Factory: Plasencia Cigars S.A.
Price Range: $15-$19
Availability: Limited (1502 boxes of 10)
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1502 XO – First Thoughts
Whenever a cigar releases that’s over $15, the worst thing I can do as a reviewer is put it on a pedestal. Of course there’s the value rating at the end of the review, and ultimately the Community will decide it’s fate as more and more people Make Some Noise below, but pedestals are excellent ways to get your heart broken.
This cigar was limited to 1502 boxes of 10 and boasts as having used 18 year old tobacco. Each cigar is numbered and it looks like I’ve got number 4,988.
The pre-light aroma from the foot brings me back to Christmas morning years ago. I used to always get my Dad a box of Cherry Cordials (lame, I know) and the foot of 1502 XO is just like Cherry Cordials. The pregnant Domestic Engineer agrees and her nose is usually more accurate than mine. A cold draw is even more fascinating, imparting notes of the same cherry cordial but this time it’s alcohol infused. Hot damn! If this is any indication of how well this cigar will perform, it’s going to be a great morning.
1502 XO – First Third
Mineral, Toast, Cherries, Cedar, Cream, Alcohol Cherries Cordial, Raisin, Pralined Pecans, Brown Sugar, Oak, Graham Cracker, Cocoa Powder, Molasses
My first impressions from torching the foot of the 1502 XO are that of disappointment. Mineral notes and bran flakes wash over me as I’m contemplating my sins. Wasabi-like heat travels the sinuses in a regular draw as well as a retro hale. Mild spice presents itself between puffs and lingers on the tongue.
After approximately five minutes, the flavors begin to transition into more of what I would consider a premium cigar. Cherries, cream, and cedar rise to the top and I’m no longer regretting my choice of the day.
A retro hale is more punishing than I would’ve guessed with 18 year old tobaccos but absolutely necessary to get past the more bland flavors and into the goodness. Alcohol-infused Cherries Cordial makes it’s way into the first third with this technique.
And then… delicate cedar notes envelop my palate along with hints of raisins, pralined pecans, and brown sugar. Talk about surprised! I’m wielding the single torch of justice this morning like I’m on a witch hunt. Hopefully the heat doesn’t compromise this experience.
The rest of the first third seems to be continuing along this path. Sometimes it’s sweet and delightful, other times it’s more generic and we have to hunt the good stuff. The cherries and cream, cherries cordial, and other nuances of sweeter combinations noted above are what I’ll cherish from this experience. Sweeter rums are an excellent compliment to this cigar if you’re adventurous like that.
Lately I’ve been reviewing several cigars that leave me feeling refreshed afterward, feeling ready to light and taste another cigar as it were my first of the day. My palate feels taxed from the 1502 XO and I’m not even into the second third yet.
How about the smoke? It’s a smoke bomb, for sure. The burn line, though, requires constant attention. Draw is more than amiable.
Someone order oak? You got it! Oak, graham cracker, cocoa powder, and molasses join the party right before the closing bell of the first third.
1502 XO – Second Third
Oak, Walnuts, Honey, Ammonia, Citrus, Baker’s Chocolate, Earth, Graham Cracker
The beginnings of the our second third are much like the beginnings of the first: disappointing. Dropping the ash, I’m encouraged to torch it back to life as smoke production has become stifled. Oak and walnuts are the primary flavors at this point – much to my dismay.
Secondary flavors start lining up: honey, ammonia, citrus, baker’s chocolate, and earth. Interesting. Really would’ve have guessed that I’d be pulling ammonia from a cigar with 18 year old tobacco, but there it is. Probably won’t be making any friends with this review.
The citrus is reminiscent of oranges on the finish. Lingering spice is back as well as the graham cracker notes. There’s also a synthetic taste that I just can’t shake. Not sure what to make of it.
As with any cigar, it’s hard to criticize someone’s work of art. I doubt that this cigar was released with expectations of mediocre reception. So, if you’re reading this, please forgive my crude rundown of this cigar. I’m sure there are more eloquent ways to phrase the good, bad, and the ugly.
I hate to purge a cigar for a review, but it’s warranted in this case. Bitterness was just becoming too much to handle. After a good purging and more flame, we’re left with graham cracker, dark chocolate, cream, and citrus. Not too shabby.
Not long after, walnuts take the stage again with bitter, unenjoyable flavors. The overall tone of this cigar has transitioned from bright to dark, sweet to bitter, light to heavy.
Of course, my experience could be one shaped from multiple relights and unrefined communication skills.
There’s not much to the 1502 XO at this point except for bitterness and charred wood. As Deadpool would say, “Maximum Effort!” I’ll stick around for the first few moments of the last third just because I believe you, the reader, deserve as much. If I were smoking for pleasure I would likely reach for something else right about now, if not earlier.
1502 XO – Last Third
Bitterness, Charred Meat, Sour Cream, Walnut, Spice, Dried Fruit
Alright, we made it! Last third here we come. Bitterness is about all that my palate is able to discern at this point. There’s the sharp bitterness of the tongue as well as a broad, generic bitterness that overwhelms the senses.
Let’s purge it again. Charred meat, sour cream, dried fruit, and walnuts. Spice is awakened once again and reinvigorates the 1502 XO. Minutes later and we’re back to bitterness.
Promising First Third
Bitter past the Midway Point
Spongy Last Third
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