CAO Sopranos “Associate”

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Each time we turn into The Sopranos we get to see Tony Soprano in his car, lighting up a cigar as the opening credits roll. So it is fitting that HBO should extend a meaty palm to CAO and license the Sopranos edition of cigars. In 2005 they did just that, and at the RTDA that year CAO unleashed three sizes of pricey Sopranos smokes.

This is the smallest of the three sizes, the Associate, a standard robusto at 5 x 52. Also available are the Soldier (toro) the Boss (double corona) and the just released “Tony Soprano Signature,” an extra-large toro with a 60 ring gauge.

The wrapper used for the Sopranos series is Brazilian mata fina. I was interested for this reason to see how it would compare to CAO’s Brazilia line, which uses a Brazilian arapiraca leaf rather than mata fina. The cigar is completed with a Honduran binder and an interesting combination of Nicaraguan, Dominican and Columbian filler. Columbian leaf is a rarity as well, but CAO has used it before in their CX2 double-cameroon sticks.

I was frankly quite surprised by the Associate. I was expecting something along the same lines as the Brazilia Gol! — something rich and spicy. Instead, the Associate turns out to be a sweetheart.

The wrapper on this cigar is an attractive shiny maduro, and the roll is flawless. It fired up without a hitch and burned straight all the way. It forms a solid white ash that wants to spend some time with you before hitting the ashtray.

The first flavor is a delicate sweetness, a smoky maple syrup. The smoke is surprisingly light and smooth, and at no point did it develop any kind of bite. There is a hint of licorice, but that’s it from the spice cabinet. The base flavor is earthy, but even this is fairly muted. Mostly this is just a very relaxing easy-going cigar. Toward the end it turns up the chocolate. After removing the band and nearly burning my fingertips I laid this one to rest.

The Sopranos “Associate” is a refined and relaxing cigar that took me by surprise. It’s not the powerhouse I expected, but considering the fact that my expectations were based on a fictional family of mobsters on television, perhaps I get what I deserve.

Unfortunately the price on this limited edition from CAO is a little bit prohibitive. But I would recommend it anyway as a special treat, especially for tough guys with a soft spot.

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5 thoughts on “CAO Sopranos “Associate”

  1. Nice review.

    Ive been looking to try one of these for some time now. I havent had any luck finding them locally and havent come accross them at any online retailers.

    After reading your review, im even more interested in trying one as i assumed they would be a strong cigar as well.

  2. My local cigar lounge finally got these in yesterday. Very impressive cigars, in very impressive boxes… hell, they even sent her a whole bunch of very impressive caps to go along with it. These things are gonna go like hotcakes. I brought 2 Associates home with me… and took off my Fuente Opus X hat to wear the CAO hat home!

  3. These are excellent! Way pricey but ya get what ya pay for. These are not as strong as I thought they would be as well. I found the flavor to be great. Burn on this was dead on and I would suggest getting a box in spite of the price. They are worth every penny!

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