CAO Concert

Thanks to General Cigar, owner of the CAO brand, for sending me some samples of the cigar up for review today.

Back in the day, pre-General Cigar buy out, CAO was known for it’s flashy packaging and presentation. It looks like General is returning to that with the CAO Concert. It is said that this is inspired by CAO’s roots in Nashville. The cigar band is basically a guitar pick, along with a couple of guitars, which are complete with an “F cut.” I only point this out for the music geeks out there.

In the end, I don’t care about any of this. Read on, and see if the cigar delivered where it counts.


Wrapper: Ecuadorian Rosado

Binder: Connecticut

Filler: Nicaraguan and Honduran

Size: Roadie 5.5 x 54

Price: $6.75


Pre-Smoke & Construction:

The wrapper was shiny, a little toothy, had minimal veins, and a mild earthy aroma. Off of the foot, I could only smell a mild cedar, and a touch of pepper. Overall, this cigar was solidly and evenly packed. This led to a draw that was a little on the tight side, but it was well within my tolerance. The pre-light draw had a woody and earthy flavor.

The ash held for just over an inch, and the burn required one minor correction.

1 CAO_Concert cigars


The first third had no buildup. Immediately I was greeted with a dark woody flavor. Up next was zingy pepper, followed by earth and hay. The smoke feel was thick, dry, and had a generic tinge of sweetness.

2 CAO_Concert cigars

The second third kept the same core flavors as the first third. The main difference was a bitter sweet note. The pepper lost a little zing, but kept enough so that I had to pay attention when retrohaling. The smoke feel wasn’t as dry, resulting in less craving for water.

3 CAO_Concert cigars

A bitter cocoa developed in the last third. It mixed with the ever present wood, earth, and peppery spice. The smoke feel remained dry, and bordered on creaminess.

4 CAO_Concert cigars


While the CAO Concert didn’t bring anything new to the table, it was a solid medium bodied cigar. Construction, ash, burn, and flavor were all consistent. I think the price point was met, and if I see them on the shelves, I may smoke one from time to time.

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11 Responses to “CAO Concert”

Eric Scism September 18th, 2012 at 11:45 am

I’ve heard so many people raving about this cigar. That I was hoping it was going to be great. I’ve got a pre release sample from a launch party they did in Nashville a couple of months ago and I haven’t found time to smoke it. I don’t know if I’m afraid of being let down, or if I’m just lazy. I do love the flashy packaging though. CAO has always been great at packaging.

Vulture September 18th, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Chevy Volts could come in some fancy packaging too, but inside is still a Volt. Packaging means crap to me. I’d rather buy a cigar than the package.
That being said, nice review. I almost cringe when I see CAO now, but this one seems to fit the bill of why not have one. I think the real question for me would be, ‘Do I choose this over that?’

Tom September 18th, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Eric – It certainly isn’t bad, but I’m not sure if I’d rave about it either. Just a good, solid smoke. I say smoke what ya got and find out though!

Vulture – I see your point, and another brand comes to mind when it comes to wacky packaging. When that becomes the focus over the cigars, I’ve been known to hate, I admit it.

jjo September 18th, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Now what brand would that be, Tom? LOL

Still, at that price point, I think it would be worth a try.

Richard September 19th, 2012 at 6:57 am

Another piece of garbage review. Congrats you homeless retard.

Tom September 19th, 2012 at 4:56 pm

JJO – It certainly doesn’t start with the letter G!

Speaking of the letter G, hello “Richard” AKA @Cigar_G from Montreal Canada, IP! Glad you stopped by. See you soon.

bradfromtampa October 7th, 2012 at 10:59 am

I had this last night and thought it was great. It did feel a little dry, but might have been enhanced since I was a drinking beer with it. Great review.

Tom October 11th, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Brad – I think I enjoyed this more than the first CAO release since General purchased the company (OSA SOL). It’s a good smoke at a decent price.

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Roger January 20th, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Just tried the one you sent me (had it in the humidor a couple months). I was really impressed, and your review matched my experience quite well.

With about an inch and a half, though, I had a draw that tasted like pure ash in my mouth; not sure what that was about. I immediately stopped right there. Other than that aberration, though, I liked it. Probably won’t supplant AB in my regular rotation, but a nice change of pace. June 4th, 2016 at 4:07 pm

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