CAO Concert CigarsCAO Concert Cigars are the second release since the General Cigar Company acquired the brand. Introduced in September of 2012, these smokes are a nod to the Nashville heritage of the CAO brand before they were relocated to Virginia. Everything about these cigars is a playful reference to their name, from the guitar and pick shaped label, to the amp shaped boxes they come in, to the names of the vitolas. Whether someone is a newcomer to the brand or a CAO enthusiast, this release is sure to satisfy.

 CAO Concert Cigars are available in 4 vitolas, all of which share a length of 5 ½ inches. The Solo has a ring gauge of 50, the Roadie has a ring gauge of 54, the Stage is a robust 60 gauge, and the Amp is a 46 gauge. The uniform length means that elements of the smoking experience will be the same, such as the temperature of the smoke when it hits the mouth. The larger the gauge, the more prominent the filler flavors will be. Smaller gauges typically showcase the taste of the wrapper. Rick Rodriguez is responsible for these vitola choices, as well as creating the blend.

 CAO Concert Cigars have a wrapper that is a glossy, reddish brown Ecuadorian Habano Rosada, with a sheen that reveals its toothiness. The binder is a Connecticut Broadleaf and the filler is composed of four different Nicaraguan and Honduran tobaccos.

A glance at the construction will show tight seams, multiple caps and few veins. The scent of the unlit stick is said to be that of wood, hay and molasses. Pinch tests revealed it to be well packed, and the cold draw offers flavors of spice, earth, grass, and wood. Despite unlit draws being a little tight, reviewers found the smoke production to be impressive. The quality of the construction lends CAO Concert Cigars the ability to hold a long ash, and maintain an even burn that does not require relighting.

The beginning introduces the smoker to a healthy amount of spice, which remains in the retrohale, but backs off during the rest of the experience. The main flavors are noted as woody, with a focus on a smoky oak taste. Multiple reviewers said they found the woodiness to be reminiscent of a barbeque. There is also the presence of sweet grass, which remains consistent, although faint, throughout the duration of the smoke. The earthy tobacco and leather flavors that were most dominant besides the wood were enhanced by subtle undertones of creaminess and sweetness. The finish introduces a complimentary cocoa into the flavor profile. The strength develops over the course of the smoke, moving it from medium to full by the final third.

This cigar was described as a smooth smoking experience. Although the flavors did not change much over the course of the smoke, they were well blended and interesting. The main thing that reviewers praised about CAO Concert Cigars was their value. For the quality of their tobacco, construction and taste, they were extremely affordable. Although they now have a new base of operations, CAO is still providing its fans with excellent blends, and the Concert line is testament to that.

POSTED ON Oct 14, 2017


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