Size: 5 x 50 Box Press Wrapper: African Cameroon Binder and Filler: Nicaraguan Strength: Medium
Behind The Stick:
The CAO Cameroon L'Anniversaire is a celebratory cigar from CAO's thirty year mile marker, 1968to 1998. This Cigar was made in Esteli, Nicaragua containing Nicaraguan filler and binder andwrapped with a seemingly perfect African Cameroon Wrapper. Prior to being acquired by GeneralCigars, the L'Anniversaire was considered to be one of the most saught after cigars not onlydue to the box press fans but simply because this cigar was truly created as a 'celebration'both in the blend and in the delivery.
When it comes to box pressed cigars I always get a little nervous. It seems that you will haveone of two things happen - an amazing smoke without any burn issues or a problem child thatcuases you to relight every 10 minutes or a burn that runs up the length of the smoke. Luckilyenough for us - the CAO Cameroon performed flawlessly on each smoke, never needing anyassistance. Evenly packaged from head to foot, the head clipped easily but the foot took alittle love to get going. All in all - no issues or complaints here.Flavor:The first third really caught me by surprise - the first glance and the cigar appears to besemi toothy, almost rough and hence your thoughts of what it should taste like changeaccordingly. Not so, this was a very smooth almost cream like smoke that ever so slightlycovered your taste buds. A light coffee flavor was prominent with hints of Leather and Cocothat created a nice back and forth to the cigar, bitter and sweet. I also noticed that thisfirst third had a slight draw issue, not terrible but it was defiantly noticeable.
Once the cigar had been ashed, the draw and flavors exploded immediately pretty much taking meoff 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, Iswear 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. The last third was pretty much acontinuation of the first and second, Leather and coffee in the foreground with a few minorchanges in the background. In this portion, a nice pepper was easily detected and the smoke waspicking up power as I continued.
I really enjoyed this smoke and then add in the fact that these are priced right - its hard notto want to put this into your regular rotation. The cigar itself was not very complex, orhaving many flavor changes, but that did not detract from the amazing smoke. It was nice andeven burning, even on heat, smooth on the draw and easy on the retro-hale. Truly, not sure whatmore you can ask for in an affordable smoke. I have already purchased two boxes, one similarto this review and one Robusto.