It’s Stog o’Clock, and this time, I check out the CAO Session Garage. This cigar retails for $8.59. It features a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper with a Dominican Vega Especial binder and fillers from Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. The Session line is a nod to Rick Rodriguez’ “Sessions” with friends smoking in his garage. It’s touted as something any smoker can enjoy.
Pre-light, the wrapper produces a rich barnyard and fruit aroma, while I smell the same out of the foot. Once lit, there is black pepper and saltiness on the tongue. Through the nose, I pick up subtle cedar and cocoa notes. The finish is bitter with a lead and graphite note.
Twenty-five minutes in, the first third comes to a close. On the draw, I find black pepper with damp wood. Smoke is thick and oily. Through the nose, I pick up prune and black pepper notes. The finish offers leather with clove and ginger. Strength and body settle in at medium-to-full.
The second third gets me to fifty-five minutes. The draw consists of black pepper and char. On the retro-hale, black pepper and toast dominate with subtle raspberry. The finish hits me with more leather and clove with an oiliness coating my tongue. There is no change to strength or body.
The final third ends at one hour and twenty-five minutes. On the draw, there is more black pepper with leather. Through the nose, I pick up sweet toast and black pepper. On the finish, more leather and clove blend together, but the last 10 to 15 minutes present an unpleasant and bitter graphite flavor. Strength and body finish out at medium-to-full.
CAO Session is an okay cigar. It displayed excellent smoke output and construction, but it was generally underwhelming. For the most part, flavors are enjoyable enough, but the profile is somewhat simple.
The big downside for me is the bitter graphite flavor the cigar finished with in every sample I smoked. It doesn’t present itself until the very end, but it’s what sticks in my mind most. As with any cigar, I always recommend trying it for your own evaluation, but the price doesn’t justify the CAO Session for me.