If you are a cigar newbie, casual enjoyer, or aficionado then I suggest, after you read this review, to click over to Cigar Rights of America and join up if you haven’t done it yet. Its only $35 a year (rates decrease for multiple year memberships) and the proceeds go to protecting our rights to enjoy our cigars. Along with your membership, you get a CRA Membership card, which many B&Ms give discounts to CRA members. You also can get deals with travel and hotels etc.. Along with those benefits, every year, you get two free cigars shipped to you, that you can only get exclusively being a CRA member. This year, when I renewed I got in my package a CAO LX2 Rosado Toro; and that is the cigar I am going to review.
Now, I usually don’t like to review too many “LE” cigars. Due to the fact that once I get ahold of them and try & get the review up, the cigar (most the time) is already sold out. Thus, you get to read a review of a cigar that would be even harder to get your hands on. But the CRA Rosado edition of the CAO LX2 can be obtained with a membership to CRA. I can’t guaruntee you will get this cigar; each year has been two different cigars from the previous year. So get a move on and join up!
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Rosado
Cost: Free with a membership to CRA.
Source: CRA membership sample
First Looks: A very oily reddish brown rosado wrapper covers the Rosado Especial. A nice looking wrapped I do say, with very few big veins. Overall a good feel to it with no hard or soft spots. Like the other LX2s, a double cap is applied nicely. The cold draw is firm, but not too firm.
First Third: First few draws I get notes of black pepper with charred wood undertones. Being a rosado wrapper, I figured I would get alot of sweetness right off the bat, but thats not the case with it. I noticed immediately is the volume of smoke billowing from my mouth. Not very dense smoke, but lots of volume. Getting into it a bit more, I: get some floral notes that start to mix in with the black pepper. Slightly sweet, but not as much as I thought it would have. Further into it, notes of leather adhere themselves to my palette and the peppery notes seem to give way to coffee flavor. The floral notes are still there in the background, but not a major note. When I say “floral” notes, its not like an ACID cigar and tasting like potpourri & gummy bears. But a slight sweetness flavor and it tastes like the smell of a stocked flower shop.
The burn did get a little off, but more than likely due to the high humidity I was smoking in. A day or so in a drybox would have solved the issue. I was some what unprepared for this review and should have dry boxed it had I looked at the weather forecast of rain. The off burn produced a somewhat flaky ash thats white at the burn line and gray & brown at the end of the ash. I used the “wet a finger and run it on the fast burning side to slow it down” trick to even off the burn and corrected the burn over time.
Second Third: The black pepper came back somewhat and the coffee notes seemed to get a little sweeter in flavor. Not much change through the second half. Most the flavors stayed consistent as before. The burn evened off some, but still was wavy (outside ambient humidity).
Last Third: Towards the end, the flavors turned more towards the charred wood notes I tasted on the first few draws. Along with the charred wood is still the slightly sweetened coffee notes. But the sweetness has died down from previous tastes. At the very end, the floral and sweetness has just about died off and the flavors got bitter. I tried a few purges of the cigar and it didn’t seem to help much if any, so with about an inch and half left, I laid it to rest in my Stinky ashtray.
Final Thoughts: Overall a slightly complex cigar. Wasn’t boring, but wasn’t enough to keep me wanting more. The draw was good, an odd burn (not due to construction), and nice consistent (but slightly complex) flavors. As far as rosado wrapped cigars goes, the Arturo Fuente MagnumR Rosado is still my favorite. But don’t get me wrong, the CAO LX2 Rosado CRA Especial is a good smoke. Just wish I could get a few more to let rest more and see how they age.