CAO America Potomac Cigar Review

by Jesse on October 22, 2007

Brand: CAOCAO America Potomac
Line: America
Vitola: Potomac 5 x 56
Origin: Nicaragua
Wrapper: Double Connecticut
Binder: Brazil
Filler: Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Italy
Body: Medium
Strength: Medium
Box Price: $121.50 (Box of 20) Buy it now.

Description: The CAO America was added to the CAO stable of cigars this year at the RTDA/IPCPR Trade Show. Like most CAO cigars, it is a good looking cigar that is well constructed but unlike the others, the America has dual wrappers that gives the stick a beautiful pin stripe effect. I had a few at the show but my taste buds were so burned out by the time I tried them I couldn’t tell much about it in terms of flavor. The cigar is firm, but I did find the draw a touch easy.Lighting up and taking a few puffs I was immediately hit with leather flavor and some nuttiness. These flavors pretty much stayed consistent throughout the first half with some coffee added to the mix. At mid point, while the leather stayed dominant, the nuttiness faded to the back and allowed the coffee note to come to the front. The America stayed predominately this was for the remainder of the cigar.

I had to touch up the burn a couple times in the first half, but found for the last half, the burn stayed nice and even. While this smoke is labeled as being full bodied on CAO’s website, I don’t consider it to be more than medium myself.

Verdict: The America is a nice cigar with a smooth, leathery smoke, but it wasn’t the full bodied cigar that CAO says it is on their site. I would recommend anyone try it at least once. From what I’ve seen, it’s a ‘love it, or hate it’ kind of stick.

Similar Cigars: CAO’s Brazilia (one of America’s ‘sister’ cigars) is a bit spicier, and I prefer it to the America. A few other similar, medium bodied cigars would be the Sabor Cubano or the Palmas Puro Maduro.

Popularity: 26% [?]

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

dandyman October 22, 2007 at 10:10 am

I’ve yet to try a CAO of any variety, but the good reviews for the Brazil and America varieties just keep piling up. I’ll have to run down to the smoke shop and pick up a couple.


Jesse October 22, 2007 at 10:14 am

If you go into it knowing the CAO America is at most a medium-bodied cigar I think you can enjoy it. They hyped it up as a full-bodied cigar which had led to a ton of disappointment.


Alex Knapp October 22, 2007 at 11:20 am

CAO hypes the Brazilia as a full-bodied, too, and I think it’s more on the medium to full side. Still, I tried an America last weekend and wasn’t disappointed. I’m probably going to add it to my usual cigar rotation. The Brazilia has more flavor, but I found the America to make for a more relaxing smoke–can’t quite put my finger on why.


Jesse October 22, 2007 at 12:14 pm

On their website they say the America is fuller bodied than the Brazilia. I have a Brazilia sitting in my humidor, I’ll have to light that up to night and see how it compares with the America fresh in my mind.


Patrick A October 22, 2007 at 3:10 pm

As a big fan of several CAO lines, I’ve been looking forward to trying the America for some time.

Haven’t had a chance yet, but I’m already a bit skeptical. In my experience, “barber pole” wrappers are more of a gimick than a strategic blending decision.


MonkeyDan October 22, 2007 at 4:12 pm

Jesse- you hit the nail on the head. I hate it. I had high expectations and it failed to live up to them. The Extreme, Brazilian, Crillo and Mx2 are far better smokes than America.


Jesse October 23, 2007 at 11:01 am

@Patirck: It would be interesting to try one of these cigars with just one of the wrappers on it to see how it tasted compared to the double wrapper. I noticed I could taste both wrappers on the Arganese Double Wrap I had. But I’d smoked their Connecticut and Maduro Prior to that so I knew what flavors were unique to each blend.

@MonkeyDan: I didn’t hate the cigar, but I agree it didn’t live up to its hype of being a full bodied cigar.


Ricky November 4, 2007 at 9:07 am

Jesse, I agree that it’s medium-bodied. I too prefer the Brazilia line to the America, though I’ve gotta say that the presentation is awesome. They’ll definitely make any cigar collection look good.


Jesse November 4, 2007 at 9:24 am

I’ve heard the new Brazilia Box-Pressed is pretty good. I’m planning to review that one in the coming months.


dandyman November 13, 2007 at 7:15 pm

I just managed to have one of these yesterday and I was sorely disappointed. I have to believe that this cigar was not indicative of the line, but it had a tight draw and an uneven burn. I did enjoy the flavor and smoke, but it was quite fussy. Based on what I’ve read about this cigar, I have to assume that I didn’t let it sit long enough or that it was simply an aberration.


Jesse November 13, 2007 at 8:30 pm

@dandyman: I’d definitely give it another go. I’ve yet to have any burn issues with these.


CAO America December 1, 2007 at 10:59 pm

CAO doesn’t produce the best cigars in the world. They are, however, one of the biggest cigar companies as far as distribution in the world. I believe they are in 8 different countries. The CAO America line is another one of CAOs great marketing ploys – a beautiful presentation with a somewhat disappointing flavor.


Dave February 25, 2008 at 9:20 pm

I just finished one. It was an easy draw and very mild. I had the Landmark and just like the Brazillia Amazon (60 ring gauge), it had an uneven burn throughout. Not to bad though.


Ern1911 October 28, 2009 at 11:42 pm

I like this cigar, it’s in my Top 5-10. Interesting note, the Potomac I found to be a better experience than the larger gauged Constitution.


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