Earlier this summer, General Cigar announced a new line of cigars for it’s CAO brand: CAO Bones. This new line isn’t just a cigar, it is a celebration of dominoes, and dice. This cigar was meant to be smoked while doing other activities, such as playing dice and domino games, but also be able to hold its own as a cigar.
This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed.
CAO Bones is described as a medium-to-full bodied cigar and is also designed to pair well with a variety of drinks. The blend uses a four year old Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, Connecticut Shade binder, and two varieties of Honduran tobacco from Jamastran and La Entrada, along with Nicaraguan Estelí and Dominican Piloto Cubano filler. Bones is a regular production smoke and is made at STG Estelí. It comes in four sizes, each named after classic games of dominoes: Chicken Foot (Robusto): 5” x 54 – SRP per cigar $7.49, Blind Hughie (Toro): 6” x 54 – SRP per cigar $7.99, Matador (Churchill): 7.25” x 54 – SRP per cigar $8.49, and Maltese Cross (Gigante): 6” x 60 – SRP per cigar $8.99. Each box has 20 cigars, two standard 16mm dice, and a felt-covered inside lid which is a suitable surface for playing dice.
Vitola: Robusto Length: 5″ Ring Gauge: 54 Country of Origin: Nicaragua Wrapper: USA Connecticut Broadleaf Binder: USA Connecticut Shade Filler: Honduran (Jamastran ,La Entrada), Nicaraguan (Esteli), Dominican (Piloto Cubano) Factory: STG Estelí Blender: Rick Rodriguez Number of reviewers: 5 – Sean F.(fullermaine) Kevin A.(Kevin A.) Kevin J. (maninblack77) Doug S.(Unpossible_1) Matt Cade(CadeTNCC) Price: $7.49 Age: 3 Months Release Date: August 2020 Contributed by: General Cigar
“Definitely not the most aesthetically pleasing cigar to look at but it has its positives. Slight oily sheen to the wrapper. The issues I have with the appearance are a couple of large bulges that give it an uneven shape. Also, several large veins are very prominent. But looks aren’t everything. So I will hold my judgment for how it performs. ” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“Earth, barnyard, and raisin are the notes I get from the foot. The body of the cigar has more earth and fresh ground coffee. Pre-light draw, which is a little loose, gives notes of caramel, chocolate, and coffee.” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
Flavor: 91 Strength: Medium Body/Complexity: Medium
“The oak notes upon lighting linger, with subtle notes of leather.” –Sean F. (fullermaine)
“Blasts of warm red pepper intermingle with dark roasted coffee along with leather. Checking out the retro as it offers up some more red pepper paired with some gentle notes of black tea.” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)
Flavor: 90 Strength: Medium-Strong Body/Complexity: Medium
“As we headed into the second third, we get a nice transition into dark chocolate and a slight cherry sweetness on the back end. Strength is medium to full. A bevy of flavors thus far. Dark chocolate, coffee, leather, earth, and cherry. Kind of reminds me of those chocolate-covered coffee beans. Very enjoyable. Burn gets wavy at times but is easily corrected.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“Moving into the middle part of the cigar, charred meat, pepper, leather, raisins, and a little bit of anise coat the palate. The retrohale is still pepper and lemon, with just the slightest amount of caramel on the finish. It is a very good combination of sweet and spicy. The draw is still loose and the cigar is pretty hot, but it is not getting bitter and is still burning very well.” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
Flavor: 91 Strength: Medium-Strong Body/Complexity: Medium
“The char pops up every now and then, but now the cigar has really hit a point of smoothness that I can only liken to cinnamon bread. There’s a nice warmth to it, but not the same kind of pop you’d get from crushed red peppers like earlier.” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)
“Heading into the final third, there are no real transitions that I’ve noticed. That’s ok though because the flavors that are present are truly remarkable. Earthiness mixed with dark chocolate and dark roasted coffee as well as leather. Retro is surprisingly smooth. It was definitely a cigar that deserved to be nubbed. Very good finish to a great cigar.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“Draw was on point with a v-cut.” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)
“Even with the loose draw, the cigar burned like a star start to finish.” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“Other than the appearance, this was very well constructed. The tobaccos used really worked great together to create an enjoyable experience.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
Overall Strength: Medium-Strong Overall Body/Complexity: Medium Experience Overall: 93
“A nice simple stick. Oak notes dominate this stick, but subtle hints of leather, pepper, and chocolate balance it out. A stick I would seek out at my local retailer.” –Sean F. (fullermaine)
“I enjoyed this cigar. The flavors were more on the earthy side, but there was a sweetness that developed midway that balanced out the spicy and made for a flavorful, well-balanced smoking experience. I did have to slow the rate of puffs on smoking to keep the cigar from getting too hot to hold, but it did not seem to have any effect on the flavor profile. Med full in flavor, body, and strength, this would be a great cigar for after a meal, as it has the punch to satisfy a palate that may be slightly burned out. This would go great with a strong black coffee or barrel proof bourbon. I have a feeling these will find their way into my humidor!” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“This cigar scored very well with me. The mixture of flavors, the dark chocolate, and earthiness, really worked together as a team to create an experience that was well worth my time. I’d rate this a 92. I would definitely smoke this cigar again. Thanks for the opportunity BMB. ” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“A cigar with some of the classic notes and transitions that mesh well together. Always been a fan of red pepper and coffee notes in cigars, and to end with a mellowed out cinnamon bread, was very rewarding. I wouldn’t run out and buy boxes of these, but I could definitely smoke this again.” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)
“The tight draw made this cigar a tough one to enjoy. And the most singular profile of black pepper and earth didn’t help its case. While I was relieved that the draw opened up in the final third and the introduction of mineral on the retrohale was certainly a nice addition… it was sadly too little too late. ” –Matt Cade (CadeTNCC)
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.
Blind Cigar Review: CAO | Bones Chicken Foot
Overall Score – 91 – Very Good
Blind Cigar Review: CAO | Bones Chicken Foot
"A cigar with some of the classic notes and transitions that mesh well together. Always been a fan of red pepper and coffee notes in cigars, and to end with a mellowed out cinnamon bread, was very rewarding. I wouldn't run out and buy boxes of these, but I could definitely smoke this again." -Doug S. (Unpossible_1)