Date: May 2019
Author: Inspector Z

CAO is returning to its roots with the Nicaragua. The brand originated in Nicaragua, years ago. And now Rick Rodriguez and his team blended a Nicaraguan centered cigar. That puro was released in the United States last year. But now it is coming to Europe.

The cigar, which is also rolled in Nicaragua, isn’t a puro. The filler is made from tobaccos from Condega, Jalapa, and Esteli. The binder is also from Nicaragua. The wrapper, however, comes from the Jamastran region. That is on the Honduran side of the border, neighboring Jalapa.



Rick Rodriguez, master blender for CAO, said “Nicaragua’s rich volcanic soils and ideal humidity, temperature, and sunlight create the perfect growing conditions for tobacco”. He then continues “For CAO Nicaragua, the team and I wanted to bring the essence of Nicaraguan tobacco to life in a way that only CAO can do. So, we selected the blend starting with the filler, utilizing leaves representing three distinctive microclimates and three distinctive tastes”.



Ministry of Cigars CAO is returning to its roots with the CAO Nicaragua
Photo credit: Corona Cigars

CAO World line-up



As for the packaging, CAO decided to follow the line of their other ‘world line-up’ blends. Those include the CAO America, CAO Italia, CAO Ecuador, CAO Brazilia, and the CAO Brazilia Carnivale. And the CAO Criollo, CAO Amazon Basin, CAO Osa Sol, and CAO Zocalo. The last four are not inspired by a country, but more by a region. The Zocalo is inspired by the Mexican city squares. The CAO Osa Sol is inspired by Ometepe, a volcanic island in Nicaragua. The Amazon Basin is inspired by the Amazon area. The CAO Criollo is a tribute to the Criollo tobacco seed.



The CAO Nicaragua will be released in two vitolas in Europe. Those are the 4⅞x50 Tipitapa and the 6×50 Granada. The cigars are named after places in Nicaragua. Tipitapa is a municipality in the Managua department of Nicaragua. Granada is a well-known tourist destination. That’s due to the colonial style. And home to Mombacho cigars, the only serious manufacturer outside of Esteli.

About Rick Rodriguez


Even after all these years at General Cigars, Rick Rodriguez still considers his job to be a dream come true. Today, Rick spearheads new product development for CAO. He’s working full-time overseeing a hand-picked group of experts to create CAO cigars, and continues to win praise for the unique taste of the brand’s latest releases: OSA Sol, Colombia, Flathead, Pilón and Amazon Basin. Rick currently divides his time between sourcing new tobaccos, blending and collaborating with General Cigar’s team of cigar masters in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Nicaragua. When he’s not immersed in tobacco, he spends time on the road spreading the gospel of CAO to devoted cigar enthusiasts across the USA and Europe. 

Rick Rodriguez


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