Welcome to Part 2 of #CAOReviewWeek today we’re checking out the CAO MX2. It’s funny, I’ve heard about this cigar for a long time. I even have an ashtray that is based on this particular blend. However, I’ve never even smoked this cigar. So when I decided to do this review week I knew I was going to smoke this cigar, it’s destiny, or something like that.
To be honest for the longest time I always thought this cigar was the M “X” 2. I was curious what the hell that meant. Then doing just a little bit of research I came to the conclusion that it is actually, M x (multiplication symbol) 2. The reason being is that this particular cigar uses two maduro leaves in the blend. In the press materials they refer to it as having 2 maduro wrappers. The true wrapper leaf is a Connecticut Broadleaf maduro and the inner ‘wrapper’, more commonly referred to as the binder is a Brazilian maduro. So there you have it. Maduro (M) times (x) 2. Pretty cool naming idea if you ask this guy. So let’s hop into the review and see what we have going on with this CAO MX2!
First off this is a pretty intense looking cigar. The packaging is all black and silver just like the Oakland Raiders! I love the X that’s used in the packaging. It’s elongated on the top part of the X, and it almost looks like two swords that been crossed. It has the normal CAO logo but when placed in silver it looks even more intense.
The band on this CAO MX2 might be one of the most unique bands I’ve ever seen. It’s essentially a double band, but it’s connected in the middle to form one single band… I know, it doesn’t make much sense when I say it either. Think about it like this. If you took this band off and laid it out flat it would look very similar to an “H”. Now it makes sense right? Yeah I thought so. On the top band the CAO logo is prominent and on the lower band the MX2 is all by itself. Not a ton of detail went into the band, but it’s still highly unique which I like. Let’s take a look at the construction so we can get into smoking it already!
At first glance there doesn’t appear to be any large veins running down through this Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. It’s absolutely gorgeous nice and dark & oily. I can only see the seams from the wrapping down towards the foot of the cigar. So to me it looks pretty darn flawless. The foot appears to be packed nice and full. It’s pretty impressive how they put leaves from 4 different countries into this one cigar. After having a bit of rolling experience down in Nicaragua I thought it was hard fitting 3 leaves in there, so 4 is even more impressive.
I rolled the CAO MX2 up and down my fingers. I have to tell ya, this cigar packed super tight. It’s nice and firm and very little give to it. I have a feeling it might come busting out of the seams if I’m not careful. However, I feel like the rollers down in the factory probably know what they’re doing so I’m gonna trust them, for now.
Well it looks like this cigar passed all the pre game inspection. I guess it’s time to punch the cap and get to drawing on this thing. Just like the Brazilia, I used my punch cut and got a nice big hole in the cap. The dry draw was very smooth. Just a slight resistance, it’s a lot more open than the Brazilia was though.
Alright, the dry draw is good, so it’s time to put some fire to this CAO MX2. My Xikar Stratosphere was out of fuel so I had to reach for some matches. I pulled off the ole 3 match lighting method to get it going and it took right off. The first thing I noticed is that wrapper jumped out and started burning very quickly. Faster than I’m used to. So you can’t say that this thing had slow combustion. Whew boy it was flying. It keeps the cigar burning at a good pace and keeps it from going out. I’ve noticed when the wrapper burns slower sometimes the cigar will go out more frequently. Not the case with this stick.
I was able to keep the first ash for just over an inch. I decided to tap it off, I didn’t want a case of ashy crotch. The ash was very solid and took a couple good knocks on it to finally get it to fall. As you can see in the pictures the burn line was fantastic and pretty darn straight. It had a slight wavyness to it, but honestly nothing that I’m going to complain about.
One of my favorite things about this CAO MX2 is the deep blue smoke that it’s giving off during the burn. I’m not sure if you’ve seen the CAO ads from the past. They set the bands against a black background and have the smoke pouring through the bands. It’s pretty sweet looking creative and I think of that when I see the smoke coming off this stick. It’s just absolutely beautiful. Pretty crazy to say that cigar smoke is beautiful ain’t it? Well, let’s get into the flavor. I think we’ve exhausted everything we can about this cigar.
During the pre light of this CAO MX2 I instantly picked up on this aroma of molasses. It was all over the foot the cigar, very tasty. I was also getting faint notes of something akin to pipe tobacco. That rich sweet flavor, not really picking up any spice right now. The most dominant notes that I’m getting so far is molasses and it’s even stronger when I take a few dry puffs. I get that flavor sitting right on my lips.
Once I get the cigar lit all I’m picking up on is that sweetness. It’s the dominant note for sure. It seems to be a very mild – medium cigar. It doesn’t really build in strength. I get a bit of black pepper on the retrohale, but it’s incredibly smooth and enjoyable. Not an overpowering spice. It’s a nice compliment to the sweetness that I’m getting.
The second third is more of the same. It doesn’t really seem to really be changing up flavors very much. I’m getting some notes of earth and a little bit of nuttiness, but it’s overall very sweet flavored. Staying in the mild range and not picking up much steam. The final third was very similar to the first two. Never really changing it up. It left me wanting a little bit more complexity. I was enjoying the cigar, but it was fairly one dimensional. I think the overall sweetness would pair incredibly well with a nice spicy Rye whiskey. So next time I smoke one of these CAO MX2s I’ll make sure to have my trusty Rye alongside!
Would I Buy It Again?
Yes I believe so, I think it’s a great compliment and with the double maduro leaves it can fit into a pairing very well.
Is It an Every Day Smoke?
For me no, I would prefer to have something just slightly more complex to keep me more interested in it.
Would I Buy a Box?
Potentially. I would let them age and see what happens with time.
I’m giving this CAO MX2 an 8/10 simply for the fact that I think it needs a bit more complexity. It was a great smoke construction wise. I just wanted a bit more flavor. Other than that I think it’s a very solid cigar!