Agile Cigar Reviews are cigar assessments where we use a lightweight, shorter format. These will never take the place of our comprehensive reviews. They are only used on blends we have previously assessed. This might be a blend we are re-scoring or giving a score for the first time. It might be a blend we are looking at in a different size. Today we look at the Crux Epicure Gordo. This is a cigar line assessed several times most recently in the L’Ambassadeur (Lonsdale) size back in June 2020.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Fábrica Joya de Nicaragua S.A
Le Premier: 6 7/8 x 48
In 2020, Joya de Nicaragua cigars introduced a second regular production offering under its Numero Uno line in the form of a Churchill size known as Le Premier. Numero Uno is a project that started out as a private blend where it was handed out to Nicaraguan ambassadors who would gift them to world leaders. It later became a Joya de Nicaragua event-only cigar called Joya de Nicaragua No.1 – which was a 6 5/8 x 44 Lonsdale. In 2018, that event-only cigar was named the #1 Cigar of the Year on Halfwheel. It was a shocking selection considering the cigar was designated only for events. Following that honor, Joya de Nicaragua decided to rebrand the Joya de Nicaragua No. 1 to Joya de Nicaragua Numero Uno. Numero Uno was put into a pillar of its portfolio known as Obras Maestros (which translates to masterpieces) -a pillar designated for Joya de Nicaragua’s most premium lines. Today we turn our attention to the Le Premier size.
The blend for Numero Uno features an Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and fillers. When the original Lonsdale size was created, the blend itself was described as an offshoot of the Joya de Nicaragua Clasico, but still different than the Clasico. The Numero Uno is an ongoing limited production release. Most recently Joya de Nicaragua announced a 2021 run for both the L’Ambassadeur and Le Premier sizes of Numero Uno.
The Numero Uno Le Premier started out with notes of cream, wood, black pepper, lemon-citrus, and nut. Early on the cream and lemon-citrus notes became primary. The retro-hale produced an additional layer of black pepper and lemon. During the first third the wood notes floated between the forefront and background. As the Le Premier moved into the second third, earth notes surfaced. The cream and lemon notes diminished into the background. Just past the midway point, the black pepper increased and by the final third moved toward the forefront.
Throughout the smoking experience, the Joya de Nicaragua Le Premier delivered a medium strength, medium-bodied smoking experience. This was a cigar with excellent construction. The burn of this cigar required minimal touch-ups to maintain a straight burn path and burn line. The draw had a touch of resistance – making it ideal in this reviewer’s book.
In terms of Churchill-sized Connecticut Shade offerings, I’ve often found myself really struggling to find a good one in that 7 x 47/7 x 48 range. The Joya de Nicaragua Le Premier fits the bill. It delivers excellent flavor, has excellent construction, and enough complexity to keep me interested from start to finish. While I would give an ever so slight edge to the L’Ambassadeur size with this blend, the Le Premier certainly is a cigar I would recommend to any cigar enthusiast. it’s one I would smoke and buy again. At 90 points, it reaches the threshold to earn a Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence designation.
Key Flavors: Cream, Lemon-Citrus, Earth, Wood, Black Pepper, Nut
Complexity: Medium Plus
Finish: Very Good
Value: Buy One
Cigar Coop Standard of Excellence
Photo Credits: Cigar Coop