Now that we have departed the tumultuous year of 2020, I finally got around to picking up a new CAO 2020 Vision. Who would have known how ironic it would be to name it the 2020 Vision, a year many of us would rather forget. But we are not here to get reminiscent about 2020, but rather talk about the cigar.
The CAO 2020 Vision is a new blend for an older brand, the “CAO Vision” that was released back in 2007. That cigar was created before CAO Cigars was acquired by General Cigar Co. While the original CAO Vision sported a Dominican wrapper and binder with a multi-country filler, the CAO 2020 Vision has a blend described as:
- Wrapper – Cameroon
- Binder – Ecuadorian Sumatra
- Filler – Nicaraguan (Estelí & Jalapa)
The original CAO Vision was expressed in three different vitolas, the 2020 Vision is expressed in a single (7 x 50) Churchill. Like the original, they come packaged in a cool blue LED lighted, 20-count box, that illuminates the CAO logo on top and also illuminates the inside of the box. Some may think this is gimmicky but it is a thing for the CAO Vision. The MSRP has been set at $18.99/cigar or $379.80 for the whole box.
As far as the box goes, my local shop, Executive Cigar Shop and Lounge in Melbourne, FL is raffling off the empty box once all cigars have been purchased. Each cigar purchase gets a raffle ticket for the drawing. I imagine other shops are doing something similar.
The CAO 2020 Vision is wrapped with a slightly gritty and marbled, medium brown wrapper, that has some noticeable veins and bumps running through the barrel. I noticed there were some soft spots in the barrel, especially midway. A simple cap finishes the presentation.
Two bands adorn the CAO 2020 vision. The primary band is a unique die cut band that uses a white and holographic motif. The name “VISION” is printed in holographic ink on the bottom and the top of the band displays the “A” in the CAO logo using bright holographic ink. A secondary footer band is applied that uses the same motif and denotes this a CAO brand.
Running the cigar across the nasals, I detected a mildly pungent pre light aroma along the barrel while the foot exudes an enticing fruit note.
Once I sliced the cap straight across the shoulder, I gave the CAO Vision a few cold draw puffs which I found to be quite nice in restriction. It offered notes of fruit and black pepper. A few more cold puffs provided a growing pepper on the palate.
I used my double flame torch to warm the foot, and drew in the first lit puffs that awoke my palate with a toasted brown sugar sweetness.
Cigar Review Notes
- Right off the first puffs the CAO 2020 Vision offered a medium volume of smoke with a delectable toasted brown sugar sweetness.
- Medium grey ash forms on top of a wavy and thick char line
- Savory spice adds to the profile with lingering sweetness
- Ash fell in nice chunk revealing a decent and well centered burn cone
- Smoke volume increases moving into the second third
- Dark chocolate notes enter along with a floral fruit aroma
- The chocolate evolves and becomes more prevalent through the second third
- Touch of spice re-enters, moving through the second third
- White pepper notes join the mix, deep in the second third
- Dry leather notes grace the palate starting the final third
- Sweet cream notes add to the final pleasure
- Spice increases along with nuance of coffee
- Medium strength
- Total Smoking Time was 1 hour and 50 minutes
Overall, the CAO 2020 Vision was an interesting and pleasurable smoking experience. Deeply complex in flavor, nuances, and aroma – the CAO 2020 Vision, enticed the palate from foot to nub with smooth flavor and balanced smoke puff to puff.
It does start off with a medium volume of smoke but eventually opened up in the second third. The burn started wavy but eventually straightened out, carrying a fine ash and never exhibiting any further burn issues. In fact, it only dropped the ash twice during the journey.
This is a cigar an experienced enthusiast would enjoy. I need to pick up a couple more and I suggest you do too. I rate this a 93.
Point Deductions: (-1) Wavy Burn to Start; (-1) Medium Volume of Smoke in first third; (+1) Medium Grey Ash
Bonus Points: (+1) Excellent Ash; (+1) Extremely Complex