Cigar Review: CAO Brazilia Cariocas

The CAO Brazilia line of cigars features a Brazilian-grown Arapiraca wrapper leaf atop Nicaraguan binder and filler tobaccos. Despite the fact that the Brazilia is one of the more popular full-bodied blends that we carry, I had never tried one, so for today’s review I pulled out a tin of the smallest size available in the line, the Cariocas (4×38), to finally see what all the fuss was about.

 I recognized immediately that this small stogie had a gorgeous, toothy, and extremely dark brown Brazilian wrapper. Construction appeared solid, and after a quick snip of the cap I was treated to dense pre-light flavors of cedar, cocoa, pepper, and leather. It was time to get toastin’.

 The cigar opened up with a surprising bit of cocoa sweetness, accompanied by rich notes of roasted coffee and cedar upon lighting. A good bit of black pepper was present in the finish, rounding out the initial flavor profile nicely. The burn had started off with a little lean to it, but I wasn’t too concerned.

 When I reached the 2nd third of the cigar, a lot of tasty maduro character came out. I was getting strong flavors of molasses, leather, cocoa, and nuts, with a little bit of peppery zing. The burn evened itself out during this portion, and I was building a thick dark-grey and white-striped ash. The draw was a little bit firm for my tastes, especially on such a small cigar like this, but I had no complaints about the smooth, balanced taste at all.

 As I burned into the final third, the flavor matured a bit, and notes of dried fruit, and just a hint of anise piped up. This last chapter of the stick had significantly less pepper to it, and more of an earthy vibe. The Brazilia burned razor-straight and tasted great until it became too small for me to hold onto anymore.  

 Without question, the Brazilia Cariocas tasted awesome, and burned damn good as well. It was full-flavored all the way, and left me with a nice aftertaste. The only thing I found to be lacking was the draw, which was a little too tight for the duration of the smoke. Overall, I enjoyed the experience, and would smoke the CAO Brazilia again without question, as I am definitely interested in trying this cigar in a larger vitola. For now, I’m giving the CAO Brazilia Cariocas a solid B+ grade, and I highly recommend it for fans of maduro stogies. As an added bonus, while supplies last, we’re offering a free bag of CAO Brazilia Blend Coffee with each box of any size sold (same goes for the Italia blend), so if rich smokes and fine java are your thing, this is the perfect combo.

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