When it came time for CAO to create their crown jewel, they turned to Cano A. Ozgeners to produce CAO Black. The blend was crafted with extensively aged, top-tier tobaccos, made in heartbreakingly limited quantities, and packaged in hand-painted, hand-numbered boxes. The production run was just 6,000 boxes for the entire US market, and these limited-edition, numbered boxes are destined to be collectors items.

I got my hands on a couple of boxes lately, and i’m very happy to report that Jeff Aiken, an aficionado of much note, wasn’t very far off in his assessment: this is a remarkable cigar. The fact that its limited to just 6,000 (just 120,000 sticks, worldwide!!) boxes, ever, is a very sad thing indeed.

Flawless wrapper, perfect construction

The scent and visual test is outstanding. Drapped in individual cedar sleeves, this cigar is presented in an immaculate form: beautiful. Slid out of its sleeve, the cigar itself is a remarkable feat of cigar engineering. Perfect wrapper, flawless with very, very small inclusions, consistent and firm to the pinch. A thin touch of oily film surrounds it. Running it under my nose, a burst of fresh spice makes me sneeze in happiness. This is a unique cigar in terms of construction and scent.

(Image lost) Even, consistent burn

Putting this cigar to the torch just take a moment; it almost lights itself. From the get-go, this cigar burns very evenly, and purely. The first few draws produce a thick, aromatic smoke that really needs to be experienced to be appreciated. Tastewise, this cigar delivers a very nutty, grassy payload — similar in some ways (though still very different) from the pronounced grassy notes i experienced when smoking my first Cohiba a few weeks ago. Amazingly smooth, it never gets hot even as i test it with a few quick puffs. The draw itself is PERFECT — just the way i like it, a nice medium-firm smoke. Towards the end, it gets wonderfully spicy; not overpowering, but just enough to tingle the senses in a very special way.

Outstanding even towards the end; bright silver ash

Of interesting note is although this cigar is medium bodied in taste, it still delivers a powerul nicotine punch. Its best to savour the CAO Black after a good meal, with a fine beverage in hand, sitting down. Allow the “high” to wash over you, and enjoy every minute of it.

Until my fingers burned!

Verdict: The only cigar (up to now) i would rate favourably with the Cuban Cohiba! A fantastic smoke, truly amazing in almost every representation of the art of cigars. Contruction = top class. Tobacco = top class. Taste delivery = A+. Finish = Remarkable! The only shame is that there aren’t very many of these cigars lying around. Highest possible recommendation from My Cigar Blog!