Over the past couple of days, my house has been inundated with cigar shipments. Indeed, my humidor is at capacity. I have had to leave a few old, crappy cigars sitting on top of my tobacco cabinet in hopes that smoke-thirsty passers-by would curiously pick up and smoke a few. It's been rough, I tell you! Rough! To calm my nerves and steady my panic-shaken hands, I brewed myself a very large, strong cup of Keemun and picked up a CAO Gold Robusto that the kind folks at Tinderbox.com had sent me. This is a beautiful cigar with a Connecticut seed, Honduras-grown wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and filler. The wrapper has slightly more color than some Connecticut seed tobacco, which is nice to see, and it smells full and rich, earthy and leafy. As I prepare to cut, my eyes widen in anticipation and I think I'm actually starting to salivate.
The first puffs of this lovely cigar are easy. It has a good, smooth draw to it, and something about its flavor and aroma fill me with a lovely feeling of nostalgia and longing. I am reminded of my first cigar, my early puffs on a tobacco pipe, and my grandfather. I'm not sure what it is—perhaps it's that I got a rather large snootful of smoke accidentally when I was lighting, and it took me completely by surprise. My eyes watered a bit. As the tears subside and the flavors linger in my mouth, I am reminded of how good life is and how all of my old coworkers (hi Jesse!) are stuck in cubicles without cigars clenched betwixt their tobacco-stained jaws. By now there's a good solid inch of ash on the end of the cigar, and I reach over to try to tap it into my excellent silver art deco ashtray, but it won't budge. Good! I love a solid ash that fights back. I eye it warily, silently challenging it, and puff on.
The citrus notes that I find so common in cigars seem somewhat muted in this guy. The first few puffs had a mild spice that permeated my whole mouth, but that has diminished now and been replaced with agreeable, light notes of cream and toast. Or maybe that's the tea. This cigar, to tell you the truth, has a rather pleasant flavor, but isn't holding up to the tea very well. Perhaps I should be smoking it with water, but I need the tea just as badly, and it's a rare, rare day when I smoke a cigar with water alone. What am I, some kind of cigar hermit? No! Anyhow, as the cigar smokes down further, it becomes more pleasant. The flavor gets richer, rounder, and blends nicely with the sweet aroma that fills the room. The room note on this cigar is lovely.
Finally, down around the 1 inch point, the cigar is becoming a little bitter, and is getting a tad bit too warm for my delicate, manly fingers. I keep thinking about crushing it out in my awesome ashtray, but then keep putting it off. This is a really nice cigar. Easy to smoke, mild in flavor, but not too underpowered like the Perdomo Lot 23 that we reviewed last week. I could handle having an entire box of these, provided there was room enough in my crowded humidor. In conclusion, this has been an excellent cigar and I'd recommend smoking it!