CAO Bones | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Connecticut Shade
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran, Dominican
Size: 5 x 54
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $7.49 ($1.50 less online)

Today we take a look at the new CAO Bones.
Samples provided by General Cigar.
I’ve had the cigars marinating naked in my humidor for 2-3 months.

From (7-27-20):
“The blend uses a Connecticut broadleaf wrapper, Connecticut shade binder, and a filler blend of Nicaraguan tobacco of undisclosed varietal, along with Dominican Piloto Cubano and Honduran tobacco grown in the Jamastran and La Entrada regions. General Cigar Co. calls it a medium- to full-bodied blend. It is being made at the STG Estelí factory in Nicaragua and is said to be a regular production addition to the CAO portfolio.

“The line gets its name from both dominoes and dice, and inside each box will be a set of dice. The inside of the lid is covered with felt so it could be used as a surface to roll dice in. As such, the four vitolas in the line draw their names from dominoes games.”

Chicken Foot 5 x 54 $7.49
Blind Hughie 6 x 54 $7.99
Matador 7.25 x 54 $8.49
Maltese 6 x 60 $8.99

In the hand, the cigar glistens with oil. In intense light, the cigar becomes neon black and gold. The oils spring up do the chicken strut. Beautiful mottled colors.

Seams are visible but tight. So much veinage, it reminds me of a Thomas Guide map book. Yes kids, back in the dark ages, when we traveled in unfamiliar territory, we had to hold this two-hundred-page book in our lap and try to follow the tiny streets. And then once we found ourselves passing the last point on the map, we had to switch to page 135 to see the continuation. According to the CDC, more than a billion people were killed because of Thomas maps.

This is a heavy cigar. Packed solid. But I feel a slight resistance when squeezed. Unlike Charlotte, who shows complete resistance when squeezed.
For an inexpensive cigar, the triple cap is masterful…nearly impossible to see.

But that cigar band…oh my. That shiny marquee silver on the band makes it impossible for an idiot like me to not get glare from it in my photos. I’m not a good photographer…I’m a lucky photographer.

The schnoz first picks up dark chocolate. Then, black pepper and café au lait. Licorice at the foot, dark plums at the punched cap. There is a dark earthy soil component that coats the cigar. And that’s all folks.

The cold draw presents flavors of dark chocolate, licorice, black pepper, creaminess, espresso, cedar, malt, and plums. (I repeat myself under stress, I repeat myself under stress, I repeat…).

The draw resistance is wide open. I will use my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool for the next cigar.

Actually, the draw is a little too wide open. Not sure how this will affect the burn.

The early impression is nothing special. Tastes like a million other cigars. Black pepper attacks first. Other flavors are limited to a mish mosh of non-descript elements that hold no water.
The burn gets wonky right away. This cigar was not rolled by #9 Torcedores.

It is very malty. It dries my mouth out like I just gargled with sand. Probably shouldn’t have eaten a full bowl of pickles at bedtime last night…53,000mg of sodium.

I read a couple other reviews and this cigar passed muster. Still, they all had to get this cigar in the mail the same time I did, which means their sticks don’t have any more age on them than mine.
Maybe I shouldn’t have tried to do my own dental work this morning…I always fuck up with the needle and the numbing.

A quick inch in and the cigar is blah. No signs of character whatsoever.
OK. It’s a $7 cigar…not a Casdagli.

But I’m waiting for some blender’s intent to pop up and right now, I feel the blender was Robby the Robot.
Strength is medium.
The cigar is burning quickly. I will hit the second third after only 20 minutes.
And it has zero complexity and character.

My apologies to the reviewers that liked this cigar. Could be my pallet…palette…fuck it…is dead.
The burn is a mess.

I’ve found over the years that CAO blends take a long time in my humidor before they taste like anything. And here’s another one…
Maybe with 9 months of humi time, it will transform like a butterfly.
Oh man, I’m smoking a completely different cigar than the other reviewers. This cigar is shit.

Yep, barely 20 minutes.
The construction is terrible. It’s like smoking a cigarette. The draw is so loose, I can see its asshole.

Where are the flavors? It is just an earthy spicy blend. Strength remains at medium. All that beautiful PR over a cigar that is going to only appeal to those with limited palates. But generally speaking, limited palate smokers do not like the black pepper influence.

I reviewed the Perdomo 10th Anniversary Sun Grown a couple weeks ago. Same price range. The difference is the Perdomo was a fantastic blend. This one lies there like an unconscious whore…yet she still won’t let go of your dough as she has it in a death grip.

The cigar is barely better than a Quorum Second.
Bums me out when I have to write a review like this. As I do it contemporaneously, I don’t stop. Nothing is pre-written. Just blow and go. So, dear readers, you’re the ones to suffer.

No complexity, no balance, no nuances, no subtleties, no flavor, no depth, and no character. The perfect CAO blend.

I have no idea what other reviewers saw in this cigar. Mind you, no one went ape shit crazy over it. It barely reached the high 80’s…although, I do believe someone gave it a 95! Jesus Alou and Manny Mota!

Because the draw is so loose and there are no flavors, maybe I got a stick without the filler inside.

It continues to be only black pepper, which is becoming very annoying. I could sip on water like a horse at the trough all day long and this thing ain’t going to get better.

Thank you baby Jesus, General Cigar only sent me Robustos. If I had to review the Gordo, there would be blood in the streets. But if the Gordo is as loose as the Robusto, it would only be a 65-minute smoke.

Creaminess appears. Alert the media. Now we have the perfect blend…creaminess, black pepper, and horse stable hay.

What a friggin’ dud. I can’t believe CAO is foisting this blend on the public. I’m sure Cigar Aficionado gives it a 93…and maybe in contention for cigar of the year.

I’ve noticed at my new gig; the customers are very animated and fun to talk to. Of course, having a full tilt bar may have something to do with that. Anyone know how to make a Pearl Necklace? I sort of do…

There is no hope for this cigar. Not a lick of improvement as I near the second half.

I enjoy the reviewers that took a whack at this stick…but they must be the nicest guys on the planet. Whereas I’m the dingleberry hanging off my cat’s ass.

If the cigar was constructed properly, this might have been torture worse than watching reruns of the Kardashians. I watched that show once for 3 minutes and then beat my neighbor senseless. When I told him why, he nodded and accepted my apology.

But as the stick is burning as quickly as a cigarette, I probably only have a few minutes before it commits suicide.

I called my doc to make an appointment to see him. I was asked why I needed to see him. I responded with I’ve lost 45lbs and I want to make sure I’m OK. “All righty then…one month from now.” I will be a wilted husk by then. Thank God it’s not important.

As soon as something happens that awakens me from my stupor, I will continue telling you how much I hate this cigar. Now it isn’t as bad as Fuck the FDA. But close. Me and Halfwheel reviewed this cigar a month ago…and not a single new review has shown up since. So, all the trolls that attacked me, fuck thyselves. And Riste Risteski’s claim they are selling like hotcakes…I’d rather have hotcakes. Or a hot branding iron to the nuts.

Good news…your dog is finally getting enough cheese.
Bad news…Bones sucks.

The cigar has come a long way. In only 35 minutes, it’s gone from totally indifferent to mildly disgusting.

Look, I have a pretty good palate. I can taste potential in a cigar that may be too green to smoke. I get nothing from this cigar other than rip-off.

You know the almighty dollar is driving this blend. Gotta keep pushing out those blends for CAO’s customer base to pay good money for.

I’m not bothering with taking any more photos. This cigar should live in darkness forever.

It seems like most manufacturers’ PR machines are working overtime to let you know that their newest release is the best cigar you’ve ever smoked. And of course, there is a manifesto, longer than Ted Kaczynski’s, explaining the reason for the blend’s name and the history of the world part 1. If they’d only put the time and energy that the copywriters spent on this cigar, it would have been a better outcome.

Strength has ramped up. Nicotine kicks in.
The cigar refuses to be a cigar. It would make a great blunt if not for the price.

My advice is if you have any CAO Bones, do the right thing and bury them in the backyard for your dog to dig up.

RATING: You pick.

And now for something completely different:

I’ve published this before, but it’s been awhile so for my loyal and longtime readers, my apologies.
I hated Butch Patrick from almost the beginning. He had some serious substance abuse problems and was unreliable. Mostly from alcohol. His dad was an alcoholic, so it ran in the family. (Note: Butch has been sober for years now and I’m proud of him).

For those that don’t know about my association with Butch, it began while I owned my recording studio in Long Beach. A good friend, that had grown up across the street from Butch, brought him to my studio. Butch had a rough idea for a song called “Whatever Happened to Eddie?”

He had done a rough demo in some guy’s living room and they used the theme from the Munsters.

So I organized the whole thing, I got Butch to sign a management deal; and off we went.
I brought in real studio cats to record the song and the B side as well. It was to be a 45 single…yes, those were the days.

The single ended up selling 181,000 units in 4 months before the FBI shut down the record company…another story.

The record was finished. Time to move on to the music video which I wrote, produced and directed. I got a top-notch film crew to help me out. Marvin Rush was my camera man. Along with his crew. Marvin has a helluva’ resume. Check him out on IMDB.

We shot at two locations. The first was Hollywood High School and the second was at the Princess Louise’ permanently docked at San Pedro Harbor. It had two restaurants and a chapel on top for weddings.

We signed with Rocshire Records who were tied to the mob. Didn’t know that at the time.
Remember, back in 1983, it was the birth of the MTV nation. We were ground breakers.
The record company sent Butch and me on a PR tour across America.

Now Butch had no musical talent. The band was called Eddie and the Monsters. One of the Monsters did all the vocals and Butch lip synced on the video. I played bass but, in the video, it portrayed Butch as the bassist. So, we couldn’t play live. Basically, we were Milli Vanilli.

We did the Today show in NYC. Rockefeller Center. The Rock.
I met Bryant Gumbel and Jane Pauley.

They literally couldn’t make up their minds as to who was going to interview Butch right into the commercial prior to the interview.
The director, from the booth above us said: “Bryant, you do it. No, Jane you do it.”
Gumbel slammed his hand on to the desk and said, “Goddam good thing we don’t make dynamite here!!”

Also being interviewed was Billy Mumy of “Lost in Space” fame. Now Billy had his shit together and I remember watching the interview wishing I could manage Billy instead of Butch.
The interview went well, and we took off with Billy to some high falutin’ bar in Manhattan.

The record company put us up at the Waldorf Astoria.
Some girls approached Butch and invited us to a party out on Long Island. Butch pleaded that we go. But it was a very long ride. But as always, I relented.

I reminded him that we had an early radio interview with Don Imus in the morning and we couldn’t stay long. He agreed.
Well, the worst happened. Butch got sloshed and coked up and it wasn’t until 2am that we headed back to the hotel.

I got up at 6 am. Butch didn’t go to sleep til 5am. Drunk out of his mind.
When I got out of bed, I went into the adjoining room and there were half a dozen people on the floor, out cold. Some were naked.

I rattled Butch awake, but he was still very drunk. He begged me to call the radio station and postpone the interview until the next day. We fought but I eventually gave in and called the station.

Man, they were pissed off. I was put on hold for several minutes. The voice on the phone said to make sure Butch was there at 7am the next day and he hung up on me.
So I told Butch that I made the arrangements he asked for.

And then from left field, he told me that he was OK and to call them back and tell them we could do that morning’s interview.
I exploded.

I dragged him to the floor. I mounted his chest and began to strangle him. Really. Pounding his head on the floor at the same time.
In a croaking voice, he pleaded with me to stop and I regained my senses.

I was already packed and ready to go.
I threw his airplane ticket on his chest along with a $20 bill and told him he better be at the interview. And I left for the airport.

When I got home, the record company and PR firm were furious with me. I didn’t care.

Butch returned home, having done the Imus interview as scheduled, but we didn’t talk for a week.
He came over to apologize and I allowed him to do so.

Being Butch’s manager took up too much of my time. I had a recording studio to run. I had taken on more than I could chew. And in the end, it bit me on the ass.
More later…


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11 replies

  1. One man’s poison is another man’s dope. I did not find it as horrible as you. Gave one to my buddy who smoked it and enjoyed it . I thought it was pretty good , not an A list smoke but not crap either.
    Your are right we get the cigars about the same time from General Cigar

  2. I hear ya’.
    Maybe reviewers should form a task force. We decide that from now on, everyone calls their web site: One Man’s Opinion.
    They get some sort of identification either by using initials to identify us…or we don’t do anything at all and make smokers never know who they are getting an opportunity to read.
    I hear from smokers regularly that they don’t agree with my assessment.
    Once again, palates are like fingerprints. Everyone’s got ’em but none are identical.
    If the cigar was over priced, I would have eviscerated it…but online it is only a $6 stick. Common rule is you get what you pay for…most of the time…some of the time…once in a while…fuck it.

  3. Phil, you never fail to entertain and while I enjoy your writing and wit, I read your posts for ideas about specific cigars. I am one of the guys that finds your reviews pretty accurate and more than once I have bought cigars following one of you recommendations and have not been disappointed …. yet.

    Carry on my friend!!


  4. Hi Arless,
    Thank you. I love being loved…and at the same time, I love being hated. No such thing as bad publicity.
    I will do my best to carry on.
    Just got home from babysitting the grandsons…3 years and 10 weeks old…Oy vay.
    Because of the Breonna Taylor decision, my son in law was taken out of the usual training schedule and sent as SWAT to the federal building where they expect demonstrations. So, we stayed and babysat longer than expected. My wife and I are bushed but we worry for our daughter and her husband in this situation.
    But on a lighter side…the 3 year old only hit me in the nads with a fist around 37 times. If they didn’t hang so low, he wouldn’t be able to hit the bullseye.
    Be well and keep thinking I’m accurate…someone has to…

  5. Saw this cigar the other night in my local smoke shop and was thinking about buying it but then I remembered that every CAO I’ve ever had has been terrible so I passed it up. Glad I did.

  6. Hi Zach,
    I think there is a dichotomy at play. CAO cigar blends are not even close to being ready to smoke off the shelves. I’ve found with every blend, an elongated time for humidor aging is required to begin to experience the blender’s intent.
    Now the above is mostly seen by those with excellent palates and take the art of smoking seriously.

    Then there are guys who go into a cigar lounge, grab a CAO America Gordo and absolutely love it while they sit at the bar.
    These are the smokers that CAO goes after. I’m not dissing these smokers, but they tend to have limited palates. They don’t know what they don’t know.
    Most CAO blends, taken from the cello in the walk in humidor, taste either like hay or pure black pepper. They just aren’t ready to smoke. But I see no shortage of smokers who absolutely love all the CAO blends.

    Like me, you have a more sophisticated palate. And your patience level may be short like mine.
    I try to explain to customers how individual the palate is…just like those aficionados in wine, cheese, whiskey, etc. There is no shortcut to the learning experience. It takes time, curiousity, and focus. Some are willing to put in the time and effort; others not so much.

    I meet guys all the time that might smoke one or two cigars per week; or per month. They usually pick Macanudos or Fuentes.

    BTW- I’m back to revewing tomorrow. I have been overwhelmed by the cigar gig. I have some time now this week to be incessantly droll and highly judmental.

  7. I normally like to wait at least 6 weeks naked in my humi before I light up but after covid hit, my stash dwindled to nothing and I haven’t stocked up in a few months so Ive had to go over pay for a very over humidified stick if I want a cigar. Doesn’t help that my local shops have terrible selections which I guess makes it easy to save money seeing as there’s no way I’m spending 15.67 + tax on a gurkha evil or any CAO garbage they have. But options are limited so what do you do. Love your reviews Katman ..Keep up the good work

  8. Hi Zach,
    I find it amazing that most manufacturers slam the hammer down concerning any discounts a cigar shop may offer.
    But there is nothing keeping a cigar shop from jacking up the price. They can go as far as the market will bear.
    You can go from shop to shop and see differing prices on the same cigar. You might easily see a cigar at $1-$3 over MSRP.
    And that doesn’t include state tax.
    Thank you, Zach, for your loyal readership.

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