When Crux Cigar Company launched in 2014, it took a very different unorthodox gateway into the cigar market by launching three offerings – each with a ring gauge no bigger than a 33 ring gauge. One of the offerings was a 4 x 32 short panatela known as Skeeterz. The other two offerings, the Ninfamaniac and Ninfamaniac Dark would be two 7 x 33 perfectos. The Ninfamaniac offerings were based on an old Cuban vitola known as the Ninfa – which also measured 7 x 33. The Ninfa had all but disappeared from being present in the U.S. market, but Crux rolled the dice and decided to introduce it as a part of their launch. Making it into a double perfecto was something quite unique. Today we take a closer look at one of the Ninfamaniac offerings – the Ninfamaniac Dark.
With the Ninfamaniac and Ninfamaniac Dark, Crux would make these cigars as a regular offering in the portfolio that would be available nationwide to all of its authorized retailers. Back in 2016, Crux also created a shop exclusive sampler for Stogies World Class Cigars in Houston Texas known as the Ninfamaniac Collection. Both the Ninfamaniac and Ninfamaniac Dark were included in that sampler. There were also Ninfamaniac versions of the company’s Passport, Classic, and Bull & Bear blends also made a part of the Ninfamaniac Collection, however that is the only place these additional Ninfamaniacs have been released.
Without further ado, let’s break down the Crux Ninfamaniac Dark and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The Crux Ninfamaniac Dark consists of a dark Jalapa Sun Grown wrapper over an Indonesian binder and filler from Estelí. As with all Crux Cigars, the Ninfamaniac Dark is produced at the Plasencia factory in Estelí, Nicaragua.
Wrapper: Jalapa Sun Grown
Filler: Viso Estelí
Country of Origin: Nicaragua (Plasencia SA)
As mentioned, the Ninfamaniac Dark is a 7 x 33 double perfecto. The cigars come packaged in 30-count boxes, but the unique feature about this packaging each box consists of six 5-packs. This allows the retailer to sell the full box, the individual five packs, and the individual cigars.
The Jalapa wrapper of the Crux Ninfamaniac Dark had a dark chocolate brown color with a light coating of oil on the surface. Upon closer examination, some darker mottling can be seen on the surface. While there were some thin visible veins, the dark color of the wrapper did a good job at hiding the wrapper seams. Both ends of the perfecto have closed tips.
The band of the Crux Ninfamaniac Dark is a band highlighted by the line’s signature green Ninfamaniac logo, but it is incorporated over a brown background. Across the lower part of the band is the text “DARK” in bronze font. In landscape mode on the right side of the band has the text “NINFAMANIAC” in white font with a gold ring over the “I.”
As I have said with the other Ninfamaniac reviews, I usually clip a tip to a 38 ring. However, the Ninfamaniac at its widest point has a 33 ring gauge, so I ended up clipping the entire tip of the Crux Ninfamaniac Dark. When I commenced the pre-light draw I was treated to notes of mocha, dark fruit, and classic wood. I considered this to be an excellent pre-light draw. At this point, I was ready to light up the Crux Ninfamaniac Dark and see what the smoking phase would have in store.
The Crux Ninfamaniac Dark started out with more notes of mocha, dark fruit, and classic wood. Early on the sweetness from the dark fruit became the primary note. At the same time, the mocha and classic wood settled in the background. The mocha notes were a fusion of chocolate and coffee notes, but during the early phases, the chocolate component of the mocha combination was more prominent. By the midway point of the Ninfamaniac Dark, cedar replaced the classic wood notes. As for there retro-hale, it started out with a combination of dark fruit sweetness and wood, but moved to a black pepper profile toward the end of the first third.
The latter part of the Crux Ninfamaniac Dark saw the mocha notes become more prominent. By the end of the first third, the mocha had joined the dark fruit in the forefront. Meanwhile, some black pepper surfaced and joined the cedar in the forefront, however, the cedar notes started to increase in intensity during the second half.
Toward the latter part of the second third, the mocha component had a slight edge over the dark fruit. While the pepper was now slowly increasing along with the cedar, the spices never took over the blend. This is the way the Crux Ninfamaniac Dark came to a close. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch and cool in temperature.
The Crux Ninfamaniac Dark had a low maintenance burn and didn’t have any challenges in terms of maintaining a straight burn path and a straight burn line. The cigar had a firm ash with a salt and pepper complexion to it. Both the burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
Despite a narrow ring gauge and a decent pack of tobacco on the Crux Ninfamaniac Dark, I found the cigar delivered an ideal draw. There was a touch of resistance on the draw, but this always a positive in my book. In the end, this was also a low maintenance cigar to derive flavor from.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, I found the Crux Ninfamaniac Dark to be medium from start to finish. I didn’t find much in the way of variance of the intensity level of the strength. The body was a different story. While the cigar started out medium-bodied, I did find toward the latter part of the second third that the depth of the flavors increased in intensity and by the final third, the Crux Ninfamaniac Dark was in medium to full-bodied territory.
In terms of strength versus body, I found the body had the edge throughout the smoking experience.
When I assessed the Crux Passport Ninfamaniac and Crux Bull & Bear Ninfamaniac, I noted how well these blends translated to the unique 7 x 33 perfecto format. The case with the Crux Ninfamaniac Dark is a little different – as it appears from all reports the Ninfamaniac Dark was blended from the ground up to fit the size 7 x 33 format. I didn’t find this to be a highly complex blend, but I found just enough complexity to satisfy – and most importantly this cigar excelled in the flavor category. This is certainly a cigar I’d recommend to either a novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. As for myself, it’s a cigar I’d smoke again – and even with a 30-count box offering, this is certainly a cigar that garners box worthy consideration.
Key Flavors: Mocha, Dark Fruit, Cedar, Pepper
Complexity: Medium Minus
Body: Medium (1st 2/3), Medium to Full (Final Third)
Finish: Very Good
Value: Box Worthy Consideration
News: Crux Cigar Company Launches With Three Blends, Three More to Follow
Source: Crux Cigar Company
Brand Reference: Crux Cigar Company
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop