Brand: CAO
Line: Amazon Anaconda
Size: Toro (6 x 52)
Wrapper: Brazilian Bahiano Habano Ligero
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Brazilian Braganca and Fuma Em Corda, Colombian, and the Dominican Republic
MSRP: $10.49
Cigars smoked for review: 1
Cigars for review provided by: General Cigar Co.
Quick Note: For this review I used Cigar Federation's rating system


Prelight:

The wrapper on this cigar was toothy in appearance and a chocolate brown color with some darker spots. The cigar smelled of barnyard and damp soil. The prelight draw brought strong black pepper spice, some coffee notes, and a hint of malty sweetness. The draw felt a bit snug and I took note that the cigar also felt heavy in my hand.

First Third:

I was surprised not to get hit with a massive blow of black pepper spice after my cold draw experience. The initial puffs brought dry cocoa flavors with heavy earthy tobacco notes. As I progressed further into the first third I also started to notice some of that malty sweetness from the cold draw. I detected a spice but it was more of a gentle hot sauce type spice, lingering on the tongue and palate after taking a draw, instead of the typical black pepper spice. The draw remained snug but not to the point where I thought it was a problem. At this point I started to take note that this was a very dense and slow burning cigar. The flavor profile remained pretty straight forward throughout the first third but it was very enjoyable. As I started to near the end of the first third there was a bittersweet quality along with some nice natural tobacco flavors and cedar wood notes. I reached the end of the first third after about 55 minutes of smoking. The strength and body were firmly in the medium zone with full flavors during the first third.

Second Third:

The second third really focused on cedar wood flavors with some light sweetness and almost a cinnamon quality that would come and go. The draw loosened up a bit at this point too, and the cigar started producing much more smoke. I started to notice an increased black pepper spice on the retrohale and a lingering spice on the sides of my tongue. Natural tobacco flavors were still prominent too. As I progressed through the second third I picked up some more cacao type flavors that had an interesting bittersweet quality.  Toward the end of second third the wood flavors started to get darker and more oaky. The second third took about 45 minutes to smoke through; the strength and body remained medium with full flavors.

Final Third:

In the final third the wood flavors started to take on a charred quality and there was increased pepper and spice on the retrohale. The body of the cigar started to go into the medium-full territory at this point. I noticed the draw tightened up again about halfway through the final third. The cigar ended with some bitter flavors, but not a bad sort of bitter (if that makes sense), and lots of spice. The flavors remained full throughout the final third. The final third took about 40 minutes to smoke through bringing my total smoking time to about 2.5 hours.

Conclusion:

I didn’t go into this cigar expecting it to take 2.5 hours but the cigar held my interest for the entire time. I think this cigar offered a unique smoking experience with some really interesting and evolving flavor components. Overall it exceeded my expectations in every way. The only possible complaint I could have is the draw being a bit tight but that didn’t really detract from my smoking experience. The cigar required a few touch-up lights but overall the burn performed well. I highly recommend giving this cigar a try if you have the opportunity.

Jason’s Score: 89 (AKA "5 pack")

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