A Review Of The CAO Sinister Sam CigarThe CAO Sinister Sam is a follow-up to General Cigar Company’s unusual and unexpected Angry Santa and Evil Snowman blends. For the 2013 holiday season, General Cigar Company’s Rick Rodriguez decided to alter the La Traviata blend slightly, splitting it into two new sticks that have over the top aggressive packaging. The menacing Santa and snowman stood out visually and garnered extra attention for Rodriguez’s effort. Sensing they just might have something here, General Cigar Company is trying it out again with a July 4th theme.

It’s not July 4th without old Uncle Sam, and his likeness graces the box and band of the cigar. This isn’t the grandfatherly version, though, and instead he looks like he crawled out of some horror movie, with tattered clothing and a face cloaked in shadow. Overall, the style is similar to what someone might find on a comic book.

The cigar itself is also unusual, as it is a play on the barber pole, dual wrapper sticks that have become somewhat popular as of late. The wrappers on the CAO Sinister Sam include a Connecticut Broadleaf and a Connecticut Shade. The binder is a Connecticut Broadleaf as well, and the fillers come from Colombia and a few locations General Cigar Company is keeping secret. The Broadleaf is placed at the cap and the foot, taking up about an inch on either side. The Shade takes up the middle four or so inches, though there is a small stamped out star near the foot end of the Shade where some additional Broadleaf sneaks through. Like the Angry Santa and Evil Snowman, it is available in a single vitola, a 6 1/2 x 52 Toro. The cold draw produces a number of flavors, including some light sweetness, leather, earth and a punch of spice. 

The first-third of the cigar brings in the same light sweetness detected on the cold draw along with a nutty flavor. Some reviewers noted that the nutty flavor was rather salty, creating a tasty combination with the sweet notes. About an inch in, a strong toast flavor emerges and is also present in the smoke, adding a good deal of depth to the profile. Also around an inch in, a few aficionados detected a rare combination of flavors described as banana pudding. 

During the second-third of the CAO Sinister Sam, the dominant flavors are leather and earth, which maintains a slightly sweet taste. Around the halfway mark, the profile brings in some roasted flavors as well. One reviewer mentioned that he tasted root beer on the finish. 

In the final third of the stick, earth, espresso, grass, and nuts bring the profile into a more traditional route. This mixture of flavors holds until the end, and the stick finishes off cool and mild. 

Though the cigar starts off medium-full, it maintains a medium body for most of the way. It also performs well for a stick balancing more than one wrapper and holds up well with or without a band. In all, it’s creative from a visual and flavor standpoint, and features a nightmare version of an American icon. What more could you ask for?

POSTED ON Oct 14, 2017


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