In a previous post, I mentioned this special box that Keith and I received at the Big Smoke during the Saturday morning Blending Panel. Tim Ozgener from CAO was kind enough to put together a sampler of 3 puros of the tobacco used in the blend of the new LX2 cigar. It was expected that the people would smoke these during the panel discussion, but we were already smoking other stogies at the time and didn't want to change up and waste anything.
So this represents a truly unique opportunity for a cigar review in the blogosphere. There were perhaps 500 to 1000 of these boxes created in total. There were a good portion of them that were smoked that day while the panel spoke. Not everyone who took their boxes home writes reviews on a blog. So...this may be the only review out there for this particular smoking experience. And it will be joined shortly by Keith's review as well.
Because each mini-cigar puro is not available to the general public, and is not meant for regular consumption, I will not assign a number rating to those, but just discuss the overall impressions they leave. The LX2 at the end will be reviewed in the normal fashion.
Dominican piloto puro
The prelight on this one was somewhat spicy, but once it lit, the flavor is more floral and bitter. It's more than a bit harsh, too. Maybe as a component of the whole cigar, this is essential, but on its own, is practically unsmokeable and it makes you wonder why someone said "Hmm, I think this would be good to mix with some other tobacco because it would go well that way..." Magic of blending, I guess.
This little puro is sweeter than the first and a bit spicy. It is smooth and quite enjoyable, at least on the business end of the stick--the smell coming from the other end is fairly unpleasant. I could almost smoke the whole thing, although it would be rather one-dimensional.
Pueblo nuevo puro
This one is strong and spicy. The draw is significantly tighter on this one because it is all ligero. Again, the aroma is not the best, but the flavor is quite nice. A whole cigar from this leaf would be off-the-scale in body.
Initial flavors that come through are some floral notes and earthiness with just a touch of sweetness, too. You can definitely taste the different elements of the puros and they definitely taste better as part of the blend than they did as puros. The bitterness of the first puro is here, but it's more of a strong coffee bitterness that is not unpleasant rather than the extremely bitter pungency experienced earlier. Ending the first third, the flavor is trending more toward the earthy. There is a bit of spiciness when blowing out through the nose, but not much otherwise.
Toward the end of the second third, the flavor is getting more nutty. The draw has been excellent the entire time and the burn has been almost perfect. The finish is a little pungent and floral.
Overall, this is a great smoke, although it hasn't lived up to the hype of some of the early reviews I've heard and read. I will definitely smoke it again and I do consider it "great" but not a "life-changing" cigar. One other note of interest is how very different this cigar is from the other "double-ligero" sticks that have been coming to market. This lacks the extreme power of either the La Flor Dominicana Double-Ligero Chisel or the Oliva Series V. While full-flavored, I don't like the flavor as much as either of those two cigars, either. Keith has tried the bellicoso version of the LX2 and recommends that before passing final judgment on this line, so I will do so. That ratings for this particular cigar are as follows: