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Stogie Reviews: CAO Lx2 Lancero

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.

CAO Lx2 LanceroIt 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.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

5 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: CAO Lx2 Lancero”

  1. dmjones Monday, April 12, 2010 at 2:59 am #

    The lancero is my favorite vitola of LX2, but I will admit that my half a box purchased last year has had more than enough sticks with uneven or downright bad draws. I wish for a little more consistency in this stick.

  2. Patrick A Monday, April 12, 2010 at 3:37 am #

    I haven't really tried enough of the other Lx2 sizes to claim a favorite. I'm open to doing so but will remain slightly disappointed if they have the same heavy-handed flavor profile that I find in the Lancero.

    One thing I forgot to mention in this review: The wrapper, not surprisingly, has a huge impact on taste. CAO offered this same blend with a rosado wrapper to Cigar Rights of America members…and I found it to be much more balanced and much more enjoyable.

  3. dmjones Monday, April 12, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    I guess I'm not opposed to the "heavy-handed" flavor as I do enjoy full-bodied smokes as long as they are full-flavored as well. I find that when this blend is used in a larger ring gauge, I don't enjoy it as much…the extreme being the Salomon version (limited edition) that gets out to about 60 or more ring at its widest point. I've smoked two of them, traded two more away for something else, and have 1 left. It's good, but not nearly as good as the Lancero, IMO.

  4. Daniel R Monday, April 12, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    I agree that–when unplugged–the Lancero is the best Lx2. But it's still way too one-dimensional. Full-bodied can be great if it's also balanced.

    Thanks for the honest review. I can always count on that here.

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