Every year the cigar industry holds an annual tradeshow where the manufacturers often debut the newest products and most importantly, the newest cigars to over 3,000 eager attendees like me. And, as is the case every year, the boys from CI were there wrecking shop to bring you the newest of the new and the best of the best.
It seems that in every crop of new smokes there are at least one or two cigars that stand out head and shoulders above the crowd and this year was certainly no exception. As expected, CAO delivered two completely new blends to their already staggering lineup of successful cigars: The CAO CX2 (Cameroon times 2) and the CAO Sopranos.
My initial impression of the CAO Sopranos was that it had to be some kind of a gimmick. The packaging is designed to mimic the trunk of an old Cadillac and if you’ve ever had the good fortune to see the movie Goodfellas, you know what gets stuffed in the trunk… Open it up and inside you will find 20 beautifully crafted cigars, each one finished with two distinct bands. The first is a black band of traditional placement towards the cap of the cigar and features an ominous looking CAO logo in metallic red. The second band shrouds the foot and is produced from a blood-red ribbon with the Sopranos logo prominently emblazoned on it. Allright, enough of the presentation as it’s clear that the folks at CAO know how to package a cigar!
Samples were in short supply but Jon Huber was kind enough to set us up with a couple of these new cigars right from the display box. Closer inspection of the cigar itself revealed a solidly constructed cigar with a gorgeous, reddish-brown and marbled Brazilian Mata-Fina wrapper. I fumbled for my cutter and grabbed some matches in anticipation of what this cigar might deliver. Billed as full-bodied, I would argue that it’s more towards the medium-bodied range of the spectrum but the flavor is damn near as intense as the show this smoke is named for. Undertones of coffee and black cherry envelope your mouth at the start and almost immediately it begins to change and build in complexity. About an inch in and you really begin to notice some spice which is likely due to the generous helping of Nicaraguan, Colombian and Dominican long-fillers that make up the bulk of this cigar. The ash is nothing short of concrete (no pun intended) and the aroma is pleasant and unoffensive as my 5X52 sample aptly named the “Associate” billowed forth huge clouds of bluish-gray smoke. The CAO Sopranos will be available in 3 sizes when they finally hit our shelves with a 6X54 Toro called the “Soldier” and a huge 7X56 Torpedo named the “Boss” rounding out the lineup.
Whether you’re sold on the whole “Sopranos” theme or not, make sure you give this one a try. It’s a legitimate cigar and after all, it’s made by CAO!