I managed to get my hands on the CAO MX2 Box Press this weekend and being a fan of CAO Cigars this was on the top of my list of cigars I wanted to review. It amazes me how much a box press can change the flavor profile of a cigar. The Brazillia and the Italia are so much different in the box press I was eager to see how the MX2 Box Press would change one of my favorite cigars from CAO. I know a lot of people who don’t smoke CAO cigars. However, in the last 2-3 years CAO has become a consistent cigar that rarely has burn issues. If you haven’t had a CAO in a while next time you are in a humidor you should pick one up.
Cigar: CAO MX2
Size: 5.5 x 55 (Box Press)
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaragua, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Peru
Appearance and Construction (20/20): The MX2 Box Press has the appearance of silk. The oily wrapper lacks any significant veins and the roll is flawless right down to its cap. The cigar has a nice weight to it, and no soft spots what so ever. This gorgeous looking box press has two bands. The first being the original MX2 band with the colors of black and silver. There is a secondary band of silver and black that denotes the cigar is the box press. This all adds up to the best looking box press on the market. The cigar reminds me of tuxedo and is one classy looking cigar. In fact, I am prepared to refer to this cigar as the tuxedo from now on. Am I crazy? You be the judge.
Flavor & Notes (28/30): The prelight draw and the foot both have faint notes of chocolate and spice. Upon lighting the cigar the notes of chocolate are right there for you to enjoy. The semi-sweet chocolate is a result of the Peruvian tobacco (sweetness) and the rich looking Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper (chocolate). As the 1st third is smoked the notes of chocolate are joined by some subtle coffee notes from the Brazilian binder. The second third of the cigar the notes of coffee and chocolate blend together to create an incredible experience. The final third of the cigar the spices kick in some with a touch of earth but the chocolate flavors remain right through to the finish.
Burn/Ash/Draw (24/25): The cigar starts off with a slightly lopsided burn but by the half inch mark the cigar balanced out to a nice even burn and remained this way right til the end. The ash of the cigar has a marble like appearance with 3 different shades of gray. It holds on fairly strong with almost no flake. The draw is perfect for a box press with a slight resistance that makes it a nice slow relaxing cigar on a beautiful spring day.
Overall (24/25): The first time I ever smoked a box pressed cigar I wasn’t sure if it was for me. It felt like I was smoking a kazoo and it was an awkward smoking experience. Over time I realized that a box pressed cigar enhanced the flavor and it became a favorite of mine along side the perfecto. The MX2 box press results in a cigar that explodes with flavor and enhances the smoking experience. The MX2 Box Press stands on top of all CAO Cigars and is the clear cut champion of the line. As I hear the Mr. Softee truck approach I bid you adieu as I wish to continue the chocolately goodness with a nice chocolate ice cream cone.