Exploring Tobacco with the CAO Expedicion TAA 2020
Imagine climbing into an old prop plane, flying to a remote region, and embarking on an adventure to discover the next great tobacco leaf variety. Sampling different hand rolled cigars while the smoke flows up around your dusty fedora hat...
The CAO Expedicion TAA 2020 seems to conjure up images of an early 1930s adventure film, dropped right into our modern world.
This cigar line comes to us new this year, as CAO’s 2020 Exclusive TAA release. The cigar marks the third year that General Cigar has contributed to the Tobacconists Association of America with an addition to their lineup. The Expedicion is made at General Cigar’s factory in Honduras, uniquely apart from most other CAO’s which are made in Nicaragua. This line was created as the brand’s exploration of the world’s finest tobacco growing regions, where that concept is expressed in the design of the logo, which resembles an aviation pilot’s wings.
Packaged in 10 count wooden boxes, which, as a note - there are only 1,200 of these 10 count boxes produced worldwide - we see the same bright orange and blue colors that we found on the band, in a very simple, yet eye-catching presentation.
Getting to the cigar itself, it is wrapped in a rich oscuro Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, with Connecticut shade binder, and fillers from Nicaragua, Honduras, and the Dominican Republic. It is made in only one size, a 6 1/8” x 50 Toro, and only available through TAA exclusive retail members like Corona Cigar Co., in a network of about 80 cigar shops throughout the US. On top of the rich, oily, espresso brown wrapper leaf, we have a beautifully colored art-deco style band featuring the iconic CAO “world” letters, surrounded by the winged design.
But how does it taste, you ask?
Right from the initial light up, there are forward notes of cedar, cocoa, and earthiness, with some pepper in the mix as well, particularly on the retro-hale. A little further along into the smoke, we can notice more of those chocolatey cocoa flavors from the broadleaf wrapper, as well as a hint of caramelized tobacco sweetness on the palate. The earthiness is more identifiable, with aged leather, roasted coffee beans, some toasted cracker, and that present woody cedar taste. There is definitely black pepper and spices on the retro-hale, as in the beginning, which adds a nice layer of composition to round out each thick puff.
Overall, we’re looking at a blend that hangs around the medium to medium-full mark in strength, with lots of rich and complex flavors. Smoke production is thick, and coats the palate nicely, with a burn line that seems to stay consistent and holds a solid ash.
The CAO Expedicion is quite an enjoyable smoke, and very well suited for a wide audience of cigar enthusiasts. The strength is not outside of what most people would be comfortable with, and the flavor notes are blended nicely. If you’re a fan of broadleaf tobacco, and the cocoa-like sweetness that it produces, you’ll want to check out this cigar for sure.
Remember, these are a limited production cigar, so make sure you pick some up in-store, or go online to to try it out for yourself. As always, if you need any advice for embarking on your own cigar exploration, be sure to contact us and talk to one of our knowledgeable cigar experts!