Cigar Review: CAO Gold

Cigar Review: CAO Gold


Size: 5×50, Robusto

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Strength: Mild

Price: Box of 20, $63.98

Grade: 9.1

One of the first premium brands developed by CAO, the Gold is a line that has seen a lot of extension over the years. The Gold is available in a Maduro as well as a Vintage line, under the Connecticut wrapper. The Gold that we are reviewing today is available in a handful of sizes, ten of them actually – Aurum (Tubed, 6.5×50), Churchill (7×48), Corona (5.5×42), Corona Gorda (6.5×50), Double Corona (7.5×54), Karats (4×38), Perfecto (6×60), Robusto (5×50), Robusto Tubed (5×50), and Torpedo (6.2×52).

Since the recent merger that placed CAO under the General Cigars umbrella, prices have been dipping, to where you can readily find the Gold at around $3 a stick, which is a tremendous value. Actually, most of CAO’s lines have seen dramatic price decreases online. Though the verdict will remain out for some time, those who are now controlling CAO have claimed there will be no blend changes to any of the lines.

We’ve reviewed several CAO blends here at Toasted Foot and we recently did a round-up of sorts, highlighting our favorites from the CAO lineup – you can view it here. I was surprised that I had not reviewed the Gold after smoking them for so long.

Now, on to the toast.

Pre-light, 1.7:
The wrapper on the CAO Gold has a slightly different hue than most Connecticut wrapped cigars, with a grayish hue that is almost chalky in color. Though the veins crawl all across the wrapper, it is still very smooth with few raised areas and an overall smooth exterior. The cap is in excellent shape with three wraps and the foot is not quite as well constructed with some soft spots. The aroma is mostly barnyard at the foot, with notes of sweet spice along the body and at the cap. The draw has a clean pull with zest.

Burn, 2.8:
The CAO Gold has a very consistent construction and I’ve yet to encounter a problem in the cigar over the years. The draw is spot on, the burn is slow and steady, and the smoke is thick and pleasingly aromatic. Not much to speak of here.

Flavor, 2.8:
The initial pull is full of creamy barnyard notes that leave a full mouth feel and a finish that is medium in length. Through the first third, the profile is more akin to the wrapper than the binder and filler, with mild barnyard notes such as dry hay, straw and even cardboard. Moving into the second third, the CAO Gold shows its Nicaraguan characteristics, with a mild spice and medium to full tobacco taste. For a milder cigar, the Gold does not lack complexity and is easily medium in body and flavor, while not being overwhelming in strength. Moving into the final third, there is a wonderful mixture of sweet and spice, creating an excellent finish to a smooth, consistent cigar. The mild cream of the wrapper combines wonderfully with the mild spice of the binder and filler, to create a very pleasant and well balanced cigar.


Overall, 2.8:
With the smooth and medium body, the Gold is a pleasure to smoke at any time of the day. Combine that with great construction and consistency, and a sub $5 price tag, it’s hard to pass on these. This is a cigar that I always keep a 5 pack of and will shortly be purchasing a box of, just to secure a great smoke in the chance that changes are eventually made. If you haven’t tried the Gold, I’d recommend picking some up, and soon.

(Total: 9.1)