The past few weeks, this one notwithstanding, have been heaven-sent for New England cigar smokers. What’s better than to find the time to sit outdoors, feel the warmth of the sun, and light up? It’s the simple things that most of us crave, after all. But even then, the most precious commodity is usually time.

That’s why most of us have a go-to “short smoke” stick when time is of the essence. One such option is the CAO La Traviata Luminoso, which weighs in at 4½ by 50, a perfect size when you have only a half-hour or so to spare.

Cigar Stats: The popular La Traviata line has been around for several years, and CAO this year added a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro version in the Luminoso size to go with the original Ecadoran Habano, giving smokers a choice of wrappers and tastes. Inside the wrapper, the cigars are the same: Cameroon binder and Nicaraguan and Dominican filler.

Appearance: The Habano and Maduro are similarly constructed – tightly rolled, firm, and with a noticeable vein or two. The Maduro, naturally, is a much darker brown. Think baker’s chocolate.

The Smoke: Both have a strong pre-light aroma and firm draw, and both deliver satisfying medium- to full-bodied taste and plenty of rich smoke when the match gets involved. The Habano serves up a blend of wood and earth notes, while the Maduro adds a layer of sweetness and hint of coffee that one expects from that wrapper. In both cigars, the draw is consistent throughout the smoke and the burn line is spot on.

Verdict: At the suggested $5.10 retail price, the Luminoso merits a place on your must-try list. To these palates, the Maduro offers a more savory blend of tastes, but you won’t go wrong with either option. For more information on the La Traviata, or the entire line of CAO cigars, visit

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