Draper’s Exclusive: CAO Mx3

CAO Mx3 photo courtesy of Jerry Cruz, StogieReview.com

CAO Mx3 photo courtesy of Jerry Cruz, StogieReview.com

Review Courtesy of Barry Stein of A Cigar Smoker’s Journal.

(Original Post: April 30, 2009)

The CAO Mx3 is one of the 11 original blends that CAO stocked in its Escaparate at CAO headquarters in Tennessee. It was created exclusively for the CAO Escaparate. (The Escaparate houses over 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 (located at 640 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005) has the exclusive on Mx3. It is available in two sizes a robusto (5 x 50) and a torpedo (6 1/4 x 52). Contact W. Curtis Draper Tobacconist at (800) 572-2382 to inquire about current stock on hand and to arrange pick-up or delivery.

Cigar: CAO Mx3
Size: 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 Mx3.

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

W. Curtis Draper Tobacconist
640 14th Street NW (at G Street), Washington, DC 20005
Telephone: (202) 638-2555