Crux "Epicure Maduro" Review: Smooth & Heavy, Like a '57 Chevy

I, for one, have immensely enjoyed meeting all of these fresh faces within the Klaro portfolio. It seems like every time I turn around there is a new small-batch cigar being added to the lineup, and dammit if they don't kick ass 90% of the time. 

So when I happened to spark up my first sample stick of Epicure Maduro from Crux Cigars one sunny Sunday morning, and paired it with a cup of rich coffee and a little gardening time, I was immersed in a heavenly haze of flavors and aromas.

It's a sensually smooth, surprisingly understated medium-full dark cigar, with all the right attributes in the appropriate places. But is this dark edition from Crux Cigars good enough to rank as one of the best maduro cigars in the Klaro collection? I guess we'll just have to find out...

[Buy 5-Pack]

Unlit Impressions 

Crux "Epicure Maduro" Review

Intended to mimic the aquamarine color of a classic Chevy Bel Aire from the 1950s, the band on the Epicure Maduro snags the eye from any direction. A little bit of two-tone white, a gap between bands that join a gold Crux seal in the rear is retro and slick at the same time.

This plays perfectly off the dark, espresso bean-colored San Andrés maduro wrapper it grasps ahold of toward one end. Mildly veined, and expertly rolled, this outer shell is one of my favorite points to this cigar.

It's also a very nicely bunched cigar with a medium amount of give to the binder, and that wrapper is neatly seamed to the point of being labeled as perfect in my eyes.

Aromas are not so much of a coffee bomb, but more of a dark, wet topsoil smell. Something that brings me back to my childhood, when camping trips in the woods produced a rain-drenched aroma. Touches of vanilla and bittersweet Mexican baking cocoa can be found, but it takes a bit of snorting to sense these more delicate notes. Cold pulls are a dank leather taste, and more soil-like and barnyard funk before becoming more milky mocha, with a shake of sweet turbinado arriving toward the finish.

Initial Smoke 

Crux "Epicure Maduro" Review

Ok, so things got off to a bit of a rough start on my review cigar, what with all that black pepper, leather, and sharp bitterness to the back of the throat. But within a few minutes, it all faded, and a milky, coffee bean and dried wood flavor formed.

1st Half   

Crux "Epicure Maduro" Review

Milky mocha venti size pours provide the primary cigar flavor profile, the first thirst is a breakfast stogie smoker's dream come true. It's not the most original or complex characteristic for such a blend, but it's so smooth that I didn't mind one bit

There's also a softer secondary note that appears post-exhale and has a syrupy, dark fruit taste. For me, it made me think of stewed cherries prior to being blended with sugar and baked into a pie. Slightly sweet, a tad tart at times, and also a bit bitter this finish was a flavor I fully appreciated at every puff. 

Retrohales are a mixed peppercorn grade spice intensity and are leathery and loaded with oak tannins at times. Body quickly builds to medium, strength sits on the upper end of mild, and flavor inches forward toward full with each draw, which is a touch tight in my review cigar.

2nd Half    

Crux "Epicure Maduro" Review

Leather and topsoil are your most notable flavors from the second third and into the center section, where the smoke grows in body a bit, but more so in flavor than anything. Oak and vanilla arrive afterward, and a bit of a chocolate-coated coffee bean encounter a little further along. 

I loved this section of the cigar, and enjoyed the spike in smoke production, but lamented the hideous burn line that it built, which resulted in a sizable touch-up toward the band. More on that fiasco further on... 

Dark, oily espresso tastes that can be labeled as "deep" are the primary tasting point to the final third, and with more leather than ever, the tail end to this blend is a bold one that favors flavor and body before turning toward strength enhancements.

Parting Puffs    

Crux "Epicure Maduro" Review

Dark to the point of being opaque in presence, and stocked full of firewood, parting puffs produce a dry tannin taste that offsets any remaining sweetness within the stick. Black pepper flavors and spice levels increase with every pull and are no longer constrained to retrohales, which offer more mocha flavors than ever before. Turbinado returns for a final send-off at this moment too, and my heavens does it make for a magnificent grand finale to this medium-full maduro.

Ash / Burn / Smoke / Draw

Crux "Epicure Maduro" Review

Due to the cigar band being overloaded with glue on both cigars I smoked, the removal of the paper resulted in a most regrettable, yet completely predictable occurrence. Flakes formed on the first stick, and a medium-sized crack occurred in the second, both of which were frustrating to find.

As for combustion, I found that the first cigar burned a little bit better than the second, with zero touch-ups along the way and a better draw throughout. My review stick also extinguished itself in the final third, right where the band accident occurred, so that severed some points from the scorecard. 

Still, the ash was pretty nicely formed on both clouds of smoke, the cone remained perfectly rounded throughout each, and temps weren't much of a concern whatsoever.

Final Thoughts  

Crux "Epicure Maduro" Review

I can see where AJ Fernandez's influence on this cigar forms much of its character, and equally, how the Turrent family has produced a most impressive wrapper for this dark blend. Outside of those surprisingly strong first few seconds, it starts off milky, mocha-like, and perfectly smooth. Then, its balls drop, and a far more macho mannerism emerges.

It's a slow but steady shift from caress to Kung Fu kick, but some of us enjoy that sort of gradation. You know exactly what's happening, but you're not entirely sure which direction the blend is going to take you. 

For the Epicure Maduro, it's a brash but beautiful bunch of transitions, with the best being saved for last. An absence of sweetness in the first third on both cigars was a major miscue for me and my smoking needs, so that was a "le sigh" moment. the stewed cherry secondary notes only being in the first half was also a regrettable absence in the second section, and I felt myself searching in vain for their return at every turn. 

But I can see how some people may not even notice, or care about this sort of thing. The cigar smokes that damn well and produces so many memorable moments that it's difficult to discredit any section.

Crux "Epicure Maduro" Review

Flavor, Aroma & Transitions

Depth & Complexity

Construction, Burn & Physical Appeal

Backstory & Branding

Overall Balance & Repeatability

Stogie Specs


Crux "Epicure Maduro"


San Andrés Maduro (Mexico)








5" x 50 "Robusto" 



Pairing Drink

Homemade Iced Mocha



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