Cigar Review: CAO MX3



These cigars have been on my list to try since I first heard them mentioned on twitter and having just received them from W Curtis Draper in Washington DC I couldn’t wait to smoke one. Normally I smoke 2 cigars or 3 cigars before I write a review here on my site. But with this cigar I am reviewing it on the fly on twitter and setting up the post for you all to read.

According to Jerry over at The Stogie Review:

The story behind the MX3 is that it is one of the 11 original blends that CAO stocked in its Escaparate at CAO HQ in Tennessee. It was created exclusively for the CAO Escaparate. (The Escaparate houses 330,000+ cigars in an ‘in-the-round’ walk-in humidor).

Over the course of the past 5 years, CAO made the decision to make some of their Escaparate blends/brands available at select retail tobacconists across the country W. Curtis Draper’s has the exclusive on MX3 and is available in two sizes (robusto and a torpedo).

The CAO MX3 are available ONLYat W. Curtis Drapers in D.C. (800) 572-2382. Tell them you heard about the cigar at and decided to order based upon the review at :)

Cigar:CAO MX3
5 x 50 (Robusto)
Origin: Honduras
Wrapper: CAO Secret (My Guess: Connecticut Broadleaf)
Binder: CAO Secret (My guess: Brazilian Maduro)
Filler: CAO Secret (My Guess: First 2, plus a small pct of another)
Strength: Medium/Full

Appearance and Construction (18/20): The first thing that amazed me was the amount of oils on this cigar. The wrapper had some veins but nothing out of the ordinary. The roll of the cigar is perfect, with the seams hard to find. The cap is well placed and there are no soft spots.  The band has been reworked to a silver label with black writing. A secondary band the name of W Curtis Draper which I can understand, but could do without…

Flavor & Notes (28/30): After using my multi tool cutter from Xikar to clip the cap I was eager to get the pre-light notes, and I was amazed by the rich notes prior to smoking. After lighting the cigar the notes reminded me of a rich chocolate cake. As we continue through the first third of the smoke I am in heaven. The chocolate begins to fade and the espresso notes take center stage. As the cigar enters the 2nd third, the notes of coffee are joined by some earthy notes. The cigar remains rich, but it steps down a notch from the first third. The final third of the cigar had some cedar notes before slowly regaining the richness found in the first third. So in a sense, this cigar came full circle with the final notes being a strong espresso with some earth.

Burn/Ash/Draw (25/25): The burn of the cigar was fairly even with the oils visible around the burn line of this incredible smoke. The tight ash is white as it burns and turns dark as it cools down. The draw had a slight resistance which slowed down the smoking speed. This turned out to be a good thing otherwise I would of smoked it too fast and not have gotten the true experience of the MX 3.

Overall (23/25): One of the best maduro cigars I ever had, and this cigar ranks #2 for me in cigar of the year voting. I am totally floored by the rich flavors, great construction and the flawless burn. The one draw back is that W. Curtis Draper is the sole retailer with these cigars so instead of supporting my local economy I will have to support the economy of a power hungry Washington DC and order these by phone.  I actually burned my fingers and lips smoking it all the way down til I could hold it anymore.

Rating: 94
Price: $11.00

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  • Se7en_Vandalay

    What an incredible review. Between your and @jcruz reviews I just go ga-ga over this cigar. (What the HELL was I thinking in giving one away in the cigar pass? LOL.) It would be great if this could be produced on a larger scale. I hope CAO can work their magic and find good sources of tobacco to make this a regular line. I tried the robusto also but I’m also anxious to try the Belicoso. Thanks for the review Barry.

  • Mike – KnightRid

    Thanx for the review! Seems like the whole cigar community is going crazy for this stick! I might have to try and get my hands on some in the future, but $11 per stick just seems a bit high..??


  • bradinbuffalo

    A great review of a great cigar,….

  • steve

    I smoked 2 this weekend at c fest…..both of them gifts. GREAT SMOKES!!

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  • matt m

    great review barry!

    Se7en_Vandalay so you were the one who put that in there. Thanks! as i snagged it.

    Matt M.

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  • Pingback: Guest Review of the CAO MX3 | The Weekly Cigar

  • BenRod

    Great review. What spirit would you revommend to pair this cigar? Any West Coast shops I can get this cigar from?

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