13 Years ago the best/worst cigar was brought to market by CAO. That cigar? The original CAO Vision. A certain gimmick and smoking blunder, the CAO vision was an overpriced, very mediocre cigar that if you were dumb enough to buy a whole box of them, you inherited the a pretty useless lit up humidor. It was like inheriting your grandmother’s parakeet after she passes. It’s cool for a few days, then you just want to sequester it to the basement until you completely forget about it. Now in 2020 CAO decided to re-release the cigar, this time with a different blend, but still with the same obnoxious humidor. Let’s see if the 2020 release is better than the original.
Construction - Both samples were really well made. It has a nice caramel wrapper with a slight sheen. There were no blemishes, decent cap structure on one, but a failure point on the other, and a band that is confusingly futuristic and absurd, like CAO hired someone’s high school nephew to design it as a part of a graphic design project.
Burn - This was a surprising area for both. This is a Churchill vitola and with 7 inches of dong to smoke through, you would usually anticipate something going wrong, but both smoked consistently and boasted more than adequate smoke production. Minus a slight tight draw on one sample, the burn was actually pretty impeccable.
Flavor - This is the area the 2007 release fell flat on its face, and guess what? The 2020 release with a whole new blend was no different. The first third gives you a slight bit of a lot of things. Wood, Nuts, a bit of pepper, and a slight sweetness, all which dissipate quickly. You hope for a big beat drop as you head into the 2nd 3rd but the reality is the flavors become even more subdued. Even on the retrohale there is a TON more to be desired. We were both questioning whether or not we have Covid-19, because there is no way this cigar could be completely void of at least some flavor, but that was the reality. Not all hope was lost though, as we still had the final 3rd left to smoke. Here comes the big finale! You hope for a colorful, bright, and ensemble flavor explosion, but what do you get? Snakes and sparklers. It was a cigar that was completely lackluster. A cigar that was tame and lame. We both agreed that we simply in all of our years of smoking, have never had a cigar quite this dull and boring.
Might as well smoke twigs and mud for free.
If the cigar wasn’t bad enough on it’s own, you will pay a high premium for it. It comes in at a mind blowing $19.00 which I am sure is mostly tied up in the LED lit box, and unless you cough up about $400.00, you don’t even get that. You will just get a $19.00 that smokes like a $3.00 cigar. The question is, will we buy them again? OF COURSE WE WILL! Why? Because it’s so ridiculous, you can’t not. It just becomes a great ongoing joke. Like we have invested in the 2007 release, we will be equally dumb and commit to this one just the same, and let’s be honest, isn’t that all CAO cares about? Always marketing before blend, and just wait until this cigar magically appears in Cigar Aficionado's TOP 25 for 2020.
CAO was founded in 1968 and our factory is located in Nicaragua. While our company is rich with history, our passion is creating new cigars using unique and rare tobaccos.