Up for review this week is the C.A.O Black, which was requested a few weeks ago. The size I am Reviewing is the Gothic (Torpedo) and weighs in at 6 inches long with a 52 ring gauge. I received this cigar in a sampler some time ago but can be purchased for 30.00 per 5 pack or 118.00 per box of 20 via Cigars International.
During my initial inspection I found this stick to be very firmly packed with no soft spots. The wrapper is smooth to the touch and has a light oily sheen. When clipped, the pre light draw was free and produced mild Nutty and Naturally Sweet flavors that were appealing. After a quick toast and light the cigar was evenly lit and producing a generous amount of smoke.
As I smoked my way deeper into the first third of my CAO Black I found it to be enjoyable. The resting smoke was much lighter in volume now than it was at the start. The draw remained free and produced a decent amount of smoke. The body was in the Medium to Full range while the finish was a little heavy and lingered on the palate for several minutes after each puff before fading. The base flavors consisted of a light Nutty Flavor as well as Leather and Pepper. When blown through the sinuses I was getting a bit of harshness and a bit of spice.
The second third of my cigar began to change from the way it smoked originally. The burn was now beginning to get more uneven and was now pushing the limits of my 3/8” comfort zone. The draw remained decent while producing a fair amount of smoke. The body climbed a bit but remained in the Medium to Full range while the finish got a little heavier and longer on the palate. The dominant base flavor was now Pepper and the harshness from before was getting a little stronger, primarily in the back of the throat and the base of the sinus cavity.
As I made my way into the final third of the cigar I was developing an acquired taste to the bit of bite it had on the base of my sinus cavity. I think that in part the flavor was developing a bit character and become a little more enjoyable for me. The base flavor remained dominantly Peppery while retaining a somewhat long and heavy finish. I took the time to re-clip my cigar to expose more tobacco at which point the volume of smoke increased dramatically. The body finally ramped up into the full range and the cigar finished off nicely.
Overall I think that this was an average cigar for my taste. In general it was a good smoke but nothing to write home about, however, keep in mind that flavor is personal preference and you may fall in love with the flavors. I would recommend this cigar as something to try but I wont go out seeking one in the future (but will definitely not turn one down if offered to me).