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Stogie Reviews: CAO Criollo Pato

20 Aug 2008

Just about two years ago, Patrick S awarded this small, pig-tailed robusto four stogies, praising its cool smoke and complexity. I’ve had one resting for about a year and a half and thought it might be interesting to see if I agreed.

Though my palate didn’t pick up that Pabst Blue Ribbon in a can flavor he mentioned (though, alerted, I was on the lookout for a hint of Falstaff), there was much similarity in what we found: a peppery blast at the start, a tight ash, some sweetness replaced by a hint of bitterness about halfway through, and an overall pleasant experience. It appeared that aging had little or no significant impact on this Criollo Pato.

The cigar takes its name from the Criollo ’98 wrapper, a hybrid developed in Cuba to resist devastating blue mold. With its Habano heritage, Criollo was a natural to promote as a Cubanesque cigar when CAO introduced the line in 2002. Like the wrapper, the fillers and binder are grown in Nicaragua.

CAO calls it a medium strength cigar, and I’d agree.

The five-cigar Criollo line has something for everyone, at least in size. The Pato is 4 and 7/8 inches long with a 50 ring gauge and generally retails for under $6. You can go smaller and cheaper to the Pampa, a 4 inch, 38 ring gauge smoke packed five to a tin for around $10. Or go larger with the Conquistador, 6 and 1/8 inches long with a 52 ring gauge and a price tag of about $125 for a box of 20.

I’m with Patrick on the rating as well. I look forward to smoking more of these and concur with his rating of four out of five stogies.

[To read more cigar reviews, please click here.]

-George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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