|CAO La Traviata Maduro – Luminoso|
In 2010, CAO Cigars released a maduro wrapper version of its popular CAO La Traviata. The original La Traviata had made its debut a year earlier and ended up as our #2 Cigar of the Year for 2009. While the 2010 follow-up, the La Traviata Maduro slotted a bit lower as our #6 Cigar of the Year in 2010, we still felt this was the better blend (just up against some steeper competition). Since the incorporation of the CAO line into General Cigar Company’s’ portfolio, the La Traviata cigars have remained a staple. Recently the frontmarks between the La Traviata (natural) and La Traviata Maduro have been made consistent between the blends. As a part of rounding out the Maduro line, CAO has launched a Rothschild vitola called the CAO La Traviata Maduro Luminoso. This new vitola keeps to the quality of what La Traviata line has offered, and now provides a terrific short smoke in a maduro wrapper.
When the La Traviata (natural) line was launched in 2009 by CAO, this brought back a name of an old Cuban cigar at Tabacalera Cubana. As a part of this project, the idea was also similar to remain true to the original cigar in terms of appearance and flavor. The La Traviata Maduro utilizes a different wrapper to for that original La Traviata line and as a result adds a new dimension to this blend.
Let’s take a closer look at the new Luminoso that has joined the La Traviata Maduro line.
The CAO La Traviata Maduro blend is similar to the original La Traviata natural blend. The binder and filler remain the same, but in place of an Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, the La Traviata Maduro utilizes a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro
Filler: Nicaraguan (Pueblo Nuevo), Dominican
With the addition of the Luminoso vitola, the CAO La Traviata Maduro line now has six vitolas.
Luminoso: 4 1/2 x 50
Animado: 5 5/8 x 46
Divino: 5 x 50
Favorito (Torpedo): 5 1/2 x 52
Radiante: 6 x 52
Intrepido: 7 x 54
Like the other vitolas in the line, the CAO La Traviata Maduro Luminoso has a classic coffee colored maduro wrapper. From inspecting the wrapper, there are some darker blackish spots visible. The wrapper itself has an oily complexion to it. There are some veins and wrapper seams visible, but I would not classify the wrapper as “toothy”.
There are two bands on the CAO La Traviata Maduro. The first is the same maroon, pale yellow, gold, and turquoise band that is present on the core La Traviata band. Directly connected to that bend is a second band that has a red background with the text “MADURO” in white font. This second band is unique to the La Traviata Maduro cigars.
When smelling the unlit foot of the La Traviata Maduro, it has a slight farm-like aroma to it.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my CAO La Traviata Maduro Luminoso, I opted to go with my usual straight cut into the cap. I then proceeded with the pre-light draw. The dry draw notes yielded me favors of coffee with a very unique sweetness. The sweetness seemed to resemble raw sugar cane. My feeling was that the broadleaf maduro wrapper and Cameroon binder definitely provided an interesting fusion. At this point, it was time to fire up the La Traviata Maduro Luminoso and see what it would have in store.
For the most part the flavor profile of the La Traviata Maduro Luminoso keeps to the rest of the line. The transitions differ slightly, but the flavor notes are very similar. The La Traviata Maduro has a very classic maduro wrapper flavor profile and that is why it works so well.
Once I lit the La Traviata Maduro Luminoso, I was treated to some pepper notes. The pepper subsided early and notes of chocolate and coffee emerged in the forefront. There were hints of caramel that joined the pepper as secondary notes.
As the smoke progressed through the first third, the pepper became more of a baker’s spice. The chocolate notes somewhat diminished – joining the caramel and spice in the background. At the end of the first third, the coffee notes were in control.
In the second third of the La Traviata Maduro, the coffee notes significantly diminished and just about dissipated. The baker’s spice moved into the forefront with the chocolate notes still remaining as secondary notes. The spicy profile held through the last third of the cigar. In the last third, the chocolate and caramel notes were pretty much gone. The finish had a decent amount of spice to it. The resulting nub was the way all cigars should finish – cool in temperature and firm to the touch.
Burn and Draw
Going back to the original La Traviata natural line, the La Traviata cigars have consistently scored high in terms of the construction attributes of burn and draw. This holds true for the La Traviata Maduro Luminoso. The burn was sharp from start to finish -requiring minimal touch-ups. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal from start to finish. The draw was outstanding. It had a touch of resistance to it – and in my opinion, that is the way the cigar should draw.
Strength and Body
I was curious if the smaller vitola would actually increase the strength and body of the this cigar. This would not be the case for the La Traviata Maduro Luminoso. It maintains its medium to full profile for both strength and body. In a lot of ways this is good because I think the blend works very well in medium to full from both a strength and body perspective. This cigar provides a nice balance between these attributes as well.
The La Traviata lines are not only proving to become staples of not just the CAO brand, but General Cigar Company as a whole. The addition of this Rothschild size vitola only strengthens the La Traviata Maduro line as it adds a “quick smoke” to the portfolio. Time has proven to be good to La Traviata because the consistency has not lost a beat since the launches of La Traviata and La Traviata Maduro. Experienced cigar enthusiasts will appreciate this well-balanced medium to full strength, medium to full-bodied cigar. Novice cigar enthusiasts looking to check out a maduro can check out the Luminoso in particular and see if this cigar works for them as it is a smaller smoke. As for myself, CAO La Traviata Maduros have always been box-worthy purchases for me – and the Luminoso is no exception.
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Source: The cigars for this assessment were provided by
General Cigar Company. These samples were initiated by General Cigar Company in order
feedback. I am appreciative for the sample, but in no way does this
influence this review.