CAO is launching a new series called “Arcana” which will highlight the secrets and traditions of old-world tobacco processing methods, passed down from generation to generation to bring out the best in native tobaccos from across the globe.
The CAO Expedición TAA Exclusive 2020 showed promise in the first third, but as I progressed into the second and final third, I found the flavor profile to remain stagnant and somewhat flat. Overall, if there was more complexity and depth, and some transitioning into the second and final third, this cigar would have done well.
After meticulous selection for aesthetics and flavor, only the finest Cameroon wrapper leaves were chosen for CAO Vision. The delicate, toothy wrapper was placed over an Ecuadoran Sumatra binder and Nicaraguan Habano fillers from Estelí and Jalapa. The result is an unforgettable cigar that delivers elaborate notes of nuts and spice and culminates in a subtly-sweet finish.
CAO presents “Bones,” a collection made to celebrate the memories that are made when a great cigar is lit and the games begin. Bones was named after dominoes and dice, the deeds that are best done with a cigar in hand and in the company of friends old or new.
The CAO Session Garage started with a nice profile and very low strength. The retrohale is a nice bright spot for this cigar. Having smoked this blend a few times after initial release, I wasn't too high on it, but it has improved over time. I would actually recommend people giving this a try and I would smoke this on occasion as the flavor profile it provides with the low strength level does have some appeal.
Showing much promise within the first third, reminding me of the unique fruit sweetness of the original Amazon Basin, only to be let down for the rest of the cigar experience. Past the first third, the profile had too much repetitiveness in red pepper spice and cedar, and as a result, I found myself being bored with the CAO Orellana.
The CAO Flathead V19 Camshaft is a solid additional to the lineup. With interesting flavors of cedar, baking spices, sweetness, bread, molasses, earth and cinnamon combine to satisfy the palate. I found the first and second thirds to be the most satisfying with the last third to be fairly average.
CAO Orellana is a limited-edition release handcrafted by the CAO artisans in Esteli, Nicaragua. It comes in one size, a 6” x 52 toro that will sell for a suggested retail price of $10.99 per cigar. CAO Orellana will be presented in rustic wooden boxes containing 20 cigars and will ship to retailers on October 1.
The CAO Nicaragua Granada had a pretty linear profile of wood, baking spice and mustiness. Some cream was present at times along with a bit of char to the wood. Strength was below medium the whole way. While I probably won't gravitate to this cigar again, I could see it doing very well in the market.
CAO is igniting the spirit of Mexico with a new, limited edition release that coincides with the brand’s virtual tour of the Pan American Highway. Called Zócalo, the name for a vibrant and celebratory city square in Mexico, this is first cigar in CAO’s lineup to be made with Mexican tobacco.