CAO Cigars, General Cigar Company
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
Filler: Brazilian Bragança (40%) , Nicaraguan
Factory: STG Estelí
Purchase Source: Rian Walker
Date Purchased: April 8, 2019
Date Smoked: February 18, 2024
First puff… Boom! Earthy jam, but balanced by a creamy sweetness, like dark chocolate along with some espresso. Smooth, medium-bodied smoke expands on the palate, leaving hints of toasted nuts and cedar. Retrohale is mild, with a touch of peppery heat that lingers pleasantly. This ain’t your average rainforest stroll; it’s an adventure already!
Second Third: As the burn progresses, some fruit sweetness makes an appearance. Honeycomb and molasses dance on my tongue, with the earthiness playing a supporting role. Think dark, rich soil after a summer rain. Smoke gets creamier, almost buttery, and the peppery spice from the retrohale mellows, replaced by a touch of cinnamon. It’s like the jungle opens up to a sun-drenched clearing, warm and inviting and I’m digging it!
Final Third: The last third throws a curveball. The sweetness fades, replaced by a savory leather note and a hint of cocoa. Earthiness returns, but more pronounced now, like damp forest floor. Smoke thins slightly, but the flavors become more concentrated, almost espresso-like. Retrohale brings back the peppery kick, but it’s balanced by a woody warmth. This is the deep heart of the jungle, mysterious and potent.
The Verdict: The 2024 CAO Amazon Basin Toro ain’t for the faint of heart. It’s a complex, evolving smoke that takes you on a journey through different flavorscapes. The transitions are smooth, and the balance is spot-on. If you’re looking for a unique, full-bodied experience, this is your wild thing. Just remember, pack your machete – the flavors here can get dense!
Construction-wise, it’s top-notch. Even burn, solid draw, and cool smoke. As for value? At around $14 a stick, it’s not cheap, but the quality justifies the price tag. For a special occasion or an adventurous evening, the 2024 CAO Amazon Basin Toro won’t disappoint. Just make sure you have the time and palate to appreciate its wild ride.
Smoke Time: 2 hours
COVID-19 Day 409
I just read that only 2000 boxes were produced of the CAO Amazon Basin cigar and CAO hints that once these are gone, they’re gone. The tobacco used in this blend is too rare, expensive, and labor-intensive. The story goes that the cigar tobaccos in this CAO release are grown in the Amazon rainforest and only grow once every three years. General Cigar reports that they were only able to get their hands on 5,000 pounds of this rare Bragança tobacco.
So, that means that the last remaining two of the CAO Amazon Basins in my possession will be cherished because everywhere I look, they’re sold out.
No doubt that I savored this exquisite and delicious cigar today at one of my often-frequented cigar lounges… Earthy, Creamy, Sweet Cocoa, Coffee, and Leather. Toward the last third, there was a “different” sweet/fruity flavor that joined the party that I had never experienced before. Some reviewers are calling this a “Grape Jam” type of flavor, and I just might agree with them.
Well, maybe I pull out another next year to enjoy… Stay Tuned
COVID-19 Cigar Walk, Day 264: 3.0-Mile Cigar
COVID-19 Cigar Walk, Day 97: 3.0-Mile Cigar
It’s been a while, but I finally got around to purchasing a 5-pack of the CAO Amazon Basin in Toro by CAO Cigars (General Cigar). I hadn’t smoked this in over a year, but I remembered that I liked it so… for today’s Cigar-Walk… the Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapped Amazon Basin.
Once I got started on my short trek this morning, I noticed something different in the tobacco flavor that I don’t normally notice… something “vegetable”…? Anyway, something for me to vet in a proper Cigar Lounge where I can focus more on the nuances of the tobacco and how it behaves.
I’m definitely looking forward to my next adventure with the CAO Amazon Basin.
I’ve been curious about the CAO cigar brand by General Cigar Company since my return to the cigar hobby about a year ago until this gift from Rian Walker that came with a wide-eyed recommendation.
Let’s get this CAO Amazon Basin going…
The aromas off the foot are barnyardy and that’s something that I most often like. The cold draw delivered earthy tobacco and something like subtle sweet fruit.
Once lit, earthy oaky leather flavors hit me with a mild pepper spice on my retrohale. I was kind of hoping for the sweetness to show up, but it was not to be at this moment in time… we’ll see what happens later.
At the second third… the CAO Amazon Basin is smoky! With earthy sweet dried fruit and leather with a bit of charred wood (mesquite, BBQ) and a higher flavor note on the retrohale… white pepper, clove-like? Overall, this is a very enjoyable first experience with the CAO Amazon Basin. This has been something different for me in a good exploratory way. #SakamotoHappy
My burn is razor sharp and the ash just does not want to fall off… Yep, I’d say this cigar has some complexity to it and I just noticed that the aroma off the smoky foot is reminding me of BBQ.
An hour has come and gone and I’m at the halfway point with more of the same; more smoke, more complex flavors. This could drive one crazy trying to pinpoint all of the nuances of this beautiful cigar
At the last third everything ramps up, almost bitter, but deep and rich with the retrohale ramping up as well delivering its spicy goodness.
I think I’ll pursue a 5-pack of these and see what happens…
Thank you, Rian!
Smoke Output: Thick
|Overall Rating (1-5): 4