#NowSmoking: CAO CX2 Robusto Cigar Review
Now Smoking: CAO CX2 Robusto
Factory: Tabacalera STG – Estelí, Nicaragua
Size: 5”x 52
Wrapper: African Cameroon
Binder: African Cameroon
Filler: Nicaraguan and Colombian
Presented in boxes of 20 cigars
The CAO CX2 Cigars Back Story
When the CAO CX2 selection was released in late 2005, a number of cigar makers were rolling cigars with binders and wrappers of the same leaf. For the CX2 it would be a double shot of Grade 1 African Cameroon, or to put it another way, “Cameroon times two.” The CX2 is also one of three selections that use this formula. These include the CAO MX2 (maduro times two) and the CAO LX2 (ligero times two). Presented in fancy velvet boxes, the CX2 was well received by premium cigar smokers, and in February of 2009 General Cigar made the line exclusive to Famous Smoke Shop.
Not long before the Covid19 pandemic, General wanted to jettison the velvet boxes and do a redesign that would unify the look of all three X2 lines. So, they discontinued the lines making them unavailable and got to work. The bad news was that when Covid hit, the redesign was pushed back even further. The good news is that cigar smokers who missed the CX2 began asking for it which dramatically increased demand. Now finally, the CAO CX2 is back in stock at Famous in their original blend and sizes along with new brown wooden boxes.
The Basics At-a-Glance
Construction: The cigar is well rolled and has a firm, balanced feel in the hand. The wrapper is oily, toothy, a bit rustic, and sealed with a well-fashioned triple cap.
Cold Draw: Excellent with a strong leather taste.
Base flavors: Leather, earth, sweet tobacco, sweet & savory spices.
Aroma: Floral and sweet.
Burn & Ash: Excellent. No issues or touch-ups required. The ash is a salt & pepper grey and very firm.
CAO CX2 Robusto Cigar Review – Act I
Leather is the front man in this band. The first few puffs are sweet with a fair amount of earth and a spicy finish to open the show, and then the leather steps up to the mic. The smoke is impressively smooth, medium in body, and the burn is off to a good start revealing a firm salt & pepper ash. Held in the sunlight, you can see the wrapper’s toothy grin and rich oily sheen. It also appears to be a little less delicate than most Cameroon wrappers. This could be due to the doubling up. Shortly before the midsection, I’m getting a nice floral note and aroma, while an herbal taste is coming through in the mix. But for the most part the cigar is medium in body and sweet with leather in the lead, a layer of earthiness below, and a lingering spiciness on the finish.
CAO CX2 Robusto Cigar Review – Act II
My CX2 continues to burn well into the proverbial “sweet spot” as my long ash takes on a nickel stack appearance. Leather continues to dominate, while the sweeter tobacco notes begin to rise, and earthiness plays a supporting role. Both the body and strength are still firmly in the medium range. Eventually, the sweetness catches up with the leather for a well-balanced set of flavors with a long earthy-spicy finish. The smoke remains smooth and has also started to develop a little more body.
CAO CX2 Robusto Cigar Review – Act III
At this point the cigar continues to perform very well. While the strength remains in the medium arena, the body is now more medium-plus. The flavors, though still balanced, reveal more earth as the sweeter elements begin to drift away. But the leather notes hang on, as does the spicy finish. By the time I reach the last inch-and-a-half, I’m beginning to wish the cigar was a little longer, but I’m putting it down and calling the CAO CX2 Robusto a very satisfying smoke.
What beverages pair well with the CAO CX2 Robusto?
I thought coffee was ideal with the CAO CX2 and it might be even better with a cappuccino. Whiskey-wise, you might want to go with a good rye. For more combinations, see our Cigar & Spirit pairing guide.
Is the CAO CX2 Robusto Worth Smoking?
Absolutely. Especially if you’re new to cigars or an occasional cigar smoker and you haven’t smoked cigars with African Cameroon wrapper. As a fan of Cameroon wrapper, myself, the leaf used on the CAO CX2 is some of the best I’ve ever smoked. In other words, you’ll get a good handle on how prime Cameroon tobacco tastes. The CX2’s Nicaraguan and Colombian filler core also adds more kick to the smoke than say a mainline Arturo Fuente. If you’ve had the New World Cameroon by AJ Fernandez or a Fuente Don Carlos, it’s probably closer to those. Either way, if you like Cameroon, the CAO CX2 is a given. It’s also reasonably priced, and based on its overall performance and flavor profile I’d say it’s a pretty good value, too.