Following the acquisition of CAO Cigars into the General Cigar Company family, there were many concerns about the future of this brand.  Those concerns would be amplified with the departures of Tim Ozgener and Jon Huber – two of the most creative minds in the industry.  However, late last year when it was announced that Team La Gloria’s Rick Rodriguez was joining the CAO team, I was on the record as saying this was a great move and the brand was in great hands.   Since then, CAO has added Ed McKenna as the Senior Brand Manager.  At IPCPR 2011, the first CAO release under the new General Cigars’ team was released.    This cigar is called the the CAO OSA Sol.   From the initial impressions, it appears as though CAO has not lost a beat.

I had a chance to talk to Rick and Ed at IPCPR and they told me about their intent to preserve the brand while continuing to set innovative trends in the cigar industry.  This was encouraging and helped confirm a lot of what I said back in December saying CAO would be ok.

Let’s look closer at the new team’s first release – the CAO OSA Sol:

Blend Profile

The OSA name is an acronym for Olancho San Augustin – a region in Honduras.  I admit this is a region I was not familiar with prior to hearing about this cigar.  The wrapper is from a 2008 batch of the tobacco.

Wrapper: Honduras OSA
Binder: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaraguan, Honduran

Vitolas Available

Lot 50: 5 x 50 (SRP – $5.75 per cigar)
Lot 54: 6 x 54 (SRP – $6.25 per cigar)
Lot 58: 6 1/2 x 58 (SRP $6.75 per cigar)

The packaging continues the innovative traditions of CAO – showcasing the Olancho San Augustin region of Honduras.

The nice thing is CAO is staying within the magical $5 to $7.00 value priced range for a cigar.   I have not tried my sample cigar yet, but I am looking forward to it.