Master Blender Rick Rodriguez and the CAO blending team make a return to their roots with CAO Nicaragua, the brand’s first Nicaraguan–centric blend.
Whereas CAO’s very own Indiana Jones (Ernest Gocaj) typically travels the globe seeking new tobaccos to use in the brand’s blends, CAO Nicaragua is a striking tribute to the brand’s homeland.
At the core of CAO Nicaragua is a selection of Nicaraguan Jalapa, Esteli and Condega leaves, clad in a Honduran Jamastran wrapper, and bound with Jamastran to dial up the intensity of this homegrown smoke.
Rick Rodriguez said, “Nicaragua’s rich volcanic soils and ideal humidity, temperature and sunlight create the perfect growing conditions for tobacco. For CAO Nicaragua, the team and I wanted to bring the essence of Nicaraguan tobacco to life in a way that only CAO can do. So we selected the blend starting with the filler, utilizing leaves representing three distinctive microclimates and three distinctive tastes.
Rick details the characteristics of the three Nicaraguan tobaccos in CAO Nicaragua:
Esteli — Tobacco grown in Esteli is stronger and has considerably more complexity than tobacco from other regions of Nicaragua. Grown in dark, dense soil that’s known to deliver spicy flavors and heady aromas, the Esteli leaves are the most robust of the leaves in the CAO Nicaragua blend, adding body and dimension to the cigar. This is the tobacco for experienced palates, as spicy flavors dominate.
Condega — To the North of Esteli is Condega. Here, the soil is rocky, nearly black in color and high in mineral content. The combination of rich soil and frequent cloud cover combine to deliver tobacco that’s medium-bodied and extremely flavorful, with peppery notes and hints of nuts.
Jalapa — On the border with Honduras, the reddish-brown soil of Jalapa bears leaves that are not as strong as Esteli or Condega, but have an excellent smoothness. This is an elegant, aromatic tobacco that was selected for its versatility and ability to blend well with other tobaccos. The Jalapa leaves give medium-full notes of earth, along with toasty flavors.
In the CAO tradition of flavor and finesse, CAO Nicaragua leans more toward pepper than spice and is balanced with medium-full flavors. Nuances of nuts and toast are prominent throughout the smoke.
“This is truly a cigar for the cigar lover who wants a deeply-satisfying smoke that engages every part of the palate. Taste for yourself and you’ll see that the CAO Nicaragua blend delivers incredible flavor, dimension and complexity,” said Rick.
CAO Nicaragua is handcrafted at the STG Esteli cigar factory, and will ship to retailers in 20-count boxes in August, in these three sizes:
Wrapper: Honduras Jamastran
Sizes: Tipitapa (4 7/8 x 50), Matagalpa (5 5/8 x 46), Granada (6 x 50)
Prize range: USD 6.59 – 6.99
Release date: August 2018