May 26, 2012

CAO Last Stick Standing "C"

CAO cigars has an interesting  proposition for cigar lovers. Pick the next blend that will go to market. You can do that in the new CAO Last Stick Standing selection. Three cigars, all different blends, that you can pick up at your local cigar shop. All the blends were created by Rick Rodriguez. Then, after smoking them you can go to their website, and give your scores. You can do this for 34 more days from the date of this post. Today I will begin my journey through the three blends and give my thoughts on each. As you can see from the above picture the three cigars look quite different from each other. They are all 5 3/4 x 54 in size. No info on the wrappers or blends is known, rather CAO wants the cigars to be judged on their taste without any knowledge about them. I have no problem with that! So, today I will review the "C" cigar.

Video review HERE.

The cigar is well made and dense. The wrapper is a rather dark brown. After cutting the cap the test draw was very good. I lit the cigar and the initial flavors were a lot of dark notes; coffee, leather, and something on the par of cinnamon.

About 1/2 inch in the flavors settled down into cedar, leather and coffee with a nice amount of pepper. The finish is vanilla with some lingering pepper. The cinnamon that I thought the cigar had at initial light up was after all...cedar. The leather is very heavy with the cedar notes secondary. The coffee brings up the rear and completes the flavors. The pepper is very good and I would say it's above average.

About 1 1/4 inch in the cedar notes are showing signs of richness. The leather notes have toned down somewhat. The cedar is now the primary flavor with the leather notes secondary. The coffee continues to round out the cigar. The pepper remains very good. The finish is still one of vanilla and now it's more of a French vanilla but at times you get some almond. The pepper continues to linger. The cigar is medium to full bodied.

Just before the midpoint the leather notes have decreased and the coffee notes have really come out. The cedar is somewhat toned down also. The pepper remains very good. The cigar is burning very evenly. The finish remains one of mainly French vanilla and lingering pepper.

At the band the jockeying of flavors continues. The cedar notes are greatly decreased to the point you only taste coffee with some hints of cedar. This may change but it's getting late in the cigar.

At the end of the cigar the cedar notes returned although they are not rich. The coffee is still quite strong. The leather notes have vanished altogether. The finish remained one of French vanilla and some lingering pepper.

This cigar missed the mark with me somewhat. It lacked significant richness and the leather and coffee notes made the cigar a little too dark for me. The cedar was nice but it varied from very good to almost nothing at various points. With this as the first selection in the Last Stick Standing series I am very curious as to what the remaining two cigars will be like.

Score: 84

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