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Stogie Reviews: CAO America Monument

2 Jan 2008

CAO America MonumentSince 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 cigar reviews, please click here.]

Patrick A & Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

19 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: CAO America Monument”

  1. Armond Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 5:59 am #

    This review is very nicely done. I look forward to trying CAO America. And thank you for incorporating all the other online reviews.

  2. MonkeyDan Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 6:29 am #

    CAO America is one of the worst cigars I smoked this year. It is over-hyped and over-priced. Save your money!

  3. Patrick A Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 6:41 am #

    MonkeyDan, sounds like you had a much different experience than me, Patrick S, and the other cigar bloggers. Would you mind sharing exactly what you didn't like about CAO America?

  4. Sean Wednesday, January 2, 2008 at 7:25 am #

    I had two of these over the holidays (have one left over). They were both very good and, in my opinion, a bargain for what you get. I like leather though…maybe that had something to do with it.

  5. MonkeyDan Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 6:06 am #

    First, I set high expectations for this smoke. Second, It had an even burn and the draw was somewhat difficult. The smoke was not as tightly wrapped as I thought. No doubt it is a wonderful smoke with complex construction and taste, but it failed to live up to my high expectations.

    I am being overly critical of the CAO America due to all the marketing. I am suspect to highly marketed smokes. They usually are all hype and no substance. The CAO America has substance but falls short of all the hype. Finally, for the price one can do much better.

  6. Cadfael Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 6:14 pm #

    I was disappointed with my first one but let the others sit about 1 month in the humi – totally different smoke! I really like them after they mellow. As a matter of fact, I picked some up for my son's return from Iraq (USMC). What could be a better pick?

  7. Patrick A Friday, January 4, 2008 at 4:33 am #

    That's a good point, Cadfael. I should have mentioned in the review that I let the Monuments sit in my humidor for a month or two before Patrick S and I lit them up.

  8. thesoundguy44 Sunday, February 3, 2008 at 8:24 pm #

    a decent smoke, though not as strong as i usually like. kinda plain in taste but not horrible by any means. wasnt as tight as i like, though it did burn even. decent smoke, i give it a 3 out of 5

  9. JCinOKC Saturday, July 25, 2009 at 6:37 pm #

    I too was disappointed with this cigar. It burned uneven and did not correct itself. I also thought the draw was pretty tight. Lastly there was not much complexity, rather plain.

  10. T R Daniel Wednesday, March 24, 2010 at 10:45 am #

    I thought the smoke was great. When I find them in a sampler pak (Mike's) they are a great buy ($4-$5 torpedo). I give them to my stogie smoking soldier friends and they love it.

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