CAO International, Inc. is the producer of one of the country’s top lines of premium cigars. Founded by Cano A. Ozgener in Nashville as a labor of love 41 years ago, today CAO products can be found on every continent in the world with the exception of Antarctica.
They have a terrific reputation of delivering quality products at fair prices. The line consists of a wide variety of blends such as American, Brazilia, Colombia, Criolla, Flavours, Gold, Italia, L’Anniversaire Cameroon, L’Anniversaire Maduro, Lx2, Mx2, OSA Sol, Sopranos and Vision, La Traviata, Brazilia, America, Italia, CAO Gold, and CAO Maduro as well as unique flavored brands like Moontrance and Eileen’s Dream.
Since then they have been acquired by General Cigar Company which is one of the world’s foremost manufacturers and marketers of premium cigars. Their artisans in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Nicaragua are passionate about handcrafting their iconic products to maximize the cigar smoking experience. General Cigar’s portfolio of acclaimed brands includes Macanudo, Cohiba, Partagas, La Gloria Cubana, CAO, Hoyo de Monterrey, Excalibur and Foundry.
Given their large size, they are able to buy, age and store their own tobacco, operating three factories in each of the top cigar-making countries. As a result, their team of cigar masters can utilize an extremely broad base of tobacco in creating new blends, and they can move quickly to bring innovative new products to consumers. Their joint venture with the Plasencia Group provides additional capabilities in leaf growing, processing, and cigar making. The Plasencia Group’s highly regarded, family-owned operations encompass five cigar factories and more than 20,000 acres of tobacco farms.
With size comes the resources that enable them to buy, age and store tobacco, and to operate three factories in each of the top cigar-making countries. As a result, their team of cigar masters can utilize an extremely broad base of tobacco in creating new blends, and allow them to move quickly to bring innovative new products to consumers.
As part of their commitment to providing cigars of the finest quality, they cultivate new varieties of tobacco through in-house research and development programs. Their joint venture with the Plasencia Group provides them with unmatched leaf growing, processing, and cigar making capabilities that enhance their activities in Honduras and Nicaragua. The Plasencia Group’s highly regarded, family-owned operations encompass five cigar factories and more than 20,000 acres of tobacco farms.
They respond assertively to challenges facing the premium cigar category, working to protect the right to enjoy handmade cigars in this country. Members of their executive team are active in every major cigar industry association, and they have their own team of dedicated lobbyists on both the state and federal levels.
Their dedication to maintaining the integrity of the premium cigar category extends to their corporate social responsibility initiatives in the countries where our cigars are made. They provide their employees with an array of programs including literacy training, tuition assistance, health screenings and nutritional support.
They also own and operate Club Macanudo, a luxury cigar bar in New York City. The Club was established in 1996 and remains one of the country’s most successful cigar bars. A mecca for cigar lovers, the Club has been featured on The Food Network, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, USA Today, and many other leading publications.
The cigar was firm to the touch, with a hearty-looking, creamy brown wrapper that had a silky smooth appearance. It had a subtle, sweet pre-light smell.
1st quarter: There was an incredibly smooth draw that allowed a lot of thick smoke, and produced a hint of spice in the air and on the palate. A very interesting earthiness developed, with a revealing clean taste. 2nd quarter: A rich, underlying sweet tone in the aroma. An earthy texture with an even burn produced a solid dense ash. There were some notes that developed later on. A very aromatic and luring aroma. 3rd quarter: Lots of thick and flavorful smoke to the palate. Big character through the nose with some creaminess in texture to the palate. A slow and easy burn with some wood tones added to the flavor profile. 4th quarter: A consistent and unique flavor profile produced some spiciness on the palate. Full flavor with a medium-full body. The aroma continued to develop and had a very enticing character with good consistency.
Refined flavor and very well balanced on the palate. A medium body with great aroma. Some sweet tones with a consistent unique texture throughout its profile. Outstanding construction packed with rich flavor. An intriguing cigar with a nice aroma.
Myron Gooch Sr.
Time Smoked: 1 hour 15 minutes
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Jamastran
Filler: Brazilian, Colombian
Size: 5” x 50”