The Crux Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac is one of five cigars included in the Crux Ninfamaniac Collection. The Ninfamaniac is Crux Cigar Company’s unique spin on the classic 7 x 33 Ninfa size. The Ninfa is a size that is more associated with the Cuban cigar market. When it comes to the U.S. market, the Ninfa size is not often found. With the Ninfamaniac, Crux Cigar company turns the 7 x 33 vitola into a double perfecto. When Crux Cigar Company hit the market in 2014, two of the three initial offerings used the Ninfamaniac size and were called Ninfamaniac and Ninfamaniac Dark. Last year, for Stogies World Class Cigars in Houston, the 7 x 33 double perfecto was expanded to include the Passport, Classic, and Bull & Bear lines. These three offerings were combined with the original Ninfamaniac and Ninfamaniac Dark – and this the Crux Ninfamaniac Collection was born. Today we take a closer look at the Crux Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac.
Stogies World Class Cigars is famous for its shop exclusive lanceros, but for Crux’s shop exclusive entry, Stogies would receive the five-blend, ten-count Crux Ninfamaniac Collection sampler. This sampler includes two cigars of the Ninfamaniac, Ninfamaniac Dark, Crux Passport Ninfamaniac, Crux Classic Ninfamaniac, and Crux Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac. The 7 x 33 offerings for the Passport, Classic, and Bull & Bear offerings are only available at Stogies as a part of the Ninfamaniac Collection. The Ninfamaniac and Ninfamaniac Dark are available in the sampler, but are also sold separately.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Crux Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac and see what this cigar brings to the table.
As with all Crux Cigars, the Crux Bull & Bear line is produced at the Plasencia factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. The blend is positioned as one of the fuller-bodied offerings in the Crux portfolio.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Plasencia Cigars SA)
Over the years, the Crux Bull & Bear has been released in three regular production sizes and two shop-exclusive sizes. The regular production sizes feature 52 or bigger ring gauges.
There have been 100 Crux Ninfamaniac Collection samplers produced. Given there are two Crux Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac cigars in each sampler, a total of 200 Crux Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac cigars were made available via the samplers.
Each of the Ninfamaniac vitolas features a closed tip on both ends of the perfecto. The Habano wrapper of the Crux Bull & Bear medium to dark brown color to it. The surface of the wrapper of the cigar I had had a very light coating of oil on the surface. I also found this to be a smoother wrapper. The wrapper has some visible veins, these were on the thinner side.
The band of the Crux Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac is a variation of the band on the Ninfamaniac and Ninfamaniac Dark. The Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac features the same green Ninfamaniac logo, but it incorporates a charcoal gray background. Across the lower part of the band is the text “BULL & BEAR” in white font. The right side of the band has the text “NINFAMANIAC” in landscape mode with a gold ring over the “I”.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
When it comes to perfectos, I normally will clip the tip to about a 38 ring. This allows me to experience the tapering effect of the cigar. Like I did with the Passport Ninfamaniac, I ended up clipping just about the whole tip of the Crux Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac as I wanted to get as close to the 33 ring gauge as possible. I then proceeded with the pre-light draw. The cold draw delivered a mix of cocoa, subtle fruit sweetness, and some earth notes. Overall, I considered the pre-light draw off the Crux Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac to be satisfactory. At this point, I was ready to light up the cigar and await what the smoking experience would have in store.
The start of the Crux Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac delivered a mix of cocoa, earth, and a slight fruit. The retro-hale produced a layer of black pepper with some fruit sweetness. Once the Crux Bull & Bear burned through the tapered section and hit the main part of the cigar, some cedar also entered the equation.
As the Crux Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac reached the middle of the first third, the cocoa notes went primary. The fruit and earth notes varied in intensity and floated in and out of the forefront. Meanwhile, the cedar notes remained grounded in the background.
By the second third, the cocoa continued to be the primary note. As the Crux Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac progressed through the second third, the earth became more visible in the forefront. There were still times the fruit sweetness also crept into the forefront. During this stage, some black pepper emerged on the tongue joining the cedar as a secondary note. Meanwhile, the black pepper became more prominent on the retro-hale.
By the last third of the Crux Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac, there was primarily a mix of cocoa and earth notes in the forefront. The cedar and pepper spices had increased in intensity, but didn’t quite reach the forefront. The fruit sweetness had also diminished greatly. This is the way the smoking experience of the Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac came to a close. The resulting nub was cool in temperature and slightly soft to the touch.
Burn and Draw
The Crux Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac had no trouble in maintaining a straight burn path from start to finish. Simultaneously, the burn line remained relatively straight and did not require touch-ups above the norm. The resulting ash was a light gray color. This was an ash that was definitely skewed toward the firmer side. Meanwhile, the burn rate and burn temperature were both ideal.
Like when I smoked the Crux Passport Ninfamaniac, the small gauge of the Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac did not cause any problems on the draw. The Crux Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac followed suit delivering a draw that had a nice balance between tightness and openness.
Strength and Body
One noticeable difference between the Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac and the other sizes in Bull & Bear line was that the Ninfamaniac size seemed to be more dialed back. The Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac delivered a medium strength, medium-bodied smoke. I didn’t find much in the way of variance of these attributes. In terms of strength versus body, I found both attributes balanced each other very nicely with neither one overshadowing the other.
When I previously assessed the Crux Passport Ninfamaniac, I was very surprised how well that blend translated to the 7 x 33 double perfecto format. I had more doubts with the Crux Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac as that was a cigar that seemed blended to larger ring gauges. The good news is the Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac also delivers with flying colors. I did find the Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac smoked different than its other sibling sizes in the line, but that is also a testament that size matters when it comes to smoking different vitolas in a blend. Since a Ninfa is a vitola I would not recommend to a novice, I’d still recommend this to a more seasoned cigar enthusiast. It’s a cigar I would smoke again.
Finally, the Crux Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac is sold in the Crux Ninfamaniac Collection sampler at Stogies World Class cigars. Based on this, and the fact you get other solid blends in the sampler, this is a cigar part of a sampler that is worthy of box purchase consideration.
Key Flavors: Cocoa, Earth, Fruit, Cedar, Wood, Pepper
Finish: Very Good
Assessment: Box Worthy Consideration
News: Crux Ninfamaniac Collection to be Shop Exclusive to Stogie World Class Cigars
Price: $74.99 (10-count sampler), $7.49 (Individual)
Source: Crux Cigar Company
Brand Reference: Crux Cigar Company
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop