This is a discussion on CAO America Potomac within the Non-Habanos Reviews forums, part of the General Cigar Discussion category; I bought one of these at a local store on a whim, and I'm glad I did.
I bought one of these at a local store on a whim, and I'm glad I did.
Wrapper: Connecticut shade, Connecticut broadleaf
Filler: Ligero from the Dominican Republic, Italy, and USA
Yes, this cigar has two wrappers, and yes, it apparently has some domestic filler! Here's the beauty shot:
Construction: The exterior of this cigar is primarily dark brown from the broadleaf, but you can see the pinstripe that spirals around the entire cigar from the shade leaf. It was wrapped so well that I initially thought the lighter stripe was painted or drawn on somehow, but on very close inspection, I could make out the layers. I'm assuming this cigar is double-wrapped with a slight overlap between the shade and broadleaf. The overall effect is very attractive, with the dark brown nicely divided by the tan stripe. This cigar has a nice, firm feel to it.
Pre-light and burn: The pre-light aroma was primarily of sweet hay and had a chocolate draw. The draw itself was perfect throughout the smoke and dead even. This cigar produced good amounts of medium-body smoke.
Tasting notes: The key words to this cigar are mellow and smooth. There was a nice mild, nutty flavor with a spicy finish at first. As the post-light spiciness faded away, I picked up a bread-like nuance and maybe even hints of bitter citrus on top of the creamy nut character. The sweetness gradually grew bolder, balanced with a nice gentle bite like creamed coffee. As the body picked up, there were some complements of dried fruits that reminded me of prunes or apricots. Finally, the primary nutty flavor made its way back until I reluctantly took my last puff, watched the edges glow red then fade away, and put the remainder down.
I've never had a CAO before and I refrained from reading anything about it before I smoked this little gem. I figured the stripe would just be a gimmick, but looking back at my tasting notes I can definitely appreciate the different flavors contributed by the two wrappers. Having filler from Italy and the U.S., two fairly uncommon sources for filler, was another plus. This won't be a frequent purchase but I would gladly smoke another.