Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés Morron
The first CAO cigar ever to incorporate Mexican tobaccos, the CAO Zócalo is a limited edition 6×60 vitola of which only 3,500 boxes of 20 cigars were produced. With 70,000 Zócalo cigars in existence, I figured it couldn’t hurt to sacrifice just one for the sake of review.
Pre-light draws were not very telling on this one, offering just a vague spiciness that provided little insight as to what I was in for. “Playing hard to get, eh?,” I said out loud to the cigar, right before quickly looking around to make sure no one had witnessed me talking to a cigar. The coast was clear. It was time to light up.
The cigar’s initial profile was of unmistakable rich earth with a backdrop of strong, lingering nutmeg/cinnamon spice. As I burned into the 1st third the spice intensified, eventually developing some tinges of fiery red pepper character. The burn line here was not perfect, but nowhere near anything that I’d classify as a hindrance.
In the 2nd third a new wave of cream and breadiness appeared, which came as a great relief after the intense intro. The earthy smoke was now well balanced and smooth on the palate. Right around the 2 1/2 inch mark I began to detect some subtle cocoa and a molasses-like sweetness creeping in, the creaminess was suddenly turned up to 10, and I had a nice fat ash hanging on tough. It wasn’t the prettiest ash, but considering the fact that I’m generally pretty rough on a cigar when smoking for review, it really wasn’t too bad. It was around this point that I began to feel extremely relaxed – a testament to the Zócalo’s formidable strength.
The final third proved to be the “sweet spot” for me, quite literally. All of the aforementioned tasting notes joined forces in this portion to create a brilliantly-smooth culmination, and they were accompanied by an awesome, honey-like sweetness that I really wasn’t expecting. I rode this tasty wave all the way to ashtray-ville.
The Zócalo really kind of covers all the bases in terms of flavor – it starts off with bold earth and spice, gets all kindsa smooth and creamy on ya, and then goes out in a deliciously sweet and complex blaze of glory. Hook, line, and sinker, ladies and gents. As eventful as it was, if I had to summarize the Zócalo’s flavor in a word it would undoubtedly be “earthy.” If that’s a term you typically associate with cigars you like, the CAO Zocalo was made for you. And to reach the final third where many cigars become bitter and funky, only to find that the best bit of flavor had been saved for last? That’s magic, friends. Get you some Zócalos before they inevitably do the ol’ disappearing act.