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Stogie Reviews: CAO Lx2 Gordo

14 Mar 2011

CAO will never be the same. In the five months since Swedish Match and the Scandinavian Tobacco Group merged to create a new tobacco giant, bringing CAO into the General Cigar fold, four CAO executives stepped down and the company moved from its longtime home of Nashville to Richmond.

Many industry commentators and CAO fans are speculating that these changes will translate into new cigars that bear little resemblance to those once made under the direction of Tim Ozgener. Only time will tell if they’re right. For now, there’s plenty of old CAO inventory stocked at tobacconists across the country and at retailers online—like the three Lx2 Gordos I smoked for this review.

Released at the 2008 industry trade show, the Lx2 blend (“ligero times two”) features a hearty helping of spicy ligero leaves surrounded by a Honduran binder and a sungrown Nicaraguan wrapper. The Gordo (6 x 60) is a relatively new size in the Lx2 lineup. This massive, intimidating vitola seems like a natural fit for a blend that intends to pack a powerful, spicy punch. Dark and oily with thin veins, the Gordo smells of espresso and draws effortlessly in the cold taste.

With a higher filler-to-wrapper ratio than the other Lx2 sizes (and thus with more ligero), I was expecting this cigar to be fuller bodied than, say, the Lancero. Surprisingly, though, it starts more subdued than I remember the other Lx2 vitolas to be. The profile is bready and dry with an aftertaste of black pepper and some sweet notes. The filler tobaccos, a mix of Dominican and Nicaraguan ligero leaves, take a stronger foothold into the second third of the Gordo. Here, rich coffee flavors come to the fore and the spice amplifies. Leather, and a solid nicotine kick, join the fray at the midway point.

That’s also about when the monotonous flavor starts to wear out its welcome. Sure, this is a tasty, well-made cigar with pretty good combustion properties—including a fairly straight burn and a solid gray ash. But the profile just isn’t complex or balanced enough to hold my attention for lengthy amount of time it takes to smoke this beast.

Fortunately, these days you can find the Lx2 Gordo for less than $5 apiece when bought by the box. That’s probably a fair deal for enthusiasts who like hearty, thick cigars. While I don’t see myself making that kind of investment anytime soon, I’m awarding the Gordo three stogies out of five in recognition of what it brings to the table.

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

Patrick A

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

3 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: CAO Lx2 Gordo”

  1. dmjones1009 Monday, March 14, 2011 at 4:01 am #

    I mostly agree with you on this one. While the flavor is better than many 60 ring cigars out there, it just isn't nearly as complex or interesting as the lancero or robusto of the LX2 blend.

  2. Nick M. Monday, March 14, 2011 at 6:23 am #

    I agree with dmjones1009. The robusto is my favorite offering of this blend. Full flavor without knocking you on you ass.

  3. Timothy Monday, March 14, 2011 at 6:28 am #

    You expected this to have more body than the Lancero? Really?

    While many argue what percentage of flavor the wrapper gives a cigar it's not usually less than 40% and some say as much as 70%.

    An experiment from a CAO event last year showed how important the wrapper really is to the cigar. The rep took the wrapper off of a CAO Gold and wrapped it around an LX2 and it became a very mild cigar instantly. He also took an LX2 wrapper and put it on to a CAO Gold and it became a strong cigar right away.

    The filler is just that: filler. The wrapper was key.

    Lanceros almost always have more body and flavor. The problem with the 60 ring gauges is that they actually lose so much flavor because they are stuffed tobacco. It sounds counter intuitive but it's true.

    I personally think that's why so many guys like 60 ring gauge cigars. They are milder than their small ring gauge counterparts.