Let me just start off by saying that this cigar wasn’t all that easy to get my hands on. As Walt, Jerry and I made our rounds at this IPCPR, one thing was a constant. CAO’s booth was always packed full of people. We cruised through the booth a couple of times the first two days of the show, but all the CAO folks had their noses to the grind stone selling cigars. And as Walt mentioned in his wrap up of the show, we struck out cigar-wise at the CAO party. On the last full day of the show, my timing was just perfect and I caught my local rep just as he was finishing up with a customer. After a quick chat about the party and the show, he hooked me up with a couple CAO LX2 Robs. A perfect amount of cigars for a review.
According to the press release, CAO has it’s sights set on the full-bodied cigar smokers out there. The name LX2 is short for “Ligero times two”, which denotes the Dominican and Nicaraguan Ligero leaf that makes up the filler of the cigar. That sounds serious. In the past, some CAO cigars have been described as “full-bodied”, a designation that has been called into question by some cigar enthusiasts. But with twice the Ligero, I have little doubt this cigar will earn that description.
Before we light it up, a few details about the vitolas. The LX2 will come in boxes of 20, and in three sizes: Rob (5 x 48), Toro (6 x 50) and the torpedo-shaped Beli (6 1/2 x 52).
Size: 5 x 48
Filler: Dominican Republic and Nicaraguan Ligero
Smoking Time: 1 1/2 hour
Price: $6 – $8
To being with, this is one cool looking cigar. If I didn’t know better, I’d say they timed this cigar’s release to coincide with the latest Batman movie. Because it’s dark. A dark, oily, reddish brown mottled with pitch black that looks like a mechanic had it his pocket while he was changing the oil in your car. And then there’s the predominantly black double bands with the tattoo-inspired design. I’m just saying that in a bar fight, I’d want the LX2 on my side.
There is a bit of a mystery about this cigar. You’ll notice on the second band are the words “Fortaleza Tres” in gold script. I had no idea what it means, and I haven’t seen anybody decode these enigmatic words yet. And of course, I’m not about to let that mystery go unsolved. A quick Google search reveals that Fortaleza is a city in Brazil. Hmm. That’s interesting, but it doesn’t make all that much sense. Plugging the words in Babelfish revealed the secret: “strength three” or three times the strength. So twice the Ligero, but three times the strength. There ya go.
I didn’t notice any visual flaws on the cigar and found both of them to be pretty firm. The wrapper scent was pungent, earthy, slightly savory compost and I got a slightly sweet, earthy and peppery flavor in the cold taste.
The first cigar had a burn that was pretty similar to most other CAO cigars I’ve smoked. Pretty even, good draw and nicely solid, light-colored ash.
The second cigar, on the other hand, was a completely different story. Right off the bat the burn line was very jagged and lopsided. As the cigar burned, the ash was fairly stable, but had significant cracks in it. And it got worse, at the beginning of the second third the cigar went out and remained flame retardant until nearly the final third. In the final third, the ash and the burn line started to resemble the first cigar, however, when it died once again a little way in, I gave up on it. Hey, my lighter ran out of fluid, and I did give it the old college try.
I do have to note that these cigars spent an unknown amount of time in the very dry Las Vegas heat before being introduced to the humidor-like conditions of my home town of Hotlanta. I can see how these extremes may result in burn difficulties.
This cigar gets your attention right away with a healthy does of pepper. Though the cigar was very peppery throughout the first third, I did also get a noticeable amount of sweetness, some occasional creaminess, nuts, coffee and an interesting graham flavor. Each puff seemed to be a noticeably different in this third and had me spending as much time taking notes as I was smoking.
Right around the beginning of the second third, the pepper disappeared and I tasted sweet cinnamon, cedar and toast. About half way through this third, I got a very pleasant nougat flavor for a while that I found both surprising and enjoyable. After that it was back to cinnamon.
By the beginning of the final third, the cinnamon was gone and earthy, dark chocolate was the name of the game.
I’m very pleased with the price tag of this cigar. It’s nice to see CAO hooking us up with another good bang-for-the buck cigar, instead of another ornately packaged, costly, ultra premium smoke. (Which isn’t to say the boxes don’t look great!)
I’m going to go out on a limb and say I enjoyed this cigar. I wish I had a third to smoke to verify that the burn issues I had with the second cigar where just transit/climate related. (I believe that they were, but you know.) I definitely enjoyed the cigar that didn’t have burn issues, and it’s a safe bet I’ll be smoking more in the future. When these become available in my local shop, I’ll have to light up a tie-breaker in a weekend video follow up.
Liked It: Yes
Buy It Again: Yes
Recommend It: Yes (May be a bit much for new, or milder cigar smokers)
Tower of Burn
Here for your viewing pleasure is my trademark Tower of Burn.