If you’re used to the typical power of a Nicaraguan cigar, the CAO Gold will surprise you. This Cigar Aficionado 91-rated smoke is one of the very few mild Nicaraguan cigars on the market. Comprised of a mellow blend of aged Cuban-seed Nicaraguan long leaf fillers and binder and a Connecticut-seed Ecuadorian wrapper, this cigar is as nice to look at as it is to wake up with—consider smoking it over coffee or aged rum if you need more kick. Note also the leathery aroma and a pleasant woody finish at the start. Expect this cigar to build in complexity about halfway through the smoke, presenting creamy textures and notes of nutmeg & vanilla with a faintly sweet, anise-like spice lingering in the finish.
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.
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