CAO La Traviata
Welp, it’s the final day of #CAOReviewWeek it’s been a blast I hope you all have enjoyed it! Today we’re covering the CAO La Traviata. I checked around and got a little bit of information about this particular blend. After being released in 2009 this cigar has become a staple in the CAO lineup. It’s quickly become a fan favorite as well. It’s easily accessible and an affordable cigar. Ranging anywhere from $5-7 per stick, it’s hard not to pull the trigger and pick one up.
According to my buddies over at Stogie Guys this CAO La Traviata blend was based on the “La Traviata” brand.
“Which initially launched in Cuba over 100 years ago at the Tabacalera Cubana, Agramonte no. 106, in Havana. CAO built this modern-day incarnation to abide “closely to [La Traviata’s] original Cuban roots in presentation and taste.”
That’s pretty cool to hear and know a little bit of the backstory behind the cigar. I was just getting into the cigar scene at that point so I had no clue about this cigar nor of it’s inspiration. So I’m glad the Patricks over at Stogies Guys could help me out with some of the info. I think it’s about time to dive into the review don’t you?
The CAO La Traviata is indeed a very classic looking cigar. From the band down to the wrapper. The band has a classic Cuban look to it. Full of gold trimming and coloring it definitely catches your eye. However, I love how CAO has a range in their packaging from over the top, to this nice subtle design. I love the maroon striping on the top and bottom of the band. Maroon is one of my favorite colors I think it goes well with the ‘glittery’ colors like gold and silver. The CAO logo is in the top maroon striping on the band. La Traviata is written across the middle of the band it a nice bold font face. There are some interesting medallions with small paintings around the center of the band as well. They’re too small to really see what they are though. If anyone knows, please weigh in down below in the comments!
The Ecuadoran wrapper on this cigar is flawless. Slick and sheen, it’s just oozing with oils. It’s a nice milk chocolate brown color and it makes me want to devour this cigar.
Rolling this CAO La Traviata up and down my fingers I noticed a very small soft spot toward the head of the cigar. I’m not really worried about it because it’s so close to the head it shouldn’t really affect the smoke. The only thing it might affect is the draw. So I’m going to keep an eye on it.
As I said above the Ecuadoran wrapper is flawless. I can’t find any seams or veins poking through. The foot appears to be well packed. The construction is near perfect so I think it’s time to punch a hole in the cap and test the draw.
Yesterday, for the OSA Sol review I smoked a 5×50 and said the 50 was too skinny for a punch. I lied, it’s not. Today I forgot my cutter inside, but had my punch cut on my keychain so I figured I might as well try it. It was perfect. So disregard that myth about a punch not working for the 50 ring gauge. The dry draw was nice and open let plenty of air down through the barrel.
Well, all the boxes have been checked for the pre-light inspection. I think we ought to put some fire to it.
This CAO La Traviata took right to the flame and began smoking very quickly. I didn’t have to touch anything up when I was lighting it. The wrapper just took off and started burning. The first third smoked perfectly, never had a draw issue. The smoke was just pouring out. I was able to hold the ash for a little over an inch. It started looking like it was going to fall on me so I made quick work of it in my ashtray.
The second and final thirds were very similar. I literally had zero issues with them. I did purge the cigar towards the end of the 2nd third though. The flavors were starting to build up a bit of tar to them. That didn’t affect the smoking of the cigar though, just the flavor. Overall a very easy smoking experience. The entire cigar just flew by honestly. I didn’t even have to think about it when I was smoking it. I think that’s one of the best compliments you can give a cigar’s construction personally.
The all exciting flavor section! Because this CAO La Traviata is loosely based on a Cuban cigar I was excited to see what sort of flavors would be introduced. During the pre light I picked up on a sweet nutty brown note. Overall a sweet spice, but there were hints of damp earthy tones. On the dry draw I got a lot more of the toasted nut flavors.
The first third came out with some spice, predominately in the retrohale. The finish of the retrohale produced a nice floral note that was a nice contrast to the spice. The main note I’m picking up in the mouthfeel was the dark woody flavor all the way through.
The second and final third were both very similar to the initial third. That spicy nutty flavor carried throughout the cigar. It was pleasant and never really got boring. The spice hit at different intensity levels throughout so that kept me on my toes for the duration of the smoke. For me this cigar never built up past a medium bodied smoke. It’s definitely a unique taste, I’m not sure I would align with a Cuban taste, but it has it’s own profile for sure.
Would I Buy It Again?
Is It an Every Day Smoke?
Possibly especially for the price
Would I Buy a Box?
Overall I’m going to give the CAO La Traviata an 8/10. I enjoyed it and would smoke it again for sure. However, I’m not sure it would land in my regular rotation. The construction was phenomenal which provided a great smoking experience. It’s a great cigar and if you haven’t tried it then you need to find one soon and give it a shot.