OSA Sol marks CAO’s first major release in a couple of years – since La Traviata. And naturally, people are pretty excited about it, including myself. Well, I was excited….
Here’s what I liked about it: the construction, the burn, and the draw were perfect. Honestly, as good as it gets.
Here’s what I didn’t like: The flavor was ho-hum at best. An attempt to please palates of all types (my guess), leads to a flavor that’s lacking, and just boring in general.
Here’s the quick backstory: OSA Sol takes its name from the proprietary tobacco leaf which serves as its wrapper - a sun grown leaf from the Olancho, San Agustin region of Honduras. The guts are comprised of a Connecticut Broadleaf binder and a Nicaraguan and Honduran long-filler blend. Interesting enough.
Aesthetically speaking: OSA looks pretty good. Firmly packed, neatly capped, and boasting a medium-brown wrapper leaf that’s just slightly splotchy and slightly dry in appearance. The boxes are pretty attractive too (if you care).
Here’s what I got out of it: It begins with a noticeable herbal, woody character that’s interesting, but not necessarily to my liking. The flavor overall is very light and clean, just a few clicks shy of medium-bodied. Flat’s a good word, I guess. It’s not that the flavor is bad, it’s just missing something. And muted to a degree that makes it uninteresting. But as it burns, it does get better. Approaching the halfway point, I hit a little bit of added sweetness and richness to the original core flavor. And a touch of pepper too. But still, nothing overly exciting. Nearing the final inch, the bitterness built up quickly and I called it quits.
Overall: The flavor just wasn’t for me. It’s safe, and I know it has a place in the cigar world for that reason. Although considering CAO’s past, I guess I just expected more. But as I stated above, the burn, draw, and construction were paramount. The amount of smoke was perfect, the draw was just right, and the burn was straight all the way down - which definitely counts for something.
You’ll like it if: you prefer easy-going, mild to medium-bodied cigars. And if you think construction and draw are the end-all, be-all. Just don’t expect a ton of flavor.