The 1502 XO is a yearly limited production line where each year will feature a different size (vitola) cigar. The 2016 1502 XO is a Toro and this cigar has 18 year old aged tobacco in the blend. Sounds enticing right? Well, you better go find it because the total production for this cigar is ONLY 1502 boxes, which means there is only a little more than 15k cigars available complete with a Serial Number for each cigar !
So ... I begged a little on Twitter and the cigar fairy delivered 1 to try ... and the other 2 found! OMG I need more of these XO cigars.
The LOOK of the 1502 XO has small seams, and a beautiful sleekness, but veiny medium chocolate wrapper appearance. It is BOX PRESSED, with an the wrapper overlaying edges of the foot.
The COLD DRAW yields COCOA and WOOD with a Natural TOBACCO scent.
The FIRST THIRD begins with some muted flavor notes of CEDAR and TOBACCO with LEATHER. There is a hint of RED PEPPER and SWEETNESS coming through, but in the background. Then further into the Third, a COCOA flavor and a hint of COFFEE rounds out the flavors as the PEPPER kicks in more prominent. .
The SECOND THIRD still has the CEDAR and musty TOBACCO in the forefront, with some COCOA and PEPPER secondary. Then about half way into the cigar the COCOA moves further into the background and the PEPPER increases dramatically. Then there is a hint of a CREAMY NUT flavor, but it dissipates quickly.
In the LAST THIRD, the PEPPER, CEDAR, LEATHER are in the forefront with a DARK CHOCOLATE lingering on your palate. It's not a sweet cigar at this point, but there are a few flavors tucked in the background that reminds me that this is a complex smoke with aged tobacco.
I smoked 2 cigars for this review and both needed retouching during this time. The profile was smooth, rich with flavor in every puff. The body was medium to medium plus, with the RED PEPPER strongest in the Second and Last Thirds. Strong, but not overwhelming. The cigar smokes slowly with lots of smoke and relatively even burn.
In my opinion this is a cigar for the trained palate. Someone who LOVES FLAVORS, enjoys detecting them with each puff and looks forward to determining what nuances this AGED TOBACCO cigar holds for you. This is the cigar you want to savor and love with every puff.
I loved it and I hope you get an opportunity to find 2016's XO release. I look forward to trying future cigar sizes -- this XO is definitely worth the hunt ! The XO is an intriguing and delicious addition to one of my favorite cigar companies.