- Price per stick: ~$2
- Ring Gauge: 52
- Length: 6.5″
- Country of Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper Color: Natural
- Wrapper Origin: Ecuadorian
- Wrapper Leaf Type: Sumatra
Firstly, for it’s price, you can’t go wrong. At just under $2 a stick, it’s a great smoke and over here in the UK, it’s literally a steal.
First things first, they come in bundles of 20, nicely wrapped with a Nicaraguan Government sticker on. The shape and feel of the sticks are good, solid, well made and the usual Oliva-family quality. The smell is pretty good as well. It’s obvious the cigars haven’t been aged as much as others, but for the price – who cares, that’s what a humidor is for right?
Upon lighting it and giving a couple of them a puff, the draw differs from one to the other and usually getting quite tight towards the end, even with re-cutting. The smoke flavour is good, however towards the start it tastes a little ‘cigarette-ish’. The cap is also sweetened I think, either that or they use some ridiculously nice tasting sweet tobacco. I think this must affect the flavour, as the smoke does taste sweet, especially towards the first third.
Overall for it’s size, quality of build and price, you cannot go wrong. I’ll definitely be buying these again but perhaps in the ‘gold’ range to see what they’re like. Top marks, Oliva!
- Looks/Feel: 7/10
- Smell before burn: 7/10
- Burn: 8/10
- Taste of smoke: 13/20
- +5 for amazing price!
- Overall: 40/50
- Price per stick: ~$4.50
- Ring Gauge: 50
- Length: 5″
- Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Connecticut
- Broadleaf MaduroBinder: Cameroon
Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican
I was excited about trying this cigar as it’s pretty hard to get the CAO brand over here in the UK. I ordered this cigar along with a bunch of other maduros that are hard-to-find in the UK.
Construction wise before lighting it looks OK. Some veins are here and there, but the main issue was a very dry and almost crumbling torpedo end. It had been stored in a 70%. Humidor and shipped in the most careful packaging I’ve ever seen so it wasn’t down to anything but poor craftsmanship.
Looks and construction aside it smelt very good. Oily wrapper, tightly packed and a good looking band. The draw before I lit it was also quite ‘bitty’ and I kept on getting a rather dust like tobacco in my mouth for the first five or so draws.
I lit it with a blue flame torch and began to puff! It didn’t produce as much smoke as I’d hoped but it had a good sweet taste which was very pleasant and would be really suited towards more of a beginner smoker. The cigar slowly developed throughout the smoke and all in all was very enjoyable. It’s a nice mild smoke suitable for any occasion I’d say, and one that won’t break the bank either.
I wasn’t getting many ‘notes’ of flavour through, rather just sweet tasting, enjoyable smoke. However towards the end it does get slightly peppery and a hint of the old marzipan comes back in.
There was one main gripe though. The wrapper practically came off towards the second third, and in the end I had to take it off. Not ideal when part of the flavour is coming from the wrapper! It also just made it a very fiddly smoke, and you don’t want to be worrying about dropping the stick or having bits of dry leaf stuck to your lips after a puff.
- Looks/Feel: 4/10
- Smell before burn: 5/10
- Burn: 6/10
- Taste of smoke: 11/20
- Overall: 26/50