Welcome back to round 3 of #CAOReviewWeek today I’m sitting down and reviewing the CAO Gold. I’ve seen a lot of talk about this cigar online for years. It’s one of CAO’s staples and if you ask most people they’ve probably smoked at least one before. Just like the MX2, I’ve never smoked one before. So I’m extremely excited to give this cigar whirl and see what it’s all about. I know it has a very loyal following so I’m hoping I enjoy it just as much as everyone else does.
I dug around online and couldn’t really find much background information on this cigar. Why it’s called the Gold series or anything like that, so we’re all going to have to stay in the dark. I do know that this line has a tremendous list of vitolas. It’s pretty incredible how many different shapes and sizes this thing comes in. I counted 14 different vitolas and packaging options for this CAO Gold. You can view all the different vitolas on their site here (http://caocigars.com/the-lineup/classic/gold/). The one I’m most interested in is the Lonsdale, that’s because it’s the size that I’m smoking for this review. I’ve always been a fan of lonsdales & lanceros, and most of other words that start with L’s… Well let’s hop into it and see where this Gold takes us.
The packaging on this CAO Gold isn’t very loud or flamboyant. It’s simple and classic. There’s a lot of gold as you might expect. It’s complimented with a bright red and some white thrown in as well. It reminds me of all the colors that you would see in a king’s robe. One of those that you see in the movies. Something that a king probably never actually wore back in the day, but nonetheless, that’s what it reminds me of. See,even when I search for “King’s Robe” that’s what shows up. I know I’m not that crazy.
The band on this cigar is again, fairly simple. It has that diamond shape in center that is prominent on most CAO cigars. However one thing that is different with this CAO Gold. It uses the old CAO logo. I’m assuming that when they released it that was the logo they were using and they’ve kept it in to give it a nice ‘vintage’ vibe. The logo is somewhat squished into the center of the diamond but it still looks good. I like that they kept the packaging all these years, even after going to a new logo.
The Ecuadoran Connecticut wrapper on this cigar is beautiful. It’s a nice light brown shade. Which is the polar opposite from the dark maduros that I’ve smoked for the first two reviews this week. This wrapper has a nice sheen to it full of oils oozing giving it that nice pop. I think it’s time to get into the pregame for this cigar and see if it’s smokeable!
Taking a look up and down the wrapper of this CAO Gold I don’t really notice any seams nor veins running the length of the barrel. Overall it’s nice and smooth. The foot appears to be well filled with tobacco and I’m not noticing any flaws in construction thus far. I rolled the cigar between my thumb and forefinger checking for soft spots in the filler. I found one small spot where there appeared to be a little less tobacco. So I’ll keep my eye on it if in case it starts to give me some trouble.
I strayed away from using the punch on this cigar. The ring gauge is a little too small for my massive punch. So I’m going back to the ole double bladed capped back cutter! It’s a go to of mine. The dry draw is absolutely fantastic. Very easy to pull some air down through the barrel and all signs are pointing to this being a great smoke. I think it’s about time to put some flame to this leaf.
I’m excited for this CAO Gold because the draw is nice and open compared to the first two that I smoked. So it should be a bit easier to sit back and relax and not have to focus so much on smoking. I’ll just get to enjoy it. Welp, the Xikar Stratosphere has returned to light the fire. I refueled it and now it’s ready to go!
The cigar takes to the flame very quickly and we’re off and running. There was one part of the foot that didn’t want to light with the rest of the cigar. So I pulled the flame away a bit and directed the tip of it right at that spot. Finally it stopped being stubborn and caught up with the rest of the cigar.
The first third was burning without any incident. The ash was perfect and rolled right down through the barrel. I held it to nearly an inch and then I tapped it off. Phenomenal construction thus far. I love the draw, it’s so easy to smoke. The rest of the cigar continued to burn perfectly. I never had an issue with that soft spot that I noticed above. It just went right through it. Overall a fantastic smoking experience. Now let’s see what flavors are there.
At first sniff I pick up a good dose of raisin on the foot of this CAO Gold. It’s a nice sweet note. Moving up and down the barrel I pick up a few hints of a dry hay note. Followed by just a bit of spice when I put it to my lips to test the dry draw. It already seems to be fairly complex just on the pre-light.
During the first third the dominant note seems to be this savory nutty flavor. There are some very interesting herbal notes that roll through on the retrohale as well. The herbal notes really dominated the overall retrohale which was exciting to experience. Towards the end of this third I’m picking up on more spice but it’s not overtaking that nutty / woody note.
The second third stays fairly consistent with the first. The spice has died down some and I’m getting this consistent toasted nutty flavor. The sweetness that I noticed in the foot is barely showing through. Its appearing to be more akin to cocoa at this point rather than raisin.
The final third is consistent with the first two, however the spice has returned now. It’s coming through as a nice black pepper note that is adding a bit of depth to the overall flavor profile of the cigar. This cigar never traveled out of medium-bodied for me. It hung around that spectrum in terms of strength. Very consistent and a great cigar overall.
Would I Buy It Again?
Is It an Every Day Smoke?
Definitely, especially at this price.
Would I Buy a Box?
If you want to smoke this everyday, you better buy a box!
Overall I was very impressed with this CAO Gold, I’m giving it a 9/10. It was a consistently great cigar. The construction was perfect I never had an issue and the flavors were consistent all the way through. It’s hard to ask more from a cigar. Even though the flavors were consistent, there was still a level of complexity. The flavors ebbed and flowed with each other and created a nice balance between them all. If you haven’t tried this CAO Gold yet then you need to pick one up.