CAO Brazilia ‘Gol!’ Review

Oct

23

by at 8:10 pm (1 Comment) Cigar Reviews


Brazil? What? A Brazilian cigar?  The official answer is “kind of”.  The Brazilia is made by CAO Cigars and comes in several sizes. Straight from the CAO website, the Brazilia is described as having Nicaraguan filler and binder with a Brazilian wrapper. The one I’ll be reviewing here is the ‘Gol’ size, which is a beefy 5” x 56 ring.

Now I’ll put it out there right off the start: I’ve smoked many Brazilias over the last year or more. The Brazilia was one of the first cigars that really impressed me as being something different and consistently good. I’ve probably given away as many or more of them than I’ve actually smoked, and converted a few people in the process.  This particular Brazilia came from a box I purchased last year in New York. I wanted to see how one of my go-to cigars was going to do with some nice age to it.

As far as construction goes, CAO consistently scores big. The Brazilia I selected sported a flawless, nearly blackish brown wrapper and a tight cap. The Brazilia also wears a sharp looking, distinctive band with the yellow, blue, green and gold you’d expect on a Brazilian themed cigar. The stick was firm and had an easy, open draw once clipped. Pre-light, this ‘Gol’ had a slightly sweet, almost clove smell to the foot.

I chose a wooden match to light the Brazilia, and the burn evened out after a few minutes. I noticed almost immediately that this Brazilia seemed to have a little more kick to it than some of the others I’d smoked. What I might normally call ‘pepper’ was actually a little too strong and I could feel each puff in my throat for a little bit. After a few more minutes, the Brazilia seemed to settle down a little, and took on a hint of clove.  I found the first third started off a little bit harsh, and despite the big clouds of smoke that each draw produced, the taste was tough to describe. By the time the flavour settled down a little, I was in to the second third. The burn through the first third was uneven, and required a little help.

The second third of the Brazilia reminded me of why I bought a box of these. A medium spicy, almost nutmeg taste came in, and the burn evened out a little more.  As I moved closer to the final third, an earthy, woodsy taste also came forward. The flavours I picked out of the Brazilia through the second third were robust without being harsh or overpowering. The big clouds of smoke continued, and the aftertaste present in the first third had disappeared. The cigar was a pleasant medium strength through the halfway mark into the final third.

As I moved in to the final third, the burn had evened out and no longer required any correction. Sadly, it was right about this point that the cigar went south on me. The flavours and strength that I enjoyed halfway through the Brazilia faded out and the cigar noticeably warmed up.  A few minutes in to the final third, a slightly harsh, almost alkaline taste crept in to the draw and the cigar burned hotter still. Maybe it’s because I know and love the Brazilia, maybe it was a case of ‘taking one for Cigaropolis’, but I soldiered on for a few more puffs and hoped that something redeeming would come out of the Brazilia. I soon realized I was wasting my time, and called it quits.

This Brazilia left me feeling divided, because it’s the first bad experience I’ve had with one. I don’t know if it was the age, or just a dud cigar. Like each Brazilia before it, this cigar featured excellent construction, great draw, plenty of smoke, and briefly, some good flavour.  However, the burn was uneven throughout, and the taste was mostly poor and inconsistent.  CAO calls the Brazilia a ‘full’ strength cigar, but I’d have to disagree and say that this one, and most of the others I’ve had, would be somewhere around 6 out of 10 on the strength scale.  Would I recommend the Brazilia?  Not after this most recent one.  However, keep in mind that I’ve smoked, shared, and enjoyed many Brazilias to this. Would I buy another? I’ve still got a few left, so I won’t be buying a Brazilia anytime soon.

-Matt


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One Response to “CAO Brazilia ‘Gol!’ Review”

  1. Les

    October 26, 2010
    10:10 pm

    Matt,
    Your pictures are AWESOME on this one!
    I looked back in my notes to the last time I smoked a CAO Brazilia, and deterimined that I found the first 1/2 ” to be what I referred to a “harsh” … much like your initial take on it. I also made note that I COULD NOT drink beer with it as the two tasted horrible together and I switched to rum and coke which helped a lot. I made reference to it being “full bodied and strong” with an “earthyness, hay and cedar with hints of flora.” I finished it by stating I would only smoke one of these a year due to the strength. (probably also means I was not that crazy about it, cause I know I would smoke a Hemingway everyday if I could ) but, I never said I didn’t like it, so either it has aged into crap, we have evolved or you got a dud. I still have one lingering around my humidor so I’ll blaze it up one night when I have a couple hours and fire off a review.
    Cheers ~ Les

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