CAO La Traviata
Up next for review is the long-awaited La Traviata by CAO.
Jon Huber, Director of Lifestyle Marketing for CAO cigars in Nashville TN, sponsors tons of contests almost daily from his twitter account (@caocigars). I was fortunate enough to have won a contest and have a few of these pop up on my door step. If you’re on twitter, and aren’t following him, I suggest you jump on the ball. Not only will you be able to capture great CAO news, but if you’re lucky you may be able to grab a few sticks before they even hit stores.
The Good Stuff: “La Traviata” is a brand that originated in Cuba over a hundred years ago at the Tabacalera Cubana, Agramonte no. 106 in Havana. CAO basically took this appeal and created am incredible cigar alike closely resembling “La Traviata’s” taste, construction, and Cuban roots.
As stated before La Traviata is just now barely hitting stores. The cigar itself was announced by CAO at this year’s International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association Trade Show in New Orleans. The CAO La Traviata is a full bodied cigar constructed of two different ligero fillers, one from the Domincan Republic and the other from the Pueblo Nuevo farm in Nicaragua. La Trivata uses a Cameroon binder and is then tightly wrapped with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper.
Size: 5 x 50 – Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano – Binder: Cameroon – Filler: Nicaragua/Dominican Republic Ligero
Prelight: La Traviata is a very toothy, darkly wrapped cigar. The habano wrapper is actually quite darker than most habanos that I have seen. Following CAO standards there are absolutely no blemishes, soft spots, or wrapper misconstruction. In fact, this cigar is very tightly pressed and hard to the touch. La Traviata divino sports a very round cap, and the foot gives off a pre-light aroma of cocoa, and cashew. There were a few noticable veins, but nothing that will affect the overall smoke. The band itself differs quite a bit from what you normally see out of the CAO factory. Strong, romanesque marr0on and gold, with a very powerful font, and texture. I think they were hinting on to something.
First Smoke: As usual, the Ligero in the Traviata took quite sometime to light. The first draws were extremely tight, and I was forced to hit the crap out of the cigar before actually getting a decent draw. The first tastes were very smooth cocoa mixed with maple syrup and subtle grassy nutty flavors. La Traviata starts off very smooth, not boasting the outrageous strength and spice that ligero usually gives off. The burn is pretty even, there is a small trouble spot following one of the veins but I suspect this won’t be a problem. La Traviata is very tightly packed, and is giving me slight complications trying to get the massive draw that I am looking for at first. Withing about five minutes the cigar finally starts giving off a good smoke, and I’m extremely pleased. I really hoped the draw wasn’t going to ruin it for me. I got almost an inch and 3/4 off La Traviata before it gave way.
Halfway There: At the halfway point La Traviata is producing massive amounts of thick smoke, in an almost perfect draw. The flavors are extremely subtle, and well balanced. I’ve noticed a lot of that cocoa flavor has tapered off and its more of a leathery, walnut, syrup, cedar, smooth tobacco taste. Although La Traviata is full-bodied and packed full of ligero, it isn’t quite giving me the shakes you’d expect. It’s a much more enjoyable experience. Don’t be fooled by the size of this CAO, this cigar is burning incredibly slow, this may be an all nighter. The burn is dead on and I have yet to have to relight, or touch up.
Finish: Overall La Traviata Divino took well over 2 hours to smoke, which, for its small size, completely caught me off guard. There was no harshness at all towards the end of this cigar. I did however, notice a slight increase in strength, but nothing overwhelming. The flavors finished just as complex as they started with just a tad more raw tobacco flavor. The burn? Amazing. No relights, no touch ups. That’s incredible for ligero.
Overview: This is an incredible cigar. Needless to say I will buy it again, I will recommend it, and I will recommend it to anyone from novice to the most experienced cigar smoker. The rich tobacco, smooth smokability, and creamy flavors make a perfect mixture. And one last thing. Rumor has it these cigars will be priced in ranges from $4.95 to $6.00. How incredible is that. This means they will be about $13.oo at my local shop, if they even get them. But I am just happy I had a chance to have just one.