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 agreed with a 91 rating. The line, which is still going strong today, is characterized by larger ring gauges [the Gol! is just behind the Amazon (6x60) and the massive Anaconda (8x68!)], and getting the dynamics right on a large ring cigar can be difficult—but CAO clearly gets it right. Notice the deep maduro Brazilian wrapper that secures a Nicaraguan binder and fillers. 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 IPA 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!
Honduras has been a tobacco growing and cigar manufacturing area for hundreds of years, but it was the Communist revolution in Cuba that really put Honduras on the map. In the 1960s, many Cuban cigar makers fled their homeland and arrived in Honduras to re-establish their way of life. The immigrants took advantage of the climate, soil, and geography, which were well-suited to tobacco growing, and began producing high quality cigars. The center of the Honduran cigar industry is the city of Danli and the nearby Jamastran Valley. The majority of the world’s pure Corojo tobacco is grown here, now that Cuba has stopped production of this iconic, spicy, and rich variety in favor of Corojo hybrids. Other important areas of Honduran cigar production include the Talanga Valley, Copan, and Trojes.
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