Friday, June 14, 2013

Cain Straight Ligero Cigars

The blenders at Studio Tobac are the masters of the Straight Ligero cigar, producing an entire line in four distinctive blends. They require an exceptional understanding of the special tobacco leaf that goes into each one they produce. Ligero is the type of leaf that comes from the top of each tobacco plant grown. Its direct exposure to the sun darkens and thickens each leaf. Smaller than the leaves lower on the plant, it also enjoys a concentration of nutrients and flavors. The region in which this type of plant is grown plays a major role in its development.

This week we are going to look at four distinct Ligero cigars produced by Studio Tobac: Cain Daytona, Cain Habano, Cain F, and Cain Maduro.

Cain Daytona

Released back in 2011, the Cain Daytona uses all Nicaraguan tobaccos. The wrapper is a habano, and for the filler they use a Jalapa Valley Ligero. If you are looking for an alternative to the original Cain, which is a strong, full-bodied cigar, the Daytona just might be what you’re looking for. While not as aggressive as the Cain F, it does have a nice verity of flavors and the profile is somewhat complex. The cigar is medium-bodied and smooth to smoke. Now that we have a brief overview, lets fire one up and take a look at the Daytona in depth.

Examining the cigar, it has a slight musky and wet grass aroma to it. It’s actually a nice aroma and is pleasant to the nose. The bright orange band at the edge of the foot gives a little pop to the otherwise naked cigar. The habano wrapper is slightly oily and offers some veining, but nothing out of the ordinary. The cigar feels firm with only a slight give to the fingers.

Once you light up you will get a pungent earth and red pepper tone. It’s not overpowering, and sits well on the palette. I was surprised with the amount of thick smoke from the cigar. I'm smoking the 6x46 which, as you know, is not an overly large cigar. Hints of caramel and nuts become noticeable while the draw remains smooth and crisp.

At the halfway point, earthy barnyard notes start intermingling with an arousing spice overtone. The burn is suburb and the flavor profile has been enticing and amiable. I have to admit I've always been a fan of Nicaraguan cigars and this has been no exception. The aromatic smoke is baronial, offering grand wisps of smoke that fill the air and are pleasant to the nose. Heading into the final stretch, let’s round third and head home!

At the back half, the aforementioned earth and spice become stronger. A hint of pepper peeks its head out, offering a slight dryness on the palette. Some floral notes are also found, with light espresso tones.
The Daytona has been a real winner for me. The flavors are agreeable, leaving you wishing you had another Daytona in the humidor waiting for you to smoke it. The burn and draw are on par with other comparable premium cigars. I give this cigar two thumbs up!

Cain Habano

When I pulled this cigar out of the cellophane, I was quite surprised at the quality of the wrapper. A gorgeous chocolate-brown Nicaraguan habano. It has invisible seams and only slight veins showing. It radiates a semi-oily sheen and the cigar is topped off with a triple cap. The construction seems to be top notch and the binder, filler and wrapper are all Nicaraguan.

Examining the cigar a little more closely, I detected an aroma of baking spices, cocoa and leather. The aroma intrigues me to quit messing around and light up, so I do. An earthy cocoa profile forms and is backed up with a coffee undertone. The draw is a little tight, but pleasant. The cigar has a nice, firm feel to it. You can tell the tobacco is nicely rolled throughout.

Delving further into the cigar, an alluring apricot tone forms. It molds well with the cocoa and earthy profile up to this point. The apricot tone stays in the background and coffee bean and black pepper begin to form on the palette. The cigar to this point has performed admirably. A smooth, clean-smoking cigar with a burn that is appealing and spot on.
The second third is marked with an increase in the peppery profile. Also, an enjoyable nuttiness has started to culminate on my palette, leaving a nice aftertaste. An aromatic smoke that offers a cocoa and spice aroma is tantalizing. As I head into the final third, I couldn’t be happier with this smoke. It has hit on all the major points. The cigar has been consistent and reliable. During the last ten minutes of the smoke, the baking spices noted earlier pick up along with the coffee and cocoa tones. I would highly recommend this full-bodied Nicaraguan puro, and I've classified it as a must-smoke.


Cain F

What can be said that probably hasn’t already been said about the Cain F? It’s a beautiful-looking cigar, wrapped in a Nicaraguan habano wrapper that is oily and slightly darker than the Cain Habano Straight Ligero cigar I just reviewed. My first draw on the cigar sees an onset of dark, earthy notes with a rich, peppery backbone. A tinge of fruit is found but fades quickly out of sight. A citrus aftertaste is left offering something I wasn’t expecting and is a new find for me on this particular cigar.

The first third is marked with a cedar tone and notes of wood. The cigar remains strong and full-bodied but isn’t to the point of being overpowering. Like all the Cain cigar lines, the cigar is firm with no soft spots. The draw is somewhat tight and the burn thus far is good. A gray ash about two inches long has formed and remains intact and formidable.

Working my way into the second third of the smoke, stronger tones of pepper emerge. Fruity notes fade in and out of the background and never really culminate into anything substantial. I begin getting a strong coffee flavor that intermingles with dark chocolate. The profile has definitely picked up on the second third, giving off more complex flavors and a stronger body tone to the cigar.

The final third—you’d better fasten your seat belt. For all you full-bodied cigar lovers, this is a treat. All the aforementioned flavors and tones pick up drastically. The earth, pepper and spice remain fully entrenched with definite increases in their strength. Even with the strong finish, the cigar is refined and smooth to smoke. The burn remains cool and even. A dry spice aftertaste is noted and is followed up with some green pepper tones. I personally love this cigar, and it works well as an after-dinner cigar.


Cain Maduro

One of the first things you will notice about this cigar is the dark Mexican maduro wrapper. The beautiful oil finish on it glistens in even the lowest of light conditions. The cigar is solid, with no give to it. As is with all the Cain lines I’ve reviewed for this piece, the cigar has a feel of being packed solid with tobacco. The draw is spot on, offering just enough give to keep you working without the feel of being overworked.

A distinct aroma of raisins and heavy earth permeates the air surrounding the cigar on my pre-light inspection. Cutting the cap and placing the cigar in my mouth, I found a dark chocolate and heavy spice aftertaste. My first draw was a combination of leather, chocolate and sweetness. That was quickly followed up with a spicy aftertaste and aroma. Ten minutes into the smoke and I already have a one-inch ash on the foot that is white with splotches of black.

The first third is marked with definite hints of sweetness to the cigar. I am surprised and pleased. The overtone, though, is that of earth, wood and pepper in the flavor profile department. As you get near the end of the first third, a hardy pepper head comes front and center. While it doesn’t overpower you, it is strong.

Examining the second third, bold clouds of smoke bellow forth, offering aromatic sweetness with a cooking spice smell to it. The cigar remains smooth with tones of hazelnut in the background. The final third is just as bold, with the same sweetness remaining throughout. Charred wood, cedar, hints of mushroom and dry peppercorn also are found. I can’t say enough good things about this maduro. A fantastic smoke, great burn and complex profile make for a winning combination.

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