A Taste of Cuba (CAO Criollo Robusto)



It’s been some time since I’ve given you a cigar review, and I suppose that’s not fair to my cigar smoking brothers and sisters.  But, things being what they are I simply have not had the money to spend on cigars.

However, my wife recently got a CAO World Sampler, and probably to stop my incessant whining, gave me the CAO Criollo Robusto so that I would have something to review this week.  So here’s my review;

In the Spanish language of Cuba, the word Criollo means “native seed”, and the Criollo cigar is Nicaraguan long leaf filler, and binder with a vintage Criollo’98 wrapper.  Meaning, the wrapper, though grown in Nicaragua, comes from seeds that came from Cuba.

Taking the cigar out of the package, I brought it up to my nose to smell the sweet, yet earthy, minty smell of the wrapper, and I was immediately excited to smoke this cigar.  I was also delighted to find how much it reminded me of classic Cuban cigars, with slight difference, it is as close as an American can get to a Cuban cigar legally (fortunately I’m Canadian).

As every cigar review I’ve given you to this point has been done with a double guillotine cigar cutter, I decided to see how this cigar smoked with a bullet punch, so I got my wife to punch the cigar for me.  She tells me that it is probably the best cigar she has ever punched, and the bullet made a nice clean hole in the head of the cigar.

Lighting the cigar, the first few draws were rich and creamy, and filled my mouth with the grassy taste that I love so much about real Cuban cigars.  It lit evenly, with two matches, and began to burn consistently, but that’s what I’ve come to expect from CAO.

The grassy taste faded after about the first inch of the cigar but left the cigar with a much more woody, earthy flavour that was equally delightful.  The ash clung to the cigar until I knocked it off a good two inches into it, and was left with the little conical ember that shows the cigar is burning properly.

When the cigar was purged halfway through, it began to take on a much more minty flavour, that I partially expected from the smell of the wrapper.  The mintyness caused a slight numbing of my mouth, that was actually quite pleasant, and increased as the cigar was continually smoked.

The cigar finished nicely, with barely a hint of bitterness and left me quite satisfied.

Overall I would have to say that this cigar is medium to strong, full-bodied, and satisfying.  Everything I’ve come to expect from CAO, and as close to Cuban as you can get without buying Cuban.

Highly recommended, I will definitely smoke this cigar again.

Total smoking time; 34 minutes.

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em!


One thought on “A Taste of Cuba (CAO Criollo Robusto)

  1. Pingback: Learning to smoke a cigar like a pro. Lesson 1 | Around the world in 50 years.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.