Sunday, January 24, 2010
CAO Brazilia- Box Press
CAO Brazilia Box Press- I read somewhere, can't remember where, that when CAO was developing the Brazilia line, they were warned against using the Brazilian name and national colors. Evidently, there were some old-school cigar-world prejudices against the Brazilian tobacco industry or something like that. Turns out that didn't affect the cigar smoker's buying power. Just the opposite; the Brazilia line is one of CAO's leading sellers and I can't think of a smoker I know that doesn't think this is a decent smoke for the money spent.
The Brazilia is a beautiful and unique looking stick. The wrapper is made of a Brazilian tobacco called Matafina. The Matafina is so dark that it almost looks black and shimmers with oil. CAO finished out the Brazilia with Nicaraguan filler and binder. The label is eye-catching, boasting the bright colors of Brazil's flag.
It might be me, but anything related to Brazil makes me think of beautiful beaches and gorgeous women. With that in mind, I reach for the Brazilia often.
The Brazilia comes in wide variety of sizes. All cleverly named after something from the country's culture. Well, except for the one I'm reviewing. Others include the Anaconda, Gol!, Samba just to name a few. The best is the mini "Piranha". Which is Brazilian slang for a prostitute.
Prelight- Just to let you know, this cigar is one of my go to sticks. I smoke at least one or two a week. Usually, when I review a cigar I've smoked before, I try and throw out all of my previous experiences and focus on that particular smoke. Today will be a hybrid of this singular smoke and my past experiences with the Brazilia.
The cigar is hands down beautiful. I think CAO had a Brazilian woman in mind when they envisioned this cigar. I will list three reasons behind my theory and you make the comparison to a sexy Brazilian in your mind.
Brazilia Box-Press vs. Brazilian Beauty
1.)The wrapper is flawless with a sheen of oil on it. It is also a little darker than it's peers. (picture a tan Brazilian women in a thong bikini coming off the beach at Copacabana)
2.)In my opinion, this is the best-feeling box-press on the market. This stick is soft, but firm. You've got to squeeze it to believe. (back to the thong)
3.)It has two labels, your normal cigar label up top, and a lower label that reads "Box Press". Because of the nature of a cigar, its best to take the bottom off first. (open for interpretation)
Ok, back to the prelight. The cigar smells sweet and begs to be smoked. Time for the torch.
Sparking it- Puff...Puff...Lit...and we're off. The first few drags come across with a little pepper, but mostly a creamy coffee flavor. The pepper quickly subsides as the cherry cools and the smoke progresses. I've heard of complaints of a tight draw but have rarely encountered it. I've had one bad stick out of 30 or so I've smoked. If you run into this problem, try trimming a bit more off the cap. The ash is solid and highlights the quality build of the cigar. The lit end burns off a trail of bluish smoke and it is a pleasure to inhale the resting smoke. The cigar is a medium-full flavored, with medium body. I can't help but focus on the creamy texture of the smoke. I really love this cigar.
Smoking it- The flavor evolves a little as the smoke goes on. I start to taste dark chocolate after the half-way point, and the cigar maintains a coffee taste throughout. A decent amount of complexity to the stick. I cannot over-emphasize the creaminess of the smoke; it is delicious. The cigar burns a little uneven at times, but a quick torch hit evens it out without issue. I've never had a Box-Press burn in a manner that ruined the smoke.
I recommend this to every cigar smoker out there. There are so many qualities in the cigar's body and flavor, that everyone could have a chance of enjoying this cigar. Full-flavored smokers will find themselves chewing on the smoke, searching for the next nuance, while milder smokers will expand their horizons, enjoying a fuller smoke with such a smooth and creamy flavor.
At $6-$7 a cigar (and cheaper online) - this cigar has tremendous value. Maybe I'm a little bias, because I'm thinking of Brazilian women when I smoke it. But I think its more of the fact that this cigar fits my criteria of a great cigar.