CAO International, Inc. was founded in 1973 by Cano A. Ozgener (hence the CAO in their name) and produces of one of the country's top lines of premium cigars and cigar accessories. Their famous Meerschaum pipes are smoked by presidents, senators and other dignitaries. While the cast might not be considered "dignitaries", CAO's cigars were featured in the third season of HBO's "The Sopranos" (spawning a separate line of cigars by the same name, with sticks titled "Associate", "Soldier" and "Boss"). They put five years of planning into the production of their Brazilia line before it was released in 2001. And we're officially declaring: it was well worth the wait and Cigar Aficionado agrees with a 91 rating. The line is characterized by larger ring gauges (the Gol! is just behind the Amazon (6x60) and the massive Anaconda (8x68!))—getting the dynamics right on a large ring cigar can be difficult—but CAO clearly gets it right. Notice the deep maduro Brazilian wrapper—yeah, this Brazilian spent some time in the sun alright (and no tan lines—they wear their bathing-skivvies pretty small down in Brazil ya know). Expect very rich spicy & peppery notes at the opening, with creamy notes developing within an inch and balancing the rich, full-bodied notes of leather & spice that persist all the way through this very consistent smoke. Finishes smooth but firm, with some notes of coffee, which makes a bourbon or robust porter a great pairing for this cigar. Know what else is great about this cigar? If you're not a soccer fan, now you've got a reason to run around obnoxiously shouting "Gol!!!!!!!" Go ahead, give it a try!
The Nicaraguan cigar industry originated when Cuban cigar makers escaped the revolution and re-established their livelihood in Nicaragua with Cuban-seed tobacco. Blessed with dark, rich soil, their new home was ideal for tobacco cultivation and Nicaragua quickly became known for cigars that rivaled Cuban quality. Unfortunately, revolution and war came to Nicaragua in the 1980s and devastated the industry, but it’s rebounded dramatically and is once again producing tobacco considered by many to be the finest in the world.
The Esteli Valley is in many ways the heart of Nicaraguan production and is known for its very powerful and spicy tobacco. The Jalapa Valley produces arguably the finest tobacco in the country: somewhat sweeter and less intense than Esteli, but extremely complex. The tobacco of the Condega Valley is often described as a blend of the other two regions.
Outstanding Values On Top-Rated Cigars
Our purchasing power allows us to offer exceptional reorder values on highly rated
cigars such as Rocky Patel's Decade Torpedo, rated 95 in Cigar Aficionado.