Wednesday, July 3, 2013

CAO Escaparate Cigars

Today, we are going to take a look at a couple of Escaparate cigars by CAO; the Ecuador and the Costa Rica. The term “escaparate” is Spanish for the cooling cabinets in which cigars are kept at the factory for a certain amount of time after they have been rolled. This aging process helps each cigar to develop its own distinctive flavor profile. Let’s take a look at the flavor profiles of each.

CAO Escaparate Ecuador Cigars

First up, we have the CAO Escaparate Ecuador. It comes in six different sizes and is wrapped with a flawless Ecuadorian wrapper. Golden brown in color, the Escaparate wrapper comes from Connecticut seed which makes this a unique cigar in itself. The binder comes from the mountains of Nicaragua and the filler is a special blend of Honduran and Nicaraguan tobaccos.

I'm reviewing the 5x50 robusto. It retails for $8 a stick. After cleansing my palette, I remove the cap which it does so smoothly, and I begin toasting the foot. A sweet creamy aroma arouses my senses and is followed by a nutty spice mixture that is a delight. A white ash has begun to form on the foot and I've started getting notes of leather. I'm about a third of the way in and I've been quite surprised at the amount of flavors it has offered, so far.

The cigar is smooth to smoke matching the clean smooth and crisp look of the wrapper. Entering the second third of the smoke, I'm getting lots of nutty and toasty tones. The Escaparate is leaving a slight fruity and floral aftertaste. Both are light and subtle. I'm quite pleased with the cigar at this point. It's performing very nicely and for a natural, it's offering a few surprises.

Leaving the second third behind and entering the final third, you will begin noticing the nutty tones similar to walnuts that pick up slightly. Hints of a cream and honey intertwine in the background of the cigar and finish with a subtle tone of grass and light cedar tones. This is a great cigar and one I would smoke on a regular basis. But don't take my word for it. Pick one up and try it out. If you love a good natural cigar, this just might be your new favorite.

CAO Escaparate Costa Rica Cigars

The second of two cigars that we are looking at today is the Escaparate Costa Rica cigar from CAO. It is unlike its milder brother the Escaparate Costa Rica. This one is a rich blend of Nicaraguan fillers grown in Esteli, Jalapa and Condega. The Binder is Ecuadorian and it's all wrapped together with a rich chocolate brown Costa Rican wrapper that is naturally fermented. A medium bodied smoke that is flawless in appearance.

The cigar has a triple cap that cuts clean and crisp. My palette is immediately treated to a dark earthy tone, as I put the match to the foot of the cigar. Its strong, but not overpowering, and it leaves a wood like flavor on my palette. After the first inch, I'm quickly whisked into a red pepper overtone that remains around till entering the second third of the cigar. All the flavors noted up to this point are rich and strong; it gives off the appearance of being a full bodied cigar.

I have a two inch ash on the cigar, at this point. It's black with glimpses of white peeking through. At about the three inch marker, the cigar mellows out to more of a medium bodied flavor. Notes of black coffee, earth, and tree bark make for a nice flavor compilation. The draw is light and airy while the smoke offers a chard cedar aroma.

The final third is complex with a range of flavors, including those mentioned beforehand. Hints of mesquite BBQ are offered for a few seconds then disappear into the background. The bulk of flavors range in the wood and earth profile with glimpses of mushrooms. The cigar is more of a medium bodied smoke that borders on full bodied. A great maduro that should be on everyone's must smoke list.

Like most cigars in general, these two offered a different smoking experience. CAO did well in capturing the tobaccos essence and aging processes for the regions they represent. This is what makes the CAO Escaparates a huge hit with most cigar enthusiasts.

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