CAO Vision 2020
We’re back! I usually take the first month of the year off to just relax, stay warm, and spend time with the family. I didn’t make it the whole month, but the weather this weekend was just too lovely to pass up. So here I find myself out back with a CAO Vision in one hand and a bottle of Bottle Logic’s Distant Messenger beer in the other.
The Good Stuff:
If every there was a year to make a cigar branded “Vision”, 2020 is the year to do it. While this isn’t the first time we have seen the CAO vision, this is the first time in a very long time this has hit shelves. Last seen in 2013 before General Cigar Company took over the blend, Vision was a highly sought after cigar. With updated branding and a heck of a packaging concept, the cigar also changes things up with a whole new blend featuring a Cameroon wrapper over an Ecuadorian Sumatran Binder and Nicaraguan fillers from the Jalapa and Esteli regions of the county. The CAO vision comes in a single 7 x 50 Churchill format packaged in LED lit boxes of 20 running $18.99 with only 4,500 boxes being released.
- Size: 7 x 50
- Wrapper: Cameroon
- Binder: Ecuadorian Sumatra
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Body: Medium
- Strength: Medium
- Price: $18.99
- Pairing: Bottle Logic Distant Messenger (Imperial Golden Stout 13.04% ABV)
The CAO vision sports a very lovely, consistently milky brown wrapper that shines a bit green in the sunlight. The wrapper’s texture is very toothy with a ton of oils coating it while it showcases a decent amount of veins and natural webbing in the leaf. The wrapper is laid seamlessly over itself lead up the cigar’s long body to its round, double-wrapper cap. The cigar is then polished off with a hologram infused white band with the words “Vision” on the front as well as a small secondary foot band sporting the brand’s “CAO” logo. The cigar as a whole is very heavy, and very tightly packed as there is absolutely no give as I squeeze it between my fingers.
The wrapper on the CA Vision give off very little aroma outside of some faint natural tobacco scents while the foot of the cigar releases a good amount of sweet spice, earthiness and toffee. The cap on the CAO vision cut like butter using my Xikar XO double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces a great deal of apple, toffee, and natural tobacco flavors.
The CAO Vision starts with a quick blast of cayenne pepper which only left my tongue and lips tingling for a minute before quickly dissipating allowing the cigar to release great notes of nutmeg, toffee, musk, and earthiness with some very light citrus and sweetness. The draw on the CAO vision is fantastic as every little puff I take kicks out a huge cloud of very thick, white smoke which sticks around for quite some time while the cigar releases almost no stationary smoke while it rests in my ashtray. The burnline is dead even and very sharp as it creates a trail of tightly compacted, medium gray ash which held on for almost an inch before giving way.
Into the second third of the CAO Vision and the flavors have creamed out a bit. The cigar still leads with musk, nutmeg and vanilla while the earthiness, citrus, and toffee have began to fade a bit. The retrohale brings out a lot of the musk and earthiness, and while I enjoy that it tens to overpower some of the other flavors in the mixture so I refrain from retrohaling too often. The cigar is still burning perfectly and I close out the second this with nothing really in terms of a nicotine kick.
Into the final third of the CAO Vision and much is the same. Musk, vanilla and nutmeg lead the charge every creamy toffee, earthiness and now a nice floral flavor. The profile is great, I just wish it had a bit more body to it. It took me 2 hours to smoke the Vision down to the nub. I experienced no sap, no harshness, nor any extended heat while the cigar itself left me with only a very slight nicotine kick.
The CAO Vision has always been a special cigar, and the 2020 version is no exception. From the branding to the packaging to the tobaccos used, this cigar screams luxury. The experience as a whole is super. That being said I do have two things to note. First, the price point. This is quite pricey for this cigar as you are now pushing in the the higher end Fuente and Padron category. While that’s ok, and the company knows it, I just wish the cigar delivered a bit more in the flavor department. While the flavors are good and enjoyable, at times I felt they were too mild and really toned down the experience. That being said, this is something I’d definitely smoke again, but not something I personally would keep on deck in my everyday rotation. I think people who love milder ultra-premium cigars are going to LOVE this one.
Inspired by Hawaiian coffee cake Bottle Logic’s Distant Messenger is a 13.04% Imperial Golden Stout brewed with lactose then aged in bourbon barrels before finishing on gobs of marshmallow, coconut, pineapple and Salvador Angel Mountain coffee beans. The beer leads with a sticky, brown sugar sweetness with bold notes of coconut and vanilla over lighter notes of malt, caramel, and pineapple with a very heavy, sticky mouthfeel before finishing with a ton more brown sugar and coconut, pineapple, and just a dash of coffee. The pineapple really started to come out as the beer warms. The vanilla, pineapple and coffee all mashed up very well with the existing flavors in the CAO vision while the beer as a whole really helped push the dryness out of the cigar.