Back in January of this year, I introduced you to the Amazon Basin trilogy, a release of 3 Bragança tobacco blends from CAO Cigars. For those that may not be aware, Braganca tobacco is organically grown on unspoiled tropical land and harvested only once every three years. Besides the introduction to the trilogy, Stogie Press reviewed the CAO Fuma em Corda, back then. Today I want to turn the knob back and look at the cigar that got all this started years ago, the CAO Amazon Basin.
If I am not mistaken, this is the second incarnation of the Amazon Basin cigar from CAO. They only come out once every three years because of the limited harvest of the Braganca tobacco.
The 5 country blend is described as:
- Wrapper – Ecuadorian Sumatra
- Binder – Nicaraguan
- Filler – Dominican, Colombian, Braganca Fuma em Corda
The Amazon Basin is available in only a single 6 x 52 vitola and comes packaged in 18-count boxes They have an MSRP of $10.25 USD.
During the Amazon Basin Trilogy event I attended in January, I purchased a sampler and today’s review is based on two of the Amazon Basin cigars I enjoyed from the sampler.
Man, this is a nice looking cigar, with its dark chocolate-brown, and marbled wrapper. The barrel has a fine oily sheen and a waxy feel to the touch. There are few veins running along it and the packing is quite solid. The cigar is finished with a simple cap. Like all cigars, in the Amazon Basin line up, there is no band on the cigar. Each blend is identified by a tobacco cord wrapped around the cigar in a particular pattern. In the case of the original Amazon Basin, the cord is wrapped around the barrel 4 times.
Running this dark Amazon beauty across the nose, I picked up tasty notes of chocolate aroma off the foot. There was not much aroma along the barrel.
I sliced the cap and gave it some cold draw puffs. The draw decently restricted and offered what I would describe, for lack of a better description, an exotic, earthy like taste not like any other I have experienced. Help a brother out and describe this to me if you have experienced the Amazon Basin.
As I mentioned, this review is based on two samples I smoked as part of the Amazon Basin Trilogy sampler box.
Cigar Review Notes
- Initial light delivers earthy and a touch of mineral notes
- Profile is quickly joined with a fruit development
- The already oily wrapper is beginning to shine brighter
- Still has a bit of a deep mineral and earthy flavor to it, moving through the first third
- Nice toothy, medium grey ash has developed with a sprinkle of dark spots in it
- Thick char line
- The draw has been perfect and the smoke volume has been right on the money
- Ash fell after about 2 inches with a fine-looking burn cone
- Touch of spice and pepper coming in the second third
- Still some fruit in the core
- There is a sweet butter note beginning to fill in the background
- Cigar ash picked up where left off – now it’s right near the wrapped leaf stem on the barrel
- This is where it gets interesting you get the choice to ash the cigar or smoking through the stem – I choose to smoke through the stem
- Of course at this point, I’m getting a little woody note and aroma
- Through the final third, the pepper and spice has increased
- The sweetness is dancing (balancing) well with the spice
- Most of the journey this was a medium to full strength cigar but it cranks up to full at the end.
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 35 minutes
Overall, the CAO Amazon Basin was a pleasant journey bringing some unique flavors to the palate all delivered through a core of sweetness and peppery spice especially after the 1st third.. The burn was excellent and I highly suggest smoking through the band on this to get the complete profile. I did enjoy the second sample with a Dalwhinnie 15 Highland Single Malt that went well with the fruit and sweetness in the core of this cigar.