Monday, January 28, 2008

My Weekend Cigar: CAO Italia Positano & Diablo Caliente

I had the benefit of enjoying two good cigars this past weekend that I haven't smoked in a while.

The first was a CAO Italia Positano. This 6" x 50 Toro was exquisite to say the least. The main thing I remember about the CAO Italia cigars is their wonderful aroma, and the Positano immediately confirmed that entry in my memory bank. The smoke was dominated by a sweet, earthy flavor with a hint of sweet spice on the finish. As the cigar burned, the flavors began to caramelize nicely while increasing in depth and complexity.

Italia also has one of the most unique tobacco blends ever devised. A pristine, reddish-hued Honduran Habano-seed leaf is used for the wrapper. The binder is also Honduran Habano, and the fillers are from Nicaragua, Peru and Italy. The latter is a Cuban-seed tobacco grown in the Benevento wine-growing region of Italy. Soil plays an important part of a tobacco leaf's flavor, and the naturally sweet properties of this leaf give the blend a marvelous balance. I would classify the smoke as primarily medium in body, but full-flavored. The cigar's overall attributes - construction, smoothness, flavor and aroma - hit on all cylinders for me.

The second cigar was a Diablo Caliente. This 5" x 50 Robusto had a couple of things in common with the Italia. Like the Positano, it had a sweet, earthy character, but it did not have the depth of the Positano. Moreover, although Diablo cigars include the words "Tabacos Picantes" on the bands, I found the Caliente to be pretty light on the spice.

This cigar has a darker, toothier Ecuadorian Sumatra leaf with a Dominican-Nicaraguan longfiller blend, and a U.S. Connecticut binder. The smoke was primarily medium in body, and I attribute much of the sweetness to the wrapper. The cigar did take on more peppery flavor, but not until the final third of the cigar. That said, the cigar gives off a spicy aroma throughout the entire smoke, so I guess it depends on how you define "spicy." I enjoyed this cigar more for its smoothness and sweetness than anything else.

~ Gary Korb

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

CAO Italia is my favorite brand after I have tried at least 80 others. It can be beaten only by true Cuban Romeo & Juliette that have scored 10 on my own scale.