CAO Concert was one of the featured cigars in the General Cigar Exhibit area at the IPCPR National Trade show last week. CAO is one of the many brands manufactured by General Cigar Co. We posted a press release about the Concert here a few weeks back. At the 2012 IPCPR booth in Orlando, Florida, General Cigar had small concert stage area, complete with electric guitar and microphone, to show off the new CAO Concert and were providing samples of the new cigar. As part of our one-day whirlwind visit to the show, we grabbed some samples and chatted with Ricky Rodriguez, the blender.
The music theme rings through everything they have done with this cigar. In fact, the four sizes are all named something Concert involved. Today I am reviewing the 5 1/2 x 54 Roadie. The other three sizes are the 5 1/2 x 46 Amp, the 5 1/2 x 50 Solo, and the 5 1/2 x 60 Stage.
Check out some of the photos from the General Cigar Co IPCPR CAO Concert booth:
Size: 5 1/2 x 54
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Rosado
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Honduras, Nicaraguan
Cigars Smoked For Review: 1
Construction and Appearance: The CAO Concert Roadie has an exciting band on it. The middle looks like a guitar pick and says Concert handcrafted by CAO and both sides of the band look like guitars with the guitar necks wrapping around the back. Each of the guitars have the words Perfect Harmony, which seems to be the theme for this cigar. The wrapper itself is a medium brown with very fine veins and a nice oil topped off with a tight cap.
Flavor and Notes: The wrapper of the CAO Concert Roadie has the scent of wood and hay. On the foot there are notes of spices, wood, hay, and molasses. I use a straight cut to prepare smoking the CAO Concert Roadie and on the cold draw there is some wood, spice, earth, grass, and a light tangy flavor.
Smoking Characteristics: Firing up the CAO Concert Roadie, I’m met with a blend of spices, white pepper, and earth. Within a few puffs, a blend of sweet natural tobacco, spice, wood, and earth all come into the profile. The draw is excellent, easily providing a full body of rich, cool, smooth, slightly sweet smoke. The construction performs wonderfully with a sharp burn line and a firm, salt and pepper colored ash.
Into the second third of the CAO Concert Roadie, the flavors of sweet tobacco, wood, spice, and earth all remain present and the white pepper has faded completely. The strength is around medium and rich spice and flavors dominate the retrohale. The finish is excellent, with a rich sweet tobacco and mild spice sitting on the palate between draws. The construction in this third remains ample with no attention being required for either the burn, draw, or ash.
During the final third of the CAO Concert Roadie, the flavors change up a bit. A rich cocoa joins the blend along with the sweet tobacco, spice, wood, and earth. The new note of cocoa compliments the blend well and makes the cigar very interesting. In fact, I can’t seem to put it down. While the burn, draw, and ash all perform well in this third, the cigar does start to warm a bit towards the nub, possibly because I’m smoking it faster due to the fantastic flavor.
Conclusion: I loved the entire theme to this cigar. I know some of the purists out there might think the theme is hokey, but there is a need to get new people interested in cigar smoking and this stick did not disappoint me. The theme of music and good times should give this cigar some legs and sell well. Don’t even bother with the stick purchase, go for the box.