CAO La Traviata Maduro Mochado

The CAO La Traviata Maduro Mochado is a special event only cigar that has first surfaced on the 2013 CAO Cigars Wrapped Up Tour.  It was about a month ago when we first reported on the Mochado cigars  by CAO.  The Mochado is somewhat of an experimental cigar.  It features wrapper covering a little over 3/4 of the CAO’s La Traviata Natural and La Traviata Maduro cigars.  The remaining portion of the cigar is only binder and filler.  By exposing the binder and filler, this can demonstrate the impact a wrapper can have on a cigar.  We recently had an opportunity to sample the CAO La Traviata Maduro Mochado.   The original CAO La Traviata Maduro was the Cigar Coop #6 Cigar of 2010.  With the La Traviata Maduro Mochado, this was a great way to demonstrate the impact of a wrapper on a familiar blend to many.

From the CAO Cigars web-site, this is how the Mochado is described as follows:

The Mochado is a rough-cut cigar designed to showcase the flavor obtained from the cigar’s outer-most leaf and most elaborate and important component, the wrapper. To achieve this, CAO blender Rick Rodriguez, replicated a small version of La Traviata’s natural and Maduro cigars, but wrapped 3/4 of the way down to the foot. The remaining portion is comprised of only La Traviata’s coveted binder and filler. This palatable experience allows connoisseurs and novices alike to experience a flavor change due to the cigar’s wrapper. It’s been said that about 60-70 percent of the cigar’s flavor comes from the wrapper leaf.

When we spoke to Rodriguez at one of the stops of the Wrapped Up Tour, he told us the name Mochado is a term used for a “rough haircut”.  He described it as one with a “knife” as opposed to with a pair of “scissors”.   This name is applicable to the unfinished portion of the Mochado that does not have wrapper on it.

One thing Rodriguez also mentioned is that this is a cigar that was pretty much created for the Wrapped Up Tour event with the purposing of helping consumers understand the impact of the wrapper.  It is not a cigar that is being planned for regular production.   While we have provided ratings and scores on event only cigars in the past, we have made a decision here to not score the La Traviata Mochado because it its experimental nature and because there are no plans to sell it on shelves.  We will default to our pre-review style (where we do not score it) to share the thoughts and perspectives of this cigar.

Blend Profile

The CAO La Traviata Maduro Mochado has the same tobacco composition as the core La Traviata Maduro line.   

Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf (Maduro)
Binder: Cameroon
Filler: Nicaraguan (Pueblo Nuevo), Dominican

There is also a CAO La Traviata Natural Mochado – which is the same blend as the CAO La Traviata Natural, but with a wrapper (Ecuadorian Habano) that does not cover the entire cigar)

Vitolas Available

While no official dimensions have been disclosed the La Traviata Maduro Mochado appears to be the same size as the Divino vitola of the La Traviata Maduro line – a 5 x 50 robusto.


Like the La Traviata Maduro line, Mochado 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 is about an inch of unexposed binder and filler with the binder showing.    There also is a small strip of natural tobacco where the wrapper ends to prevent it from peeling off the binder.

Comparing the Mochado to the Core line –
CAO La Traviata Maduro (Top) and
CAO La Traviata Maduro Mochado (Bottom)

The CAO La Traviata Maduro Mochado uses the same two band system as the core La Traviata Maduro line.  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.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
For my CAO La Traviata Maduro Mochado, I used a straight cut to remove the cap.  I then proceeded with the pre-light draw.  The cold draw yielded leather and coffee notes.  The cold draw of the Mochado did seem to have a little less sweetness that I normally get from a La Traviata Maduro, but this could have also been an isolated incident with my pallet.  At this point, I was ready to light up the Mochado and see what the overall cigar experience would bring to the table.
Flavor Profile
When I’ve smoked the La Traviata Maduro line, I have always found that each of the vitolas delivered have the same core flavor profile, but varied in terms of transitions and nuances.   In terms of the 5 x 50 Divino vitola of the La Traviata Maduro, this case applies.  By adding in “the experiment” of the exposed binder/footer, it changes some things up even more.
The first part of the smoke of the La Traviata Maduro Mochado would involve burning through the unwrapped portion of the cigar.  The initial flavors were a combination of oak and pepper notes.  I could definitely detect the pepper on the retro-hale.  I could also detect a slight sweetness – it was almost like slightly burnt sugar.  I don’t want to say this was overly sweet, just subtly sweet.
Around the point where the wrapper begins, I noticed the change happen.  The oak and pepper notes changed into notes of coffee and baker’s spice – something that is very familar to the La Traviata Maduro line.  Without a doubt – I was able to see what adding Connecticut Broadleaf did to this blend.  The retro-hale still had spice, but more in line with the baker’s spice
In the second third, I picked up some background caramel notes (another flavor I detected on the La Traviata Maduro line).  Later on I also picked up some background citrus notes.  It was also in the second third where I also detected some deeper espresso notes.
The end of the cigar was what I have come to expect from a La Traviata Maduro – namely with the baker’s spice as the primary flavor  I could still also pick up some coffee and sweet notes in the background.  The end of the cigar is spicy, but not harsh.  The resulting nub is firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Given the Mochado is somewhat unorthodox in terms of its construction, I wasn’t sure how this cigar would hold up construction-wise – particularly from a burn perspective.   The La Traviata Maduro Mochado came through with flying colors.
The burn to the La Traviata Maduro Mochado was outstanding.  The burn line remained straight from start to finish – requiring minimal touch-ups.  The resulting ash was tight with a nice white color to it. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.  There were no burn issues transitioning where the wrapper begins on the cigar.
Burn of the CAO La Traviata Maduro Mochado
The draw was outstanding.  It had a touch of resistance – something I get on many of the CAO La Traviatas.  In my opinion, that made for an ideal smoking experience.
Strength and Body
For the most part, the strength of the Mochado was consistent with the La Traviata Maduro line.  I didn’t notice a difference in nicotine kick from the unwrapped and wrapped portions of the cigar.  I assessed this as a medium to full strength cigar from start to finish.  
The flavors to the La Traviata Maduro Mochado have some nice depth to them.  The unwrapped portion of the cigar could be categorized as medium to full-bodied to start.  Once the cigar moved into the wrapped portion, the flavors remained medium to full-bodied until the midway point.  In the second half, the flavors did transition to full-bodied.   The Divino (robusto) vitola always seemed to have more body than many of the others, so I was not surprised here.   Overall, the La Traviata Maduro Mochado has a slight edge in body over strength, but nothing where the equilibrium is way off.
Final Thoughts
If you look at the Mochado’s mission of demonstrating the impact of wrapper on a blend – it does the job very well.   One thing that immediately came to mind while smoking this was a popular “blending seminar” that is done by Jose Blanco (now of Joya de Nicaragua).  In Blanco’s seminar, one smokes a cigar with segmented with five wrappers and you get to taaste the nuances with the different wrappers.   What is most interesting about the experience with the Mochado is that you can see what the impact of the wrapper is on a tried and true blend.  If you are familiar with the La Traviata Maduro blend, you will appreciate the experience even better.  While we felt the Mochado was a cigar that should not be scored, it still delivers a nice experience and carries its mission out well.  If you happen to come across this – give it a try.
Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Medium
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full (1st Half), Full (2nd Half)
Finish: Excellent
Source: These cigars were received as a part of a promotion included with a 6 cigar purchase at the CAO Wrapped Up event.  This package was purchased at the Maduro Room in Lexington, South Carolina.