CAO MX2 and Left Hand Brewing Company Milk Stout
Today’s review will be on CAO’s Mx2 (Belicoso) and Left Hand Brewing Company’s Milk Stout.
Vitola: Beli (7 x 56)
Price: $7 at local B&M
Connecticut wrapper, Brazilian binder, nicarguan/hondura/dom rep/peru filler.
Brewer: Left Hand Brewing Company, Longmont CO
Price: About $2.50/bottle
This beer is packaged in a somewhat comical bottle that contains a label depicting a cow with left handprint patterns across the body. This was admittedly the main reason I picked this beer up, as I have never had a milk stout before this beer. Upon pouring the beer, I am already enjoying a rich stout aroma that contains the slightest hint of chocolate. The beer itself is dark brown, with a creamy brown head. The initial sip is absolutely amazing in my mind, as the beer feels like silk in my mouth and is very creamy. This characteristic is obviously where the term “milk stout” comes from.
The flavors are that of an extremely creamy, choclatey stout. Similar to the rule where you shouldn’t judge how “strong” a cigar will be based on the color of the wrapper, you also can’t do the same for beer because this is one nice dark, smooth brew.
I love the appearance of rich maduro wrappers, and the MX2 is no exception. There are a few thick veins found throughout the wrapper, and I detect the typical “maduro” scent from this wrapper, again with a hint of chocolate. The foot contains the same aroma, although slightly more apparent. While inspecting the cigar I notice the head of the cigar is significantly darker than the rest of the wrapper, which I have never seen before.
Prelight draw contains a slight amount of resistance, but not enough to force me to cut a bit more off. I was not able to pick up any easily identifiable flavors off the cold draw.
Beer and Cigar Experience
After lighting the MX2 up I am a bit disappointed with the lack of smoke I am getting. With these big vitolas I expect an equally large amount of smoke, but so far am not getting much smoke at all (even though the draw is pretty loose). The initial flavors are that of a mild coffee and the slightest hint of bitter chocolate on the palette. I was surprised that the body was borderline mild, but was sure it would pick up once I worked my way into the cigar.
As I progressed into the first third of the cigar, the volume of smoke opened up a bit and I was picking up a little more earthiness in the flavor. The burn line was fairly straight, and the ash was a nice light gray. So far this cigar’s mildness is pairing well with the creamy smooth milk stout, although I must admit I was enjoying the beer a bit more than the cigar at this point.
Into the 2nd third, and I am finding that the MX2 has a much better flavor profile. The coffee flavor is more prevalent now, and the bittersweet chocolate is really pleasing me. There were a few burn issues that required a couple touch ups, but nothing that would cause any level of annoyance. The draw loosened up slightly, and I was finally generating a large volume of smoke with each puff.
After about 2 hours, I found myself working into the final 3rd of my cigar. This is where things started getting unpleasant for me. The nice coffee/chocolate flavor I was enjoying was now an overbearing black coffee and was very bitter on the palette. Even attempting to wash this out with the milky stout wasn’t enough, and I found myself pushing through this cigar and not really enjoying it. The burn remained consistent, but the flavors turned “sour” on me.
Overall, I….well, I don’t know. The beer was fantastic, and I think it would pair well with any maduro wrapper cigar. The creaminess it offers is such a nice compliment to the rich maduro flavors, so if you are a fan of maduros I highly recommend you seek this beer out. As for the cigar, I really enjoyed the second third, but the average first third and the horrendous final third will probably make this a cigar I wouldn’t smoke again unless given one. If I can’t enjoy the entire cigar, I generally can’t recommend it, and this cigar started turning bad once I reached the band.
This review comes courtesy of beaverc32
from the Stogie Review Fan Forums