Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Robusto
Size : 5.70″ x 50
Wrapper : Nicaraguan Habano
Filler : Esteli Ligero, Condega Ligero, Jalapa Ligero, and a small amount of “other tobaccos”
Binder : Nicaraguan
Price : $7 each
Cain – Straight Ligero. For those who know what Ligero is, you are probably thinking “damn”. Ligero is the highest priming of tobacco on the plant. These are the leaves at the top of the plant that get the most exposure to direct sunlight and the elements. Ligero tobacco is the thickest leaves and the strongest in terms of nicotine. It is also generally considered the most robust in terms of flavor. Most cigars only use a small percentage of ligero tobacco blended leaves from other primings on the plant. The blending of the different leaves is done to produce specific flavors that the blender wants as well as to give the cigar balance in flavor, strength and construction. Now the Cain is not really 100% ligero. It is actually around 82% or 84% (I have heard both numbers bandied around) ligero. This is still way more ligero than is typically found in a cigar, but the addition of the non-ligero tobacco is done for construction and combustion reasons. Ligero is the thickest leaf and as such is the slowest burning and hardest to keep lit. The other tobacco used helps to balance things out a bit to allow the cigar to burn properly. All that ligero still affects the burn though. This cigar burns awfully slow but more on that later.
The Cain comes in two different wrappers. Habano and Maduro. There is also a Cain “F” which is a special souped up blend that is even more powerful and robust that the regular Cains are reported to be. These are the creation of Sam Leccia and Oliva Cigar Co. who also brought us the Nub. They are available in three sizes that I know of:
- Robusto 5.7″ x 50 ring
- Double Toro 6.0″ s 60 ring
- Torpedo 6.0″ x 54 ring
The “F” is only available in a Robusto and I believe is a limited edition. On to the review…
The wrapper on the Cain Habano is the color of milk chocolate with a leathery look. It has lots of small veins and a slight tooth. The draw is a little firm but not unpleasant. It smokes slow and cool… very slow. I was completely surprised by this cigar at first. It was not at all like I was expecting it to be. Much was made of the fact that it is almost entirely made up of ligero tobacco. Because of that I was expecting a rich, earthy, peppery and robust smoke with a lot of power. In actuality, it begins as a medium bodied smoke that is smooth and creamy without much of a nicotine kick at all. My specimen has no spice or pepper at all. It started off smooth and creamy with notes of cinnamon and a subtle sweetness that I want to describe as apple. Like a Rome apple or some other cooking type of apple that isn’t overly sweet. It also had an undertone of toasted tobacco. I was half way through smoking the Cain Habano and I was thinking it was a very unique smoke but it was not at all complex. In fact I thought it a bit one dimensional, but still the flavors were unique and very enjoyable. The last third is where this cigar comes alive. Suddenly I began detecting a little bit of a peppery bite to the flavors and then the cigar quickly transitioned into that robust earthy, spicy smoke I was expecting and I also started to feel its power. Although I wouldn’t necessarily describe this cigar as a “powerhouse” it does back a nice little punch that kind of sneaks up on you. My experience with the last third of the smoke makes me say that this is not a cigar for beginners. Less seasoned smokers might get a little green from it. Someone who is used to stronger and more robust cigars won’t really be phased by it. I had a bit of problem keeping it lit and it tried to tunnel on me a couple times. It took me almost an hour and a half to finish it. Like I said, it burned very slow.
At first I thought I was smoking Abel, but it was all a lie as Cain revealed himself in the end. I enjoyed this cigar and it was interesting how it completely changed character on me there at the end. I will be smoking more to see if this experience is consistent or not for me with this cigar. It was also quite remarkable to me how long it took to smoke this cigar. This was perhaps the slowest burning cigar I have ever smoked. It took me almost two hours to smoke this nearly toro length robusto and I am not known as a slow smoker. The Cain Habano is a good smoke that is worth a try and something I will probably keep in my humidor in small quantities for times when I want a change of pace from my Tatuajes.