I tried to do too much this weekend and I hurt my back again, however this time the pain is more in my hip than that of the sciatic nerve. I hope everyone has a safe and happy Memorial Day and if you a see a soldier make sure to let him know you appreciate all he does for our country regardless of your political views. Supporting the Troops is something everyone should do. Instead of running a contest this month I have decided to randomly hand out cigars to various members of the military that I know enjoy a good smoke.
Cigar: CAO Italia
Size: 5.5 x 55
Filler: Itali, Nicaragua & Peru
Appearance and Construction (16/20): The C.A.O. Italia box press features a gorgeous rosado looking wrapper. The wrapper is however not without fault. There are some dark blemishes almost like the bruising you would see on some fruit. The cigar has very small veins that go virtually undetectable.The roll has some separation from the body of the cigar but nothing that should cause an issue. The cigar has some soft spots which I have come to expect from a box press. The band of the cigar features a primary band with the colors of the Italian flag and a secondary band denoting it is the box-press.
Flavor & Notes (27/30): The pre-light draw has some really sweet notes from the Peruvian tobacco with some cedar for good measure. As we light the cigar the first third offer some wood and leather notes.The cigar begins to pick up the Peruvian tobacco in the second third with an underlying sweetness along with some rich cedar notes. The final third of the cigar leather notes take over with some faint cedar notes in the background. The cigar has a nice spicy finish.
Burn/Ash/Draw (22/25): The cigar had a slightly uneven burn but nothing that got out of hand til the last third. It seems a lot of box pressed cigars that I have smoked develop some type of burn issue. The ash was flaky and medium gray in color that failed to hold for long periods of time. The draw had a slight resistance to it which kept the cigar smoking slowly.
Overall (23/25): While the CAO Italia is one of my least favorite CAO brands I have found 2 vitolas in the size that keep me interested. The first is the largo which is a tubo and the other being this box press. The cigar had some nice notes and the price is right but it never reaches the wow factor.
Price: $108.99 box of 20