Origin: Danli, Honduras
Filler: Italy, Nicaragua, Peru
Size Name: Novella
Ring Gauge: 46
During my first trip to my local B&M I picked up a CAO Italia – Novella to try. For me, this was one of those cigars that grabbed my attention while paging through one of my cigar catalogs. My desire to try this one was only based on the fact that it looked very inviting, I’m sure there are a few readers telling themselves that they know exactly what I mean.
During my little inspection of the cigar after removing the cellophane I noticed that the band all but fell off, which is always a good sign in my eyes. The wrapper was dark and oily with a firm feel.
Due to the size I went with my plug cutter on this one. The cut was very clean and easy to make. I checked the pre light draw and it was excellent. With everything looking good I lit the cigar and kicked back to relax.
The first puff produced loads of smoke that was packed with flavor. The initial flavor of the cigar was a new experience for me. It is hard to explain, but the best I can describe it is that it had a mild almost fruity tart taste. This flavor only lasted for a few puffs then faded away.
The flavor base throughout the cigar was very consistent. I can only describe it as a light herbal taste which was not overwhelming like an infused cigar, but more like a backdrop for the mild Honduran and Nicaraguan flavors.
This cigar had complex flavors and was effortless to smoke. The burn rate was good and the evenness was flawless. The ash was firm and a pale grey color. Just behind the cherry of the cigar there was an attractive dark caramel looking ring that stayed constant throughout the entire cigar.
The finish was smooth and creamy while light on the pallet. The taste didn’t linger too long in my mouth which made for a clean tasting smoke.
One of the most notable things about this cigar was how solid it was when it got short. I smoked it all the way down until it was around a half inch long and it didn’t feel spongy at all.
My review sheet can be found below.
7 thoughts on “CAO Italia – Novella”
my go-to cigar. gets loads better with some age. i’ve probably smoked several boxes over the past couple years with several more in my aging humi. for me, this has a little of everything. nice oily dark wrapper, my prefered flavor profile, contruction, size (perfect torpedo), smoking time, priced as low as $92/box online …you name it, i dig it. and yes, i have found the perfect drink match for you, WALT. Sam Adams Chocolate Bock. and belive me it took some drinking to find this one. Though its a somewhat seasonal brew and a little pricey, its thick, rich cocoa flavors are an absolute perfect pairing. talk to you guys soon.
I still have about 15 of these sticks from the original review. They have mellowed quite a bit. Still my favorite stick till this day!
Can’t say it better than the above. I love this cigar! i’m through one box already and will be ordering a new one soon. The tins of Piccolos are really good quick smoke if you like little sticks. Bravissimo CAO!
I found the CAO Novella to be pleasingly sharp and powerful along with the fruitiness described above. For a small cigar, it really is intense, with a flavor that seems to land smack-dab on the middle of your tongue.
I think its a great cigar, a really enjoyable tarty little smoke that wraps up in 45 minutes. A little pricey for the size, but worth it.
Smoked my second of these tonight (an Italia Robusto). The flavor was like a nice chocolate with an anisette liquor inside. It was not an overwhelming anisette flavor but a nice subtle hint. Chocolate Bock would be an outstanding addition but I think a Young’s Chocolate Stout would also do as an accompanying drink or maybe an aged barley wine that has mellowed so there is less alcohol nose. Unfortunately for me I only had Iced T to drink but that did nothing to diminish my enjoyment of the Italia.