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Written by Puff Staff

Friday, 15 March 2002

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Tags:
caocao brazilia samba
ratings and scores
Does the CAO Brazilia follow in the lofty footsteps of other cigars in the CAO family? I get nervous when we end up leading off 2002 and the re-designed Top25Cigar with a review of a C.A.O. product. Nervous because I genuinely like the people at C.A.O., and generally expect their cigars to be well above the average. So with all the positives happening around the two sites, it would be a downer to trash some friends with the first Staff Review of 2002. So we won’t…and we won’t because we don’t have to. The C.A.O. Brazilia Samba is a legitimate addition to a line of already heavy hitters at C.A.O.. After five years of searching for the finest Brazilian wrappers available, CAO obtained what they believe is the most outstanding crop of rich, brown wrapper leaf from Brazil. Aged and blended with rich, yet smooth Nicaraguan fillers, the Brazilia line was created with the more discriminating and full-bodied cigar lover in mind. Once you get by the psychedelic Brazilian colored band, you find yourself staring at a healthy looking smoke. The wrapper is a bit darker than most, although in no way dark enough to push the limits of being called a maduro. Other than some sexy music, piranhas, and amazing Mardi Gras parties, I can’t think of a lot of earth shattering things to hit the world from Brazil. C.A.O. took a chance with this wrapper from Brazil, and by all reviewer accounts it looks like it will pay off. One of the first things that hit the five folks reviewing the Samba was the ash. Its peppery grey appearance drew out comments such as the following: “I haven’t seen an ash like this in some time. I realize everybody always compares a good cigar to a “Habano”, but in my opinion it’s a legitimate comparison in this case. I’m looking at some of the same colors and consistencies that I have experienced with the finer Cubans.” “Ash was cool, a bit rustic and flimsy, but very, very appealing.” Taste was not a difficult aspect to pull adjectives on. Since this was not a blind review, people knew what they were smoking, and expected something different. The questions remains, was it a “good” different or a “bad” different…or worse yet, indifferent. Different will suffice. Most reviewers found the Samba to be on the stronger side of average. As much as people were awed by the construction, they seemed a touch confused by the taste. Bowing to expectations, some were let down that the Samba was not as strong as they would have liked. “I like a strong cigar. This CAO tried and tried, but just wasn’t strong enough for me. That’s not meant as a knock, as it was still a good cigar.” “This cigar seemed perfect for me. I worried it would be to strong, as I had heard the reputation. It wasn’t, and actually hits a spot I appreciate, strong without overpowering.” As with most products we have tried from C.A.O., you don’t have to worry about the quality of the “Brazilia” Samba. This is a heady cigar, with solid taste, fantastic construction, and reasonable prices. In our book, it’s a go. Vital Statistics: Shape = Torpedo Length=6 1/4" RG =64 Wrapper = Brazil Filler = Nicaragua Binder = Nicaragua Estimated Cost = $6.25



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