The CAO Amazon series began in 2014 with the release of the Amazon Basin, a blend containing a rare filler tobacco called Bragança from the Amazon rainforest. Next came the Fuma em Corda and Anaconda both using other exotic Amazonian tobaccos. Last year, CAO announced the fourth in the series, CAO Orellana.
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. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
The name pays tribute to Francisco de Orellana, the first European explorer to travel the entire Amazon river. This blend uses a rare wrapper called Cubra, which the company says has been aging longer that the original Bragança in the Amazon Basin cigar. The Cubra wrapper is sungrown in the micro-climate of Eastern Brazil’s fertile Bahia region. This is where, a collective of local farmers worked with CAO’s agronomists to grow this leaf. They selected only the highest primings of Cubra for this blend which then rested in climate-controlled curing barns in Calfriza. The blend for CAO Orellana also contains some the Amazonian Bragança found in the original Amazon Basin release, as well as a Nicaraguan binder and Colombian and Dominican filler. CAO Orellana is a limited edition and comes in one size, a 6” x 52 toro. The price per cigar is $10.99.
Ring Gauge: 52
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Brazillian Cubra
Filler: Colombian and Dominican
Factory: STG Esteli
Blender: Rick Rodriguez
Number of reviewers: 4 – Matt Cade (Cade) Jeremey W. (Jeremey) Sean F. (fullermaine) Joseph S. (Bearded Bastard)
Age: 4 Months
Release Date: September 2019
Contributed by: General Cigar
“Dark wrapper. Not smooth at all. Very lumpy rolled straight cut and when I lit it and first draw rest of the cap came off.” –Jeremey W. (Jeremey)
“Notes of barn and espresso” –Joseph S. (Bearded Bastard)
“Easy draw. Metallic notes and aftertaste. Retrohale is very grassy. Even burn. Light grey ash that’s firm” –Jeremey W. (Jeremey)
“Upon ignition, there’s a medium-strength white pepper on the nose with oak and earthiness on the draw. About an inch in and the burn line requires a minor touch up but the cigar draws well and the aroma is pleasant. Eventually the earthiness overtakes the oak a bit, while the retrohale grows a bit harsh.” –Matt Cade (Cade)
“Very consistent from the first third, woody and coffee, a nice bright white ash. Solid ash too, managed to not ash myself for a change.” –Joseph S. (Bearded Bastard)
“The profile remains consistent in the second third – woodsy and earthy flavors and, thankfully, a mineral component joins the retrohale helping to smooth out that harshness a bit before it became tiring. Right around the time that the burn line hits that exposed stem it gets a bit wonky again but nothing major and no touch-ups are required. The ash finally drops off around the halfway mark.” –Matt Cade (Cade)
“Oaky with grass and slight moss. Still easy draw and retrohale is very peppery and hot. Ash is still firm and light grey.” –Jeremey W. (Jeremey)
“Flavor kicked it up a notch on the last end, threw in some spice on top of the wood, earth and coffee flavors that were consistent. Very enjoyable in my opinion.” –Joseph S. (Bearded Bastard)
“Slight draw problem that needed to clipped along with a punch.” –Sean F. (fullermaine)
“Even with a minor unraveling problem and minor re-light, it burned evenly to the end.” –Sean F. (fullermaine)
“Few lumps and bumps, they add character in my opinion.” –Joseph S. (Bearded Bastard)
Overall Strength: Medium-Strong
Overall Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
Experience Overall: 87
“While this cigar is far from pretty, it didn’t give me nearly the experience its outward appearance perhaps alluded to. Straight forward flavors and mostly solid construction with a very nice aroma.” –Matt Cade (Cade)
“Not one of my favorites. It’s a yard gar at best.” –Jeremey W. (Jeremey)
“I’d buy a box to enjoy. Flavors paired well with this cigar. Didn’t want to put this out and wish I had another.” –Sean F. (fullermaine)
“Enjoyed it from start to finish, threw on a stupid schlock film from 1965 (Frankenstein vs the Space Monster), kicked back with iced tea and enjoyed the hell out of it.” –Joseph S. (Bearded Bastard)
Smoking Time (in minutes): 87
To view the complete scores and notes, click here.