CAO Italia Novella Cigar Review

Recently I smoked a couple of these cigars. The first one was unsmokable. Fortunately, the second was much better. Here is my review for the CAO Italia that was smokable.

Oddly, the only Italian tobacco is in the filler. But that can mean there is more Italian tobacco, by volume, than any other tobacco. But I digress. Very oily with a dark wrapper. No imperfections on it and it just looks like it is going to be a good cigar. I’m drinking Wild Turkey with a Cherry Coke for this cigar.

Cigar Stats
Corona Extra
Length: 4 1/2″
Ring Gauge: 46
Wrapper: Honduras
Binder: Hon
Filler: Italy, Nicaragua, Peru
Price: $4.85

Don Corleone Light!

Night and day when you compare this version to the unsmokable one. This one is absolutely great. Full bodied. Spice and meaty flavors. Dark chocolate notes as well.

Not burning evenly but the draw is absolutely perfect. My biggest problem with this cigar is that it is burning too quickly!

The spice has left about halfway through, which is a shame because I liked it. The dark, even chalky, chocolate flavor is now the secondary flavor. The main flavor tastes a lot like white wine. Even though I’m not a big wine lover, to say the least, I do like the white wine flavor here.

Three quarters of the way through and the white wine and chocolate flavors are still readily apparent on my palette. Some spice notes are trying to creep back in when I retrohale this cigar. Still a very full bodied smoke.

Really enjoyed this cigar. I wasn’t expecting much from it after the first one had a horrible draw. So I was pleasantly surprised.

91 points

Arturo Fuente Hemingway Signature – Cigar Review

This is the cigar I smoked Christmas night. Expecting a lot from this cigar I needlessly got my hopes up and, as you will see, they were dashed. In fact, it forced me to create a brand new rating category called unsmokable. Here’s my review:

I am smoking this cigar with Single Barrel Wild Turkey, which is quite smooth, and water. The construction of this cigar looks extremely difficult with a nipple on the foot, which is called a perfecto tip (a tapered end at the foot). It also has a lot of oil and it’s just a visually impressive cigar. Can’t wait!

Cigar Stats
Length: 6″
Ring Gauge: 47
Wrapper: Cameroon
Binder: Dominican Republic
Filler: Dominican Republic
Price: $9.50

X-Mas Flame!

The draw is very tight at first. I hope it’s just because of the unique shape of this cigar. It is beginning to open up a little bit as the burn gets past the shoulder of the nipple. It’s sweet with some spice. Medium-full bodied.

Draw is just getting worse and the burn isn’t much better. This cigar is a pain. If it weren’t for the draw this would be a very good cigar. Unfortunately, the draw kills it.

Leather, spice, sweetness, but it just doesn’t draw. That means I can’t get much of those flavors from the cigar. It’s a damn shame because I was really looking forward to smoking this cigar. Oh well, tomorrow is another day.



The bane of cigar smokers: an unsmokable cigar. These cigars have draws so bad that you can’t even get any smoke out of them. No flavor, no anything. You get them lit and then… not much.

It’s happened to me before. Actually, it was with my favorite cigar, the Arturo Fuente Cameroon Churchill. Out of a box of 25 one of them was just plugged. Oh well, it happens.

But then it happened to me on Christmas night. ON CHRISTMAS! And it was with an Arturo Fuente Hemingway Signature. UGHH! It completely ruined Friday, the day after Christmas, and it has somewhat shaken my confidence in Fuentes (well, not really, but it is a pain nonetheless).