Cigar Review- CAO La Traviata Maduro

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Cameroon
Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican
Size: 5.5 x 52 “Favorito”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $4.00+


I reviewed this cigar on another cigar’s web site back in July of 2012. This size was not available at the time. And I have no idea how I got a couple of these figurados, which is what CAO calls them. I would say this is a belicoso, not a figurado.

I have been doing some digging around in my humidors lately and finding treasures. Like this cigar. I am guessing the stick is 8 months- one year old. So it should be pretty good. As I remember that I liked the cigar back in July. But have not had one since. Uh-oh.

The wrapper is close to jet black. The stick is solid, man, solid…Daddy-O. Seams are slammed shut and very few veins or have disappeared into the black depths of the wrapper. The cap is well done. And oodles of oiliness on the wrapper’s surface. And it feels toothy.

I sniff and detect cedar, cocoa, spice, nutmeg, and fresh fig.

I clip the cap and light up.
The first puffs are sweet. A luscious buttery caramel. This did not happen the first review. Molasses. Honey. Then pepper that assaults the back of the mouth and the tongue at the same time. Interesting.

The draw is spot on which surprises me considering how packed the cigar is with tobacco. The spice quickly ramps up to the powerful stage. I like it. But it still seems to be a combo of black and red pepper.
The char line is just shy of perfect.

I read my earlier review on Rocky’s Cigars blog and this is a different cigar. time does its magic. Oh that voodoo you do so well.
The char line is looking like it will need correction. And then it doesn’t. The body starts off at the far side of medium right away. We ain’t foolin’ around here. I don’t remember the cigar being this strong…so quickly.
The cigar is at the 1” point and is heaped in richness. Earthiness is its middle name. I can sense it wants to be a flavor bomb but it’s not sure.

So far, the cap is hanging tough. Nothing infuriates me more as when a pointed cap goes to shit. All the cigar glue in the world won’t help.
The char line is now dead nuts perfect.

The first third comes to a close and the second begins by some flavors showing up and begging to be noticed. The cocoa which, before this, was an aroma; not a flavor, has entered the flavor profile. The sweetness has developed more depth than just caramel. It is fruity. Almost melon-like. Really. It has that tart/sweet combo of honeydew. Honey was an early flavor and may be enhanced now. The molasses has disappeared.

I move closer to the halfway point and flavors begin to seriously bud like a flower. A creaminess appears which always encourages other flavors to show up. The cocoa becomes stronger. The body and strength of the cigar tamp down a bit to more of a classic medium. Strange. Never had that happen.

The earthiness is very strong. And it tags along with a deep richness that the maduro wrapper brings to the table.

The ash is almost 2” long and I have done nothing special to make that happen. Obviously, this cigar eats its Cheerios.

The long aging time has mellowed the cigar’s flavors. Just as I expected the cigar profile to take off, it sort of lays there like a flounder. I have all these wonderful flavors but they are all muted. Don’t get me wrong, this is a very pleasant cigar, but aging may have been more detrimental than good.

The last third begins and my fingers are crossed that it will liven up.

I remove the band only to be surprised that it is a double band. Both come off easily.

And then it happens. Flavors explode. The cocoa rides high. The creaminess just overwhelms ever other flavor. The sweetness and the melon taste become much stronger. And the body of the cigar becomes strong and full. There is a nice honey flavor in the background. The stick becomes well balanced and now has a very long finish; mostly due to the creaminess.

Because the cigar is so densely packed with tobacco, it is a very slow burner. Getting to the last third has taken me over 45 minutes. And remember, it is only a 5.5 x 52. This is a great size for my preferences.

The cap continues to stay true and doesn’t release a single piece of loose tobacco. The char line remains close to perfect.
It just kills me that a cigar this good can be sold for $4.00. Lately, I’ve smoked cigars for twice that or more, and this stick is every bit as good. That is why I decided to review it. It clearly proves that you don’t need to spend $7-$8 for a good stick.
The only drawback is that most CAO cigars need several months of aging before they are ready to be smoked. Whereas, the New Breed of blenders infuse their cigar with the ability to be ready in just a few weeks.

The cigar says good bye and it was a fun smoke. I got over an hour experience from it. The flavors are spot on. And it became complex in the last third. For $4, you can’t go wrong.

And now for something completely different:

    The gig was in Cambridge, England. A huge hall without a single seat. They shoved at least 2500 people into that building. Even though it’s a school town, it had its seedy areas. And that’s where we played. The Cambridge Corn Exchange. A building that was over 150 years old. Huge ceilings which caused the music to bounce around and echo. Forcing us to play simply so as not to muddle the music. I hated that.

    The crowd was packed up against the edge of the stage. And the stage was only 5 feet tall. Close quarter combat.
    A funky English motorcycle gang barged their way to the front of the stage and started in with us. A motorcycle gang back then didn’t drive Harleys….no…they had scooters. Real badass.

    At first, it was just heckling of the chick singer who handled it like a champ. But then one dumb fuck reached over to the violinist’s foot pedals. And he began to pound on them changing the violinist’s sound with each punch!!

    Well, this didn’t go down well. Darryl, the violinist and leader, thought of himself as a badass when in truth, he was a wuss. He went crazy and I yelled for the roadies to get out there on stage and deal with it.

    Darryl reached over with his violin bow and smacked one of the bikers, hard, in the side of the head with it while yelling at him to stop fucking around.

    Well, this didn’t go down well, with the biker, either.

    The biker pulled a huge folding knife from his waistband and flipped it open. We are in the middle of a song and the biker and Darryl are screaming at each other and our dumb fuck roadies are in la la land.
    I stop playing, unplug, and walk over to the roadies at the side of the stage smoking dope. I scream at them, “Do you see what’s going on?”

    Darryl hits the guy again, but this time, really hard. Hard enough to break his bow. Part of the bow stuck into this guy’s head, gushing blood, and then it became a free for all. The roadies jumped into the fray. And we had some big guys.

    There was a kid in the audience who was standing right next to the biker and was oblivious to everything because he was watching the sexy chick singer, not the angry violin player.

    The biker yelled, “OH YEAH!!” And stuck this huge knife into the back of the kid as an exhibit of what he was going to do to the violinist.
    My eyes bugged out. I could not believe this. It was fucking Altamont.

    The roadies then went Godzilla, joined the fray, and pummeled the bikers to a pulp. Our stage manager rushed us off stage and into the dressing room where he locked the door.

    Darryl was stomping around with his chest puffed out acting like a turd. Because of him, he angered the biker enough to hurt some innocent kid. And all he wanted to do was go back out there and fight the biker; who by the way, would have killed Darryl.
    Moments later, we were rushed from the dressing room to waiting cars and whisked back to the hotel. The cops followed us in three cars. Sirens wailing.

    We asked about the kid and we were told he was in bad shape, but lived to tell the tale.
    Darryl had to go to court to testify a couple months later and the biker went away for a long time.
    Who said rock n roll was for Puftas?

    The photo below is what the Corn Exchange looks like now. Imagine it without seats. It is now a full time arena for entertainment like rock acts and plays and opera.



3 replies

  1. I enjoy your stories from your days “on the road” You were rubbing elbows with the best of the best on the UK prog scene (maybe even U.K.?) from the sounds of it. I was a big fan of the genre and still am, but don’t listen to as much as I’d like.
    By the way, Figurado refers to any shaped cigar, torpedo, belicoso, perfecto, whatever, as opposed to a Parejo, which is any parallel sided cigar, so CAO is correct in calling this cigar a Figurado. The La Traviata is one of the few instances where I think I like the natural better than the maduro, but I have yet to lay either down long enough to make an informed decision, perhaps some age would change my opinion. The price is right on these.

  2. If you’re that offended, please remove me from this too.

    On Wednesday, May 8, 2013, Cigar Reviews by the Katman wrote: > The Katman posted: ” Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro Binder: Cameroon Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican Size: 5.5 x 52 Favorito Body: Medium/Full Price: $4.00+ I reviewed this cigar on another cigars web site back in July of 2012. This size was not a” >

    • Greg,
      I find your bigotry offensive.
      If you had done any research, instead of grabbing some stupid cartoons from some right wing web site, you would know that your statement, or cartoon, holds no water.
      Go to and get the real story on what happened during the FBI gun sting with the cartels. It happened while Obama was president but that’s as far as it goes.
      What really annoys me is that people like you find a cartoon to support your already in-place prejudice to support your thesis.
      You should be ashamed of yourself.
      Get your news from someone other than Rush Limbaugh.