CAO La Traviata Maduro – Cigar Review

This week’s group review is of the CAO La Traviata with a Maduro wrapper.  This cigar has a really nice looking wrapper and a perfect draw once cut.  We cannot wait to light it up.  Right off the bat we got nailed with a ton of pepper flavor.  Some earthy flavor as well.  Towards the end of the cigar, the pepper finally started to subside and left an acidic coffee flavor with a spicy finish. All three of our smokes had perfect construction.  Overall, the cigar is a little pricey but offered a full bodied punch of flavor.   I think there are better values out there that offer a more complex flavor profile.  All in all, these are worth a shot.

StraightUpCigars – Matt: Rating:
Flavor and Taste: 17/20
Construction: 10/10
Wrapper: 5/5
Price Point: 7/10
Would I buy a Box: 3/5
Total: 42/50

Terry1: Rating:
Flavor and Taste: 14/20
Construction: 10/10
Wrapper: 5/5
Price Point: 6/10
Would I buy a Box: 1/5
Total: 36/50

IamDarren: Rating:
Flavor and Taste: 14/20
Construction: 10/10
Wrapper: 5/5
Price Point: 7/10
Would I buy a Box: 2/5
Total: 38/50

Aug 21 2012, 7:16 PM
IamDarren: it looks well constructed, and im getting a very distinct molasses note from the foot.
Aug 21 2012, 7:19 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Yeah, mine is well constructed too. There was a massive stem near the cap that made it hard to cut, but the draw is good once I got it cut.
Aug 21 2012, 7:20 PM
Terry1: The La Traviata does look good. Clipped mine and I get a nice chocolate note on an easy draw. I’m ready to light up.
Aug 21 2012, 7:20 PM
IamDarren: mine cut fine and the draw is a solid medium. Lighting up now.
Aug 21 2012, 7:22 PM
IamDarren: whew, i think you may be right Terry. All im getting so far is a dry pepper blast.
Aug 21 2012, 7:24 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: I’m picking up a sweet and sour earthy flavor w/ a lot of pepper. A little spice on the finish. Straightforward but very bold flavor.
Aug 21 2012, 7:24 PM
Terry1: Yeah it’s bringing back memories. Lots of pepper to start with. I’m also getting a burnt toast and just a touch of sweetness. It’s starting out strong.
Aug 21 2012, 7:26 PM
IamDarren: it seems to be mellowing a little but im starting to get a slight bitterness in the back of my mouth on the finish. Not enough creaminess to make a difference.
Aug 21 2012, 7:26 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: It is a small robusto sized stick. Should smoke fast, which is fine b/c I need to post a cigar review, lighter review, and lighter giveaway!
Aug 21 2012, 7:27 PM
Terry1: Careful with the retrohale. It’ll bring tears to the eyes. WOW
Aug 21 2012, 7:28 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: The name La Traviata gives the impression that this will be a wimpy stick, but man this is quite the opposite!
Aug 21 2012, 7:28 PM
IamDarren: so your GF only lets you update the site on Tuesday evenings now….. what a shame.
Aug 21 2012, 7:28 PM
Terry1: lol good one.
Aug 21 2012, 7:29 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: It has worked out that way lately.
Aug 21 2012, 7:30 PM
IamDarren: Im hoping we can draw some people back to the forum again. I enjoying checking it and seeing people posting throughout the week. Maybe we can do another forum giveaway or something to get people to come back.
Aug 21 2012, 7:31 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: I’ll integrate that into this giveaway.
Aug 21 2012, 7:32 PM
IamDarren: sweet
Aug 21 2012, 7:34 PM
IamDarren: I think there are some underlying flavors being masked by the pepper. Every time I take a drink i am immediately left with a coffee and charred oak flavor. the creaminess seems to be improving a little which is helping.
Aug 21 2012, 7:35 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: I completely agree. More cream coming in. It’s a really tasty stick at this point IMO.
Aug 21 2012, 7:36 PM
Terry1: I’m getting a little coffee too but I’m also getting that harsh bitterness in the back of my mouth too. Not sure if I like how this one is starting. Hopefully the pepper will mellow and I get more of the creaminess.
Aug 21 2012, 7:37 PM
IamDarren: razor sharp burn line and a solid white ash is still holding at an inch.
Aug 21 2012, 7:38 PM
Terry1: The large band makes this cigar look short. It’s going to have to come off soon.
Aug 21 2012, 7:39 PM
IamDarren: yours must be burning pretty fast Terry, im just going into the second third.
Aug 21 2012, 7:40 PM
Terry1: My band is loose and keeps creaping up to the burn line. I’m probably about where you are.

Aug 21 2012, 7:40 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Same here. Starting the second third w/ excellent construction.
Aug 21 2012, 7:41 PM
IamDarren: im noticing that the smoke is becoming a lot more chewey. While the pepper is still strong its not making it as dry as when i started. I too am liking it at this point, however there aren’t many flavors other than cream and pepper so im hoping we get some complexity before its over.
Aug 21 2012, 7:44 PM
Terry1: This cigar would be brutal without something to drink, IMO. After a few puffs my mouth and lips are tingling like I ate Jalapeno peppers.
Aug 21 2012, 7:44 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: I must like jalepeno peppers then I see what you are saying, though. Lots of pepper, especially if you retrohale.
Aug 21 2012, 7:46 PM
Terry1: Alright band is off. Came off cleanly. Got tired of messing with it.
Aug 21 2012, 7:46 PM
IamDarren: im sure you guys hate hearing me talk about the Genesis all the time, but its one of the first sticks that i have liked becuase it is full bodied with very little pepper. Its nice to get away from it once in awhile.
Aug 21 2012, 7:47 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Interesting. Can’t wait to try one!
Aug 21 2012, 7:47 PM
Terry1: That’s good to here. I think I’m going to like it.
Aug 21 2012, 7:48 PM
IamDarren: it will be nice to get a second and third opinion
Aug 21 2012, 7:49 PM
IamDarren: im just crossing the halfway point and the pepper is finally starting to subside! More sweetness is coming through now.
Aug 21 2012, 7:49 PM
Terry1: I just read a review of Rocky’s new Private Cellar and they said same thing, full of flavor without the pepper.
Aug 21 2012, 7:50 PM
IamDarren: i don’t mind it if there are lots of other flavors to compliment it but i pretty much gave up on Pepins sticks becuase it was usually just overpowering.
Aug 21 2012, 7:51 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: I still like Pepin’s sticks, but there hasn’t been any new ones lately… atleast that I know of.
Aug 21 2012, 7:52 PM
Terry1: I agree with Darren. I’m about halfway and I can finally taste something other than pepper. It’s funny, most maduros bring a natural sweetness but every once in a while you get one that ramps up the earth and pepper. This one is the later.
Aug 21 2012, 7:52 PM
Terry1: Or maybe the filler and binder just overwhelms whatever the maduro wrapper brings.
Aug 21 2012, 7:53 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: This is definitely an atypical CAO. Most are a lot smoother. I think we are starting to see some of the large companies take some risks on flavor… not just the same old smooth and mild sticks.
Aug 21 2012, 7:54 PM
IamDarren: its defenitely a balancing act. If there is enough of one type of filler it can definitely overpower the wrapper.
Aug 21 2012, 7:54 PM
Terry1: Can’t complain about the construction. It’s been near perfect the whole time.
Aug 21 2012, 7:55 PM
IamDarren: true
Aug 21 2012, 7:57 PM
Terry1: Beginning the final third and with the pepper subsiding I’m detecting earth, coffee, a slight sweetness and even some sourness on the finish.
Aug 21 2012, 7:59 PM
IamDarren: yeah im getting a bit of acidity on the finish that is coming through as an herbal type of flavor.
Aug 21 2012, 7:59 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Final third for me too. Bitter black coffee and earthy flavor w/ some spice. No lack of flavor here, very BOLD.
Aug 21 2012, 8:01 PM
IamDarren: the pepper is coming in and out every few puffs. Im just at the last third mark. Getting a little coffee but really just a hint.
Aug 21 2012, 8:02 PM
Terry1: Just starting to notice the strength. With this much bold flavor I’m surprised it took this long to hit me.
Aug 21 2012, 8:04 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Yeah, this one has a little strength. Nothing too bad, but it’s there.
Aug 21 2012, 8:05 PM
IamDarren: this stick is confusing to me. The flavors don’t seem to compliment each other very well. It starts out with a bit of pepper and cream then switches to a bit of coffe with a weird herbal/sour note on the fisnish…..
Aug 21 2012, 8:06 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Yeah, the flavor kind of punches you in the face instead of giving you a kiss.
Aug 21 2012, 8:06 PM
Terry1: So true. Lots of flavors but not playing well together.
Aug 21 2012, 8:08 PM
IamDarren: punch, followed by cream, followed by a cup of joe with a garnish of lemon to finish it off……delicious
Aug 21 2012, 8:08 PM
Terry1: lol. Do you think that’s what the blender was aiming for?
Aug 21 2012, 8:10 PM
Terry1: I’m going to have a hard time rating the flavor on this one. It has a lot of bold flavors but really nothing I like in a cigar.
Aug 21 2012, 8:11 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: I really don’t know. Everyonce in a while I get a puff like my last one that I really like.
Aug 21 2012, 8:11 PM
IamDarren: other reviews say it has a lot of coffee flavor with some bakers spice…. im just not getting it. I wish i was.
Aug 21 2012, 8:13 PM
IamDarren: im actually enjoying the last third the most though. There is a spice note that is overshadowing the pepper at this point.
Aug 21 2012, 8:16 PM
Terry1: Well I’m at the nub and setting it down. And I agree the final third was the best.
Aug 21 2012, 8:17 PM
IamDarren: yeah, the creaminess has all but left. Almost all spice at this point.
Aug 21 2012, 8:18 PM
IamDarren: i think im going to put mine down before i get cotton mouth.
Aug 21 2012, 8:19 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Yeah, mine’s about cashed. I’m going to rate this oen.
Aug 21 2012, 8:23 PM
IamDarren: well this was a hard one to rate, there were some good flavors but they just didn’t jive well together for me.
Aug 21 2012, 8:23 PM
Terry1: I hate to give it such a low score but I didn’t like this cigar and wouldn’t buy it again. It probably does fit someone’s flavor profile.
Aug 21 2012, 8:24 PM
StraightUpCigars – Matt: Wow, good spread of scores there. This one was certainly not a dull cigar, so no surprise that is earned very different ratigns.


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