Brand: CAO Cigars
Series: OSA SOL
Size: Robusto – 5” x 50 Ring
Origin: Olancho San Augustin Wrapper, Connecticut Broadleaf binder with Nicaraguan and Honduran filler.
Aside from the occasional draw issue, I’ve always had good luck with CAO cigars. I had my heart broken by a series of plugged LX2s last summer, but got over it quickly with the help of several well aged Brazilias. Like so many other cigar lovers, I was excited to hear about the release of the new CAO ‘Osa Sol’ line, and snapped up a few sticks in the robusto size as soon as I could. I was well aware that the Osa Sol would be heavily scrutinized by legions of folks looking for the next ‘La Traviata’ and made a point of not reading any press or reviews about the Osa Sol prior to doing my review. Without further ado, here’s my Osa Sol experience:
Construction: My Osa Sol was well made overall. Only one small vein was visible in the wrapper, and the cigar was evenly firm from cap to foot. The cap was visibly imperfect, but this didn’t become an issue after a guillotine cut. The wrapper had a slight oily sheen and feel. The unlit foot had a slightly pungent / barnyard smell, and the unlit draw was open, with just a slight tug to it.
First Third: After being lit, my Osa Sol started off a little bit dry on the palate. Once the cigar had settled down, I started to get a pleasant toasted nut flavor with a bit of pepper on the finish. The draw was open and easy, producing clouds of white smoke without effort. I’d say the Osa Sol was medium in strength through the first third.
Second Third: I could probably sum up the second third of the Osa Sol by saying “More leather, less pepper”. The peppery finish from the first third died down quite a bit, and a smooth leathery taste almost replaced it. The toasted, nutty flavours from the first third also mellowed a little, blending nicely into the overall character of the cigar. The draw remained open and easy, and the burn required minor corrections. Strength of the cigar remained medium.
Final Third: During the final third, the flavours kind of flattened out. Leather took over, and was present from start to finish on the draw. There was also hint of spice to the finish. The draw remained excellent, and the burn was good. Strength stayed at a comfortable medium.
Overall: I wouldn’t buy a hammer, then bitch about my hammer not being a drill. Accordingly, I’m not going to join the astonishing number of folks out there who have complained about the Osa Sol not being a La Traviata. I think the Osa Sol is a straightforward, medium strength cigar that’s not overly complex. Because of this, I think it has broad appeal for both novice and seasoned cigar lovers. No, it isn’t a La Traviata (go buy one if you want one), but it is another great ‘bang for your buck’ cigar, that takes a completely different path altogether in terms of the flavour profile. Would I recommend this cigar? Yes, and after trying the Osa Sol, I think it’d be great with coffee. Would I buy another? Yes, I plan on it. I’m curious to see if and how these sticks will change with age.