This is the final installment in our reviews of CAO’s Last Stick Standing promotion. To recap, CAO released three mystery blends – “C,” “A,” and “O” – and asked smokers to be the judges. The blend garnering the best marks will be released to the market in 2013. Voting concludes shortly, at the end of the month. For more information, visit http://lss.caocigars.com. This week, we put blend O to the taste test.
Cigar Stats: Again, the tobacco composition of these cigars is a secret. The only measurable is the size – 5½ x 54.
Appearance: This deep brown stick is attractive, with a bit of a springy feel.
The Smoke: It takes just moments to realize this stick packs a punch. There’s plenty of rich smoke, a strong earthy, oaken flavor, and a wrapper that leaves an aftertaste with some kick. This is a full-bodied cigar that promises a heady smoking experience. Unfortunately, a few things got in the way during our sampling. First, the stick required several burn corrections, the first only about an inch into the smoke. In addition, the second half of the smoke was dominated by a bitterness that nearly wiped out all of the good work it did in the first half. It was a disappointing finish, to say the least.
Verdict: The O started strong but faded fast, and we rank it behind the first two blends sampled. Using CAO’s rating guide, we give it a score of 7 on a scale of 10. From this perspective, we would give the nod to the A blend in the LSS sweepstakes. It’s a tasty, medium- to full-bodied smoke that provides a truly pleasant smoking experience, with C a close second.