HBTC Review: CAO Vision

The original CAO Vision was introduced to the premium cigar market back in 2007. In that original release, the Vision was available in a variety of sizes, and with a different blend of tobaccos but this 2020 version is only made in a 7 x 50 Churchill. The original Vision was also selected for a spot on the 2007 Cigar Aficionado Cigar of the Year list. The packaging for the 2020 release is elaborate, with a high-gloss finish and built in LED lights. Here is Matt’s review of the 2020 CAO Vision.

This cigar is currently only available in this single vitola.

CAO Vision
MSRP: $18.99
Size: 7 x 50
Origin: STG Factory (Esteli, Nicaragua)
Wrapper: Cameroon
Binder: Sumatra (Ecuador)
Filler: Nicaragua

The Vision has a medium-brown, almost papery wrapper. It has a light tooth in the texture and slightly messy seams and cap. The aroma from the wrapper is a faint musty smell, while the foot is more of that musty aroma. The cold draw is relatively tight, with some notes of wet grass and hay.

Act I
The flavors start out with a mild pepper and some dryness on the palate. During the first inch or so of the smoking experience, there is not too much going on. Mostly, the flavor profile is dry earth, and a tiny hint of fruit-like sweetness. The retrohale is light black pepper and a slight vegetal aroma.

Act II
As the cigar warms into the middle section, not too much changes. If anything, the earthiness is joined by some musty notes that remind me of the smell of an old barn. I get occasional hints of bitter coffee, but it is not prominent at all in the profile. The retrohale is slightly emboldened by an increase in black pepper spice.

A the cigar closes out, there is more of the same from a flavor and aroma perspective. If anything, I just got a faint whisper of baking spice. Otherwise, the earthiness and mustiness are what characterize the cigar. That is basically the same on the retrohale. I get black pepper and earth.

The presentation is striking, no doubt. That being said, the smoking experience in multiple samples was lackluster at best. If you enjoy a monotone cigar with earthy aromas, and little else, this cigar is for you. I simply found it monotonous and ultimately disappointing. I would hope for a smaller vitola which would, at the very least, shorten the duration of the dullness.

CAO Vision – How Bout That Cigar?
Rating: How Bout Try One?
Overall Score: 80
PAD: -3.0 (What is PAD?)
Flavor Summary: Earthiness, Mustiness, Black Pepper
Strength Assessment: Medium
Source: Cigars for this review were provided by General Cigar

Please Share!

Leave a Question or Comment