If you haven't smoked the Elegante X2 by Lovely Cigars, you've been missing out.
If you've had one already and weren't all that impressed, or enjoyed it but haven't smoked a second stick, fire another one up and call us in the morning.
Or, if you are on the fence about trying one and need a little backstory on this recently resurrected 120-year-old cigar company based in Green Bay Wisconsin of all places, listen up.
For the official Klaro Cigars 2023 PCA "Surprise Stogie of the Show Winner" is back for a second helping of smoke-filled satisfaction, and we're here to spread the word.
Released in small quantities just four times a year, and boasting a "full-flavor, mild strength" cigar profile, this is one of those mellow smokes that we keep going back to for all the right reasons...
Before we begin our olfactory tour of this premium cigar blend, let's take a moment to admire the Elegante X2's block print, needlepoint crochet-style band, and matching golden orange ribbon footband. Lovely, ain't she?
Chocolate milk in color, the Habano Ecuadorian wrapper on this cigar is nearly oil-free and extremely soft. So much so, that you may find yourself accidentally damaging it pre-light.
Like yoga pants in the park, there are ample amounts of bounce to the barrel of the cigar when squeezed, signifying a draw that is sure to be fluid. Cut or punch at your discretion fellow smokers, for both shall surely deliver.
Veins are not Stallone-grade, but neither are they pre-pubescent milquetoast middle-grader, with certain sticks appearing a dash on the greenish/yellow side. Seams are also a bit of a mix of immaculate and apparent, as are the folds along the rounded parejo cap.
Smells are simple yet elegant. A mixture of mild milk cocoa and cedar along the wrapper, with touches of nutmeg, nougat, and a floral finish. The foot goes slightly deeper, with richer cocoa aromas, mild peppercorn tingles, hazelnuts, and a whiff of campfire on a crisp autumn morn in the Appalachian mountains.
Filler ingredients are a blend primed from some of the best-growing regions in Nicaragua and even contain a touch of tobacco from the volcanic island of Ometepe. This allows cold pulls to provide a deep flavor that is similar to unlit aromatics, but with one distinct difference smacking you right in the kisser: This cigar tastes even better than it smells.
Like a milk café latte on a lazy afternoon, this cigar opens its doors with a creamy, refined start that leaves you wanting more almost immediately. Toasted wood staves, faint hazelnut notes, and a light doughy sugar cookie taste all earn five stars for starters, just like the stars and garters of Betsy Ross.
If you are in search of strength feel free to swipe or click over to another one of my many Klaro Cigars stogie reviews, for the Elegante X2 is not here to punch you in the pie hole.
Instead of strength, this blend turns toward flavor and fluid combustion dynamics to achieve its goal. Smoke is abundant and creamier than piña colada happy hour at the local watering hole.
Pinches of nutmeg from the foot and barrel begin to mingle, and with them comes a roasted vanilla bean note.
Café latte in aroma only, the first half is a lightly layered, Mild-Medium experience (in both strength and body) that makes you eager for more. The taste of toasted marshmallow comes to mind, as does candied almond milk cocoa, and that nougat center you find inside certain candy bars. All unsweetened, and slightly dry to the tongue.
If there is a transition within this limited-release premium cigar blend, it happens right near the final third. Up until that point, the second third seems to follow the trend set in place by the first portion of the cigar. All of the flavors and aromatics get a boost, but in light coatings, with a trickle of dried cherries and slightly darker spice.
This cigar is like a layer cake. Light and easily consumable, where the center is bolder than the external sheets, but you have to dig your way toward that deeper, fuller flavor profile to get the results you crave.
The only difference here is that there actually isn't any work involved. That depth builds on its own for you and all you have to do is sit back and embrace it all.
Despite having an uneven burning nub that tasted a little mineral-like, leaving an oily sensation upon the palate, parting puffs have been perfect every single time with this cigar. It's a shift toward the darker side of the latte coffee cart here, and the bitterness that comes with it feels and tastes balanced. Almost intentional by design.
Everything else save for a spare stave of smoky cedar dissolves beneath the undertow of Medium+ flavor at this mark. Leaving you with a sense of satisfaction and a desire to spark another.
Ash / Burn / Smoke / Draw
Even though the previously mentioned issues found within my prelit impressions deducted some points from the Elegante X2's overall score, these were but a small bump on the road to success.
Smoke creation and consistency were stellar on every stick sampled, as were temps and ash development.
Despite holding a clean burn line and being nearly flake-free on two of the three cigars, there were issues with the ash drops on all three sticks. So keep that in mind if you are smoking indoors while lounging in that homemade easy chair you constructed entirely out of Roman candles.
Perhaps the biggest issue I had while reviewing the Elegante X2 from Lovely Cigars, was having to refrain from speaking like I was a character in Mary Poppins while on camera.
"Lovely day for a cup o' tea, ain't it Admiral Boom?"
"Now that's what I call an 'elegante' evening on the rooftops me chimney-sweeps!"
The second biggest issue was trying to keep my review to under half an hour. The history behind the original Lovely Cigars brand is absolutely fascinating, and so too is the backstory behind the reincarnated company responsible for today's blend.
So for those of you looking for more reading on that side of the story, be sure to check out the Lovely Cigars write-up in Business News, where you will find more of the Green Bay cigar company's history in detail.
Oh, and as for the Elegante X2 itself? This was unquestionably one of the most pleasant stogie surprises of 2023.
Lovely Cigars "Elegante X2"
San Andrés (Mexico)
Jalapa, Estelí, Condega, Ometepe (Nicaragua)
Tacasa S.A. (Nicaragua)
6" x 52 "Toro"
|Pear & Coriander Iced Tea w/ Pomegranate Syrup