Archive for July, 2009

New Releases 2009!

I added a new selection on the side bar to track all of the new releases for 2009.  I will include links to press releases and any of mine or my buddies reviews with each new line.  Enjoy!

Here’s the link if you don’t want to move your mouse over three inches…  🙂

This will also help me at the end of the year, for my Zen Cigar of the Year selection.  I also have included Limited Edition cigars, but these will not be eligible for the Cigar of the Year.


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CAO is named after Cano (pronounced John-O) A. Ozgener, an Armenian Turk who began sellingcao_logo handcrafted humidors and meerschaum pipes in Nashville, Tennessee.  An engineer who originally designed a male female adapter to keep pipe stems from breaking, Cano began to sell antique boxes he had cedar lined in addition to his pipes.   One thing led to another and CAO’s first attempt into the cigar making business was with a brand called Casa de Manuel that was a big flop.  But undeterred, Cano tried again with what is now the CAO Black, and the rest is history.

CAO cigars were originally made by Don Douglas (blendmaster of all Bucanero cigars) in Costa Rica but in some jockeying for space with Tony Borhani of Bahia Cigars, operations eventually moved to the Torano factories in Nicaraguan and Honduras. The factories are split in half, some working for the Toranos, the others working for CAO.

CAO cigars began to grow in popularity but they really exploded with the release of the Brazilia and MX2 lines.  CAO began to make a name for itself as an innovator in both packaging and concept cigars. CAO is also known for releasing a new cigar line (at least) every year.  This has started a trend in the industry that others have had to follow, and really pushed the boundaries for traditional cigar making from sizes, type of tobacco and box and band designs, CAO has always been at the forefront.


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Size: 5 1/2″ x 44scrwrapper

Vitola: Corona

Wrapper: Honduran Trojes

Origin: Honduras

Age:  fresh

Fresh off the success of the Tempus, Alec Bradley is releasing three new lines this year including the SCR or “Select Cabinet Reserve”.  This cigar features a Honduran Trojes wrapper, whatever that is. Here’s the blurb from the Alec Bradley website:


The careful selection of mid and upper priming tobaccos, were hand-picked to create the rich and balanced SCR line. Alec Bradley’s Select Cabinet Reserve delivers smooth bold flavors derived from the fertile soils of family run farms in Honduras and Nicaragua. The limited yield, dark caramel colored wrapper, adorns a skillful selection of premium leaves from the valleys of Central America, creating a perfect union of balance and flavor. SCR is presented in elegant lacquered boxes of 20 cigars, without cellophane, in five sizes. The smoke is buttery smooth, and possesses an abundance of complex flavors and aromas that will hold your attention from start to finish. [source: www.alecbradley.com]


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Size: 6″ x 52canvas

Vitola: Perfecto (Diploma shape)

Wrapper: Cameroon

Origin: Honduras

Age:  3 years

Continuing the 4th of Fireworks celebration, I reviewed the next oldest Liberty I had on hand, the 2006.  The 2006 Liberty is a bit special as it is the only Liberty that featured a Cameroon wrapper.  This has been one of my favorites over time, but one I did not enjoy that much when they came out as I thought the potent filler overwhelmed the spicy sweetness of the Cameroon wrapper.


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Size: 6″ x 52camcho liberty 05

Vitola: Perfecto

Wrapper: Honduran Maduro

Origin: Dominican Republic

Age:  4 years

This is turning in to a real fun tradition.  Ever since the 1st release of the Liberty Limited Editions in 2004, I have made sure to enjoy one on our Nation’s Independence Day.  This year I decided to treat myself with one of the few remaining 05’s in my humidor.  This is probably their best of the Liberties to date.


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