CAO MX2 Cigar Review

I don’t remember how I ended up with a CAO MX2 Toro cigar in my humidor, I think it was included in a sampler pack I got some two years ago and has been sitting and aging in my humidor since. How could I possibly resist smoking a cigar for two years?

Easy: it is a Maduro cigar and I don’t like those full-bodied cigar, until I tried it today. I figured this cigar might have been a bit too strong in taste for my liking, but I’m glad I took the plunge and tried my very first full bodied Maduro cigar. Goes to show you that you really can judge a book by it’s cover. I also apologize for the lack of my own pictures, I was expecting to be disappointed with this cigar and didn’t bring my camera out. Instead enjoy some of Tom’s great pics of the CAO MX2 on his blog.

CAO MX2

Origin: Nicaragua
Format: Toro
Size: 6 x 52
Ring: 52
Wrapper: Connecticut Broad-leaf Maduro
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduras, Dominican Republic, and Peru
Binder: Brazilian Maduro
Made: Handmade
Price: ~$7/piece

Appearance & Construction

First two things you quickly notice with the CAO MX2 Toro is that it’s a BIG cigar (52 ring by 6 inches). Then it has a gorgeous dark chocolate wrapper that for the last two years have been intimidating for me as I prefer the mild to medium body taste. The CAO is beautifully constructed with a decent amount of veins in the wrapper, but nicely rolled with no visible defects. The cap is nicely applied. Squeezing about, there aren’t any soft spots and it feels nicely packed with tobacco.

One of the neat features of CAO’s MX2 line is that the outer wrapper is a Connecticut Maduro wrapper with a Brazilian Maduro binder which is the significance of “MX2” or “Maduro times 2” (Tom’s Cigar).

Flavor & Smoke

I lit the Toro with my dual flame Blazer butane and it lit nicely without any problems. One of the first things I noticed was the heavy gray smoke that appeared, no mistaking this for a mild or medium flavored cigar. The initial draw surprised me: it was full bodied but not overpowering taste of pepper and coffee with some slight dark chocolate. As I continued to take more puffs, I was surprised at how creamy, rich, and satisfying the taste was, the aftertaste was very similar to what you would get after having a piece of dark chocolate. Prior to this, I never fully understood what other cigar aficionados meant when they described a cigar with “complex flavors” and now I know. The pepper, coffee bean, and dark chocolate taste continued consistently until halfway the dark chocolate taste started becoming a bit stronger, certainly not a bad thing.

The CAO MX2 continued to burn fairly evenly requiring very few burn adjustments, most likely caused by the windy weather of the day. The ash produced was mostly white and it was strong enough to stay for about an inch at a time before breaking off, also most likely caused by the slight windiness.

The draw was quite smooth and it’s very easy to draw in a large amount of smoke. The MX2 didn’t go out once as I occasional have happen with the H.Upmann Magnum 46 Cuban cigars.

Value

At Cigars Direct, the cost for a 5-pack is $35.00 and a box of 20 for $109.95 which, in my opinion, is a great value for a Maduro cigar that taste great, looks greats, and is a nice long smoke. I’ve heard from numerous online reviews that you can’t really go wrong with CAO cigars.

Conclusion

I didn’t get an opportunity to enjoy the CAO MX2 Toro for as long as I would like. This is definitely not a breakfast or lunch cigar (which was my mistake for trying), but rather for after dinner. I did not smoke the cigar down to the nub, rather choosing to stop about a quarter inch, if not less, from the band as I was running out of time and the flavor started getting stronger and I didn’t want to get sick. This is one of those cigars where when you feel it’s time to stop, it’s best to listen and stop. I made the mistake of ignoring that once and was rewarded with a good few hours of nausea and slight stomachache.

When I had stopped, the timer on my iPhone indicated it took me 48 minutes to get to that point; not surprising for a cigar of this size and heft. Your time may vary as it depends on how many and how long each draw you take. Obviously cigar smoking isn’t a race to the nub for me as it is something I do in enjoyment so I like to take my time with puffs.

Now that I’ve had this full bodied cigar from CAO and turned out to really like it, I certainly would have no problems recommending this to my cigar buddies and even picking up a box for my humidor, especially given the price. The flavors and length of time it takes to smoke the MX2 toro means this won’t necessarily be a daily smoke for me, but I would imagine reaching for it when I’m looking for something different or hanging out with friends. I’m starting to have an affinity for Robusto sized cigars and fortunately CAO MX2 has a Robusto offering which I may consider trying.

I’m now open to trying other full bodied cigars and speaking of which, I was recently given some Montecristo Edmundo Cuban cigars, which are medium-to-full bodied cigars I’m itching to try now. On the same note, from what I’ve read and experienced, Cuban cigars tend to be a bit stronger than the non-Cubans in the same taste. For example, the Hoyo de Monterrey Excalibur No. II cigars I occasionally smoke are mild-to-medium bodied as are the H.Upmann Magnum 46 Cubans, but the Magnum 46 has a stronger taste. So I’m expecting the Montecristo Edmundos to be as strong or stronger in taste than the CAO MX2.

You can read more expert reviews of the CAO MX2 Toro at:

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