Origin : Nicaragua
Format : Torpedo
Size : 7 x 56
Wrapper : Brazilian Maduro
Binder : Honduran
Filler : Dominican, Columbian, & Nicaraguan
Price : ~$12 each
More info about purchasing CAO Sopranos cigars...
My wife and I missed the mad rush to drink the Kool-Aid that was The Sopranos television show when it first aired in 1999. Fortunately for us, a couple we are friends with partook heartily and ended up purchasing the entire twenty-eight disk box set. Borrowing it from our friends, the two of us proceeded to follow the crime boss cigar enthusiast, Tony Soprano, through six seasons all the way to the infamous cut to black and we both agreed that the show was slated to reside on our top five series list for some time. A short time after the roller-coaster’s conclusion, a fellow BOTL and I participated in a blind trade and the CAO Sopranos Boss was one of the cigars included from his end. Not having known that these cigars even existed, I was very excited to sample the smoke that CAO deemed fitting to represent big boss Soprano himself.
On inspection, the barrel of this cigar is incredibly solid. There is almost no give to it despite having been kept at 70%Rh for a couple of months. A dark mocha colored wrapper of fantastic construction seamlessly sheaths the cigar. There are minimal veins although a toothy texture exists throughout. Removing my Palio cutter from its sheath I proceed to cut the cap of the cigar. Not having smoked many torpedo shaped cigars, I heed the advice of a more experienced BOTL and cut the cigar at an angle in order to allow a less restrictive flow and reduce tar buildup. Unfortunately, my inexperience shows itself and I misjudge the cut, removing more than desired. The draw is still firm so the smoke is mostly unaffected.
Setting fire to the foot produces voluminous dense smoke. An enjoyably smooth flavor is backed by a slightly citrus undertone. The citrus fades into a thicker presence akin to soft custard. It is quite interesting and very pleasant. Having been very excited to see several BOTL’s come away without ashing this one a single time, I am somewhat disappointed by the loose white ash that the ragged burn leaves behind. It is solid enough to clearly show the original tooth of the wrapper but not able to hold on for very long.
Moving into the second third develops a cocoa and coffee combination with some nuttiness. After a few more puffs the nut flavor distinguishes itself as hazelnut that, when coupled with the thick smoke and coffee, tastes almost like a hazelnut latte. Retrohaling through the nose typically accentuates the strongest/harshest flavors of the cigar for me but with this one, the bitter espresso that comes through is very enjoyable.
Overall this smoke is quite delightful. The subtle flavors that come about throughout its length are very well balanced and keep you guessing where they are heading next. The construction looks beautifully carried out but the irregularity of the burn and loose ash cause it to fall a few points. Coming in at about $12 dollars a piece, I would like to be able to worry less about the ash and focus more on the flavor but the CAO Sopranos does, however, prove itself as being more than just a name. I say try it once and second time if you are on the fence.
Overall Rating : (3.75)