Cigar Reviews

Oliva / Studio Tobac Cain Daytona 550

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I have been keeping myself extremely busy since I have gotten back from my Dominican Republic trip. Expect a coverage post about that just as soon as I can find enough time to put it all together. Until then I decided to keep you updated with this week’s review, Oliva’s Cain Daytona.

Cain Daytona

The Good Stuff: These were actually sent to me by a long time twitter buddy “@revjava”. Big thanks bro! The Cain Daytona is the fourth release from Oliva and Studio Tobac’s “Strait Ligero” Cain line. The first ones being the Habano and Maduro, followed by the ball busting Cain “F” which carried even more ligero content then the previous two. While the three previous blends where crazy strong, the Daytona was created to satisfy the portion of cigar smokers who wanted the premium Cain experience, without all the strength. Here is how they describe the blend:

“The CAIN DAYTONA is a medium bodied offering blended using only Jalapa Ligeros. Jalapa Valley is Nicaragua’s northern most tobacco area. It is well known for producing the country’s most medium and smooth fillers. CAIN DAYTONA takes its flavor profile from this distinct area. The DAYTONA offers a solid medium taste with an abundance of natural smoothness. The result, a creamy cigar with true Nicaraguan taste.”

The Cain Daytona is available in 5 sizes: 646 – 6 x 46, 660 – 6 x 60, No. 4 – 5 x 43, 550 – 5 x 50, and the 654T – 6 x 54. I am reviewing the 550 Robusto format which runs about $5 to $6 a stick.

Size: 5 x 50  –  Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano  –  Binder: Nicaraguan Habano  –  Filler: Nicaraguan  –  Body: Medium

Cain Daytona

Prelight: The Cain Daytona is a beautiful looking cigar. The first thing that caught my attention is how absolutely perfect, and consistent the medium brown wrapper is. Seriously, this is about as consistent as you get in a wrapper without dye. There are a few slightly darker areas on the wrapper, but I really had to examine the cigar is hard light to see them. The wrapper carries a few medium veins, but other than that the only noticeable characteristic is the shine that comes off this thing. The body of the cigar is very tight and hard and has no soft spots. The thick body leads up to a very round double cap. Orange is an interesting color choice for this band considering the last few have been white/black/red mix ups. I guess it goes along with the whole “Daytona” theme.

Cain Daytona

The wrapper of the cigar gives off a very strong, powerful tobacco scent while the foot has more of a spicy, earthy aroma. The Cain Daytona cut clean and easy using my Colibri double bladed cutter. The cold draw produces much of the same. A really earthy, natural tobacco flavor with some soft spice undertones.

Cain Daytona

First Smoke: The Cain Daytona surprised me by starting off with a mild little pepper kick. After that quickly subsided I was left with a semi-sweet, natural tobacco flavor with hints of cinnamon and leather. It’s a smooth smoke, but didn’t start out with as much flavor as I was expecting. The draw is extremely hard. I have to hit the cigar about three or four times every minute just to keep it lit. Hopefully that doesn’t remain a trend. Once I do get some smoke in my mouth it quickly diminishes leaving me longing for another hit. The burnline is pretty thick, but dead even. The ash held on for just under an inch before giving way.

Cain Daytona

Halfway There: With the exception of some slight cedar flavors coming in, the Daytona really hasn’t changed much from the first third. The main flavor is still this really natural, earthy tobacco flavor. The pepper seems to keep showing up randomly throughout the smoke, but then quickly fades away. The retrohale is real nice coating with a very strong cedar that I wish came out more in the actual smoking experience. The burnline is still very thick, and has started to develop some smaller, non-concerning waves.  Not only that, but the wrapper started to crack from the burline back. Nothing too crazy though, and it doesn’t seem to really be affecting the smoke. Maybe the cigar is just packed too tight and the filler is trying to make it’s way out cause the draw is still ridiculously tight.

Cain Daytona

Finish: The final third of this Cain Daytona finished with the exact same flavors as the second, with one difference. There was some massive harshness built up into the final inch. This was more than likely due to all the puffing I had to do to get a good draw out of this cigar. The harshness was so bad that I actually gave up on the cigar a lot earlier then I normally would. It just started tasting like char and actually got hard to smoke. I only had to relight the cigar once though which is shocking compared to how often I felt I had to take draw in order to keep the cigar lit. All in all it took a little over an hour to smoke and unlike the rest of the Cain blends, didn’t leave me with much of a nicotine kick at all.

Cain Daytona

Overview: So the story is, I smoked 2 of these at my local shop, both were plugged and had to be chucked. I ended up picking 2 more up from a different shop, one was plugged, and one completely fell apart on me. Revjava sent me three of these. One was plugged, one was this review which was also plugged, and the other is still sitting in my humidor. I think I gave it enough of an attempt don’t you? The flavors weren’t all there, the cigar fell flat, the construction is good (except on the one that fell apart on me) and the draw is just terrible. The crazy part is, so many people loved this cigar and raved about it. That was the only reason why I was willing to give it so many chances, but I should have quit while I was ahead. Despite being loved by the masses I just didn’t like this cigar. Even if it wasn’t plugged, the flavors just weren’t enough to keep my attention and I missed the strength that you got from smoking the other Cain blends, such as the “F”. Subjectivity at it’s best eh? Anyone that reads my reviews knows how fond I am of Oliva, but either way, I don’t think I’ll be picking anymore of these up anytime soon. Due to the overwhelming amount of people who enjoyed this cigar, I may revisit it at some point, if I feel daring. But this review shouldn’t necessarily keep you away from it. Try it for yourself and let me know your thoughts. If you have already smoked it I would love to hear what you thought about it. I am almost positive at least 95% of the response I will get is positive. I just lie in the thin line of people that this cigar didn’t do anything for.

Cain Daytona

Pairing: I paired this cigar with my go to port, Fonseca’s Bin 27. Fonseca is one of the oldest, and trusted names in the port business. The Bin 27 was created over a century ago for the family’s consumption. Blended from reserve wines selected for their intense fruit character and depth of color, Fonseca Bin No. 27 spends four years in large wood vats prior to bottling. Coming in at 20% ABV and under $20 a bottle, this extremely fruity wine pairs perfectly with any cigar. The Fruit, black cherry, clove, and spice went very well with the Daytona. In fact, it was the driving force behind the cigar. It’s interesting just how much of a difference a good pairing such as this can make.

Cain Daytona with Fonseca Bin 27 Port

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. Victor

    October 24, 2011 at 10:10 am

    Tony, Welcome back. I just smoked this cigar on Saturday and I ran into the sample problem, the draw was too tight. I was expecting more out of this cigar as well. I have smoked other Cain’s and have actually enjoyed them, but this was a disappointment because I had been wanting to try this one for a while and had been looking forward to it. The taste was just too blend and nothing exiting about it.

    • Tony Casas

      October 24, 2011 at 11:00 am

      Glad I’m not the only one. People are swooning over this cigar and to be honest, given Oliva’s great reputation with me, I thought I would too.

  2. CigarCraig

    October 24, 2011 at 10:30 am

    I’ve only had the No.4 in this line, although I have some Lanceros I’m looking forward to, and thet have been exceptional. I don’t have to tell you that you just don’t get the right flavors with plugged and construction problems. Point is, I like the Daytona much more than the rest of the Cain line if for no other reason than it doesn’t give me the sweats!

    Enjoyed meeting you last week!

    • Tony Casas

      October 24, 2011 at 11:01 am

      It was a pleasure meeting you my friend! I’m sure you are going to be one of many who loved this cigar. I really do think the draw had a lot to do with my flavor output which is why I gave it so many tries. After having so many duds, you just can’t help but go through the review.. sigh.. I’ll try it again though and hopefully have a better outcome.

      • CigarCraig

        October 24, 2011 at 1:16 pm

        Bro, I fully understand where you’re coming from. I rarely give a poor performer a second chance myself! There’s no excuse for that many duds, even if the pricepoint is reasonable as it is in this case!

  3. Jake

    October 24, 2011 at 11:45 am

    I checked my notes, and for the 660 I have,

    “STRONG pre-light barnyard scent.
    Nice draw. A little open but not bad.
    Strong bonfire scent on retrohale.
    A little boring. Maybe better in a smaller vitola.”

    Seems we had opposite draw problems with the 2 different sizes. I usually try a cigar at least twice before I put my findings to ink in my journal, but this one I’ve only tried once. Guess I’ll revisit it next time I’m in town at my B&M. But I agree with you; I like their stronger lines better.

    Glad to have you back from the DR. Sounds like you had a good time.

    • Tony Casas

      October 24, 2011 at 1:17 pm

      Thanks man! it was a hell of a time and I really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to share it all with you guys.

      This is one thing I LOVE about cigars. Everyone will almost always have different opinions on them.

  4. jjo

    October 24, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    I had this a few months ago in the #4 size, and I was hoping for a great smoke after reading all the raves. I don’t recall any draw problems, but it was a little harsh with flavors that were disappointingly monotonous and a bit thin. Not a memorable smoke to me, and I haven’t bothered to revisit it since, but maybe I should give it another try….someday.

    Looks like you finally got your dud to break your streak!;)

    • Tony Casas

      October 24, 2011 at 1:16 pm

      haha! Right?! I wasn’t expecting to break it on this stick. I figured it would be nice and solid. Ahh well, it happens right?

  5. czerbe

    October 24, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Tony to be honest I’m a big fan of Oliva but not really the Cain Line, the F is a mother Fer and I can’t handle it, and the Datonya I had the same problem with plugged I had 3 of them and wasn’t impressed. Great review the pictures look great by the way.

    • Tony Casas

      October 24, 2011 at 1:15 pm

      Thanks man! See, I’m the same way. I really didn’t like the Maduro, the Habano was OK but I grew tired of it quickly. I didn’t like the “F” at first, but I’m actually really starting to like that one, but this one just didnt do it for me 🙁

  6. revjava

    October 24, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Tony~Sorry it was plug bust for you, I might have to pay more attention as I walk the dog and enjoy the Daytona.. So….ah…you ever pair cigars with Coffee?? this Daytona takes the cake with a mug of French/Vienna roast mix of Central American beans..Just sayin…

    • Tony Casas

      October 24, 2011 at 2:44 pm

      haha not your fault at all man. I actually REALLY appreciate you sending them over! I was actually going to pair this with some “Love Buzz” you sent, but the wife and I polished it off 🙂 I actually pair 100% of cigars I smoke at my local lounge with coffee. Usually I keep the libations for my weekends 🙂 Let me know what you think when you smoke it! Thanks again dude

  7. Lou Bozzelli

    October 24, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Hey Tony, glad to hear you’re back, It sounds like you had a blast. I’ve said on my other replys that I’m a big Oliva fan. My wife bought me a box of Cain Maduro and there was only one bad one. The draw was so tight I think my eyeballs collapsed inwards!! I just finished my last Maduro a few minutes ago in the hot tub with my wife and it was a great send off. I don’t have the guts to try an F………….but now I’m thinking I should pick up a couple. When I heard they were coming out with the Daytona, I thought this is going to be a cigar for me. Now what do I do??

    I don”t know how in this day and age how they make cigar with draw problems. There are machines out there that are made to test the draw of a cigar, wtf?? What always impressed me about the Maduro Cain was how solid they are, like a 3/4” hardwood dowel and yet a perfect draw……………except for one. How did they make the mistake on the Daytonas’?? I don’t know either.

    Great review, thanks for saving me some $$ buddy.

    • Tony Casas

      October 25, 2011 at 7:00 am

      Don’t let the review stop you from buying it man! ESPECIALLY if you are Cain lover. I have heard more good things then bad about this cigar, it just wasn’t for me. And what do I know anyways? haha.

  8. Tadd

    October 24, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Wow I guess I am not alone…. I did not experience the draw problems, I just experienced the flavor problems… There was so much hype around this smoke, and a few buddies of mine were raving about them. I smoked three of these and didn’t understand the hype. I think they are terrible. I would rather smoke a JR Special Jamaican for $6 bucks then these. Hope your trip was great!

    • Tony Casas

      October 25, 2011 at 7:00 am

      Glad I wasn’t the only one 🙂

  9. DaByrdman33

    October 25, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    I reviewed the Cain Daytona short robusto and actually enjoyed it. The only problem is that it is not a regular production size and was merely part of the Studio Tobac Ambassador package. I have since smoked the 646 and the No.4 but I have yet to achieve the same flavor profile as the short robusto. I have encountered No.4’s that were plugged as well and it definitely affects the flavor of the cigar. I’m still reserving judgement on the line as a whole until I smoke through my lanceros that have been sitting for a couple of months.

    Nice review and welcome back.

    • Tony Casas

      October 26, 2011 at 9:03 am

      I think the lanceo format of this cigar would be awesome. That would be one I’d be willing to smoke again once I track them down.

  10. Daniel T.

    October 26, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Nice write up Tony and great pics, loving the blur!
    I’ve had the Cain Maduro and F and thought they were both pretty good cigars. And like Lou said, they are as tough as a tire iron but draw very nicely. I think you could literally beat someone up with those cigars.
    I’ve heard a lot of hype and love for these cigars too so I’m sorta surprised to see your results, but with 6 sticks under your belt I think your overall impressions are pretty reliable.

  11. Lou Bozzelli

    November 14, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    Well Anthony, I smoked the Cain Daytona (torpedo) yesterday. As I’ve said previously and you have also said, WE are big fans of Oliva. The torpedo was a beaut to look at, and the construction was typically perfect, as it always with Oliva.
    Simply put, the draw was fine once I snipped a little more off the point. I hate having to do that because if you have to cut half to three quarters of an inch off the point, are you even smoking a torpedo anymore??? It burned perfectly with no problems. However, it was lacking in flavour. Not bland, but not overly exciting either. A nice cigar but maybe I was expecting too much?

    • Dalamscius

      November 14, 2011 at 8:39 pm

      Lou! I lit my Cain Daytona up tonight. Our good buddy Jarvis gifted them to us at Lou’s awesome Cigar-B-Q yesterday.
      I didn’t have the draw or constructions problems Tony had but I did have to cut a little more than I’d like just like Lou did.
      Also, I got the same bland flavors. Lots of tobacco and the signature ligero flavor, that’s about it. Not overly strong in body but all I’m getting is ligero flavors, not my cup of tea.
      I’ll stick to my Oliva V’s and Connecticut Reserves…

  12. jjo

    November 17, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Tony, I finally lit up the one you sent me. It came with the wrapper starting to unravel, so I glued it back down with pectin and let it sit a couple of weeks. It mainly tastes of wood, tobacco and sharp white pepper. I was picking up very faint traces of cinnamon and sweetness, but those didn’t last long. Burn and draw have been great (ash is pretty weak, though), but my main impression is from the peppery bite that lingers on the back of my tongue with little to balance it out. It kind of reminds me of the 5 Vegas Miami. Getting into the final third, it seems like all the flavor has petered out, leaving a generic tobacco taste.

    All in all, I will say that this is a little better than the first one I had, so it’s gone from “bleh” to “sorta okay”. There are too many others in this price range that I actually enjoy, so I probably wouldn’t bother with this one again.

    Thanks for sending it so I could give it a better assessment!

  13. broniefascist

    November 22, 2014 at 2:27 am

    Tony I really think you owe yourself another crack at this stick. I’ve smoked 5 of the no.4 size now and have found no draw issues and a perfectly performing stick. I don’t know if your’s were overly humid or what but I’ve had 0 issues with mine. There’s nice flavors of honey, butterscotch, pepper, cedar, sometimes while smoking it in the background it reminded me of smoking a Montecristo #4 cuban. Nice tobacco flavor, which is what I like, tobacco, this is what a cigar is made from. I’d bought a box of these based on reviews and when I came across this I was really worried, but upon smoking 5 of them and having no issues I think it’s a nice stick.

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