2 Jan 2008
Since its announced release at the RTDA Annual Convention and Trade Show last July, the new America line from CAO has made quite an impression on the online cigar community. At this point, virtually everyone has reviewed the five inch by 56 ring gauge Potomac vitola.
The Stogie Review and Cigar Jack both enjoyed the stick, but agreed that the flavor isn’t as full as the hype. The Velvet Cigar was also impressed, Leafy Times wrote it is “the best CAO ever,” and Cigar Command predicted that “this will be a hit for CAO.”
The Monument is a torpedo-shaped 6 and ¼ inches with a 54 ring gauge. With dual Connecticut Broadleaf maduro and Connecticut Shade wrappers, it retails in the $7 to $8.50 range.
The first thing that strikes us about CAO’s only barber pole is its flashy appearance, which is on the verge of uber-patriotic. The star-spangled double bands seem to trumpet our national anthem.
The foot lights easily and kicks off with a burst of heavy roasted nuts and leather flavors. The taste eases into complexity with notes of burnt toffee, and black pepper and saffron spices tingle the tongue.
With a Brazilian binder and filler tobaccos from Nicaragua, Italy, the Dominican Republic, and – you guessed it – America, this is a well-constructed cigar. The burn is either straight or self-correcting, the draw is fairly clear, and the ash holds firm for up to two inches.
When it’s all said and done, this is an excellent, well-balanced smoke with a noble taste and a unique look. It may not be the full-bodied powerhouse it’s advertised to be, but the Monument boasts a delicious smoothness that’s easy to get used to.
So, not unlike our many colleagues in the online cigar community, we’re endorsing CAO America with a rating of four and ½ out of five stogies.
[To read more StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]
photo credit: Stogie Guys