For years, CAO has had the Italia, the Brazilia, and the Osa Sol, but now the company has added two more blends under the concept of World Blends that includes the former. As we wrote during the trade show, CAO has a couple of new cigars but now they have shipped.
The Colombia is a medium bodied smoke but it is savory, reminiscent of the old CAO Gold even though the blend is totally different. The Gold uses an Ecuadoran Connecticut wrapper over a Nicaraguan binder and Honduran and Nicaraguan fillers. The Colombia, on the other hand, uses a Jamastran Rosado wrapper with a Cameroon binder and Brazilian Matafina and Colombian Ica Mazinga for the fillers. See? Totally different but yet the Colombia reminds me of the Gold. Course that could be old age too. Ica Mazinga is a Colombian tobacco, which comes from an isolated mountainous region called Montes de Maria. There are four sizes in 20 count boxes with MSRP running from $6 for the 5” x 50 robusto called Tinto up to $7.75 for the 6” x 60 Bogota.
The other new blend is the Amazon Basin. This cigar is very unique (I know unique is enough). The blend uses a tobacco called Bragança. According to CAO, the tobacco is organically grown on unspoiled tropical land and harvested just once every three years. Seedlings are transplanted directly into the soil a full yard apart from each other, resulting in less than half the yield of other tobacco plants. The leaves are rolled by hand into tubes called “carottes” where they undergo six months of natural fermentation. They are then transported out of the rainforest by canoe.
A couple of years ago, Jhonys Diaz gave me a sample of this tobacco. He did not tell me what it was at the time, but I tried it. All I can say was wow, my sinuses opened and my head spun. By itself, it is a very potent leaf. In the Amazon Basin blend, you can tell it is there but it is much more toned down. The blend uses tobaccos from four countries, an Ecuadoran Sumatran wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and fillers from other countries (CAO won’t say which other than the Bragança. It comes only in one size, due to the scarcity of the Bragança, at 6” x 52 and retails for $9.25. There is no real band on this cigar; instead there is braided tobacco leaf on it.