La Traviata Maduro Cigar Review

May 23, 2012 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

Full Disclosure: I received two of these cigars from the manufacturer for this review. All reviews are my own.

If memory serves, a couple of months ago a new size, named Luminoso, was added to the La Traviata Maduro lineup. According to the company this size (4.5″ x 50) is extremely popular for the original La Traviata and so, they reasoned, why not make the Maduro in this size as well?

Well, it can’t hurt. I have reviewed the 5″ x 50 vitola of the La Traviata Maduro before and I thought it was decent, scoring 88 points. That’s a fine score and puts it squarely into that category of cigar (for me at least) where I don’t have much bad to say about it but there isn’t that much excitement either. Will cutting half an inch off of the cigar make that much of a difference?

It is a good looking cigar. Very dark wrapper with the darkness getting darker near the foot. Oily; it has this waxy feel to it. Nary a blemish mars the surface and it is well constructed.

Cigar Stats
Vitola: robusto
Length: 4.5″
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Connecticut
Binder: Cameroon
Filler: Dominican Republi & Nicaragua
Price: SRP ~ $154/Box of 30 | $5.10/Single

Dragon Launch Afterburners!

There was a sizable gap (sizable = a couple of months) between me smoking the first and the second cigars. It’s better with a couple months of aging.

With the couple extra months of aging the flavors do seem to be more alive. Alive and deconstructed. Basically, what I am experiencing is a very tasty cigar broken down into its component parts. There’s that leathery spice. And then chocolate. Over in the corner is earthiness.

It’s a kaleidoscope of flavors, that’s for sure, but it isn’t all moonbeams and rainbows. Something just seems to be missing. A strong leading flavor? Whatever it is, it’s not that big of a deal.

The second third changes things up a bit. The flavor profile becomes extremely dry and solidly in the salty meat/dark, chalky chocolate realm. Definitely a change of pace from my normal cigar choices and, because of that, I like it.

Medium bodied cigar with a good draw and burn. You will find no highs or lows, just a level goodness. Even though no leading flavor really emerged with much intensity the total flavor package was interesting enough to hold my interest from beginning to end. Definitely worth a try.

90 points

CAO Lx2 Cigar Review

September 30, 2011 · Posted in Cigar Review · Comment 

Imagine, if you would, that the world of Middle Earth described by the legendary J.R.R. Tolkien was true. In this world there are little people, some call them halflings, which is rather discriminatory and insulting, but they call themselves hobbits. Hobbits, as everyone knows, are a race of humanoids about half the size of men and are rather impish (is that racist?). One of the little known facts about these hairy-footed creatures is that they loved to smoke pipes. I would like to think that if cigars were around then they would smoke the CAO Lx2 Razor, a 4 x 38 hobbit-sized cigar.

It is a well constructed cigar but with a distinctly rustic bent. Not being perfectly shaped it is still an appealing cigar and, due to its very small size, is a very short smoke. The wrapper does exude some oils but the real attraction of this cigar is the fact that you can easily smoke it during a lunch break.

Cigar Stats
Length: 4″
Ring Gauge: 38
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Honduran
Filler: Nicaraguan Pueblo Nuevo & Dominican Republic
Price: $10.95/Tin of 5 | $84.00/50 Cigars

Hobbit Name Flame!

My biggest concern when buying these cigars is that they would like size because they are so diminutive. But that has not been the case for me. This cigar is starting off pretty well with heavy and wet earth flavors and a light, cutting spice to freshen things up.

Even though the flavors are pretty powerful for this cigar there is not a ton of evolution to it. The second half brings on a bit of maple sweetness, deep and dark though it may be, there isn’t much else new to find. It is a very heavy cigar in terms of flavor and that is most likely attributable to the fact that it’s a CAO Lx2. With a small cigar like this I feel that it is probably better to go with a stronger cigar since both the flavors and the strength are somewhat hampered by the small size of these cigars.

Nearing the end of this cigar now and I can safely say that this is a full bodied cigar with a good draw and burn. While the flavors aren’t anything special they are very good and if you are looking for a cigar that smokes very quickly and packs some strength and intensity of flavor then you should check this cigar out. One note of caution about this cigar is that there is a bit of an aftertaste with this cigar, especially nearer the end. It’s flat and the closest I can come to describing it is: wet wood. Not very appetizing but not a huge drawback either.

Ideally, this cigar should be smoked on a drive, if you do smoke in your car, on a walk or during a short window of time like a lunch break or while waiting for a table at a restaurant. While it is good enough to enjoy while sitting down and concentrating on the cigar the best time for it is while doing something else.

90 points

PS: I was actually pretty shocked when I first tried these cigars. I never thought that such a small cigar could be enjoyable but this thing definitely was. Part of me thought that they were too small to pack any flavor and another part of me thought they reminded me a little too much of cigarettes, which isn’t a great comparison – especially after smoking these cigars. By all means, give these little sticks a chance and, for that matter, give some of the other dinky (I’m sure there’s a correct term for this vitola but dinky still fits) cigars a chance.

CAO La Traviata Maduro Cigar Review

August 23, 2011 · Posted in Cigar Review · 1 Comment 

I sit here wearing my CAO La Traviata Maduro hat given to me by Keith from Tiki Bar Online. Even though you might not think that is pertinent information I recall some English teacher I once had preaching about the importance of setting the scene. So there; the scene is set.

This is a perfect looking cigar. Black-brown wrapper with two very minor veins visible. Oily feel to the wrapper, it’s also slightly fuzzy. The cigar feels well packed, hard even. Can’t wait to smoke this cigar after resting it in my humidor for many months.

Cigar Stats
Length: 5″
Ring Gauge: 50
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Cameroon
Filler: Nicaragua & Dominican Republic
Price: $115.00/Box of 24

Canton Tower Flame!

If you are wondering whether or not I have smoked the CAO La Traviata with the Ecuadorian Habano wrapper you can take a look at this. If you don’t want to go through the bother of clicking on another link and reading another review then you should know that I liked that cigar, giving it 91 points. Leather, oak and spice were some of the flavors that I noticed and it was pleasantly full bodied.

The CAO La Traviata Maduro starts out with a dark and powerful flavor profile. Beef jerky is the center of the flavor profile surrounded by mahogany, salt and bitter chocolate. While the draw is a little tight in the early goings of this cigar it has not become much of a problem.

Smokiness along with dark flavors are pervasive coming into the second third. Beef jerky and smoky mesquite are the big flavors that I’m picking up now. It’s fine.

The somewhat tight draw becomes somewhat bothersome in the final third, but not in terms of flavor. That jerky flavor has receded into the background while the smoky mesquite has gotten stronger. Heavy cigar.

Without the tight draw, which I got over and over again with each of these cigars that I tried, this would be a 90+ point cigar in my estimation. Even with the tight draw it was an enjoyable cigar but, I have to say, the original La Traviata is my favorite. Medium bodied with a burn that does require some touch ups along the way, this is a cigar that maduro fans might want to give a try.

88 points

CAO Brazilia Cigar Review

January 24, 2011 · Posted in Cigar Review · 7 Comments 

I remember reviewing this cigar once before but it turns out I have reviewed this cigar twice before. Those two reviews were on the Samba vitola (6 ¼” x 54) but this one is on the Gol! (5” x 56), so it should provide some valuable information for you. This cigar was given to me by Cigars Direct.

Chubby cigar with a decent sheen of oils on it. The wrapper is dark with a multitude of little white specs. There are a couple of holes; one rather largish. A bunch of thin veins span the distance of the cigar. Fairly tightly packed.

Cigar Stats
Lenght: 5″
Ring Guage: 56
Wrapper: Brazil
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $33.00/5 Pack | $95.00/Box of 20

Maloof Fire!

Starts out very well. Earth, chocolate and spice are the troika that makes up the flavors in the beginning. Those flavors add on a meaty flavor after an inch or two. Some saltiness too.

It is not a very powerful cigar but I would still peg it as being full bodied. Well, medium-full bodied. The flavors are quite nice; most CAO cigars are pretty good in my estimation. The draw is good and so is the burn. Those holes that I told you about haven’t hurt the performance of the cigar.

Flavors are very lively. Maybe a little too much on the bitter side for my taste but it is definitely a very enjoyable cigar. Just as I wrote that it got a little bitterer. It’s quickly approaching the Rubicon of being too bitter.

It is a consistently good cigar and, fortunately enough, it never passed that Rubicon. Solid flavors and very enjoyable. Pick some

88 points

CAO Lx2 Cigar Review

December 31, 2010 · Posted in Cigar Review · 5 Comments 

This is a natural pick for me because this cigar has got some kick and some oomph. Or is it a natural pick for me? To find out read on and, oh, yeah, have a great New Year’s Eve!

A beautiful dark and oily wrapper is obscured by two ornate bands. I get it, it’s about marketing. You’ve got the big CAO with an LX2 on one band and “Forteleza Tres” on the second band (according to Brian Hewitt forteleza tres means triple the strength).

The feel of the wrapper is very oily. A couple of medium sized veins mar the surface of the wrapper. The cigar itself feels relatively tightly packed.

Cigar Stats
Length: 5″
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Nicaragua
Binder: Honduras
Filler: Nicaragua (Pueblo Nuevo) & Dominican Republic
Price: $7.10/Single | $112.00/Box of 20

Federation Flame!

Unrelenting spiciness is the theme for the first third of this cigar. Cherry would be the second flavor that I am picking up. Overall, the first third of this cigar has turned the intensity level all the way to 11 (that is the point of this cigar after all, right?).

I ran into a little bit of a burn issue during the transition from the first to the second third of this cigar. After smoking it a little after I made a course correction to the burn the cigar does not seem any worse for the wear.

Flavorwise, the second third does have some differences from the first third. That unrelenting spice has moderated some and that moderation has made it possible for some other flavors to come out and play. In addition to the spice and the cherry flavors, which were relatively minor during the first third and still are during this second third, there are some oak and some other minor fleeting flavors that I cannot quite pin down. My inability to pin those flavors down is because the spiciness, while it has moderated some, is still very strong.

The final third is a steady march of what has come before. Flavors have been all good but there needs to be a note of caution. This is a fairly strong cigar and the flavor profile could safely be described as being aggressive. That is why I like this cigar so much. There is some complexity in the flavor profile but what really sets it apart from other cigars is that it is exactly what it is advertised as being. Strong.

Other than the flavor the burn had some problems that I have already mentioned. After correcting it at around the transition from the first to the second third there weren’t any more major problems. The same could be said of the draw. It was a little tight at first but after correcting for the burn problem the draw was fine. In the end this is a delicious cigar that should be liked by fans of full bodied cigars.

92 points

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