When I walked into Monte's Cigar Shop in Albuquerque, NM today, I didn't really know what I'd walk out with. Monte's has a great humidor, so I knew narrowing it down to just one cigar might cause some stress.
However, I walked out with a cigar I've been thinking about for a few weeks, the CAO Italia Ciao – a natural robusto that looks delicious. Though it's a “natural” wrapper, the Honduran Habano is dark and oily. After punching the end, the draw was nearly perfect.
Size: 5 x 56
Wrapper: Honduran Habano
Filler: Nicaragua, Peru, Italian Habano
Smoke Time: 92 minutes
At about the 59-minute mark, I removed the label. I think the humidity in the shop's humidor might be a little high (I also asked a fellow smoker in the lounge), but the draw is still very smooth. However, for a few brief moments, there was a slightly uneven burn.
The Italian Habano filler is giving an interesting flavor to the CAO Italia. There is a spice, but not like the spiciness of tobacco from the Central and South Americas. It's a subtle heat wrapped in creamy Nicaraguan tobacco. I like it.
In the final third of the cigar, the spicey flavors became peppery and more pronounced. So much so, that the cigar tasted very different at the end than it did at the beginning. However, for an $8 cigar, the CAO Italia Ciao lasted just over an hour and a half – a decent value for the money.
Because I liked this cigar and would smoke another with you any time, the CAO Italia Ciao natural robusto earns a CigarScore 4.