The 1502 Cigars XO made its official debut on March 5 during an event at Wooden Indian Tobacco Shop in Havertown, Penn., before rolling out to other 1502 retailers in the following weeks. To determine when stores receive their allotment, Sánchez held what he called an “XO Draft Day” today, with the limited production of 1,502 individually numbered boxes of 10 cigars being divided up among existing accounts. There are only going to be 1502 boxes of 10 made each year and each box will be numbered, with each cigar also being numbered inside it’s respective box. This first release of the XO is a 6×50 box-pressed Toro.
Owner Enrique Sanchez Icaza has stated the 1502 XO will be an annual limited production line where each year it will feature a different vitola. For the 2016 release, the 1502 XO has been released in a Toro format. 1502 Cigars has been quiet about the specific blend. The 1502 XO is the fifth line to be released by Global Premium Cigars, the makers of the 1502 Cigar brand. It was at the 2015 IPCPR Trade Show where the 1502 XO was first shown off. While the first four lines by 1502 were regular production lines, the XO is 1502’s first limited edition line. The presence of some 18 year aged tobacco in the blend is one of the few details disclosed by the company to the public and a big part of what makes this a limited edition cigar. Much of the information about the 1502 Cigars XO is being kept under wraps, though it has been disclosed that Plasencia Cigars S.A. in Nicaragua is producing them and the suggested retail price is $17.75 per stick. This inaugural release comes in a 6 x 50 toro vitola, with each individual cigar bearing a unique serial number. Future releases of the 1502 Cigars XO will come in other vitolas.
The cigar could give lessons in how to be a box-pressed Toro. It is simply beautiful from cap to foot. The press and overall shape is near flawless, and the wrapper has a deep dark chocolate color. The texture is oily, toothy, and just the right amount of pinch resistance. The wrapper slightly extends over the foot, but does not cover it completely. It has an incredible smell at the foot reminiscent of chocolate covered raisins and richly aged tobacco. The pre-light draw was open, but not loose.
After lighting, the flavors took full control right away. There was no pepper blast as is common with many cigars on the first few draws. Right from the beginning, flavors of dark cocoa, toasted wood, and mild black pepper. The pepper flavor really complimented the sweet aroma. Even with all these complex flavors, the smoothness was incredible. The cigar was putting out massive amounts of rich and complex smoke, but it was as smooth as a baby bunny.
The cigar smoke quickly for a Toro, but the flavors are just intense and wonderful. The smooth smoke takes on a richness and depth that continues to please. The flavors of cocoa keep coming, joined by roasted nuts and a beautiful toasted caramel note.
As the cigar closes out, I find myself wanting more. Any pepper notes that were present have all but disappeared. The cocoa and roasted nuts are still the prominent flavors in the profile, with a nice cedar and cinnamon note joining at the very end. Even down to a tiny nub, the smoke was still smooth with little to no bite at all.
If it can be called a complaint, I have only one about this cigar. It burned too quickly. Honestly though, for a 6×50 box press it was a bit of a fast burner, but it didn’t matter. The burn line was perfect throughout. The smoke production was unstoppable. The flavors were intense and complex. The texture was smooth and refined. I believe the high pricetag for this cigar is well worth it. An absolute joy to smoke.