Cigar Name: CAO America Potomac (5 x 56)
Cigar Description: Connecticut Shade and Broadleaf Maduro around filler from Dominican, Nicaragua, Italy and USA
Cigar Strength: Full
Review of the Cigar itself: Since moving to the USA, I’ve become more and more fascinated by America and the people that make up this vast and varied land. What has struck me the most is generally how friendly Americans are. The more I’m here, the more I want to stay. Since I’m enjoying it so much, I figured I’d continue along the 4 part series I did with the Los Blancos and do a four-parter on the Fourth of July Sampler. Yes, I know. Not quite the holiday yet. But I’ve always believed that one shouldn’t wait for a holiday to celebrate something. Barberpoling or pin-striping on cigars has always fascinated me. It’s basically a double-wrapped cigar with two different coloured wrappers (usually a maduro along with a lighter dairy chocolate coloured wrapper). For the Potomac, it appears that it was attempted to be a pin-stripe but some of the “stripes” are thicker than others. Sizing inconsistency aside, when looking closely at the cigar you’d be hard pressed to discern that the lighter stripe was a separate wrapper. I thought at first that it was a strip but even closer inspection shows otherwise.
Additionally, the cigar is thick and solid, feeling very packed. The initial smell and taste is that of spring hay. It makes me think of the many farms that initially made up the heartland of the US. The initial light took a bit to get going. I suspect this is a result of the packed, dense feeling that the cigar gives. The draw is tight and even a poke down the middle with a toothpick relieved only a little bit. So, I tried again, only going deeper with the toothpick. That worked and the cigar performed better. I did begin to notice one thing: my jaw was hurting. The size of the cigar, 56, is definitely a mouthful. The initial tastes came out as a nice, gentle creamy leather. The ghostly white smoke gave off the scent of roasted peanuts (and made me hungry for a PB&J for some reason).
The construction is definitely good. Although at one point I thought it was going to tugboat/tunnel, it self-corrected pretty quickly and efficiently. The solid ash is a motley of white with patches of black, dark grey and light grey. The more I got into the first third, the more it loosened up and the easier the draw became. At one point, the ash got so long I was concerned about it dropping it mid-draw, so I kept the little single ashtray under it and, as luck would have it, it fell on it’s own in the ashtray as a solid inch and a half mass. As it continued into the middle of the cigar the flavour got more pronounced. Occasional earthy tones and strong zings of pepper started to come through.
I, of course, got mildly distracted and forgot to watch the ash. I tumbled on my vSphere book and I had to clean it up. Thankfully it wasn’t too serious a tumble. The last third showed a more meatier taste to it and a generous but not overpowering pepper flavour. The leather had tapered off somewhat while a nice smokey cedar taste started to come through. Although it felt mild at the start, it was finishing with a nice somewhat sweet taste towards the end. I ended up using a toothpick for the nub to keep going right to the last little bit.
Enjoyed with: water
Smoke time: approximately 110 minutes
Final Review Rating: 8.8/10
Tidbit: The Potomac River was designated as an American Heritage River in 1997.
Fun Bit: I couldn’t help but look for good ol’ School House Rock Videos. I remember these as a kid as one of the ways I learned about the US (also learned some US history in Canada — something about some war in 1812 that Canada won 😉 )