The CAO cigar company was founded in 1968 by Cano A. Ozgener, a Turkish immigrant who started the company as a vehicle for the distribution of humidors and pipes. Not until the 80’s did he venture into the cigar business, with a cigar called Casa de Manuel. Unfortunately, it did not succeed.
Several years later Ozgener tried again, this time catching the wave of the “cigar boom” in the mid 1990’s. The CAO Black was released, but it too failed make a splash in a market full of newcomers. Later on, the CAO Gold would garner the attention needed to put CAO on the map.
Soon Michael Jordan would be seen smoking a CAO churchill after winning the NBA championship. Now there’s an endorsement!
The first CAO cigars were produced in part by Nestor Plasencia, and later Carlos Toraño and Jose Blanco (of La Aurora) would have a hand in CAO production. Today the company is controlled more directly by the Ozgener family, with factories in Nicaragua and Honduras.
Double wrapped cigars seem to be a bit of a trend these days, with double maduros produced by both CAO and Cusano; a double Connecticut is also made by Cusano, and Oliveros is making a double Corojo. (And by “double” I mean both the wrapper and binder are the same type of leaf.)
If this double Cameroon is as good as CAO’s MX2 double maduro, this should be a real treat.
The CAO CX2 Robusto is round, as opposed to the box-pressed CAO L’Anniversaire Cameroon. It measures a standard 5 x 52. The wrapper is “first grade” Cameroon and the binder is of course Cameroon leaf as well. The filler is an unusual combination of Columbian and Nicaraguan (Jalapa) leaf. I can’t think of another cigar that uses Columbian tobacco. This should be interesting.
The wrapper is a medium colorado maduro color with relatively little tooth for a cameroon. Prelight the scent of the wrapper is a little gamey. I guillotined the cap and found the draw to be firm and the prelight taste grassy.
The outer leaf is quite fragile and is prone to splitting. I’ve been storing these at around 65% RH, and they probably need to be at 70 or more. The split allowed me to look at the cameroon binder. I’ve always thought of cameroon as exclusively a wrapper, but the roughness of this binder clearly shows its grittier side.
The burn is uneven, requiring two or three touchups. On the plus side, the draw is perfect. It’s a firmly packed cigar and burns slowly.
If you love the taste of cameroon, this one has it… but in my opinion it has a little too much. The aroma is overwhelmingly sweet and spicy. Like a fine perfume, cameroon doesn’t require a massive application. The CX2 is a medium bodied cigar, with a bit of a kick at the end, and maintains a balanced woody flavor with a little salt. The last third gets somewhat bitter.
A must try for cameroon lovers, but be prepared for an onslaught of spice. In my book, a little cameroon goes a long way.