So here I am twice in one week reviewing another gifted stick from a different good friend than the previous review.He knows I love strong cigars and he bought a couple of these and decided it was too strong for his taste so he graciously gave it to me. I must confess that I have not smoked many CAO cigars over the years. I think this spring I had one of their Brazilia and one of their Italia and other than that I know it has been maybe a decade since I had any. Always top notch construction, and this one is no different. This one rested for maybe two or three months in my humidor and I doubt he had it very long when he gave it to me. It has been dry boxing all week since the humidity has been very high lately and most of my cigars over the last couple of weeks have canoed on me.
Appearance: It is firmly packed. The wrapper has a slightly oily sheen to it. The veins are small but noticeable.
Scent: The wrapper smells like leather, the foot smells quite good kind of like fresh wood shavings. Definitely not barnyard, more like cedar.
The head is neat and just a simple double cap. It clips cleanly. After lighting it, there is just a strong woodsy cedar taste and the scent is not much different in description, just a little sharper. The first third burned a little uneven but corrected itself by the half way point. This is not as strong as I was expecting, but then again I have a full stomach from dinner and my friend may have tried this on an empty stomach. The ash held on way past the half way point so I finally tapped it off to save my lap from a pile of ash. The cedar is still the predominate flavor coming forward with a bit of leather at the finish. It is more in the middle as far as flavor goes. The final third mellows on the flavors and I try to smoke slowly, but it is warming up a bit and getting soft. It went out on me a couple of times and I finally gave up just past the band.
Not my favorite, but an okay cigar nonetheless. If you are looking for something a little stronger than most Connecticut wrapped mild cigars without being overwhelmed this would be a good candidate, especially if you enjoy a cedar flavor profile.