Mama Mia (CAO Italia Ciao)


I recently got a World Sampler from CAO and in it was a CAO Italia Ciao, along with a couple other cigars.  Since I bought this sampler for my wife, she graciously (everyone bless her) allowed me to pick one of them to review.  Since I’ve tried all the other ones, I figured the Italia was a natural choice.  So, taking my usual 10:00 PM time to smoke a cigar, I lit up and prepared for this review.

The Italia Ciao is a 5 X 56 sized Robusto with a unique four country tobacco blend.  The cigar gets its name from its unique Italian filler.  The Italian tobacco is blended with Peruvian and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos to create a distinctive mix.  The filler is then bound in a Honduran binder, then wrapped in a Honduran wrapper to create a beautiful, even, well veined cigar.

The scent of the wrapper is very mild and light with a slight sugary and leathery smell that I find very pleasing and the wrapper tastes of nuts and coffee.

Taking my double guillotine cigar cutter, I slice the head of the cigar with ease, leaving a clean cut through the head of the cigar, parting the cap with a satisfying snip.

Wooden matches are the way to go, in my opinion, so I take two of them and gently an evenly light the foot of the cigar, which does so with an even burn.

The cigar is slightly tight, but not unreasonably so, and I find that it loosens off about ½ inch into the burn to an easier draw.  The initial draws are peppery and sweet, the cigar getting a unique sweetness from the Italian filler.  The smoke in the mouth has a rich, buttery taste hinted with nuts.

I find myself having to slow down a little, from drawing too hard at the beginning due to the tighter binding at the start, but the cigar burns totally evenly and the ash stays intact well into the cigar.

When I purge the cigar the halfway point, it takes on some higher notes that remind me of both leather and cedar but maintaining that rich, buttery, peppery palate through to the end of the cigar.

I found the cigar finished strong, and was not too potent to enjoy all the way through.

All in all, at $5.50 American, manufacturers suggested retail price, the cigar is well worth the money.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, and will definitely smoke one again.

You can buy this cigar at, here, but they’re usually out of the ciao (robusto) size.  You can also get it in the World Sampler at

You can also get the gondola and piazza size and the World Sampler at smokingpipes.comSmoke ‘em if you got ‘em!

5 thoughts on “Mama Mia (CAO Italia Ciao)

  1. Pingback: Mama Mia (CAO Italia Ciao) « Smoking Jacket

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  3. I picked up this particular cigar at my local B&M a while back and I was at first skeptical that it wasn’t going to live up to my expectations because of how cheap it was relative to all the other cigars around it. To my surprise, and satisfaction, the cigars was not only worth the money but also it was a candidate for something that could easily become an everyday, go-to cigar. Although it is not my everyday cigar, I am merely stating that It could be. I guess the moral of this little anecdote is that a cigar doesn’t have to cost $15-100/stick to be a good cigar, and this CAO is a testament to that.

  4. Pingback: A Taste of Cuba (CAO Criollo Robusto) « Smoking Jacket

  5. Pingback: Brava Italia! (CAO Italia Ciao Robusto) | Smoking Jacket Magazine

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