La Traviata by CAO

Three Acts

La Traviata is a three act opera by Giuseppe Verdi first performed on March 6, 1853 at the La Fenice opera house in Venice. This excellent cigar by CAO has three acts of its own.

Act 1

CAO blended this cigar with an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, a Cameron binder with a combination of Nicaraguan and Dominican filler. I smoked a Churchill for the review, but this cigar comes in 6 sizes.

Frankly, it is a handsome cigar. Not smooth. Rugged. Manly. It is a nice chocolaty wrapper that glistens with oil. It has been on the Cigar Aficionado top 25 list twice; in 2010 and 2011 and has received 93 points.

Act one for me was the cold draw. Between the flavor I tasted from the wrapper and the chocolaty flavor from the draw, I didn’t know whether I was going to smoke it or eat it. It was delicious. This is the kind of cigar I could imagine sticking in my mouth and forgetting to light it and enjoy it all day. I seriously had to resist the urge to chew on and destroy the cap!

Don’t believe me? Try it and send your comments!

Act 2

For the minutes after lighting it, I thought it was a mild to medium bodied cigar. There wee enjoyable notes of coffee, wood and earthy spice as advertised. I love it when a plan comes together. This cigar was giving me everything I like without being potent.

The first cigar I had was freezing on the porch with a wool blanket draped around me and a bottle of aged tequila. I was leaning back with my feet up at this point savoring the flavor and freezing my buns of.

In other words, I was having the time of my life.

Act 3

All hell broke loose!

It was medium bodied and up until now medium flavored. The flavor intensified about two and a half inches through. Retrohale turned interesting.

The pepper from the Nicaraguan tobacco (the usual suspect in these events) took lead. The chocolate became darker and leathery notes danced in the background. The cigar showed some bite. I didn’t need the tequila to keep me warm. This medium bodied cigar was giving the right touch of heat!


La Traviata demonstrated good balance and changing characteristics while maintaining balance and strength. It flirted with medium to full bodied at times. Kind of like revving up the engine on the mustang. It teases you.

My only complaint was a very flakey ash.

Note: If that’s the only critical thing anyone says about a cigar, you should go buy it!