May 19, 2018

CAO Zocalo (6 x 60)

Video review HERE.

CAO is igniting the spirit of Mexico with a new, limited edition release that coincides with the brand’s virtual tour of the Pan American Highway.

Called Zócalo, the name for a vibrant and celebratory city square in Mexico, this is first cigar in CAO’s lineup to be made with Mexican tobacco.

CAO’s Master Blender Rick Rodriguez said, “Zócalo speaks to CAO’s spirit of going off the beaten path. We’ve never used Mexican tobacco in any of our blends, so we went bold by using a Mexican wrapper leaf. It’s a special Morron wrapper grown in the San Andrés Valley and it delivers a great, earthy flavor I know the CAO fans will love.”

The filler is entirely Nicaraguan and the binder is Cameroon. All told, the blend delivers earthy spice and subtle sweetness.

Zócalo is being made in one size only, a 6”x 60 vitola called San Andrés that maximizes the flavors of the three-country blend. Individual cigars will sell for an SRP of $8.49 apiece, and will come in brightly colored, 20-count boxes, selling for an SRP of $169.80.

Only 3,500 boxes of Zocalo have been produced, and the limited release hit cigar shops on May 5.

Wrapper: San Andres Morron
Binder: Cameroon
Filler: Nicaraguan

Vitolas available:
6 x 60

The cigar is well made and has a very nice weight in the hand.

The test draw after cutting the large 60 ring cap was very good. The initial flavors were chocolate with sweetness, caramel, and a small amount of whipping cream to give it some added sweetness. There was also a nice black coffee base. There was black pepper which I rated a 7. The front end flavors have a nice sweetness.

At the first quarter (29 minutes) I had a lot of nice chocolate notes, sweet caramel, black coffee and now, a tangy cedar and nutmeg. I don't have the whipping cream notes any longer. At times the cedar tastes like a dry cedar and it combines very nicely with the caramel making a nice, sharp flavor. The finish is a creamy nutmeg with some decent lingering black pepper. The cigar is medium bodied. The chocolate notes are very pronounced and sweet when combined with the other notes. The first quarter is rated a 91.

At the midpoint (57 minutes) the cigar is burning evenly. The chocolate is now tasting very much like a fudge at this point. It has a slight, low level richness. The dry cedar and caramel continue to combine to make a very sweet, sharp flavor that is very pleasing. There is still a tangy note that lies in the background. The nutmeg notes are still in play and quite noticeable. The coffee notes continue to hold the base. The cigar is leaning heavily toward medium to full bodied. The finish is unchanged. The front end flavors are nice, sweet, and dark. With the fudge like, somewhat rich flavor emerging and the nice, sharp notes of dry cedar and caramel I am raising the midpoint score to a 93.

At the 3/4 point (1 hour 24 minutes) the fudge-like flavor and the black coffee notes are the prominent flavors. There is still the sweetness of the cedar and caramel but it's somewhat subdued due to the heavy fudge and black coffee. There is still a little background tangy note along with the nutmeg notes. The cigar is medium to full bodied. The finish has some chocolate on it also to go along with the creamy nutmeg. The black pepper has moved up somewhat on the front end and the finish. With the slight decrease in sweetness I am lowering the score slightly to a 92.

The Zocalo lasted 1 hour 50 minutes. Quite a long burn time. The chocolate fudge-ish notes and black coffee continued to be heavy with the dry cedar and caramel giving the cigar sweetness. The nutmeg notes continued as well. The cigar remained medium to full bodied. The finish is still one of chocolate and creamy nutmeg with nice lingering black pepper. This was a very good dark noted cigar. With no substantial change from the 3/4 point to the end I am maintaining the final quarter score a 92. These are available now. You can purchase these fine cigars HERE.

Overall Score: 92

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