12 Apr 2010
Bigger and bolder equals better. That seems to be the mantra of the industry these days, evidenced by the prevalence of 60 ring gauge cigars and the growing infatuation with Nicaraguan tobacco.
It likewise stands to reason that ligero tobacco is in demand like never before. Ligero is the most full-flavored of tobacco leaves due to its concentration of nutrients and direct exposure to sunlight at the top of the plant. Aiming to pack a bigger punch, some cigar makers are cramming more ligero into their blends than was once thought acceptable. Take Sam Leccia, for example, who introduced a “straight ligero” blend last summer.
A year before Cain, CAO released a ligero-laden blend at the IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas. Called Lx2 (“ligero times two”), it features a hearty helping of spicy ligero leaves surrounded by a Honduran binder and a sungrown Nicaraguan wrapper. It is the third installment of the Nashville-based company’s “x2 trilogy” that also includes Mx2 (Maduro) and Cx2 (Cameroon).
The Lx2 Lancero is a dark, slender smoke measuring seven and a half inches with a 38 ring gauge. Its oily, somewhat lumpy wrapper and pigtail cap make a striking first impression, as do its bold pre-light notes of espresso.
Once lit, a sharp peppery taste takes center stage with background flavors of dry wood and bitter coffee. Powerful with a bready texture. Any wishes for a more subdued profile go unheeded until the midway point where a bit of smoothness kicks in.
With no signs of creaminess or sweetness, smoking slowly is absolutely essential to prevent the Lx2 from growing too meaty. The perfect pace can be hard to achieve, though, given the Lancero’s stiff draw. The white ash and the burn line are perfect.
These physical properties were consistent across all ten Lanceros I smoked for this review. What was inconsistent, however, was the intensity of the cigar’s aftertaste. The first few, smoked over six months ago, had a heavy coarseness that rendered them too overbearing. My most recent samples had a more balanced finish.
I’m hoping this stogie ultimately confirms the hypothesis that full-bodied cigars tone down with age. If so, my Lanceros need a bit more maturity before they reach their full potential. Despite that potential, though, I’m judging my experience with the Lx2 Lancero in the here and now. And right now this cigar is lacking in balance. So while those who crave ligero’s unbridled punch are likely to rate this CAO more favorably, I’m giving it three stogies out of five.
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photo credit: Stogie Guys