Origin : Honduras
Format : Corona Extra
Size : 114 x 18 mm
Ring : 46
Wrapper : Honduras
Filler : Italy, Nicaragua, Peru
Binder : Honduras
Price : ~$5 each
More info about purchasing CAO Italia cigars...
It was a long-awaited smoke. When checking search statistics here at CigarInspector.com, one of the terms that would get most searches is 'CAO'. This obviously means that this brand is highly popular in the United States and I finally managed to get hold of a couple of sticks. I'll begin with a CAO Italia Novella and the Brazilia blend will follow.
CAO Italia is manufactured in Honduras from a Habano seed Italian tobacco mixed with Nicaraguan and Peruvian tobacco. The wrapper and the binder of this medium-bodied stick are from Honduras.
The wrapper is very dark brown (can easily call it maduro), it's pleasantly coarse with a very strong tobacco smell emanating from the stick. The award-winning band looks impressive.
The pre-draw is dusty tobacco and I found it quite tight. CAO Italia Novella has a razor-straight burn but the draw was really too tight for me. The stick produced moderate amounts of smoke. Please note that this review is based on one stick only (I am truly sorry about that).
The first puffs were peppery sweet with an undeniable sugary taste. In the middle of the first third, the main flavor settles in - it is definitely herbal and quite complex. In the second third, I distinguished some black cherry. It was getting more and more earthy as I smoked and I let it rest when it was an inch and a half long. I guess these are just not my favorite flavors, I'm sure a lot of people like this blend but this is not for me, I'm looking for something more straightforward.
As far as I remember, I paid $5 for it. I don't think that I will be reaching for this cigar again.
Overall Rating :
Again, it's just not for me. Try it out, after all it was the #13 in the Cigar Aficionado's top picks of 2006.