One look at the CAO Gold Robusto, and I can already tell that I’m in for a real treat. Its glistening golden brown Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper teems with oils and swaddles a rich and earthy blend of Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. I picked this Robusto from my humidor, hoping for a smoking experience that walks me through the staples of Nicaragua. Needless to say, the CAO Gold Robusto most definitely went above and beyond my expectations.
Crafting innovative blends that are a fantastic addition to anyone’s humidor, CAO Cigars itself is a fascinating cigar company and story. Cano Aret Ozgener founded one of the best-selling brands of premium cigars known today back in 1998, just around the pivotal boom of the cigar industry. Ozgener, a longtime cigar and pipe enthusiast, started selling his own blends in 1980 and quickly grew an empire that selectively only uses the best premium tobaccos for each of their fine hand-rolled cigars.
|Wrapper Origin: Ecuador||Shape: Robusto|
|Length: 5||Ring: 50|
|Wrapper: Connecticut Shade||List Price: $141.80 (Box of 20)|
|Origin: Nicaragua||Strength: Mellow|
Pull of Cigar
The pull of the cigar ranges from an almost ideal amount of firmness — just enough to usher in the aromatic air, but not enough to suspect obstruction to — a bit tight with more resistance.
The cold draw reveals a wide array of sweet butterscotch and resinous cedar flavors. At the same time, the pre-light aroma is an intoxicating combination of notes that include petrichor, incredible peppery spice, fresh hay, and very mild wood.
After brief toasting of the foot, I made sure that I had complete combustion by blowing on the forming embers to get an even burn. Taking a couple of quick draws, the initial taste is utterly luscious with an incredible aroma in the nose. From there, the consistent flavors unravel. My first long draw ushered in a perfect spice of black pepper to the tongue and throat, intermingling with notes of dark chocolate, black coffee, and creamy vanilla. The smoke itself started mild in strength, revealing a blend of cedar and butterscotch that tantalizes the taste buds.
The burn is evenly sharp and required no touch-ups. A compact light gray ash was formed in perfect layers, falling easily after about a quarter over an inch. I was in pure CAO Gold heaven as I progress into the second, third mark of the cigar. A muted yet persistent spice and a rich medley of dark chocolate and leather caress the palate perfectly. An astringent blast of citrus and charred oak overruns the palate with a finish that lasts long after exhaling.
A sumptuous creamy undercurrent flows underneath throughout this mild to medium-bodied smoke, counterbalanced with a mouthwatering mélange of fresh-cut cedar and orange peel. A citrusy nuance melds with a dash of charred oak and leather for a delightful finish that is lightly tangy yet magnificently smooth and more than gratifying.
A delightfully captivating hour-long smoke, the CAO Gold Robusto cigar guarantees you’ll be pinching the ash with your thumb as the nub expires.
This mild cigar oozes with subtle spices and creamy textures of wonderfully balanced flavors. I wouldn’t be surprised if this smoke is a popular choice among cigar smokers for a morning coffee pairing. But I can most definitely see this as a versatile companion no matter the time, place, or level of the cigar experience. This Robusto can effortlessly make Connecticut enthusiasts giddy with delight while still enthralling cigar experts with deeply textured layers of bolder flavors.
The CAO Gold Robusto earns a 92-point rating from me. It’s not long before I come back to this smoke to once again indulge in a fantasy come true for my senses.