CAO Concert – Cigar Review

This week’s group cigar review is of the CAO Concert.  The Concert is the newest release from CAO and has been fairly well received.  It has a very attractive oily wrapper with only small veins.  After cutting, it has a perfect draw and a sweet/spicy pre-light flavor.  It only got better from here, the flavor after lighting was earthy and spicy with sweetness and a floral note.  As we continued smoking, the cigar developed a rich meaty flavor as the sweetness came and went.  The construction was very good with only a couple of minor hitches.  We loved the rich, medium-full body flavor and it is well worth the price.  This is, in our opinion, the best offering from CAO and is a must try.

StraightUpCigars – Matt: Rating:
Flavor and Taste: 18/20
Construction: 9/10
Wrapper: 5/5
Price Point: 10/10
Would I buy a Box: 5/5
Total: 47/50

IamDarren: Rating:
Flavor and Taste: 18/20
Construction: 8/10
Wrapper: 5/5
Price Point: 10/10
Would I buy a Box: 5/5
Total: 46/50

Terry1: Rating:
Flavor and Taste: 17/20
Construction: 10/10
Wrapper: 5/5
Price Point: 10/10
Would I buy a Box: 5/5
Total: 47/50

Apr 16 2013, 7:38 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: I’m all set up now. The CAO Concert has a sweet tobacco smell to it. The wrapper is oily and only has small veins, really nice looking. The draw is pretty much perfect after cutting.
Apr 16 2013, 7:39 PM
IamDarren: love the look of this cigar… Nice guitar themed band, but most of all I love the dark sheen on the wrapper. Seems very well constructed.
Apr 16 2013, 7:40 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Agreed. I can’t get enough of the pre-light flavor on it, sweet and spicy.
Apr 16 2013, 7:41 PM
IamDarren: just clipped and the draw is decent, maybe a little bit tight. A bit of sweet spice and a little earthiness on the cold draw.
Apr 16 2013, 7:42 PM
IamDarren: welcome to the club Terry! Luckily mine is working well for once.
Apr 16 2013, 7:42 PM
IamDarren: are we about ready to light up?
Apr 16 2013, 7:43 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: I’m ready to go. Lighting up!
Apr 16 2013, 7:44 PM
Terry1: I love the music theme. Nice looking cigar. Draw on mine is about perfect. I agree on the earthy and a little sweetness on the cold draw. Lighting up.
Apr 16 2013, 7:45 PM
IamDarren: wow, really liking the first couple puffs! Rich, creamy, earthy, plenty of spice kick, a little sweetness to round it out.
Apr 16 2013, 7:47 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Ridiculously good first couple of puffs! Earthy with spics and some caramel sweetness.
Apr 16 2013, 7:48 PM
Terry1: I agree. Good start. Plenty of earthy notes,some spice, some sweetness and I get a floral note on the finish.
Apr 16 2013, 7:51 PM
IamDarren: agreed, now that i am in a quarter inch the spice has backed off a bit and the sweetness is coming to the forefront. Definitely getting a nice floral quality to it.
Apr 16 2013, 7:52 PM
IamDarren: very creamy and chewy character to it
Apr 16 2013, 7:53 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Yeah, I think this cigar is edible… atleast the smoke tastes like it is.
Apr 16 2013, 7:54 PM
IamDarren: im really impressed, i was not expecting such a great, unique flavor out of this cigar. A+ so far.
Apr 16 2013, 7:55 PM
Terry1: I like the balance between the spice and sweet. I get a burst of spice on the draw then it leaves a nice sweetness on the finish. I agree. This is better than what I expected.
Apr 16 2013, 7:57 PM
IamDarren: the flavors, while complex, are very balanced and coat the palate well. Infact im starting to pick up some kind of nutty flavor. Definitely not peanuts… maybe cashews. It has a buttery character to it.
Apr 16 2013, 7:58 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: This one definitely has buttery smoke. Does not dry out the mouth, and leaves lasting flavor.
Apr 16 2013, 7:59 PM
IamDarren: good burn, the ash is holding strong. Almost in an inch now.
Apr 16 2013, 7:59 PM
Terry1: Even the wrapper feels buttery it’s so oily.
Apr 16 2013, 8:00 PM
Terry1: Either that or I’ve got sweaty fingertips this evening.
Apr 16 2013, 8:01 PM
IamDarren: i think you are right, the wrapper has a lot of sheen to it and if you look close at the burn line you can see the oil on the surface. There is no color change so its not dyed, just a great, well aged wrapper.
Apr 16 2013, 8:02 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: The ash is rock hard. With an inch of ash, I lightly tried to knock it off, but it holds tight.
Apr 16 2013, 8:02 PM
IamDarren: mine just fell off in the tray when you said that… but the cherry looks perfect.
Apr 16 2013, 8:03 PM
Terry1: The CAO Concert has an Ecuadorian Habano Rosado wrapper and a Connecticut Broadleaf binder. Interesting combination.
Apr 16 2013, 8:04 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Sorry for jynxing you Terry
Apr 16 2013, 8:04 PM
IamDarren: im surprised we aren’t getting more of a spice kick at this point with the habano rosado wrapper. Must be extra fermenting or aging.
Apr 16 2013, 8:04 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: This is the best start we’ve had to any cigar in quite a while.
Apr 16 2013, 8:05 PM
IamDarren: damn, just started to get a crack in the wrapper starting at the burn line. I think the binder is ok.
Apr 16 2013, 8:08 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Just posted a giveaway, hopefully it drums up some interest in the forum!
Apr 16 2013, 8:08 PM
Terry1: I’m about an inch in and I still get a lot of spice in the sinus. The earthy note is still there and I’m getting a black coffee note. A little bitter but in a good way. I’d really like more sweetness to balance out the other flavors.
Apr 16 2013, 8:10 PM
IamDarren: the spice is making a comeback on mine but not getting any coffee yet. I can feel the strength picking up though.
Apr 16 2013, 8:13 PM
Terry1: Cigar is burning perfectly and is producing lots of smoke. I’m glad to be getting a decent amount of smoke. Several cigars I’ve smoked lately have had good draws but little smoke. I was thinking I had a humidity problem. Since the CAO came out of the same box hopefully I had a little bad luck.
Apr 16 2013, 8:14 PM
IamDarren: Just saw the giveaway Matt. Very generous on your part! Im assuming you got five packs so you just gave away all your extra sticks. I sure hope we get some people on the forum.
Apr 16 2013, 8:15 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: I’m in the second third now. The construction is good, just a slightly lopsided burn.
Apr 16 2013, 8:15 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Yep, just giving away the extras. I hope so too!
Apr 16 2013, 8:16 PM
IamDarren: I can’t help but wonder if i had gone to the shed that i wouldn’t be having this wrapper issue. When its cold outside it seems to make the cherry expand more.
Apr 16 2013, 8:18 PM
IamDarren: just fired up the propane heater, cause my hands are getting numb. Temps must be dropping.
Apr 16 2013, 8:21 PM
IamDarren: just dropped the second ash, just passing the halfway mark. Still loving the flavor. Hasn’t changed much but it doesn’t need to.
Apr 16 2013, 8:22 PM
Terry1: Could be the cold. No cracks in mine and the burn is even. I’m into the second third and the spice has picked up again. The smoke is still very creamy. The flavors are nice but very consistent.
Apr 16 2013, 8:22 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Mine has a really meaty and salty flavor to it right now, like beef jerky. Has some spice on the finish too.
Apr 16 2013, 8:22 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Maybe I’m just hungry
Apr 16 2013, 8:23 PM
Terry1: I agree with you Matt. I’ve been trying to figure out what I was tasting and it is meaty. Good call.
Apr 16 2013, 8:24 PM
Terry1: And I’m starting to feel the strength.
Apr 16 2013, 8:24 PM
IamDarren: maybe mine is coming across nutty. Either way its yummy.
Apr 16 2013, 8:26 PM
IamDarren: just noticed that the band says “Perfect Harmony”… great description.
Apr 16 2013, 8:27 PM
IamDarren: whats the price point on these?
Apr 16 2013, 8:27 PM
Terry1: Wow! I just took a sip of Coke to get ahead of the strength and the cigar exploded with flavor. There’s the missing sweetness.
Apr 16 2013, 8:28 PM
Terry1: Box price of 24 is just under $100. Very good value.
Apr 16 2013, 8:28 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Great price. 5-pack for $23 on CI or $28 on Famous.
Apr 16 2013, 8:31 PM
IamDarren: Just over 4 bucks a stick retail is really good for this cigar.
Apr 16 2013, 8:32 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: They should make the band a real banjo pick
Apr 16 2013, 8:33 PM
IamDarren: just removed the band, came off super easy because of the design. Im definitely saving this one.
Apr 16 2013, 8:34 PM
Terry1: I like the amp design for the box. It would’ve been really cool to add some real CAO guitar picks with the cigars.
Apr 16 2013, 8:38 PM
IamDarren: into the last third now, boy this is a slow burner. Getty some char flavor now. Its not too strong but leaves a bit of bitterness on the finish.
Apr 16 2013, 8:38 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: I have a little bitterness as well, but I like it… a change of pace.
Apr 16 2013, 8:39 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: It’s funny I was thinking earlier how fast a burner it was, it has really slowed down.
Apr 16 2013, 8:39 PM
IamDarren: tastes like prime rib that has been slow smoked…. my mouth is watering now
Apr 16 2013, 8:42 PM
Terry1: I switched back to water for about five minutes then back to the Coke and I can’t believe how different the cigar tastes. It’s like a shot of Jack and a Jack and Coke. My preference is the Coke pairing. For me it really makes the flavors in the cigar stand out.
Apr 16 2013, 8:44 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: That does sound like a good pairing for this one. I’ve got the old standby, Coors Light (or Curs Unleaded if you’re in Arkansas).
Apr 16 2013, 8:44 PM
IamDarren: lol, yeah the only thing i am missing at this point is the rock concert
Apr 16 2013, 8:46 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: This one sure does make a lot of smoke. I just looked around the room and it is a lil smokey in here
Apr 16 2013, 8:47 PM
IamDarren: my wrapper was continuing to crack until I started holding it close to the heater. Now that it has warmed up the crack stopped and i have almost burned through it. Coincidence, I think not.
Apr 16 2013, 8:48 PM
Terry1: Good thing the binder held and you were able to smoke through the crack.
Apr 16 2013, 8:49 PM
IamDarren: yeah, i was worried i was gonna have a major problem if it got close enough to the foot
Apr 16 2013, 8:51 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Very interesting. I never would have guessed the temp would make that instantaneous a difference.
Apr 16 2013, 8:53 PM
IamDarren: i think the problem is not with the burn but the rest of the cigar. My theory is that the rest of the cigar starts to shrink and then it can’t expand back fast enough when the burn gets too it. The cigar even feels more spongy now. Earlier it was pretty stiff.
Apr 16 2013, 8:54 PM
IamDarren: if they only made a wifi repeater that would reach a quarter mile i would be set
Apr 16 2013, 8:56 PM
IamDarren: that is until i build my smoking room
Apr 16 2013, 8:57 PM
Terry1: Same hear! I’m on the edge of my wireless and would love an inside the house smoking room.
Apr 16 2013, 8:58 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Mine’s nothing to speak of, I’d love to have one that didn’t take 10 minutes to set up and had post 1970’s furniture
Apr 16 2013, 8:58 PM
Terry1: I’m at the nub. Very consistent stick in both terms of flavor and construction. I really had no complaints. Good value smoke.
Apr 16 2013, 8:59 PM
IamDarren: getting close to the nub now and the flavor is still fantastic.
Apr 16 2013, 8:59 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: This was a gem of a cigar. I can’t believe the price and unique flavors… all from a large manufacturer. CAO nailed it.
Apr 16 2013, 9:01 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: I’ll be rating in a sec
Apr 16 2013, 9:01 PM
IamDarren: yeah if they had only called it Wicked Evil Hair of the Devil they would have a winner… just kidding
Apr 16 2013, 9:01 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: how about: My AK Weighs More Than Your Uzi.
Apr 16 2013, 9:02 PM
IamDarren: lol. good one
Apr 16 2013, 9:06 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: I really flirted with a 9 on the price, but all things considered it is a real bargain at ~$5. I also forgot to mention that these were free samples from General Cigar, of course.
Apr 16 2013, 9:06 PM
IamDarren: I think General will do well with this one, for sure.
Apr 16 2013, 9:07 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Agreed. Nice choice Terry! That was one of our best yet.
Apr 16 2013, 9:07 PM
Terry1: Agreed. I’m thinking of getting a box. The box would look good in my office and the cigars are decent. Win/win.
Apr 16 2013, 9:08 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Make a cigar box guitar out of it

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