Team Cigar Review: CAO Orellana

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Cigar Details: CAO Orellana

  • Vitola: Toro
  • Length: 6″
  • Ring Gauge: 52
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Brazilian Cubra
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Amazonian Bragança, Dominican Republic and Columbia
  • Factory: STG Estelí
  • Blender: Rick Rodriguez
  • Price: $10.99
  • Release Date: October 2019
  • Source: CAO

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the CAO Orellana is a toothy dark brown and has a few prominently raised veins. The seams are smooth and pretty well hidden and the head has a well applied double cap. The band is twisted tobacco that makes about 5 passes with the middle one being diagonal. There’s an added rope that emerges from the cigar at about the midpoint and runs down to near the foot. The aroma from the wrapper is slightly damp wood and light raisin while the foot brings wood and tobacco sweetness. The pre-light draw is pretty light with some wood and a subtle floral perfume note.

Pre-light Experience

The CAO Orellana has a rich, dark roast espresso, Colorado Maduro wrapper shade. Veins are well pressed, seams tight, bunch and roll slightly lumpy but has a nice give and head is seamlessly wrapped. Nosing the wrapper tells wet barnyard, damp soil and cedar. Nosing the foot gives a great plum jam, assertive cedar and light black pepper spice. Cold draw gives perfume-like plums, hay and cedar.

First Third

The cigar begins with smoky wood and black pepper. At a quarter inch in, a faint sweetness becomes present at the end of each draw. At an inch in, the wood isn’t as smoky and is more defined as oak, but the black pepper is very distinct and the sweetness is gone. The retrohale is a mix of red pepper spice and smoky oak. At an inch and a quarter, the smokiness is now replaced by mustiness to go along with the oak and black pepper. At an inch and a half, the smokiness returns while the mustiness remains with the oak and the black pepper is now muddled. The strength in this third was right at medium.

First Third

The first third is a solid medium strength and body. Flavors through the mouth draws are a bit underwhelming as it’s only a sweet cedar and biscuits. Retrohaling is where the cigar shines the most as it greatly opens up the range of flavors. Notes of baking spices, cedar, black pepper and cherry cream soft candy. The finish has a short soft cedar.

Second Third

The second third continues on with the smoky and musty oak and muddled black pepper. At a half inch in, the smokiness has left once again while the musty oak is up front and the muddled black pepper is not far behind. At three quarters of an inch in, the black pepper has morphed into baking spice. The retrohale is toasted and musty oak. At an inch and a half in, the musty oak gains a toasted component and the baking spice is now further behind. As the third comes to a close, the toast is replaced by a light char. The strength in this third remained at medium.

Second Third

The second third shows less of the biscuity bread within mouth draws and retrohaling. Instead, there is more of the red pepper coming through. The red pepper spice is layered with a more prominent cedar. Strength is nearing medium-full while body maintains medium.

Final Third

The final third sees a slight increase in the char on the musty oak and the baking spice has left the profile. There is now some dryness as well. At a half inch in, the char lightens up as a slight vegetal note joins the profile. The retrohale is toasted and musty oak. At an inch and a quarter, the char is completely gone from the profile. The cigar wraps up with the musty oak and vegetal note profile. The strength in this third remained at medium.

Final Third

Final third’s strength increases to solidify a consistent medium plus (body still medium). In terms of flavors, nothing new to note as it’s still red pepper and cedar with the biscuity/bread and creamed cherry soft candy entirely lost.

Burn

The burn line was straight through the first half and then slightly wavy the rest of the way. The cigar went out once and required a re-light. The ash held on in inch and a half increments.

Burn

Perfect burn performance giving solid and tight ashes, even burn and cool burning temperature.

Draw

The draw was perfect, with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.

Overall

The cigar began with smoky wood and black pepper. The wood quickly became more defined as oak and some mustiness joined in. The black pepper morphed to baking spice as the smokiness went in and out. Towards the end, a vegetal note joined in as it finished with just musty oak. Construction was pretty good and strength was medium the whole way. The flavor of the CAO Orellana was pretty basic and fairly monotonous and never really got off the ground for me. This release was missing the sweetness that previous releases had and would have really helped to round out the flavor profile. This was my least favorite of the four cigars in the series and not something I’m likely to return to. If I go back to revisit this series, I’m going to target the original Amazon Basin.

Aaron
Jiunn
GoodPre
Light
Very Good
AverageFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond ThirdAverage
SubparFinal
Third
Average
GoodBurnAmazing
AmazingDrawGood
AverageOverallAverage

Draw

The draw was fairly tight, even cutting to the edge of the cap. Not a major deal, just a pesky one.

Overall

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. Since the original Amazon Basin and subsequent Fuma Em Corda’s release, I’ve been more and more disappointed by this CAO brand line.

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.20

Cost/Point

$2.11

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

5.80

Cost/Point

$1.89

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: CAO Orellana
Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: CAO Orellana

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