CAO Nicaragua Tipitata. CAO started with country-inspired blends before the company founder Cano Ozgener sold the brand to tobacco giant Scandinavian Tobacco Group. And STG is the parent of General Cigars, so CAO is now part of that family. When STG moved CAO from Tennessee to their headquarters in Virginia, some of the staff refused to move and started Crowned Heads. That’s when Rick Rodriguez was promoted by General Cigars to be the blender and face of the CAO brand. And he continued with the country inspired series.
Most cigar smokers have seen, heard about the CAO Brazil, CAO America, CAO Colombia, and the CAO Italia. And probably smoked a fair amount as they are very popular. So for the next of the CAO country-inspired blends, Rodriguez went back to the CAO roots: CAO Nicaragua. The cigar utilizes Nicaraguan tobacco from different regions in the filler and binder. But it’s not a Nicaraguan puro. The blend worked better with a wrapper from Jamastran, Honduras. Jamastran borders the Jalapa valley, it’s just on the Honduran side of the border.
Name: CAO Nicaragua
Factory: STG Esteli
Price: € 5,80 (Netherlands)
Cutter: Xikar X2
Lighter: single flame
Smoke conditions: indoors with ventilator
Smoke time: two hours fifteen minutes
Sponsored by STG
The colorado colored wrapper has a nice shine. But it also has some veins. The cigar feels well constructed. The cap is decent. The ring is in accordance with the country inspired series. The same shape, with Nicaraguan blue and white. The details and letters are in gold, with a red CAO logo. The consistency of the rings in the series is good. The aroma is strong. Cedar, barnyard, sheep, and hay is what comes to mind.
The cold draw is flawless. Peppery raisins are the flavor that is released from the cold draw. The start is classic. Coffee, leather, some cinnamon-like spices, and pepper. Basic, yet well balanced and nice. This is not a front-loaded cigar that blows you away from the start. Then the flavors change to more of dry leaves, mushroom flavor with leather and grass. There’s also some sweetness, and after a centimeter, there is a cedar flavor as well. The flavors are a bit dusty and musty though. All of a sudden the cigar has a mild gingerbread flavor with more sweetness and some citrus. Halfway I taste some vanilla with cedar and spices. The final third has a minty fresh aftertaste. And nuts, with cedar and pepper.
The ash is white, dense and firm. The smoke is decent in volume and thickness. The draw is great. The burn is straight. This cigar is medium-bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is two hours and fifteen minutes.