The CAO Cameroon L’Anniversaire is a celebratory cigar from CAO’s thirty year mile marker, 1968 to 1998. This Cigar was made in Esteli, Nicaragua containing Nicaraguan filler and binder and wrapped with a seemingly perfect African Cameroon Wrapper.
This smoke was from the Hill Cigar company in St. Louis, and actually I grabbed it simply because I wanted to try a few smokes from the CAO brand. I have always liked the general flavor profile of the Cameroon wrapper and had never tried one from the CAO line, so thus, this cigar was brought home. I was really impressed with the overall build of the cigar and it felt well packed from end to end and did have the box press appeal.
1st Third: The first third really caught me by surprise. At first glance, the cigar appears to be semi toothy, almost rough and hence your thoughts of what it should taste like change accordingly. Not so, this was a very smooth almost cream like smoke that ever so slightly covered your taste buds. A light coffee flavor was prominent with hints of Leather and Coco that created a nice back and forth to the cigar, bitter and sweet. I also noticed that this first third had a slight draw issue, not terrible but it was defiantly noticeable.
2nd Third: Once the cigar had been ashed, the draw and flavors exploded immediately pretty much taking me off guard. I didn’t have to fight for the flavors at all, large amounts of Leather and Coffee, similar to the first third but much more defined. Towards the middle to end of the 2nd third, I swear there were a few sweet notes that directly reminded me of caramel. To wrap up the end, Leather, Coffee and a slight Almond-ish flavor crept in.
Last Third: The last third was pretty much a continuation of the first and second, Leather and Coffee in the foreground with a few minor changes in the background. In this portion, a nice pepper was easily detected and the smoke was picking up power as I continued.
Overall: I really enjoyed this smoke, and even for the price of about 5 bucks a stick, you can’t go wrong. The cigar itself was not very complex, or having many changes, but that did not detract from the amazing smoke. It was nice and even burning, even on heat, smooth on the draw and easy on the retro-hale. Truly, not sure what more you can ask for in an affordable smoke. I have already purchased two more, one similar to this review and one Robusto.
Check out the Video review below