A well-known cigar that has been around for a long time is the CAO Italy Ciao. Honduras is where it was made, and that’s also where the wrapper came from. This cigar is a popular choice among many casual smokers and tobacco connoisseurs alike.

Besides, if you’re looking for premium cigar tobacco that pays tribute to the great country of Italy, the CAO Italia Ciao is a perfect choice, according to multiple cigar smokers. So for this cigar review, we will be trying the CAO Italia Ciao cigar.

I think the first time I saw this cigar was back in 2008, around the time of the recession. I haven’t tried it at that time though.

Wrapper Origin: HonduranShape: Robusto
Length: 6Ring: 56
Wrapper: HabanoList Price: $163.80 (Box of 20)
Origin: HondurasStrength: Full

Appearance of CAO Italia Ciao

CAO Italia Ciao cigar has a very oily sheen wrapper that is in the shade of brown. A lot of lumps and bumps can be seen all throughout this great cigar. It also features some obvious veins but minimal seams.

The cigar’s band is something that would immediately catch anyone’s eye since it features a series of pop colors, with blue being its main color. Aside from blue, there are colors of red, gold, green, and minimal accents of white and black being used.

The distinctive logo of CAO was placed in the middle, inside a circle that is also inside of a diamond. The main background of the band is patch-like elements that feature colors green, white, and red, colors that are also present on the flag of Italy.

The same set of colors are likewise can be seen below it in a straight line. And then, Below the said straight line is the word “Italia” written in all uppercase, using a gold font color.

As you all know by now, the CAO cigar brand is most known for its cigars, which have the names of several nations and include their flags’ colors. Both collectors and connoisseurs are fervently interested in these cigars. It goes without saying that this cigar has the name of the nation it is intended to symbolize and is an homage to the Italian people and culture.

Smoking Experience

Upon lighting the CAO Italia Ciao cigar, I immediately noticed how it produces a tremendous amount of smoke that lingers for so long. The draw is a bit tight, but it doesn’t affect the taste of the cigar for now. Speaking of taste, the flavor profile consists of bitterness at this point and bitter tobacco without any accompanying flavor, which I find odd to begin with.

During the first third of smoking the CAO Italia Ciao cigar, the draw that I complained about being tight upon lighting this cigar became a little bit loose, but it still has some tightness in it. The smoke output continues to produce a lot. As for the burn and ash of this cigar, it burns almost evenly, and the ash is holding itself well. So far, no complaints, aside from the draw, about the construction of this CAO cigar. For the flavor profile of the CAO Italia Ciao cigar, the bitter note transitioned into becoming a wood note, which is also the dominant flavor at this point. There’s a subtle amount of spice in the background of the flavor profile, a note that is also present on the retro-hale. There’s also a sweet note coming, but it’s not that consistent; the sweet note will appear on some puffs while not present on the other puffs. In addition, the black pepper flavor is present at the finish. So far, I find this cigar not so good since, despite giving light flavors, they all quickly disappear once you taste them. It’s as if the flavors are just letting you know that it’s there, but they won’t last that much, which requires you to smoke it more. With that, it makes me smoke this cigar faster than I have to so that I can taste those flavors again since they won’t linger.

The best part about smoking is letting your mind wander. I started day dreaming about a time I did morning yoga on vacation. I think I did it the second morning of vacation and loved it, so I did it for the next 5 days. When I got back, for some reason, I didn’t continue. Maybe it was because of time or scheduling, but I’m thinking about starting again.

As for my second third of smoking the CAO Italia Ciao cigar, the burn of this cigar became a little bit uneven, but the good thing is that it’s not giving me any issues. The white ash continues to hold itself very well, and for the smoke output, it continues to perform great. The draw became good at this point, making this cigar an almost perfectly constructed cigar. Because of that, I’m now having a good smoking experience. However, it’s the opposite for the flavor profile. The flavors of this cigar, at this point, became somehow drier to my throat. While the wood flavor is still the dominant flavor, it is now accompanied by a cedar note. The spice that was present in the background and retro-hale is now present on the draw as well. Aside from that changes, the spice on the retro-hale intensified a bit, accompanied by a white pepper that has a subtle kick. This cigar is indeed full-bodied, and, given how strong the flavors became, with some notes intensified, I don’t think it’s a great-tasting cigar for now.

For my final third of smoking the CAO Italia Ciao cigar, the wood flavor that is the dominant flavor for the previous thirds mellows down a bit at this point. As a matter of fact, the other flavors mellowed down a bit, too, such as spice and pepper, that is both present on the retro-hale and draw. With that, it’s not a drying-tasting cigar anymore, but still, it lacks creaminess that would have made this cigar better, in my opinion. As for the construction of the CAO Italia Ciao cigar, the burn ended up pretty uneven, which made me relight this a couple of times just to correct it. The draw became loose up until my last few puffs. The downside was its smoke output since it dropped down at this point. It’s not as tremendous as it was during the previous thirds, but it’s something that I don’t consider terrible. Lastly, the ash already fell off at this point.


Overall, I am not totally impressed with the CAO Italia Ciao cigar. It actually gave a bad impression, primarily upon lighting it, where it introduced a bitter note. And despite having a good transition during the first third, I find the flavors common, and something that didn’t give a wow factor, considering this cigar is from CAO and even included in their CAO 5-Star cigar sampler.

Secondly, it gave a good transition during the second third, with some notes emerging and being present on all sides of the cigar, such as the background, draw, and finish, making it a tasty cigar at that point. However, despite such changes, the flavors became drier on my throat, which is a bad feature for me.

Then on the final third, I was disappointed by how almost all of the flavors mellowed down, along with how the construction of this cigar became bad. The flavors didn’t even reach their peak of richness since they all didn’t really last until the finish. The strength of this cigar is indeed full, but the flavors are the opposite. They still made my throat dry, even with my last few puffs.

In my opinion, nothing is unique about this cigar. I find it common; an okay cigar. In fact, considering its price point, I can buy something better than this that is in the same price range. It gave a performance as if it were a cigar that you could buy at a convenience store. I honestly expected a lot from it, considering that it’s from the CAO brand and even included in their CAO 5-Star cigar sampler. If you’re looking for a cigar to smoke on the CAO brand, this one isn’t something I could recommend. I also don’t think I’ll repurchase this in the future.

Other Cigars Reviews

Other CAO Cigar Reviews


The CAO VR Moby cigar, known for its intense flavors, features a dark brown, nearly black Brazilian Maduro wrapper of Honduran origin. Its appearance boasts two distinct bands: the main CAO label, adorned with a gold brand name amidst a black backdrop with red accents, and a more spartan footband with a marble-like design. The cigar initially presents notes of hay grass, spice, and pepper after smoking. The hay grass dissipates as it progresses, leaving a dominant spicy profile that some might find overwhelming. The draw begins tight but eases up, and while its construction is commendable, the flavors might be too potent for novice smokers. The CAO VR Moby offers a robust smoking experience, ideal for those who savor pronounced spice and pepper undertones.

CAO L’Anniversaire Cameroon Robusto

The CAO L’Anniversaire Cameroon Robusto is a meticulously handcrafted cigar known for its intricate blend and rich, complex flavor profile. Its unique combination of an African Cameroon wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and filler infuses the smoke with deep notes of nuts, coffee, and earth, complemented by chocolate, raisins, and citrus nuances. The cigar’s robust construction is evidenced by its chocolate-colored, leathery texture devoid of weak spots, ensuring optimal smoking performance. Its appearance is further enhanced by a shimmering green cigar band with detailed patterning, making it visually striking. Its smoking experience is smooth and evolves in intensity, starting medium-bodied with a distinct nuttiness blended with undertones of various flavors, transitioning to a more medium-plus body in the final third, all the while maintaining excellent construction and ash integrity. In summary, this review of CAO L’Anniversaire Cameroon Robusto is highly recommended for enthusiasts of medium-bodied cigars, particularly those who favor a nutty flavor profile, making it a perfect indulgence during the festive season or as a relaxing end to a long day.

Other Honduran Cigar Reviews

House of Capulet Robusto

The House of Capulet Robusto by Romeo y Julieta is a cigar that demands attention with its vintage aesthetics and a complex blend of flavors, offering a medium to full-bodied experience. The cigar starts with an unexpected punch of white pepper spice, which gives way to a rich blend of creamy sweetness, earthy woods, and a dash of cinnamon, all complemented by the consistent creaminess and leathery notes characteristic of a Connecticut wrap. As the smoke progresses, the strength settles at a medium level, with a pleasing interplay of sweetness and a subtle spice leading to a satisfying finish. The construction boasts an even burn and a pull that eases as the cigar is enjoyed. Garnering an 89-point rating for its balanced contrast of flavors and attractive design, this Romeo y Julieta offering leaves a lasting impression, culminating in a memorable and enjoyable smoking experience, as noted in this review of House of Capulet Robusto.

Camacho Criollo Robusto

The Camacho Criollo Robusto, following Camacho Cigars’ rebranding and product overhaul in 2013, showcases the brand’s commitment to ‘bold’ excellence, now featuring a Criollo ’98 wrapper. This medium-strength cigar, presented in a visually appealing box and wrapped in a glossy, oil-kissed Criollo leaf, offers a smoking experience that evolves from earthy, cedar tones with a hint of creaminess to a more robust profile with peppery and nutty flavors. A consistent burn rate and the incorporation of Dominican Piloto Cubano in its blend promise a rich flavor journey for the smoker. A review of Camacho Criollo Robusto acknowledges its solid place in the Camacho lineup, deserving of its 90 rating and appealing to those who appreciate a full yet nuanced flavor profile.

For more information about the best cigars and other ways to relax make sure to come back to Scotch & Cigars here.

Maria Morales

Maria Morales