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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 StogieGuys.com cigar reviews, please click here.]

-George E

photo credit: Stogie Guys

Drew Estate

5 Responses to “Stogie Reviews: CAO Criollo Pato”

  1. Chris V Wednesday, August 20, 2008 at 2:22 pm #

    I cannot stress enough the difference between the sizes in these. I LOVE the tiny pampa… bought a box of the manchas… not the same thing at ALL and in all honesty, I don't EVER reach for 'um. The size in this, from my limited experience with these two sizes, makes a WORLD of difference.

  2. George E. Thursday, August 21, 2008 at 7:44 am #

    Chris V – Interesting point. I'm often surprised at how some cigars differ a great deal by size while others maintain consistency through the line. You've intrigued me now. I'm going to have to give the Pampas a try.

  3. Chris V Sunday, August 24, 2008 at 3:25 pm #

    Don Lino Africas are another one like that for me.

  4. photoruss Tuesday, July 20, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    I found this cigar to be very full bodied. It started strong and stayed strong to the end. As usual with C.A.O., the burn was consistent, the quality was top notch, it's just not my cup of tea. If you are looking for a quality full bodied cigar, then the Criollo is for you.

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