The Hype -“Showing off the milder side of CAO, CAO Gold is a mellow blend that was counted among the first premium lines in the CAO portfolio of blends. Introduced in 1996, CAO Gold features an Ecuadorian shade-grown, Connecticut seed wrapper with an aged Nicaraguan binder and fillers. While it is one of the only mild Nicaraguan cigars on the market, its taste is still full of flavor and has been rated as one of the best cigars from Nicaragua by Cigar Aficionado Magazine. CAO is a home run brand. Every line they have produced has been very well received by even the most critical aficionados in the industry. From top blends to trendy and cool packaging, they have created a completely new image for cigars. CAO Gold was one of the first brands in the CAO lineup, helping CAO get on the map and earn its esteemed reputation. It is a mild to medium-bodied Nicaraguan premium. While the cigar is not particularly strong, it lacks nothing in the flavor department. The Gold goes head to head with brands like Ashton and Perdomo in terms of taste and strength, but it is in a league of its own when it comes to price. In addition, CAO Gold Maduro offers a slightly more robust flavor and a strength that remains mild to medium in body, with a rich aftertaste that fills the palate with notes of cocoa and espresso. Don’t miss your chance to try the cigar that helped lay the foundation for one of the most famous cigar makers today. CAO Gold is one of the nation”s best selling boutique cigar brands. CAO Gold is loaded with creamy textures of vanilla and nutmeg, top-noted with a subtle nuance of sweet spice.”
The Review – I’ve enjoyed the CAO gold series for a while, and thought today was a good excuse to smoke one and write an actual review. I’m in Toronto today, sitting watching a storm roll in and drinking Hennessy cognac with this cigar.
This particular robusto is from a box I purchased about 1 year ago and has been aging nicely in my humidor. It made the trip to Canada in my nifty new otterbox cigar case. Prelight aroma is alfalfa, with a light hint of ammonia; an aroma I have come to enjoy, as it is usually the promise of a very pleasant/mild smoke. I punched this one with my larger punch and toasted the foot. The foot darkened nicely from the torch and lit after a few moments. First few puffs were almost too easy and I quickly inspected the stick to see if I had any damage..no damage, just an exceptionally easy draw on this one. The first few puffs are nutty and leathery as the ash begins to build around the tip. After the ash has grown to 1″, the flavor becomes slightly stronger, but is still creamy and mellow; leather, vanilla and mild spice permeate throughout with a very pleasant espresso aftertaste on the exhale. The smoke smells very good, not stinky at all. Past the half-way mark, flavor is uniform and quite delicious, with the faintest of pepper in the background, just barely enough to tickle the tongue, but no tingle. approaching the 2-finger mark, there is a slight alcohol taste, reminds me of ketone solvents – not unlike a mature shiraz wine. I ran this one to the nub until it was too hot to hold, enjoying every puff until the last.
The CAO gold is a mainstay in my humidor and I always keep a box or two on hand, especially if I have a neophyte to introduce to the brotherhood of the leaf. I have a box in the humidor that I purchased in 2000 that I’ll smoke next year, I’m looking forward to taste the benefit of an additional 10 years of aging.