CAO OSA Sol

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CAO OSA Sol

CAO OSA Sol

The CAO OSA Sol should be on your shop’s shelves by now. I’ve been working on this review since I first sampled the Lot 50 (Robusto) at IPCPR. Having smoked almost a box worth of the three various sizes I figured now is a good time as any to expand on the thoughts I’ve shared in various episodes of Week in Smoke. Those who have been around Stogie Review awhile know the closeness I shared with the old guard of CAO and I’ll be the first to admit that I thought that CAO would become just another product in the catalog of General Cigar. That it wouldn’t have any creativity, character or soul to the product.

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Video runs a bit over 16 minutes which I know is longer than my typical reviews but its more than just a review, its a bit of a editorial too. After meeting Ed McKenna and Rick Rodriguez and more importantly after smoking the CAO OSA Sol, I’m confident that CAO is in good hands. But I do have some friendly advice to share. Again, its basically expanding on the little snippets I’ve shared in Week in Smoke episodes.

The CAO OSA Sol has gotten mixed reviews in the blogosphere. I think the Lot 54 (Toro) size was the wrong size to send to bloggers to do reviews. While the Lot 54 and Lot 58 (Double Toro) are okay the Lot 50 (Robusto) is a much more fascinating and engaging cigar. The OSA wrapper is bright, unique and special. I hope Ed and Rick plan to take advantage of the qualities of the OSA wrapper by featuring it on a smaller ring gauge. Let that wrapper shine baby! I talk about the pricing of the OSA Sol as compared to the La Traviata. While the OSA Sol is priced close to the La Traviata I would’ve shown some love to the CAO skeptics and priced the OSA Sol so that it costs no more than the La Traviata. I know, at MSRP we are talking like 85 80 cents and around $25 a box but hey, every little bit counts right?

Just my two cents, I’m not a marketing genius. I’m just a dude who smokes cigars in front of a camera in his backyard for fun and occasionally dresses up as a turkey. Thanks to CAO and General for the samples and thanks to W.Curtis Draper for carrying them. The size you choose of the CAO OSA Sol is key. The Lot 54 and Lot 58 are okay, maybe even pretty good but as we all know, there are a lot of okay and pretty good cigars out there. I’m like you, I’m always looking for something special! The Lot 50 size, is impeccable with its bright, dynamic and balanced flavor profile. Its a definite box purchase.

28 thoughts on “CAO OSA Sol

  1. I’m going to give it another go, everything tasted off today and I want to give this cigar a fair chance. I picked up some unique flavors on it, but I was also getting a flavor that made me put it out half way through. I’m hoping it was just me and not the cigar.

    I agree on the need for some small sized cigars! The longer I smoke the more often i find myself reaching for corona and lancero sizes.

  2. I smoked the double carona last week and I thought it wasn’t that good at all. very lacking in the flavor dept. I’ll give it another shot though with the robusto size sometime soon.

  3. Nice review and good thoughts on sizes and pricing, Jerry.

    I was going to pass this one by after reading all the unenthusiastic reviews, but now I’ll have to give it a shot if I run across the robusto.

    Great video quality, by the way.

  4. I got a 5’er of the toros from General and the 3 I’ve smoked have all been enjoyable. I’ll have to grab a robusto and see how it compares.

  5. Informative review Jerry…definitely want to try them now. Also, great insight on sizes and pricing. I don’t do the math so like you, I’d just see the cost and would think twice about picking up the OSA Sol over the La Traviata…well if it wasn’t for this review that is.

  6. After smoking a few of these in the same size you reviewed, as well as one in the Lot 50, I’m left with the question of whether they took the time to blend to each size or not. It may sound ridiculous to say that, but seriously…when the Lot 50 works as well as it does, but the 54 and 58 just don’t, I have to wonder why. If you remember, the same thing seems to have happened on the La Travi Maduro Animado…the best size in the “regular” LT has become practically unsmokeable in the Maduro.

    As far as the pricing goes, if you want it lower, you can always just buy these on CI, where they are sucker-punching the B&Ms who carry the OSA Sol by offering it for 30 percent off MSRP.

    1. You know David, I can see why traditional B&Ms hate online retailers. How are they supposed to compete? Its sad to see manufacturers not enforcing any kind of price control. I know many consumers will disagree cause they are looking for the lowest price aka the Walmart Effect. It’ll be a sad day when their local B&M closes their door because they can’t compete and the industry loses their soul to the online retail business model.

      1. When you consider that the same parent company owns both manufacturer AND online retailer in this instance, it makes it even worse for the B&M who chooses to carry these. I know business is business, but I wish more B&Ms would stand up to this kind of crap and just refuse to carry cigars that are going to be deep-discounted. It’s a tough stand for some shops, but there are some larger shops that have enough sales from true B&M-only sticks that they can do so.

        1. Yeah there is a shop near me that turned down rocky patel product because of that same reason. He makes a stand with stuff like tatuaje, viaje etc…

        2. I think that its worst that these two share the same parent company but the retailer component doesn’t honor MSRP. Its kind of a slap in the face to traditional retailers who do “play by the rules” and don’t share the same parent company.

      2. O GREAT ONE,you must also realize there are those of us that live in the vast wastelands,that have no choice but to buy off the evil ones.I would love to have the options that a lot of your readers do…

  7. With the La Traviata, I MUCH prefer the corona gorda size. I believe that size wasn’t part of the initial line at release, but came a few months later. I hope that the OSA comes out with a corona gorda (dare I even wish for a lancero, corona, or petite corona?) soon, and if so I’ll give it a go.

    1. njstone – I’m hoping for a lancero too…it be a hit; more so if its a limited release. Unfortunately regular production lanceros don’t sell too well but once you put a limited edition label on it; it takes off.

  8. So General Cigar owns Cigar International? I was talking to someone at my local B&M the other day about this kind of stuff and I had no idea that the big companies ran internet based retailers. I’m still in the dark on alot of things in this industry. also, is it true that Altadis owns JR Cigars? that’s what I was told anyway.

  9. General Cigar,

    I received the two CAO OSA cigars in the mail. They arrived in perfect condition. I regret to say that I was less than impressed.

    The initial first third of the cigar left somewhat of a harsh feeling in my mouth: not spicy, could not really nail it down. During the second third, the cigar seemed to mellow a bit. By that I mean the feeling in my mouth was lessened quite a bit. But it was short-lived. The flavor turned rather quickly to somewhat of a hay/woodsy flavor, and got hot. For the last third I literally blew through the cigar and purged it of all the smoke and gasses. The cigar returned but to a lesser degree to its first state of that harsh feeling in my mouth but retained the hay flavor.

    During the second third of the cigar while it transitioned from the harsh feeling to the hay/woodsy and hot condition, I felt that I was smoking a new type of cigar. If you could capture those few moments you would have a winner hands down.

  10. This was the worst cigar i smoked all year! It was harsh the whole time and burned very hot at the end. I will not be buying anymore of these. I wrote general cigar a long email complaining and they basically said sorry it sucked have a good day.

    I dont feel sorry for the B&M shops charging double for Opus X and many other cigars. They rip us off everyday and places like CI give us good prices without screwing us over. I cant believe anyone on here would want the cigar companies to set the prices higher for places like CI. What the hell is wrong with people? Do you really want to spend more money on cigars when you dont have to??

  11. This is a mild cigar. It isn’t complex yet it is very pleasing. Primarily a creamy sweet woodiness with just a slight acidic tinge Jerry referred to as a citrus note. This flavor is consistent and doesn’t really deviate. It has a clean and short finish. I like the Lot 54 size as it burns a hour and a half and starts as a slightly dense draw and opens up very nicely giving a long-term nice mouth-feel of smoky goodness. Again, it is mild and not spicy so expect the flavors already mentioned and enjoy it for what it is. And what it is a stick that can appeal to huge range of smokers because it works as a starter smoke yet pleases this experienced smoker in the realm of a mild exceptionally smooth stick. The most pertinent thing I feel Jerry hit on was the price. The price is a dollar per stick higher than the point it should be at to hit hardest at in the market place. All in all, an excellent very smooth mild cigar with pleasing, though not complex, flavors.

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