CAO added a new full-time line to their extensive portfolio earlier this summer called BX3. This new line claims to have three times (hence the “X” in the title) the usage of Brazilian tobacco, appearing throughout each portion of the cigar’s blend. The BX3 falls into CAO’s long-running X series, joined by popular releases such as the MX2, CX2, and LX2. The BX3 was created to be almost a Brazilian puro-type cigar, but they wanted it to have other tobacco mixed in to add another dimension to the smoking experience.
The Brazilian tobaccos used for the BX3 were a Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper, Brazilian Arapiraca binder, and unspecified Brazilian filler tobaccos. Other fillers are Honduran, Mexican, and Nicaraguan. The cigar is being produced out of parent company, Scandinavian Tobacco Group’s, STG Estelí factory in Nicaragua.
“To us, BX3 is everything a Brazilian-centric smoke should be. It’s memorable, savory and thought-provoking and it complements our portfolio beautifully.”beautifully.”
—Ed Lahmann, CAO’s senior brand manager
The other big news with the release of this cigar has been the possible trademark issues with the “X” used in the graphic of the box and label of the cigar. The “X” in the CAO X series has always been present in the brand; however, it has been in smaller font and more clearly in the name of the cigar in past iterations. With the BX3, the “X” takes a step forward to the foreground of the marketing, being the center of the box and label. This, as you can imagine, caught the eye of Arturo Fuente, which led to a trademark dispute. Both companies as of right now are stuck in their position on the “X,” and it seems lawyers and the courts will be settling this dispute sometime in the future.
CAO BX3 Robusto Breakdown
- Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina
- Binder: Brazilian Arapiraca
- Filler: Brazil | Nicaragua | Mexico | Honduras
- Factory: STG Estelí (Nicaragua)
- Production: Regular Production
- Vitola: 5″ × 52 (Robusto)
- Price: $8.99 (MSRP)
This cigar was released in July 2023. It is offered in three sizes: Robusto ($8.99), Toro ($9.49), and Gordo ($10.49).
In seeing all the press releases and pictures of the BX3 boxes and cigar bands, the colorful “X” seems to really stand out and be the focus of the marketing. With the cigar in my hand, I will say, the “X” blends in more and does not stand out as much as the marketing graphics make it seem. The boxes are all matte black, with an offset “X” having longer upper arms than the lower portion. The “X” is in vibrant Brazilian-type colors, similar to the colors of Brazil’s flag, with greens, blues, reds, and yellows. The inner part of the box has the same colors, making your eye focus to the cigars in the box. The label is similar, with a black background being joined by those Brazilian colors of yellow, green, blue, red, and orange. CAO is in the top of the “X” in lime green color, and “BX3” in the lower part in the same color. Taking into account the loud colors of the band, I feel that—in person—the “X” does not stand out that much.
BX3’s Brazilian wrapper has a dark beef jerky color to it; there are no veins, but seams are noted. The feel of the cigar is rough and toothy, with no oily sensation. Overall, the bright colors and darkness of the wrapper match very well, giving the cigar great eye appeal.
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With a straight cut to the BX3 Robusto, the smell coming off the cigar is primarily leather. Taking a cold draw of the cigar, I get notes of hay and black pepper. With a proper toast and getting into the smoking experience, citrus and milk chocolate flavors rush over the palate with some lighter side notes of bitter espresso towards the back of the tongue. Meanwhile, the retrohale has a strong hay flavor.
Overall, the notes stay consistent for a while, with no real depth or transitions. The citrus / milk chocolate component is the main note, and the retrohale stays with a strong hay flavor. It’s not until the later part of the cigar—when salivation starts to pick up—that the citrus flavor weans off, but the milk chocolate stays strong. A new note of oak brings a nice flavor change away from the sweet and citrus note. The retrohale has remained hay-like, but through the finish a light note of wet concrete is picked up.
The draw during the entire smoke was slightly tight, which could be why there were some issues picking up all that Brazilian tobacco complexity and flavor. The burn line was slightly wavy, but did not require any touch ups. The ash and construction were really impeccable, with the temperature of the cigar staying cool and the ash accumulating about two centimeters at a time.
Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?
This was an interesting concept for a cigar, using Brazilian tobaccos throughout three portions of the blend. However, the concept did not deliver in the smoking experience. The CAO BX3 is worth a try, but unfortunately this is not one I will likely revisit anytime soon.
- As of this writing, the CAO BX3 has been smoked 93 times on Dojoverse, currently ranked 865/4.3k cigars with a 97% smokable rating.
- Flavor: Medium
- Strength: Mild-Plus
- Body: Mild / Medium
- Milk chocolate
- Bitter espresso
- Smoke Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
- Pairing Recommendation: Latte | Rum old fashioned | Coffee cola
- Purchase Recommendation: 1–2 sticks
- Consistent flavor profile
- Interesting citrus-chocolate flavors
- Lacks complexity
- Brazilian tobaccos didn't shine
- Odd hay flavor on the retrohale