CAO Consiglieri Associate. Formerly known as the CAO Soprano Associate. When the HBO Series The Sopranos was a hit, CAO managed to get the rights to create a Soprano’s cigar. And released the CAO Sopranos. Just like the TV Show, the cigars were very popular. When the contract with HBO ended, both parties opted not to renew the contract. But since the cigars were in high demand, CAO kept making the cigars. With the exact same blend, the exact same logo, just with a different name. CAO Sopranos became CAO Consiglieri. And now that HBO didn’t have to be paid for the name, the price of the cigars dropped as well.
Just like the original release under the Sopranos name, this cigar uses a Maduro wrapper from Brazil. Mata Fina tobacco to be more precise. The binder comes from Honduras. The fillers are a mix from Nicaragua, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic. The only thing that changed is the foot ring. The original Sopranos release had a big red foot ring with the Sopranos logo, the CAO Consiglieri doesn’t have a foot ring. From the three sizes available, we reviewed the smallest. That’s the 5×52 Associate.
Name: CAO Consiglieri Associate
Factory: STG Esteli
Wrapper: Brazil, Mata Fina
Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Colombia
Price: € 6,75 (The Netherlands)
Cutter: Xikar X2
Lighter: single flame
Smoke conditions: indoors with ventilator
Smoke time: one hour fifteen minutes
Sponsored by Scandinavian Tobacco Group
The cigar isn’t the best looking cigar. But that is to be expected from Brazilian wrappers. Brazilian wrappers always have a rustic, rough look to it. It’s dark, it has some veins. It feels like dried leather. The glossy black and red ring stands out because of its shape. The cigar feels well constructed. The head is a bit wonky though. The medium-strong aroma is a mixture of manure and charred wood.
The cold draw is easy. There’s some sweetness, some spice, and pepper in the aftertaste. Straight from the start, the cigar releases warm spices and coffee. With sharp, black pepper in the aftertaste. The flavors remain in the warm spice region. Nutmeg, cinnamon, five-spice, those kinds of flavors. With some sweetness. The pepper remains in the aftertaste. The flavors are nice, but the cigar is tame. Halfway it’s dry wood, spices, sweetness, and toast. The final third starts with the spices, soil, and some dark chocolate. The pepper is still in the aftertaste. This continues to the end. The last few puffs are harsh.
The draw is superb. The light-colored ash drops quickly though. The burn is straight as an arrow. The smoke is thick and full. The cigar is smooth, well balanced yet tame, almost boring. Medium-bodied, medium flavored. But with the association with the badass Sopranos and the mafia, a little more character had to be expected. The smoke time is short with one hour and fifteen minutes.