Cigar Review: CAO La Traviata


La Traviata

La Traviata

The La Traviata brand began its life at the turn of the 20th Century in Cuba or, more precisely, in the Tabacalera Cubana, Agramonte no. 106, in Havana.  Over 100 years later, CAO has resurrected the La Traviata name, abiding closely to its original Cuban roots in presentation and taste.  CAO La Traviata is a full-bodied, full- flavored cigar that combines an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper with a Cameroon binder and incorporates two different ligero filler tobaccos from the Pueblo Nuevo farm in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.  “The inspiration for La Traviata came from smoking numerous classic Cuban cigars,” said CAO President Tim Ozgener. “We wanted to create a cigar that appealed to sight, smell, and taste.  We’ve also stayed true to the original La Traviata vista and artwork circa 1901-1904.”

Packaged in 24-count boxes, CAO La Traviata will be available in three shapes: Divino (5″ x 50), Radiante (6″ x 52), and Intrépido (7″ x 54), and will have a suggested retail price range of $5.00 to $6.00 per cigar before local taxes.

Finding these cigars online will be near impossible as they are B&M only, which gets high marks from me.

Cigar: CAO La Traviata
Size: 5 x 50 (Divino / Robusto)
Wrapper: Habano (Ecuador)
Binder: Cameroon
Filler: Dominican Republic and Nicaragua
Strength: Full

Appearance and Construction (19/20): The first thing that stands out to me is how silky the wrapper feels in my hand and how oily the cigar appears to the naked eye. The roll of the cigar is incredibly flawless with the wrapper having a few veins although none stand out. The stick has a tremendous weight to it with no soft spots and a little bit of tooth. The band a departure from most CAO sticks has La Traviata in the center with a small reference to CAO on the top. The colors of beige, blue, gold and maroon work really well giving this cigar a very classy feel to it.

Flavor & Notes (28/30): The foot of the cigar offers tremendous notes of molasses while the pre light draw has some sweetness and anise present. The cigar starts off with a slight kick of pepper, that slowly begins to fade revealing notes of roasted nuts and some slight leather notes. As we approach the second third of the cigar the notes of roasted nuts really begin to shine and the cigar takes on some cedar notes as well as a continued leather. The final third of the cigar the roasted nuts begin to fade as well as the leather notes. What remains is a strong anise flavor that you can actually smell from the cigar as well. There is some pepper through the nose and despite this the cigar has a delicious creamy finish.

Burn/Ash/Draw (23/25): The burn of the cigar is incredibly even with a nice tight ash with only the slightest amount of flake. The draw of the cigar had some resistance on each stick but I wouldn’t label it a nuisance.

Overall (24/25): I mentioned at my local cigar shop that this cigar is different then any other CAO I have smoked. and was told by the owner it is because the cigar is made at a different location then other CAOs. The prior statement was cleared up by Jon Huber in the comment section. With that said and done this is by far the best CAO I ever had, and is a really special cigar. It has an old world feel to it and I look forward to sparking another one up. Despite this cigar being B&M only if you call a mail order house attached to a B&M you might be able to get them that way. But as I always say, please support your local B&M and this cigar is an excellent choice in doing so.

Rating: 94
Price: $5.00