Country: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro and Connecticut Shade
Binder: Brazilian
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan, Italian, and American (100% Ligero)
Size: Robusto 5.0" x 56 ring
Courtesy of

The CAO America was introduced at the 2007 RTDA trade show in Huston, Texas.  Its arrival was preceded by a lot of hype and buzz brought about by two unique features of the cigar.  Number one, the wrapper caused a good deal of buzz.  The CAO America sports two wrappers, both American grown.  It has a Connecticut grown broadleaf maduro wrapper and a Connecticut shade grown wrapper.  They are applied to the cigar in a manner that creates a unique pin striping effect.  Another feature of the cigar that generated a good deal of chatter was the four country blend of 100% Ligero filler.  This was reported to be one of the strongest most full-bodied cigars in the CAO portfolio.  Available in six sizes, every one of them boasting a girthy ring gauge of 50 or above:

  • Anthem (8.5″ x 50)
  • Bottle Rocket (7.0″ x 50)
  • Constitution (6.0″ x 50)
  • Landmark (6.0″ x 60)
  • Monument (6.2″ x 54)
  • Potomac (5.0″ x 56)

It takes a lot of tobacco to fill a cigar with a 50 ring gauge, and even more for a cigar with a 56 ring.  When the filler is supposed to be 100% ligero, it is only natural that you expect that cigar to be powerful beast of a smoke.  However, the reputation of the CAO America has preceded its arrival in my humidor and I am well aware of the many reports that this cigar falls well short of the hype and apparently it is not nearly as full bodied as CAO would have us all believe.  That said, I like to judge these things for myself so I am trying to approach this smoke with an open mind…

As a loudly proclaimed lover of Lonsdales and Coronas it will come as no surprise that I am bothered by the awkwardness of the large ring gauge of the Potomac.  I feel like I have a big jawbreaker candy in my mouth when smoking it.  The flavors start off smooth.  Strong notes of Leather and damp earth dominate the beginning of the smoke.  It starts off medium in body and mild in strength with no real threat of being any fuller.  The flavors are decent though muddled at times and they never really change.  Lots of leather and earth and some occasional creamy notes.  The burn was impressive.  With the two different wrappers I expected it to run a little uneven at the least but it stayed very straight burning perfectly the whole time.  The ash was white and perfectly formed.  It holds on tight and needs to be tapped off.    Overall I’d say the CAO America is a good smoke, but not a great one.  The ring gauge is a problem for me.  I really dislike the girth of it.  It was very uncomfortable to smoke.  I’d probably have less of a problem with one of the 50 ring vitolas.  It is a bit one dimensional, but the flavors are enjoyable.  The construction is impeccable.  This is supposed to be CAO’s most robust offering but I found the CAO Anniversary Maduro to be more full bodied than this cigar.  The America really is a Medium bodied smoke never really approaching anything I’d considered full bodied.  from that standpoint it is a bit of a disappointment, but putting that aside it is a nice cigar.

Rating – B