CAO Italia

Not too long ago I was contacted by Cigars Direct. Apparently they enjoyed my little site, and asked if I’d like to review some cigars. Naturally I never turn down free cigars. After letting their care package rest a bit, I grabbed the cigar up for review tonight. The CAO Italia boasts tobacco from four countries. It’s namesake comes from a component of the filler from Italy. It’s been awhile since I’ve had an Italia, so I grabbed a glass of water and got to smoking.

Wrapper: Honduras

Binder: Honduras

Filler: Italy, Nicaragua, Peru

Size: Ciao 5 x 56

Price: 5 to $6.00


Pre-light & Construction:

Overall the dark oily wrapper looked appealing, with small to mid sized veins. It smelled of wood and earth, and overall the cigar was firmly packed with tobacco. The foot smelled of earth, wood, and an unidentified sweetness. The pre-light draw was a little tight, and had notes of wood, earth, and sweetness.

As you can see from the pictures, I had to correct the burn quite a few times. The ash held on for around an inch and a half before I knocked it off. It could have went longer I’m sure.


The first third started with interesting coffee notes combined with a smooth pepper through the nose. As I progressed I could pick out a definite woody flavor. This led the way to smooth earthy notes. The pepper didn’t last very long, and transformed into a more sweet mellow tone. A very eventful first third. Good times.


The second third had an increase in coffee, it was basically espresso. A strong but smooth sweet spice was noticed when passing the smoke through the sinus. Honestly, I could have sworn at times I tasted a meaty flavor. It was almost like steak. Woody flavors always remained present.


The last third went well. No BS, I still got a draw here and there that was meaty. Other then that, the main flavor was coffee or espresso. The sweet spice remained and lost most of it’s bite, but revealed itself as mild cinnamon. A mild grassy, earth flavor came back after a short leave during the second third. With an inch to go, it started heating up and it was time to call it quits.



This was a very good, even great full bodied cigar. The rich flavor profile made it impossible to ignore or get bored. The negative aspects of this cigar were the burn corrections, and the stiff draw. I was able to open it up a bit using Henry’s draw correction tools, but I shouldn’t have to. The problems I had was an isolated event. If you smoke, or are interested in a great full bodied cigar, give the CAO Italia a try. Cigars Direct, thanks for sending me this great smoke!

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