Archive for the ‘ligero’ Tag

CAO La Traviata

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.

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Man O’ War Ruination Belicoso Cigar Review

I have had a heck of a cold the last 2 weeks so pardon my absence. But I am back with a VERY long awaited review of the Man O’ War Ruination Cigar.

Man O' War Cigar

Man O' War Ruination

I hadn’t had the pleasure of smoking one of these until now. There is a huge push in the Man O’ War brand, not only from a retailer standpoint but by the cigar aficionados as well. So much hype and talk has gotten me pretty interested in this cigar. I was lucky enough to have a few sent to me by the awesome “Agent 24” at Cigar Spy. (Thanks Man!).

The Good Stuff: I was able to dig up quite a bit of information about the Man O’ War Ruintation. Man O’ War was developed by Abdel “AJ” Fernandez at Tabacalera Fernandez. AJ is a protégé of Don Alejandro Robaina, the man who is considered to be the “Godfather” of tobacco. AJ had spent most of his life under the practice Alejandro in Cuba before migrated to Nicaragua where he now resides creating some of the finest cigars out there. Aj is noted for creating Rocky Patel’s Fusion, Indian Tabac 10th Anniversary, Padilla Habano, and Sol Cubano Cuban Cabinet. But out of the list of fine cigars AJ considers the Man O’ War his finest piece of work.

Man O' War Ruination

Man O' War Ruination

The Man O’ War Ruination is constructed of Cuban-seed Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos. To add to the equation most of the tobacco leaves used to construct this cigar are Ligero leaves wrapped in Habano Ecuadorian tobacco leaves. The Ligero leaves are the strongest of all the tobacco leaves on a plant. They produce not only the most strength, but an incredibly spicy, bold taste as well.

Man O' War Ruination

Man O' War Ruination

Size: 5.7 x 56  –  Wrapper: Habano Ecuadorian  –  Filler: Cuban-seed Honduran and Nicaraguan Ligero  Flavor: Full

Prelight: The first thing that you notice about the Ruination is the dark, oily Ligero Wrapper. The wrapper is even darker then a lot of maduro wrapped cigars sitting in my humidor. The Ruination is a very heavy cigar. Probably the heaviest I have ever felt (I even did the: “wow, this is a heavy cigar. Sweetheart check this out”). Not to mention the tobacco is incredibly tightly packed in this bad boy. There were no signs of misconstruction and obviously no soft spots. I think I could probably throw this cigar through a window without harming it. The Ruination gives off a very grassy, musky smell before it is lit. The head of my cigar is oddly quite a bit darker than the foot. There were a few veins in the construction, but nothing that I forsee having any problems with.

Man O' War Ruination

Man O' War Ruination

First Smoke: This cigar took quite a while to light under my single flame colibri Torch.  I’m starting to see a similar trend in any ligero based cigars. I clipped just a bit off of the torpedo shaped tip. The first tastes were that of a dark chocolate, mixed with leather, and hints of vanilla. This wasn’t a pleasant hot cocoa mix I’m used to. The tobacco and flavor mixture is incredibly harsh, and even a bit over-powering. Someone had asked how I was enjoying the cigar and I could only respond with “It’s definitely a Man’s cigar”. I couldn’t get too much of a draw off of the ruination so i increased the cut to almost double what I normally do. I’m assuming that the plugging was due to how tightly this cigar is packed. After the extra cut the draw increased and the Ruination produced huge clouds of VERY thick smoke. I can usually 3-hit each draw, but this guy was too powerful, no more than 2. After a few draws the flavors balanced out a bit more to a very peppery, spicy, chocolate, espresso laced taste. It is a very great tasting cigar when not overpowered by the strength. Oddly, I only got about 3/4 of an inch in before the ash gave way.

Man O' War Ruination

Man O' War Ruination

Halfway There: About halfway in the cigar got much easier to handle. I don’t know if my body was getting used to it, or if the Ruination itself had actually balanced itself out. The strength has definitely held its own and the flavor is holding up as well. It’s much more peppery at this point, and I can feel the slight tingle from the tobacco on my lips and tongue. My second ash lasted well over an inch. This was much more expected that the first. It must have been a fluke, or maybe the wind. The cigar is burning pretty evenly, but it has the tendency to try and extinguish itself. I remedied that but touching the cigar up every now and then, even if it was still burning even.

Finish: Near the end I cut just a tad more off of the head. The moisture from my mouth was causing the cigar to slightly plug up. Towards the end I no longer had any burn issues, but the strength of the cigar was starting to take its toll on me. I had become a bit light-headed, but I wasn’t going to raise any white flags until I’ve nubbed the Ruination. The pepper flavor stood its ground towards the end of the cigar, vanquishing any other flavors at this point. The Man O’ War Ruination took a little over 2 hours to smoke in it entirety.

Man O' War Ruination

Man O' War Ruination

Overview: First of all, I can’t even believe I was able to finish this cigar. The Ruination in no way is intended for the novice cigar smoker. This cigar is intended to knock your socks off and that’s exactly what it did. Would I try this again? I plan on it. Just not on an empty stomach. This is a perfect cigar to have on those days where you feel you have a chip on your shoulder and need to just forget about life in general and enjoy a relaxing smoke.