If you’re seeking a strong and full smoking experience, you may be interested in the Cain F Straight Ligero. Composed of Estelí, Condega, and Jalapa ligero tobacco, it’s a bold blend indeed.
In this article, we will be reviewing both the Cain and Nub versions of the Straight Ligero as we explore the following topics:
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- Brand: Oliva Cigars
- Range: Cain & Nub
- Reviewed Vitolas: 6 x 60 Gordo & 4 x 60 Nub Gordito
- Filler: 32% Estelí Ligero, 25% Condega Ligero, 25% Jalapa Ligero
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Nicaragua
- Factory: Oliva Cigars Estelí Factory
- Handmade: Yes
- Body: Full
- Estimated Smoking Time: 90 Minutes
- Pricing: $170 / 24-Cigar Box MSRP
The Cain project by Oliva’s creative department, Studio Tobac, sought to create a bold and flavoursome cigar. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the result is composed only of Ligero tobacco leaves. Ligero are the leaves at the top of the tobacco plant. The last to be harvested with the most sun exposure, they’re often the strongest due to a higher composition of nicotine and nutrients.
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Cain & Nub F Straight Ligero Look & Feel
- Wrapper Hue: Hazelnut Brown
- Rolling Consistency: Even
- Spring: Firm Resistance
- Aromas: Hay, Hazelnut Chocolate, Cinnamon
The Cain F Straight Ligero features a hazelnut brown wrapper that gives of a rich and oily sheen. A few veins are present in the wrapper leaf but nothing disconcerting.
As for the construction, the rolling consistency is very even and the cigar is quite firm and resistant to pinching. I was surprised by how tightly packed this cigar was!
In terms of aromas, the bouquet is very subtle and not overly fragrant. The body gave off a faint whiff of cinnamon. Meanwhile, cinnamon and barnyard hay could be picked out of the foot.
Nub & Cain F Straight Ligero Review
As will all of our reviews, we smoked a few Cain Fs to ensure that we had an accurate picture of the cigar smoking experience. We both smoked three Cain Fs each while Charles-Philippe has a box of the Nub versions of which he tells me he’s smoked nearly half of them!
- Draw: Slightly Loose
- Aromas: Cedar, Copper, Coffee Bean
After a quick cut on the cigar, I tested the draw before lighting. Although a little loose, it did provide just enough resistance to be enjoyable the way I like it.
As for the notes on the dry draw, I experience a touch of cedar with a hint of copper that led to a coffee bean aroma.
1st Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon
The first thing that I noticed was that the first inch was exceedingly spicy and heavy on pepper. However, as I progressed after an inch, the aromas began to settle into something more balanced.
While the pepper is indeed still present, it is dominated by almost charred oak with a sweet cinnamon aroma that wisps across the palate.
As for tongue stimulation, I found that it was mostly present on the tip of the tongue and lateral front. The result was a somewhat astringent texture.
2nd Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Raw Cocoa, Roasted Coffee, Pepper
In the second third, the pepper has become more dormant but still retains some presence. An overall bitter palate, it features notes of raw cocoa and roasted coffee.
On the retrohale, I’m picking up some leather, which is quite thick and drying. The same can be said for the mouthfeel and the tongue stimulation tingles the lateral and front parts of the palate. However, I’m starting to feel some stimulation at the back too.
Final Third Smoking Experience
- Notes: Charred Oak, Pepper, Cedar
Arriving at the final third and the pepper has returned to dominate the palate. The aroma is particularly heavy but slight relief is provided by a subtle cedar note. Otherwise, there’s a touch of charred oak but it is quite mild.
On one cigar, I experienced some tar and ashy notes, that weren’t particularly pleasant. However, I’ll be ruling that out as a one-off. Additionally, Charles-Philippe said that while he indeed experience a lot of pepper with the Nub version, this was never an issue that he experienced.
The retrohale has become somewhat uncomfortable and stings the back of the throat. Meanwhile, the tongue stimulation is mainly from the tip of the palate all the way to the back of the throat.
- Ash Backbone: Strong
- Burn Angle: Mostly Straight
- Temperature: Cool
- Draw: Light Resistance
- Final Smoking Time: 70 Minutes [Nub 460], 90 Minute 
It must be said that the Cain F is an extremely well-constructed cigar that offers a strong, steely grey ash. The ash provides a nice stack and Charles-Philippe has reported that the Nub performs just as well.
As for the combustion, it remained mostly even with a thick and oily burn line. The smoking temperature was very cool, which provided refreshing relief from the hot pepper. Similarly, the draw developed only a touch of resistance but not by much.
Finally, the overall smoking time for the large 6×60 Cain Gordo came to about an hour and a half. Meanwhile, the 460 Nub version was only twenty minutes less at 70 minutes in total.
Ideal Pairings With A Nub Or Cain F Straight Ligero
Given that the Straight Ligero packs a powerful punch, it demands a drink that offers substance in order to complement it.
Although I’m not the biggest fan of peated whiskies, something similar to a Laphroaig 10 Year-Old Single Malt strikes me as the best option. Alternatively, a mature dark with with a full body would be an ideal alternative.
Personally, I would much prefer this and I found that the Brugal Leyenda was an ideal match. Both worked well together and the rum’s spicy bouquet complemented the Cain F’s pepper nicely.
That said, I’m partial to a Diet Coke with a cigar and on this occasion, it proved to be a very welcoming refreshment to the Cain’s drying texture.
As you’ll see in our other upcoming Cain reviews, they are presented in unfinished wooden boxes just like Nub Cigars. This quite-like appearance is quite appealing and the distinction can be made with the glossy sticker that covers half the box.
Inside, the cigars are bundled together with a red ribbon, which can be pulled out together if you want.
As for the band, it has an attractive red design, which again is quite similar to Nub. The difference here is that the band is on the foot and needs removing before you light it.
As for when I would smoke this cigar, I think it would be a great option for the late evening or nighttime either along or with friends. As it’s a very powerful and occasionally linear experience, this isn’t necessarily something that I would reserve for special occasions. This is more of a stogie and stiff drink option.
Finally, the value for money of these cigars is quite reasonable. A box of 24 has an MSRP of $170, which comes out at just over $7 a stick. This is quite cheap before the online retailers offer generous discounts. I’ve even seen some being sold for only $60!
With its solid burn and good construction, this is by no means an unpleasant cigar. However, I do find it a little too linear and peppery to my tastes. Having discussed this with Charles-Philippe, we’re both in agreement.
Nevertheless, it’s still a decent cigar and worth the price. If you’re looking for a full-bodied 100% ligero experience, it’s definitely worth sampling. Still, it’s not a cigar for beginners!
"A powerful cigar smoking experience. With a rich peppery palate, this may not be to everyone's taste. Still, it's not an unpleasant smoke and makes for a unique experience."Rating: 3.0 ★★★
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