We originally reviewed the CAO Pilón Robusto back in 2015 and gave it a 91. Every now and then we like to go back and review the same cigar and see how things have changed. This is not from the same batch we reviewed before so it does not have 5 years of age on it, this is a new production of the 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.
CAOPilón gets its name from the fermentation technique that goes back to 1800s Cuba. Skilled workers called piloneros used a slow, 18-month fermentation technique using smaller round pilons instead of today’s huge square ones. The process involves hemming tobacco leaves together and stacking them, layer by layer, in a circular pattern. While this process was far more labor intense than methods used today it maximized the flavor and color of the leaves. This process took Rick Rodrigues several years to master to make this cigar. The blend uses an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper and Nicaraguan binder and fillers. CAO Pilon comes in 20-count boxes and three sizes: 7×48, 5.5×44 and 5×52.
“Silky milk chocolate-colored wrapper on this Robusto but also some noticeable bumps along with the cigar. It doesn’t take away from the appearance much but it’s something to make note of.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“Notes of coffee, cinnamon, raisins, and natural tobacco are coming from the foot. The body of the cigar has mostly natural tobacco. Prelight is pretty much spot on and has a slight vegetal note to it, as well as damp cedar.” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
Flavor: 91 Strength: Medium Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
“This cigar starts out with a mouth full of flavor! Toasted walnut, earth, black pepper and raisin, and a slightly creamy vanilla undertone are all competing for a spot on my tongue. The retrohale is slightly zingy, with notes of black pepper and cinnamon and a vegetal note on the finish that seems to hang out with a long finish. The draw is almost perfect, and the cigar is burning well with quite a bit of smoke coming off the foot. The ash is a nice, tight, light grey.” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“Fully toasted the foot and was met with a lot of leather and dry tobacco flavors for the first several puffs. As it went along more flavors came into play, namely a milk chocolate sweetness and a very nice creaminess. A very solid and enjoyable beginning. The burn and smoke output were also impressive. The burn was almost razor-sharp. Ash held on for over an inch before I tapped it off.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
Flavor: 92 Strength: Medium Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
“Baking spices continue to dominate and let me know everyone is present and accounted for. The back of my throat is awash with cinnamon and nutmeg. Black pepper flares through my nostrils after a retro hale.” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)
“In the second third, the coffee flavor rises up above the earthiness via the draw and the mineral (joined by a note of pencil shavings) easily overtakes what pepper remains through the retrohale. Additionally, there’s a creaminess now on the draw that is welcomed, by yours truly at least, with open arms. As a result of these more delicate, nuanced flavors the overall strength of the cigar drops a notch. Construction remains impressive and the ash has yet to drop…” –Matt Cade (CadeTNCC)
“Getting into the final third of the cigar, the cedar, earth, black pepper, and raisin are gone. Cedar is still present, and there is now a fresh bread note, along with the walnut, making for a very earthy profile. The creaminess from the beginning has lasted throughout and blended the flavors together nicely. The retrohale has the same shite pepper and cinnamon notes to it and all in all is making for a very flavorful finish to the cigar. The last few puffs brought back notes of black pepper and earth, making for a nice but not overpowering spicy finish The small crack smoked through without further spreading. Draw and burn continue to be spot on.” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“Oak notes with some spice. Notes of cinnamon and jalapeno pepper on the back end.” –Sean F. (fullermaine)
“V-Cut offers just the right amount of resistance.” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)
“The burn is great on this cigar throughout the smoking experience with an impressively strong, bold ash and a consistently straight burn line.” –Matt Cade (CadeTNCC)
“With the burn and draw as good as they were, there are definitely no flaws in construction. The color variation of the wrapper would be my only complaint.” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“A nice spicy stick with hints of sweetness. Cinnamon and pepper notes paired with chocolate, oak, and coffee make this a well-rounded stick.” –Sean F. (fullermaine)
“This cigar was worthy to smoke again, no doubt. Always love baking spices, and even more so when you bring some sweetness of chocolate-covered raisins. There were some notable transitions that kept me invested the whole time, as I was never really bored. Strength and body both, along with some nice complexity, helped to show this cigar is one I look forward to learning the identification on.” –Doug S. (Unpossible_1)
“From beginning to end, this cigar performed flawlessly. The flavors were very enjoyable and worked so well together. I would rate this cigar as great and definitely worthy of trying again, either as a box purchase or a fiver.” –Kevin J. (maninblack77)
“This was an enjoyable cigar from the prelight on. It started of medium-full, built a little strength as it went, and finished in the upper end of the medium-full range. Flavor transition from the 2nd to the final third sealed the deal on the enjoyment factor and this is definitely a cigar I would visit again.” –Kevin A. (Kevin A.)
“This oily cigar performed very well and delivered an enjoyable smoking experience from start to finish. A creamy coffee flavor always works well for my palate and the inclusion of mineral and earth worked very well in conjunction with that primary coffee note. Add in the overall great construction and I’d recommend this cigar to both newbie and veteran smokers alike.” –Matt Cade (CadeTNCC)
"This was an enjoyable cigar from the prelight on. It started of medium-full, built a little strength as it went, and finished in the upper end of the medium-full range. Flavor transition from the 2nd to the final third sealed the deal on the enjoyment factor and this is definitely a cigar I would visit again." -Kevin A. (Kevin A.)