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Cigar Review: CAO Amazon Basin 2016

CAO Amazon Basin 2016

The CAO Amazon Basin is a limited release item coming from CAO and General Cigar Co. Using a tobacco that is only harvested every three years. Grown deep in the Amazon Rainforest in a region known as Bragança, this tobacco is cultivated in undisturbed soil. Extremely limited, only about 5000lbs of this Bragança tobacco could be purchased by General Cigar Co. This cigar will be offered in one size, a 6 x 52 toro and coming in eighteen count boxes. Within this cigar there are some more familiar tobaccos. Wrapped in an Ecuadorian Sumatra and some binder and filler from Nicaragua, this cigar will have a distinct flavor profile. Being a limited release this cigar will be sure to sell fast.




CAO Amazon Basin is a very limited new extension to CAO’s ultra-popular Brazilia blend. Just don’t expect more of the same, because this unique small-batch blend is like nothing ever before. 




“CAO Amazon Basin uses a rare tobacco called Braganca”





The wrapper of the CAO Amazon Basin is milk chocolate in color, very rustic looking with notable tooth, seam and vein. I am a huge fan of this cigar and smoked a fair amount 2 years ago! The wrapper was much lighter back then and they were full of flavor. Sadly as suddenly as they appeared they vanished just as quick, as did any I stocked up on for future enjoyment. Fast forward almost 3 years and the Amazon Basin is back. The vitola has an open foot with rounded cap. Sans label adding to the rugged look are bands of finely rolled tobacco looking like bunched up rope, no worries you can smoke right through it right down to the nub. Pre-Light aroma had notes of natural tobacco, cocoa and dank earth. The cold draw produced flavors of leather, cedar and sweet tea.






Upon first light flavors of coffee, creamy leather, milk chocolate and cherries. The spice element is in the form of a black pepper dusting, especially in between draws on the lips and palate. The retro is producing medium level of black pepper evolving into flavors of coffee and dark chocolate.


Entering cruise control burn distinct flavors of creamy leather and coffee with roasted walnuts. Nuances of sweet tea, chocolate and hazelnut are giving the CAO Amazon Basin an almost chewy quality. Black pepper has decreased to a mild level. The retro has evolved from black pepper to white, producing a long finish with flavors of chocolate.


In the final third a flavor of charred cedar has appeared, any black pepper that was noted on the first two durations has completely diminished allowing the core sweet flavors of milk chocolate, vanilla bean, creamy leather and hazelnut to be enjoyed to the fullest. There is a slight nuance of roasted walnuts and salted caramel. The retro is producing low level white pepper evolving into flavors of chocolate and nougat.

“Milk chocolate, vanilla bean, creamy leather and hazelnut”



The construction of the CAO Amazon Basin was solid. The burn line was razor sharp producing an effect of stacked dimes in the dark colored ash. The ash held long and tight requiring force to be tapped off. The V-cut produced a slight amount of resistance but quickly opened up at cruise control. All three examples smoked for review presented the same slight resistance characteristics, all opening up in the second third producing large plumes of aroma filled smoke. The strength of the Amazon Basin was in the straight MEDIUM bodied range and extra FULL on flavor. Distinctly different from the previous release of the AB it produced the same effect of grab as many as you can and stock up! As quick as this years release appeared, to be sure they’ll vanish just as fast.



  • Coffee
  • Chocolate Milk/Dark
  • Creamy Leather
  • Black Pepper Mild
  • Hazelnut
  • Vanilla Bean
  • Roasted Walnuts
  • Salted Caramel
  • Black/White Pepper on the retro evolving into flavors of Coffee/Chocolate/Nougat




Cigars Purchased From: Boiling Springs Wine & Cigar

Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

Cigar Smoke Rate: 91

Size: 6 x 52 (Toro)

Wrapper: Ecuadoran Sumatra

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Dominican Republic, Colombian, Brazilian Braganca



Love of all things cigars, craft beer, IPA's (any beer). Follow me on Untapped @Toar Campbell. Writer, reviewer, founder

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