My Weekend Cigar: CAO LX2 Robusto
When I asked Paul Spence, the CAO sales rep, if he thought I should consider smoking something else under the circumstances, he said, "Don't worry about it. It'll give 'em something to look forward to."
So, I lit up the coffee-colored, 5" x 48 vitola, which dons two bands; the top band has the CAO LX2 logo featuring a crown, while the second, butterfly-shaped band has the words, "Fortaleza Tres" on it, which translates to "three strengths." (I'm looking into what that's all about). The blend consists of a toothy Nicaraguan wrapper, Honduran binder, and two different ligero filler tobaccos - one from the Dominican Republic, and one from Nicaragua, which is grown on the 140-acre Pueblo Nuevo farm in Condega.
The pre-light draw was excellent with a woody-leathery flavor. By putting my tongue up against the head I could taste the spicy leaves. Once lit, waves of peppery spice broke over my palate. This is pretty much what I expected. At about the 1-inch mark the cigar rounded out nicely, taking on a dark, woody character with a mix of pepper and earthy sweetness on the finish.
As the cigar continued to smoke, by the second act, the stronger peppery aspects had all but faded, leaving what I considered a very smooth, medium to full-bodied, "Cubanesque" smoke dominated by deep, woody flavors with a hint of semi-sweet cocoa. The overall construction, burn and balance were top-flight, and although the LX2 was not a "complex" smoke, the flavors remained consistent down to the last inch, when I finally left it in the ashtray to expire gracefully.
This cigar would have been great with a good Tawny Port or 12 year-old single malt, and Paul agreed with a smile. I enjoyed the cigar, and highly recommend the LX2 once they hit the shelves, so keep your eyes and ears open. I also look forward to having another with one of the spirits mentioned above.
~ Gary Korb