Team Cigar Review: CAO Consigliere Associate


Cigar Details: CAO Consigliere Associate

  • Vitola: Robusto
  • Length: 5″
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina
  • Binder: Honduras
  • Filler: Colombia, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua
  • Factory: STG Estelí
  • Blender: Undisclosed
  • Price: $6.99
  • Release Date: July 2016
  • Source: General Cigar Co.


 Aaron Loomis


 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

A dark brown wrapper with a couple of visible veins. The seams are smooth but visible due to a darker shade near the edges of the seams. The caps are applied very well. The band is a very simple oval running vertically with the company name. The colors are identical to its predecessor, black and red. The aroma from the wrapper gives notes of wet hay and barnyard. The foot aroma is a distinct raisin sweetness. The pre-light draw is a slightly mellower version of the sweet raisin that I got from the foot. There is also a slight spicy tingle on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The CAO Consigliere Associate has a Colorado maduro shade wrapper. The wrapper is both hearty and rustic. Seams are tight and veins well pressed. The bunching is very firm with little give, which hopefully doesn’t relay to a firm draw. The head is finished off with a thick double cap. Wrapper smells of barnyard, flowers and cedar. Foot smells of barnyard, natural sweet tobacco and white pepper. Cold draw tells salt, cedar and faint white pepper.

First Third

Initial draws bring an aged woodiness and the retrohale is a mellower version of the same. After a few draws, some creaminess and a very slight black pepper join the aged wood. Half an inch in, the profile becomes very smooth with the cream and light aged wood being even and a little bit of black pepper on the finish. The retrohale is a light oak. At an inch in, the pepper picks up a little in intensity and moves forward with the creamy wood becoming less full. As the third comes to a close, the pepper backs off and is more just a finish with the creamy wood up front. The retrohale has transitioned to a slightly spicy cedar. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

First Third

First thirds main flavor is what I tend to expect from Brazilian Mata Fina. That is, spades of creamy sweetness. What I don’t tend to expect from a typical Brazilian Mata Fina are surrounding notes. In the Associate, notes of bread, milk chocolate, nuts, faint black pepper and minerals. Roughly an inch into the cigar, a faint wood enters the palate as well. Through the nose, elevated (and preferred) level of black pepper. In addition, baking spices and light oak. The finish lingers with faint wood, tongue layering black pepper and faint bread. Body is somewhere in between medium and medium full while strength is at a solid medium.

Second Third

As this third begins, the cream really picks up and makes the smoke very chewy. Still the woodiness along with the cream and the pepper finish. The retrohale has increased the spice level mixing with the cedar. A quarter inch in, the creaminess mellows back down to get back in line with the woodiness. At an inch in, a slight mintiness joins with the creamy wood. The pepper has gone away completely. At an inch and a quarter in, a little nuttiness has joined in with the creamy wood and mintiness. The retrohale is now a creamy mintiness. As the third comes to a close, the creamy wood and slight mintiness continues. The strength in this third is slightly above medium.

Second Third

Second third has all the core flavors of the first third. Still a dominant creamy sweetness accompanied by bread, milk chocolate, faint black pepper, minerals and faint wood. Further, a tasty new note of ripe cherries enters. Through the nose, still the same preferred levels of black pepper, baking spices, sweet cream and light oak. The finishes complexities die down, namely leaving me with faint wood. Body is now at a consistent medium full and strength stays at a medium.

Final Third

As this third begins, the mintiness increases and evens out with the creamy wood. A half inch in, the mintiness fades back a bit with the creamy wood moving back up. There is also a bit of ashiness that has come into the profile. The retrohale is now minty and woody. At an inch in, the ashiness is only present on one out of every three draws or so and the primary profile is the creamy wood and mintiness. This is how the cigar finishes. The strength in this third is medium-full.

Final Third

The first half of the last third stays in pace with the second third. However, the profile takes a turn for the worse on the latter half of the last third. There is now a semi-harsh bitterness, overtaking a lot of the complexities and nuances. Now the profile is dominant with semi-harsh bitterness, dry wood and toned down creamy sweetness. Through the nose, same preferred black pepper, baking spices, creamy sweetness and light oak. The finish is namely faint wood and harsh bitterness. Body is still at medium-full and strength still medium.


The burn was really good. The burn line was pretty straight the entire way. The ash was a very bright white and dense and held on in about inch and a half segments.


The burn was wonderful. Total smoking time clocked in at 1 hour and 54 minutes. Burn line was slightly wavy but always corrected itself. Ashes were very sturdy and averaged one inch increments.


The draw was a little tighter than I prefer, but not a problem and I was able to get volumes of smoke on each draw.


This is a pretty good cigar. It has been a very long time since I smoked an original release Sopranos and from what I recall, this cigar is a pretty close representation of that cigar. I wouldn’t recommend this cigar to a beginner due to the strength level, but for those that like medium strength cigars and higher, it is definitely worth a try to see if you like them. With CAO not having to pay for the licensing agreement, they’ve been able to drastically reduce the price of this cigar. For those that were fans of the original Sopranos and for those that like a nice Brazilian Mata Fina wrapped cigar, it’s easily approachable and some may find this an ideal daily smoke.

Very GoodPre
Very GoodFirst
GoodSecond ThirdGood
Very GoodBurnVery Good
Very GoodDrawAverage


The firm bunch and roll felt during the pre-light experience proved to be directly related to a tighter draw. I wasn’t constantly reminded of it, but it was fairly annoying nonetheless.


I don’t typically enjoy many Brazilian Mata Fina wrappers. Come to think of it, I don’t think I have ever truly enjoyed one. They are typically quite one dimensional and I quickly become bored of it. The CAO Consigliere Associate however, is perhaps the first Brazilian Mata Fina that I enjoyed (the barometer being, I would smoke and enjoy the cigar again). No wonder General Cigar has re-released the cigar. I can see how this is an easy hit with both the cigar geeks and casual cigar smokers alike.

Aaron Loomis





Scoring System

Jiunn Liu





Scoring System

Aaron LoomisTeam Cigar Review: CAO Consigliere Associate

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Join the conversation
  • Nick Wong - November 14, 2016 reply

    Minty & Creamy? I guess I’ll give it a shot.

  • h4ndic4pd - November 14, 2016 reply

    Cant wait to try!

  • Cigarpunk - November 14, 2016 reply

    Nice review

  • Cigarpunk - November 14, 2016 reply

    Well done review

  • santom2 - November 14, 2016 reply

    Great reviews. Looks like I am going to have to try this stick

  • HardlyClerkin - November 14, 2016 reply

    Never got a shot to grab the OG Soprano’s blend so hopefully this will grab my interest.

  • Matt Ross - November 14, 2016 reply

    Definitely something I’d like to try.

  • Jay F - November 14, 2016 reply

    Great contest. Thanks for running it!

  • Brett Jarman - November 14, 2016 reply

    Great review and work gentleman, will be looking for these for sure!

  • Wade P - November 14, 2016 reply

    Seems worth a try.

  • Jason M - November 14, 2016 reply

    Looking forward to seeing if I enjoy these as much as the original release.

  • Wayne - November 14, 2016 reply


  • Jubal - November 14, 2016 reply

    Im curious how different the original release of this is compared to this one.

  • texican8 - November 14, 2016 reply

    Sounds like a good one to me

  • Donald Santos - November 14, 2016 reply

    Great review makes me want to track some down and give it a try

  • J Miller - November 14, 2016 reply

    Thanks guys, great review as always.

  • TechSapien - November 14, 2016 reply

    Good reviews… I am interested in trying these out!

  • Kennyrivs - November 15, 2016 reply

    Creamy and chewy smoke? Lots of nut and chocolate flavors?? Count me way in!! Great review, guys!

  • Tim McCabe - November 16, 2016 reply

    I had one of these that a shop owner gave me from the trade show. I actually enjoyed this very much. Thanks for the chance and good luck everyone

  • atllogix - November 16, 2016 reply

    I smoked a Sopranos not too long ago. Flavorful but plugged with no fix.

  • Steve C - November 16, 2016 reply

    Thanks for your great reviews and the contest. Would love to try them.

  • Fatroach72 - November 17, 2016 reply

    Sounds like a typical CAO.

  • Mark VS - November 18, 2016 reply

    These have not arrived locally but I will give them a shot when they do. Thank you for the review and the contest.

  • Scott (Shooter) Wilson - November 18, 2016 reply

    Great review fellas, hope to see you again at IPCPR next year

  • Bob Langmaid - November 19, 2016 reply

    Absolutely fantastic!! Well done.

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