Cigar Reviews, Reviews

CAO La Traviata

14 Comments 14 October 2009

CAO La Traviata

Cigar Mission #25

My name is Agent 8. My mission was to review the CAO La Traviata. As an asset of The Cigar Spy agency, I promise to respect the A.S.H.E.S. code of honor. The information below is my debrief.

Target Name:
CAO La Traviata

Target Vitals:
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Cameroon
Tobacco: Nicaraguan and Dominican
Vitola: Intrepido (Churchill 7×48)
Strength: Medium to Full Bodied
Average Price: $5 to $6 per stick; around $120 per box of 24

Background Info:

Introduced this year at the IPCRR Annual Convention and Trade Show, the CAO La Traviata is an homage to the La Traviata brand that started over 100 years ago in Cuba. For a look at the press release, The Cigar Spy reported on it HERE back in July.

Mission Debrief:

This is one of those cigars that in the past couple of months has started making a buzz around the Internet, on various cigar blogs as well as on Twitter. I expect anything from CAO to typically be spot on, whether it is the ever-favorite Brazilia (my review of it HERE), the MX2, or even recently the Brazilia Cuban Press, a new take on the original. Being that I do my best to stay abreast of new cigars coming into the public eye, I felt it was my duty to give  the La Traviata its owed time.

Giving the La Traviata the physical look over, it became very apparent that I was looking a flawlessly made cigar. No flaws to be found on the Ecuadorian Habano wrapper. And speaking of the wrapper: it is oily! You can see it shine and feel the oil on your finger tips. Veiny too. No soft or overpacked areas were found within the cigar either. Finally, the band of the cigar has a very old world feel to it; nothing elaborate on the band design itself but it commands a certain amount of elegance. I felt it really completes the overall look and feel for what CAO was trying to achieve with this cigar.


My first draw, after using a punch and my butane lighter, was greeted with an effortless, resistance-free draw. Immediate flavors that greeted me were a strong leather and a hint of wood. The oil from the wrapper added into the mix nicely, giving this cigar a balanced grouping of flavors without being overly powerful. As I ventured through the smoking time of this cigar, it does become noticeably stronger starting in the second half. I got an even larger presence of that leather flavor into the second half and by the last third, the cigar was well into full-bodied territory. Expect the finish on this cigar to be on the shorter side as the flavors didn’t stay on my palette for more than a couple of hours.

I had zero burn issues at all with this cigar. The ash from the cigar was firm and held to the end of the cigar well. And finally,  I felt I got a thick, white smoke from the easy draw. The thickness, I felt, was something to be proud of as it hung in the airspace of the room.

I can say without reservation that this is my new favorite from CAO. A great balance of flavors with a very happy price point that anyone can appreciate. I would like to try out the other sizes to see if there is any discernible differences. Give this one a chance you will not be sorry.

- 8 -

Your Comments

14 Comments so far

  1. Agent#25 You did a great job on this mission. I really enjoyed the review. I agree this is an excellent cigar and is very price friendly. What is the A.S.H.E.S. Code of honor? I read all the posts but somehow have missed what it stands for.
    Bill PappyFerrara

  2. Mike - KnightRid says:

    Great review – I cant wait till I can get my grubby little paws on some to try!!

    Pappy – it was Agent #8, Mission #25 =)


  3. Paul Shing says:

    Great review! I have only had one of these so far, but was blown away. Great cigar and great price point. I am looking forward to getting more soon!

  4. cigarsthomas says:

    Well written……another great review.

  5. tobacmon says:

    Look forward to giving this smoke a whirl–Sounds great!

  6. Stephen P says:

    I can’t wait to try this cigar. I am a CAO fan and it’s got a great price point as well which is refreshing.

  7. Agent 15 says:

    thinking about going to the shop today and pick some of these up

  8. cj says:

    This IS a great smoke, nice review as well. However, paying 6 bucks per stick is very high. My B&M does not carry, and got 10 online for under 40 bucks…yes the size you reviewed!

  9. MountChuck says:

    My new favorite CAO. Just bought a box of the Divinos (robusto size) yesterday at a CAO event. Great smoke. Slow burner, but great flavor.

  10. Agent 86 says:

    6 bucks is a great price point for a good cigar. Around here the cheapest are 5-6, even the pre-punched mystery cigars are at that point. If you go lower you might get a Cuban Rejects, or Robusto Rejects. You could get Game, White Owl, or Phillies in a two pack.
    I’m really hoping one of my locals picks this up, though it will probably wind up around 7 or 8 bucks.
    I got my La Trav hat today, if the cigars have half that care, they will really be special.

    On the plus side, I got a Brickhouse today, been hearing great things about it.

  11. Mr.O says:

    Like the Review, I’m on my 3rd on ( La Traviata ) and I must say I have a favorit CAO cigar now.

  12. HOJO'S says:

    it tastes as good as Kim Kardashian’s ass….

  13. SmokenJoe says:

    I bought a box of these on line for a little over $4 per stick. You would be very hard pressed to find a better cigar on the market for two or three times the price. A WINNER

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