Cigar Reviews: CAO Brazilia and Southern Draw Kudzu Oscuro

I’ve got a couple of cigar reviews for you all today, and a couple of rather good ones too, so let’s just jump right in!

CAO Brazilia 

This offering from CAO features a Brazilian Maduro wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and long fillers. The size reviewed here is the “Lambada” which is a 6″ x 50RG Toro vitola.

The first light revealed a perfect draw producing plentiful thick, creamy textured, medium-bodied smoke. Notes of a sweet smooth earth and a light cocoa. Very mild retrohale.

Getting into the first third the earthiness morphs more toward a distinct cashew note while the semi-sweet cocoa is still present. The retrohale is now greeted by a note of rose petals. Body seems to waver between a medium and a medium/full.

The 2nd third brings a hint of a pepper zing into the finish and nose and now the body is solidly up to medium/full. The cocoa morphs more toward a dark chocolate and a dark roast coffee joins the draw. There are no other profile changes other than the smoke getting creamier toward the end. The smoke started going too warm for my taste as 1 hour and 25 minutes for an excellent burn time for the toro size and bringing in a subtle mild/medium nicotine strength.

Flawless construction with a razor sharp burn. Ash holds on solidly for half the stick at a time.

Smooth and complex, this one is sure to satisfy a range of cigar smokers. I loved this one, but wish it had a little more complexity and “oomph” earlier in the stick. Would pair well with a smooth red or a milder Speyside Scotch. Rating: 4.25/5.

Southern Draw Kudzu Oscuro

This offering from Holt/AJ Fernandez features an Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro wrapper over Nicaraguan binder and long fillers. The size reviewed is a 6″ x 52RG box pressed Toro vitola.

The first light revealed a perfect draw producing plentiful thick medium/full bodied smoke. Earthy and peppery out of the gate with a slight sweetness, everything is very smooth and well blended.

The first third grows in complexity bringing in a rich milk chocolate and creamy leather on the draw. The pepper is still present on the retrohale but is slightly less so than the first light. There is also a subtle vanilla note on the finish.

Into the 2nd third the body mellows out slightly to a straight medium as the pepper tapers off and is replaced by a bright, aromatic cedar. The last third comes back up to medium/full and is dominated by a very heavy, dark espresso note on the draw while retaining the cedar and bringing in a hot cinnamon. Ending at 1 hour 15 minutes for a respectable burn time for the size and bringing in a medium nicotine strength.

Excellent construction with a near razor-sharp burn and the ash holding on a third of the stick at a time.

Bold and beautifully complex, this cigar would pair well with an imperial stout, hefty red wine, peaty Scotch or a Jamaican rum. It’s almost omnivorous in its pairing potential and was a real pleaser. Rating: 4.5/5.

There you have it for today! Have you had either of today’s offerings? Let me know what you thought!

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