|CAO Evil Snowman|
Last month we reported on two limited edition Christmas-themed seasonal releases by CAO Cigars – the CAO Angry Santa and the CAO Evil Snowman. The Angry Santa is described as a twist on the CAO La Traviata blend while the Evil Snowman is described as a twist on CAO La Traviata Maduro. Last week, we provided a detailed assessment on the Angry Santa. Today, we are going to take a closer look at the Evil Snowman. The original La Traviata Maduro blend, much like the natural La Traviata blend scored very well on Cigar Coop. In 2010, we named the La Traviata Maduro our #6 cigar. As a result, I was anxious to see how this offshoot blend would do. Much like the Angry Santa, my experience with the Evil Snowman was positive – and it provided another nice addition to the CAO portfolio.
The CAO Web-site published a little more information about the Angry Santa and Evil Snowman project:
“Angry Santa and Evil Snowman were inspired by what happened to Rick Rodriguez on Christmas 1969. (At press time), We’re not going to tell you the story now, but we will be posting it in the coming weeks. So come back to check it out.
“The cigars themselves are tweaks on our award winning La Traviata. We used the same wrappers as La Traviata (Angry Santa is the Natural, Evil Snowman the Maduro), but we selected leaves from higher primings. And we modified the blends too, choosing tobacco from different origins to create slightly spicier, more complex flavors.”
Both the Evil Snowman and Angry Santa are part of what has been a very busy year for limited releases for the CAO Brand. The limited releases have included the CAO Hurricane Limited Edition 2013, Cigar Review: CAO Brazilia Carnivale, CAO Left Coast, and CAO Right Coast. The company also launched a new core line called CAO Flathead. Both the Evil Snowman and Angry Santa are being targeted to brick and mortar shops.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the CAO Evil Snowman and see what this cigar brings to the table:
The following is the blend for the Evil Snowman. As mentioned it uses the same wrapper, but it does use some different components (and primings) from the original La Traviata Maduro blend.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican Piloto Cubano
Both the Evil Snowman and Angry Santa are each packaged in boxes of 14 with a total of 1500 boxes produced. A single vitola 6 1/2 x 52 vitola will be produced for both of these blends.
The Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper of the Evil Snowman has a chocolate brown color with some dark spots. There was an oily complexion on the surface on the wrapper. There were some visible veins, but the wrapper seams were well hidden. There is a nice cocoa aroma from the footer of the cigar.
The band to the Evil Snowman is quite large – taking up about half of the length of the cigar. The band itself is black. It has a somewhat sinister looking Snowman character smoking a cigar that resembles a La Traviata Maduro. Coming from the smoke of the cigar are the letters of “CAO”.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
Prior to my smoking experience of the CAO Evil Snowman, I went with a straight cut to remove the cap. Once the cap was clipped, I proceeded with the pre-light draw. The cold draw yielded some notes of cocoa – with a sweetness that seemed to be a cross between cherry and citrus. Overall I considered the pre-light draw to be satisfactory. At this point, I was ready to light up my Evil Snowman and see what the overall cigar experience would deliver.
The start to the Evil Snowman had a mix of light cocoa, pepper, and citrus notes. For the most part these notes pretty much started out on equal footing with no flavor gaining an advantage over the others. The retro-hale produces what I best describe as a citrus spice. As the cigar burned through the first third, the pepper moved to the background, but remained prominent on the after-draw.
As the Evil Snowman moved to the later part of the first third, the cocoa notes moved to the forefront. The citrus, which exhibited more sweetness than acidic qualities moved to the background with the pepper. There were times I detected an espresso syrup quality in the forefront with the pepper.
In the second third, some earth notes joined the cocoa in the forefront. The pepper was still present on the after-draw. The spice also picked up somewhat on the full draw.
By the last third, the earth and spice notes were in control. The cocoa notes were now in the background. This is the way the flavor profile held until the end of the smoking experience. There was a touch of harshness at the end. The resulting nub was firm to the touch and cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
From a burn perspective, the Evil Snowman performs well. The burn line remained relatively straight. While there were some touch-ups made along the way, they were not excessive and the burn line was never in danger of canoeing or tunneling. Th resulting ash was a firm with a salt and pepper color. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the CAO Evil Snowman|
The draw to the Evil Snowman was excellent. It had a touch of resistance – which is something I like. This made the Evil Snowman a joy to smoke.
Strength and Body
From a strength perspective, I found the CAO Evil Snowman to fall in the medium to full range. The strength pretty much stayed in this range throughout the cigar experience. As for the depth of the flavors, I found that the CAO Evil Snowman also fell into the medium to full-bodied range. Overall I found good balance with the strength and body – with neither attribute overshadowing the other.
When comparing the CAO Evil Snowman with the other Christmas-themed release, the CAO Angry Santa, I found the strength and body to be comparable. When comparing the Evil Snowman to the smoke it is derived from, the CAO La Traviata Maduro – I also found this to be a comparable cigar in terms of strength and body.
Overall, I found the CAO Evil Snowman to be a very good cigar. In terms of the Evil Snowman being slightly spicier than the original La Traviata Maduro, I actually found both cigars to be comparable in the spice department. At the same time, I did find the Evil Snowman to be a different cigar than the La Traviata Maduro. While the Evil Snowman is not overpowering cigar in terms of strength and body, it is still a cigar I’d probably steer a more experienced cigar enthusiast toward as opposed to a novice. As for myself, this was a nice release by CAO. In terms of flavor profile, I still prefer the original La Traviata Maduro, but this is a nice change of pace cigar. It’s definitely worthy of a five pack in my book.
Assessment: 3.0 – The Fiver
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