Cigar Reviews

CAO La Traviata

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Up next for review is the long-awaited La Traviata by CAO.

CAO La Traviata

CAO La Traviata

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

CAO La Traviata

CAO La Traviata

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.

CAO La Traviata

CAO La Traviata

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.

CAO La Traviata

CAO La Traviata

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.

CAO La Traviata

CAO La Traviata

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.

Tony Casas is a 32 year old Creative Managing/Webdesigning/Craft Beer Drinking Cigar smoker from El Paso, Texas. When he isn't loving his wife he is either sleepy, hungry, or suffering from a headache.


  1. Thomas

    September 28, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    Write on with the review……I enjoyed the smoke butw as shocked at how long it lasted!

  2. PappyFerrara

    September 30, 2009 at 6:25 am

    Hi Tony:
    Enjoyed the review, the photography was almost too good. The first picture looks like the Cigar was shellacked but you said it took 2 hours to smoke. Now this is a robusto so if you had Shellacked it would have burned to the nub in about 6 mins. lol
    Seriously with a little work I could see you working in advertising for the cigar industry. If you already do…I take back the “with a little work” comment. lol

  3. dabyrdman33

    September 30, 2009 at 8:02 am

    Loved the review. I just received a La Traviata myself about 2 weeks ago and I’ve been trying to fit it into my “cigar schedule”. After reading this, I definitely plan on enjoying this soon. Great photos too!

  4. Mike - KnightRid

    September 30, 2009 at 8:47 am

    Great review! I am going to give some of these a try, but I keep seeing varied stories on the strength. You never know till you try one yourself, I have always been told 😉


  5. PappyFerrara

    September 30, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Mike and anyone else out there listening in. This why you have to try for yourself. I found this to be a very good enjoyable cigar. Like Tony, I did not find this to be an overly strong cigar. All are tastes and tolerance levels are different. Some cigars give me the sweats and having me running to the bathroom and sweating some more. I have seen reviews of those cigars praising their smoothness (?). I prefer a cigar that in low in nicotine and large in flavor. I do not need to smoke cigars to feel pain or satisfy a nicotine addiction. Some people do.
    If your like me you should definately give this cigar a try. It’s just a feeling but I think it will age very well. Pappy

  6. red

    November 7, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    one of the best cigars to hit the shelves this year hands down…

  7. danistalking

    April 25, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    I had one of these on Sunday (Easter). It was sitting in my humidor for about 3 months or so. It smoked really well. The smell off the stick after unwrapping the celo was a really nice leathery scent. Its definitely a stick I’d smoke again.

  8. Cal

    January 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    I had one of these today in the torpedo size- was really surprised by some of the early flavors before getting into the first third. The smoke had this very sweet doughy taste which blew me and my friend away. I was wondering if anyone else had a similar experience.

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