Hard Core (CAO LX2 Maduro Belicoso)

2016-04-28 17.24.14This interesting cigar was sent to us by Famous Smoke to review.  I have to admit before I start that this is not normally a cigar I would smoke.  The L in LX2 stands for “ligero,” and the “X2” is “times two,” and I don’t like ligeros as a general rule; I find them bitter and too strong and overly peppery.  But, a cigar reviewer’s gotta do what a cigar reviewer’s gotta do, so into the breach!

2016-04-28 17.24.59This is a very attractively presented cigar, with its snazzy black label, dark matte finished sun grown Nicaraguan wrapper.  It was made with two different ligero long fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, and a Honduran binder leaf.  It’s billed as a full bodied and full-flavoured cigar, which doesn’t surprise me because I found the nicotine on this one more than a little overwhelming.  I smoked two of them to compose this review, and both times I was a little ill at the end due to the overpowering nicotine content.  And it’s not like I smoke cigars quickly.  So this is the perfect choice if you’re a regular (as in daily) cigar smoker who wants some extra kick, or if you’re trying to turn your children off of smoking cigars forever, but otherwise you have been warned!  It’s six and a half inches long and a 52 ring gauge.

2016-05-19 21.53.03The wrapper note was an intriguing combination of paprika, cocoa and coffee.  Its scent reminded me a little of (slightly stale because it wasn’t strong) Aztec chocolate.  it has a perfecto tip, and I clipped it easily with my Ciguru cutter.  However, the pack was really firm and I was a bit concerned about the draw.

The first draw wasn’t too difficult.  It was primarily of molasses and chocolate.  A few draws in the first third displayed a surprisingly buttery character with a peppery-paprika aftertaste.  Quite enjoyable!  That lasted about half an hour.  I will say that it produced a lovely, light grey cylindrical ash, so it was constructed well; just a little too firm!

2016-04-28 17.32.06But then my concern about the firmness of the pack was validated; it scorched on the outside and went out.  Fuming, I clipped it closer to the spot where the cigar width fanned out and relit it, and the second third, which lasted about 45 minutes, was plagued with a bitter undertone I wasn’t sure about.  Otherwise it was mostly a burning walnut wood flavour and the peppery undertone.

The final third, once I had reclipped and relit the cigar again, was amazing.  I found a mint and white pepper element in those last 45 minutes, a truly rare flavour profile which made persistence worth it; or would have been, if the necessity of smoking it enough to keep it lit hadn’t overwhelmed me with the nicotine.

So, as I said, I imagine that this is the perfect hard core cigar for the hard core cigar smoker!  Cigar Aficionado gave it a 91 rating.  But I am not hard core, and I thought the cigar was too much and too hard, so I’m only going to be able to give it:

3 stars

 

However, if you have bigger jewels or more iron ovaries than I do, I think it’s worth experiencing.  You can get it at Famous Smoke for $28.99 USD for a box of five or $112.99 USD for a box of twenty; or Absolute Cigar for $175 USD for a box of twenty.

That’s this lady’s perspective!

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