CAO La Traviata ‘Divino’ Review



by at 5:31 pm No Comments Cigar Reviews

Brand: CAO ‘La Traviata’

Size: ‘Divino’ 5×50

Made in:  Esteli, Nicaragua, with Nicaraguan binder, filler, and an Ecuadorian Colorado wrapper

For many months, I’ve been procrastinating and telling myself I’m going to review a ‘La Traviata’. Something, or some other cigar always seems to get in the way, and I haven’t been able to do a full review on one of my favourites.  Les and I have been enjoying the La Traviatas for about a year now, and I figure I’ve probably shared as many of these sticks with friends as I’ve enjoyed myself.  I know I’m foreshadowing a little bit, and yes, this is the same ‘La Traviata’ that you’ll find in my Top 10 of 2010. However, consistency is a huge part of what makes a great cigar, and the review you’re reading today is based on one single La Traviata experience, not a bunch of previous smokes.

Construction:  Having smoked my share of CAO cigars, I’ve come to expect a certain standard in the making of their sticks.  The CAO you’re seeing above was randomly selected from a box of 24, and gives a good idea of what you’ll get from most CAO sticks. Nicely rolled from end to end, this stick was medium-firm to touch. The Ecuadorian Colorado wrapper was moderately oily with a slight tooth and a nice reddish hue. The unlit foot gave off a mildly spicy tobacco smell.  I chose a guillotine cut for the somewhat rumpled cap and got a medium draw off the unlit cigar with no distinct tastes.

First Third: This La Traviata took a little effort to fire up, and offered a cedary taste after I got it going. At first, the draw was a little loose for my liking, which might have contributed to the lighting issues.  After a few minutes, the La Traviata seemed to find its stride, evolving into a slightly peppery, robust smoke. The draw firmed up a little and the burn remained almost perfect through the first third. I would describe this cigar as being ‘medium’ in strength through the first third.

Second Third:  The second third was where this ‘La Traviata’ really started to rock, offering full flavours and plenty of smoke.  The spice / pepper I was getting from the first third settled right down, and the cigar became much thicker on the palate.  The creamy flavour I had started to pick up in the first third took off and started to dominate the overall taste.  This creamy profile also offered notes of rich tasting tobacco on the finish. The burn remained excellent through the second third, and the strength of the cigar stayed ‘medium’.

Final Third:  The final third of my La Traviata was pretty much flawless.  The flavours remained consistent from the second third.  The burn, draw and strength were also unchanged.  I made very few notes during the final third, because there wasn’t much else for me to say.

Conclusion:  This La Traviata ‘Divino’ demonstrated the same qualities that have kept me coming back for more. Full flavours, medium strength, and great overall construction made this a great smoke. It’s worth noting that my friends Josh and Jordan each smoked a ‘Divino’ at the same time I had mine. Both of them thoroughly enjoyed their cigars, and felt that their experiences were consistent with mine.  Would I recommend this cigar? Yes, again and again. I’ve shared many a ‘Traviata’ with friends, and at about $5 USD, it’s a tough stick to beat for an ‘anytime’ smoke.  Would I buy another? Yes.  I’ve made a point of not running low on these, because I feel the ‘La Traviata’ is a smoke that just about anyone can appreciate.  Try one today if you haven’t already!

18 butts and counting….


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