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CAO OSA Sol Lot 54 Review
By GC
9/15/2011 11:53:00 AM  


Background


CAO OSA Sol is the first brand released since CAO International was purchased and placed under the massive umbrella of General Cigars. The cigar was released at the IPCPR in 2011 and landed on our shelves quite quickly after that. The OSA in the name refers to the Olancho and San Augustin Valley in Honduras, where the tobacco for this blend was grown. Overall the blend is an "OSA" wrapper,  Connecticut Broadleaf binder and a blend of Honduran and Nicaraguan fillers. Available in three sizes, the Lot 50 (5 x 50), the Lot 54 (6 x 54) and the Lot 58 (6 1/2 x 58). The cigar is considered by CAO to be medium to full bodied in strength.

Appearance / Pre-light

Wrapper has a nice oily sheen to it, just a bit mottled, overall a nice milky chocolate color. The CAO Sol Lot 54 is well packed and has some nice heft to it. I'm not sure if I'm a fan of the artwork, the contrast of the green and black is a little bit strong. It definitely grabs your attention, which may have been the idea, being cigar shelves these days are getting pretty crowded. The pre-light draw has some sweet tobacco flavors along with a bit of earth and woodiness. The draw is a bit tight, hopefully the smoke output will still be adequate. Here goes nothing..



First Third

Upon clipping and lighting the first flavors I'm getting right away are very mild and sweet. The draw has just a bit of resistance which isn't a bad thing.. I actually kind of enjoy a bit of stoppage as it causes the cigar to smoke a bit slower which translates to cooler. The finish is very smooth and enjoyable, very similar to the aroma. I think smoking this cigar in a relatively accepting crowd would be accepted. The aroma is sweet earth with a woody character. I'm having a little bit of difficulty keeping the burn line straight.. I touch it up with surgical precision with my Blazer PB-207 Pocket Torch. As the first third comes to an end, the ash finally drops after hanging on for well over an inch. As far as complexity, the cigar basically stayed very similar throughout the first third with a sweet earthy profile. Not bad at all mind you, so far similar flavors throughout.



Second Third

So far this cigar has not gotten much stronger than medium in body, while flavor-wise it's definitely in the medium to full range. I made short work of the draw problem by giving it one small poke down the middle with a draw tool. It opened up like a charm and is now smoking perfectly. The flavors have started to make a bit of a transformation into a cocoa or coffee in the foreground with the earthy, woodiness still there, but taking a back seat. The body has also started to build a bit, I'd say its tipping the scale of the medium range into more of a medium-full. At this rate, the cigar will probably continue to progress body wise right up until I nub it. There's a very small bit of spice on the finish, but it's very minor. Hopefully that will pick up, spice would be a welcome addition to this cigar's blend, especially if done in a balanced way. I just picked up a bit of a clove taste, or possibly an anisette flavor. The second third is surprising me with all the different flavor changes it's showing off. Because of the straight-forwardness of the first third I thought the cigar would be fairly simple and non-changing throughout.. The cigar has kept its composure as well and stayed balanced so far through the complexity.



Last Third

The spice gods have answered my call.. The cigar has become spicy and medium-full in it's last act. I am interested to try the Robusto "Lot 50" to see how the ratio of the OSA wrapper changes the flavor. I am enjoying the end of this cigar more so than the earlier stages. I may even venture to say that the final third of this cigar may be as full body as a CAO cigar has ventured. I really want to start comparing the OSA Sol with CAO's superstar La Traviata but I really haven't smoked enough of these OSA's to make an honest and accurate statement. As far as a one off statement, which could be a fluke, I'm enjoying this cigar more than the Traviata right now. Back to the cigar itself, while burning a little bit hot, the complexity of flavors is really enjoyable. There is the underlying earthiness, a sweet anise, spicy flavor upfront with a leathery finish that leaves the mouth without a bitter taste.



Overall

I really enjoyed this cigar! Big toro's are not a favorite size of mine, but the complexity of flavor and all the different changes the cigar made throughout the smoke really kept me interested. I usually smoke a fuller bodied cigar then most of CAO's brands but I could see smoking this on a the regular. Again the Robusto Lot 50 size may be even more interesting due to the wrapper flavor being more upfront, but this Lot 54 was a really enjoyable cigar. I foresee these selling really well.. As an inaugural cigar for the "newly merged" CAO, I think they did a really good job with the OSA Sol. Click here to check out our current stock of CAO OSA Sol Cigars.


Currently rated 2.7 by 3 people

Tags: CAO OSA Sol, cigar review, General Cigar, Lot 54, CAO International, IPCPR 2011, New CAO Cigars, Atlantic Cigar Reviews
Categories: Product Reviews, What's New, IPCPR Watch
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