second half of the Crux Passport Half Corona and the flavors are remaining pretty potent leading off with a very strong musk and oak mixture with strong spice and tobacco trailing, a big of cherry and a resurgence of the black pepper from the first half. The burn line is now completely solid and razor sharp without any extra attention from my torch. While I didn’t pick up too much strength in the other formats of Passports I have smoked, this little guy is giving me a run for my money as I close out with a nice little nicotine kick from such a small cigar. It took me about 45 minutes to smoke this cigar down to the nub and I experienced no harshness whatsoever. I actually think it’s interesting that I picked up much more of the black pepper on the very finish of the cigar than I did from the very start.
I am a big fan of the Passport and pretty much everything in the Crux portfolio so far. I didn’t think they needed to fill the small format niche as the Skeeterz did that quite well, but there will always be a place for the Passport Half Corona in my regular rotation. I love small format cigars, probably a lot more than most. I tend to smoke them regularly during the week especially on my afternoon commutes. The Passport is a high quality, affordable, small format cigar that delivers on every level. It’s got some deep, bold flavors, some great strength, and perfect construction which results in a great cigar smoking experience.
The pairing I chose is a great little beer that Jeremy brought back with him from the Upper Peninsula on one of his trips down. Grand Rabbits is a 5.5% ABV Dry Hopped Cream Ale brewed in Marquette Michigan. The beer leads with a very soft cream, a bit of citrus, some soft spice and a subtle hop with a creamy mouthfeel before finishing incredibly crisp with some hop, more citrus, and a bit of sweetness. I chose this beer to pair with the Crux Passport Half Corona for two reasons. One, it gives a nice balance to the bold flavors in the cigar while contributing to the experience by adding some freshness, and natural flavors and two, because it’s the perfect summer beer and I really wanted to relax and enjoy the 85 degree weather we are already experiencing here in El Paso.