1 Mar 2007
Do cigars always taste better after steak? As last night’s dinner proved, definitely. But I’ve had enough from the CAO Brazilia line to know these sticks are excellent after any meal.
And that excellence almost certainly has something to do with their unique composition. Who else, other than former CAO head honcho Cano Ozgener, would be creative enough to pair a dark Brazilian Arapiraca wrapper with Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos?
Which brings me to an important point: Contrary to a common misconception, CAO Brazilias are not puros. If you’re looking for the 100 percent Brazilian tobacco experience, I’d suggest trying a Dona Flor or an Alonso Menendez.
Nonetheless, this is a noteworthy smoke with some deep flavors. Before lighting, I particularly noticed dark chocolate and rich coffee notes – not a surprise given the origin of the binder and filler.
After achieving an even burn with a couple wooden matches, those sweet and earthy flavors were complemented by a crisp black pepper spice. Hints of clove faded in and out during the one hour and 20 minute smoke. A shiny mascara on the wrapper indicated the leaf was fully matured when harvested.
Construction-wise, I was also impressed. The burn remained fairly even throughout, the ash held long and firm, and the band was easily removed (it was so loose I didn’t even have to unhinge it). Despite a rock-hard feel, the draw on this five inch by 56 ring gauge cigar was quite clear.
On the whole, this is one of those beautifully crafted stogies that’s big on flavor but small on harshness. It’s a simple smoke with consistent flavors and commendable physical properties. That said, it has none of the complexity found in the CAO Criollo line.
Still, at only about $6 per stick, I’m thinking about adding the CAO Brazilia Gol to my regular rotation. And with my four out of five stogies rating, you might want to consider doing the same – steak or no steak.
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