CAO America ‘Potomac’ Review



by at 10:35 pm (1 Comment) Cigar Reviews

I figured it was past due for another review so I dug through the humidor and made a selection that has been aging for the better part of 10 months. I chose to review the CAO America in the Potomac size, a 5″ x 56 ring gauge.  The America is a combined effort of farmers from around the world producing some of the greatest tobacco for the CAO corporation. The wrapper is actually two leaves from the United States rolled together to form a barber pole effect. One is a Connecticut broadleaf maduro rolled over top of a Connecticut shade wrapper. The binder is from Brazil and filler is produced from farms in Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Italy and the United States. In addition, the filler is reportedly 100% ligero although through the review, I didn’t get the “ligero effect”

I have known since I purchased this cigar that the key to it was sufficient aging. I had been tipped off when I purchased it that a minimum of 6 months was required to allow the flavour profile mellow out and blend together. I managed to hold onto it for 10 months and admit that it was the coolest looking cigar in my collection. I actually hated to light it as it was more of a novelty with the fancy red, white and blue bands and the barber pole wrapper complete with the stars and stripes. The construction was flawless…period. There were no soft spots, it was straight, the bands were aligned and the cap was well done.

After contemplating for awhile if I wanted to burn a masterpiece that ought to be framed and not incinerated, I got myself together and made the cut.  It was clean and straight with a pre light draw was basically earthy and tasted like well aged tobacco. The draw was firm, but workable. I lit a large fire in my fireplace and sat down for an hour of unwinding.

The flavour profile started off just a bit on the strong side but smoothed out almost immediately. The cigar was strong and had a full flavour profile. The first 1/3 smoked perfectly straight and never needed touching up. Notes of hickory, raisins and hints of cherry were noted throughout the entire cigar. I hate to use the term “sweet” but it really did seem to have a slight sweetness to it at times. The same type of sweetness that comes from raisins and cherries.

The second and last third of the cigar continued to burn straighter than any cigar I have ever had ( Which really surprised me based on the barber pole wrapper ) The flavour changed very little and never ever became harsh or unenjoyable.  I eventually butted it out with only a small nub remaining. This was a superior cigar in every sense of the rating scale including, flavour, construction, appearance, visual satisfaction and the bands. I really can’t say anything negative about this cigar, nor do I want to….it was that good.

What I expected to be nothing more than a strong, harsh novelty really surprised me. I can’t say what one would taste like fresh off the factory table, but with sufficient aging, The CAO America is one great cigar who I would recommend to any seasoned, and I stress seasoned cigar smoker. I don’t think this would be for the once a year smoker as the profile might be a little strong, but hey, if you’re adventurous then by all means go for it The only complaint I have about this particular cigar is that I wish I had purchased it in a larger size at the time and I also wish I had a couple more in my humidor aged and ready to go.

Relax and enjoy the CAO America

~ Les

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One Response to “CAO America ‘Potomac’ Review”

  1. Matt

    November 14, 2010
    10:40 pm

    Les: I recently set fire to my CAO America, which was allowed to age but a few days longer than yours. I got huge flavour out of it, and totally pulled some port / almost plum type tastes from the second third on. It burned dead even, and tasted great. I have but two bitches about this cigar:
    1) Draw was pretty tight.
    2) I don’t have another one.

    I propose ordering more!

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