CAO

CAO Brazilia Corcovado

This cigar was part of a contest on the Dutch cigar website Sigarenliefhebber, and part of the contest is to write a review, so here it is. Good to know one forehand that I’m not the biggest fan of Brazilian tobacco, although used in the right way it can work in a cigar, and I found CAO one of those brands that seems to have a talent for making cigars I don’t like, but plenty of people do so why should they care about my opinion?
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The first thing I notice is the size, a nub size and as a fan of the classic sizes this doesn’t attract me at all. Anything over ring 54 is a waste of good tobacco in my opinion. This cigar contains Nicaraguan filler and a Brazilian wrapper. The looks are okay, the cigar feels tight and the predraw gives quite some resistance. I taste pepper and smell a nice earthy aroma.
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I taste coffee, not surprisingly with some sweetness as sweetness is the characteristic of Brazilian tobacco. It’s not unpleasant, but there’s no development in the first centimeter, after that the sweetness slowly gains strength.
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After a third I still taste the sweetness with a little bit of coffee and some pepper. The sweetness is overpowering with white pepper on the background. The coffee is only noticeable in the aftertaste. After two thirds the cigar gets more character with more pepper and even some wood at the end.
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During the hour and twenty minutes that I smoked this cigar I found that the draw was good but the smoke was thin. The white ash is dense and firm. I can’t complain about the burn.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Maybe in a smaller ring gauge, this jawbreaker has no dynamics at all.

Appearance: 7
Construction: 8
Draw: 8
Burn: 9
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 7
Aroma second part: 7
Aroma third part: 7

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Categories: C.A.O. Fabrica de Tabacos Honduras, CAO, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

CAO Colombia Robusto

If i would have seen this cigar in a cigarshop i would not have bought it for two reasons, it’s a CAO, a brand that somehow never seems to hit my palate with exception of the La Traviata although I like the creativity of the brand and the color of the wrapper that looks like a Connecticut shade. But Rick Rodriguez personally handed me this cigar at the Dutch Big Smoke of 2014 so I’ll give it a try.
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The cigars are made by Scandinavian Tobacco Group in Esteli, Nicaragua with a Nicaraguan wrapper, a Cameroon binder and filler from Brazil and of course Colombia, cultivated in an coastal area of this unusual tobacco country. The pale yet shiny wrapper ain’t that attractive and the band doesn’t add to it, although it’s clearly a CAO band and uses the colors of Colombia so that’s cool. The construction feels good and the cigar has a pretty strong and sour aroma, I’ve had it for a year so it can’t be too young. The predraw is fine, a little peppery and harsh.
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I taste coffee with some pepper in the aftertaste. After a few puffs the cigar gets bad, a nasty soapy flavor with herbs. When the soap disappears my worst cigar fear comes through, that typical musty Connecticut shade flavor.
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After a third the worst part is over, I taste a mild wooden flavor although the Connecticut shade mustiness is still noticeable. Halfway it’s just a mild wood, just a little harsh on the background. The final third loses the harshness too and the burn corrects itself. But still, it’s not my kind of cigar, even when a little pepper shows up.
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The draw is fine, but I only get a small amount of thin smoke. Allang the way gets acceptable though. The draw is fine but the burn is crooked. The ash is salt and pepper colored and firm. The cigar is mild to medium bodied and mild flavored. The smoke time is little over an hour and a half.
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Would i buy this cigar again? Sorry Rick, I’m grateful that you gave me this cigar but it’s not for me.
Appearance: 7
Construction: 8
Draw: 8
Burn: 7
Smoke & ash: 6
Aroma first part: 5
Aroma second part: 6
Aroma third part: 6

Categories: C.A.O. Fabricos de Tabacos Nicaragua, CAO, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

C.A.O. America potomac

This cigar is a looker and lives up to the America name because both wrappers are American. The dark wrapper is a broadleaf Connecticut while the lighter wrapper is Connecticut and both are grown in the United States. The binder is Brazilian and the filler, all ligero, comes from Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Italy and the United States. I smoked the Potomac, a 5×56 cigars that I got a few years ago from Eric from Kioki Cigars as a welcome gift when I signed up for Club Stogie (lowland louie, rest in peace)
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The wrapper is beautiful, and instead of making a straight forward barberpole the people at C.A.O. created an unusual pattern with the two different wrappers, it is more like a lighter colored pinstripe on a dark cigar. The cigar has a mild smell of wood. The construction feels good. The bands support the whole America theme of the cigar. The predraw is on the loose side and tastes like spicy raisin.
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I taste a bitter and musty coffee flavor with something sweet and that sweetness becomes dominant after a few puffs. After half an inch I taste some wood, some herbs, lots of sweetness and those flavors are mild spicy.
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After an inch and a half the flavors are sweet with herbs, burned wood and a hint of chocolate. Halfway the sweetness disappears and now I taste burned and mild spicy herbs. After two thirds I taste a mild salty licorice flavor with burned herbs and wood.
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This cigar has a smoke time of an hour and ten minutes. I got a lot of thick white smoked. The light colored as is firm. The burn is crooked. This cigar is full flavored and medium to full bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? No, this cigar reminds me of an old girlfriend. Both looked good but both left a bad taste in my mouth.

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 6 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 5 / 10
Aroma second part: 6 / 10
Aroma third part: 5 / 10

Categories: C.A.O. Fabrica de Tabacos Honduras, CAO, Honduran cigars | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

C.A.O. La Traviata radiante

I never liked any C.A.O. cigar until I smoked my first C.A.O. La Traviata. That was a Divino and I liked it a lot. A friend gave me this cellophane wrapped Radiante, 6 inch long with a ring of 52. The cigar has a filler from Nicaraguan and Dominican filler, a Cameroon binder with an Ecuadorian habano wrapper.
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The Ecuadorian habano wrapper has a leathery look and is dark, shiny and oily with a few veins. The band is simple yet tasteful. The construction feels good. The cigar has a strong barnyard smell. The predraw is good and I taste a spicy and full raisin flavor.
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I get a strong coffee flavor, mild spicy and peppery. The coffee slowly changes into wood with a little bit of chocolate. After an inch the wood is dominant with a herbal spice and the chocolate disappeared. Halfway the structure of the flavors is mild creamy and the chocolate returns, the wood and herbs are still there.
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After two thirds I still taste the wood and herbs, but now with a sweetness and some pepper on the back of my throat. The wood slowly fades away, just like the sweetness. All I taste are herbs, spicy but not peppery anymore.
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This cigar lasted me for a long time, an hour and fifty minutes. I got a lot of medium thick smoke. The draw and the burn are good. The light colored ash is firm. The cigar is full flavored and medium to full bodied.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Without a doubt

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 8 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: C.A.O. Fabricos de Tabacos Nicaragua, CAO, Honduran cigars | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

C.A.O. Tony Soprano

When I joined the late Club Stogie I got a private message from Eric, owner of Kioki Cigars, asking me for my address for a welcome package. I didn’t know anything about bombs and gave my address. Eric bombed the shit out of me and included in his bomb was this limited edition CAO Tony Soprano. Now I am not a CAO fan, but I am a Soprano fan so I was looking forward to this 6½x60 monster. And I read comments from other CAO haters that they liked both this and the La Traviata. I like the La Traviata too, so I hoped I would like this puppy too.
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The cigar looks great, a dark oily wrapper with just a few veins and three stylish band. The CAO band is nice with two thin bands on the big logo, then there is a band with the signature of Tony Soprano and the foot is protected by another big band which says “limited edition”. The construction feels good. The predraw doesn’t give me any problems and tastes like raisin. I smell a barnyard aroma on the cigar.
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I taste a mild to medium coffee flavor and after an inch and a half the flavor changes to earth.
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Halfway the cigar gets a bit sweet and after ⅔ I can also taste some wood. Such a big cigar, so little taste and development in flavors :(
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I wasted two good hours of my life on this very flat cigar. The draw is good but I only got a poor amount of thin smoke. The ash is light colored and firm. The burn of this mild to medium bodied and mild to medium flavored cigar is good.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Hell no. I loved the series, I hate the cigars

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 5 / 10
Aroma first part: 5 / 10
Aroma second part: 5 / 10
Aroma third part: 6 / 10

Categories: C.A.O. Fabrica de Tabacos Honduras, CAO, Honduran cigars | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

C.A.O. La Traviata divino

At the first day of the most recent Amsterdam herf, the owner of the B&M that hosted the herf, Hartman Cigars, handed me two C.A.O. La Traviata divinos that she got from a representative to try. The La Traviata isn’t for sale in The Netherlands yet, but will be soon.
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This 5 x 50 robusto comes wrapped in cellophane and looks quite nice, the band is tasteful with warm colors. The Ecuadorian habano wrapper is smooth, oily and shiny with a lot of small veins. The other tobaccos used to create this cigar are a Cameroon binder and a filler from Nicaraguan and Dominican tobacco.
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The construction feels good and the cigar has a pretty strong aroma. The aroma reminds me of a barnyard. I punched the cigar and got a predraw that was to my liking, not too loose, not too hard. I could taste raisin which was a little spicy.
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I can taste a spicy but muddy coffee flavor and after about a quarter of an inch I can also taste some wood while the muddy flavor fades away. The cigar gets better by the puff. The coffee fades away too, wood becomes the dominant flavor and the texture of the smoke in my mouth is a bit creamy.

The flavors don’t really progress a lot, but I like what I taste. Once I passed the middle point of the cigar a mild nut flavor joins the wood for a while but it disappears near the end. At the end I can taste some pepper through the wood.
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The cigar produces a lot of thick white smoke and very light colored ash, almost white. The draw and burn on this stick are great. I got a full flavor but strength wise I would rate it medium bodied. It lasted 75 minutes before I burned my fingers on the nub.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Yes. I never had a C.A.O. I liked before and even though I heard good stuff about the La Traviata I was skeptic, but the cigar surprised me pleasantly.

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 8 / 10

Categories: C.A.O. Fabricos de Tabacos Nicaragua, CAO, Nicaraguan cigars | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

C.A.O. Eileens dream

It comes in a nice little tubo and that is probably the only positive I can say about this cigar. It is wrapped in cellophane inside the tubo. The aroma is a weird sweet coffee smell. The difference between the White Owl’s, Phillies, Hookah’s and Swissers is that this cigar needs to be cut.
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The flavor is chemical, chemical sugar, and that is it. A nasty sweetness which makes me cough a lot.
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The burn is close to perfect and there is plenty of smoke coming from this nasty stick.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Hell no!
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Appearance: 6 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 3.5 / 10
Aroma second part: 3.5 / 10
Aroma third part: 3.5 / 10

Categories: CAO, Dominican cigars, General Cigar Dominicana S.A.S. | Tags: , | Leave a comment

C.A.O. Moontrance

What can I say? The packaging is nice, a fine, arty blue tube to hold the ring 30 4 ¾ inch cigar and the tube keeps the smell of air freshener combined with pastry nicely concealed. The wrapper is real tobacco, not the tobacco paper that Swisser Sweets use. It has some nice veins.
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After lighting this horrible thing I smell a terrible sweet smell and the flavor is like a very chemical suger candy. The flavor is concentrated on the lips and not in the mouth. I feel a little burning sensation on the tip of my tongue.
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The draw is light but this cigar produces a lot of smoke for a little thing.
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Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, and I will give it to people who I dislike
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Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 6 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 3 / 10
Aroma second part: 3 / 10
Aroma third part: 3 / 10

Categories: CAO, Dominican cigars, General Cigar Dominicana S.A.S. | Tags: , | Leave a comment

C.A.O. Italia gondola

This ring 54 6 inch torpedo with Italian grown filler and a nice dark silky wrapper looks classy, smells classy, and has a great construction and a nice azzuri cigar band.
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What I taste is a bit salty wood and tobacco but the salty flavor disappears and the cigar gets a bit sweet, sweet cedar. After about 2 inch the sweetness disappears too and it’s just one flavor: cedar. Halfway there is a period where the cigar is a bit bitter and when that disappears it is the wood again.
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The rum that I drank brings out the sweetness of the cigar. The smoke is ok but it could be a little more. The ash is firm.
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Would I buy this cigar again? No, like all C.A.O. cigars I tried so far, once but never again.

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 6 / 10
Aroma second part: 6 / 10
Aroma third part: 6 / 10

Categories: C.A.O. Fabricos de Tabacos Nicaragua, CAO, Honduran cigars | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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