CAO Sinister Sam toro

The Nubbit brothers take a brief look at a limited, star spangled, release from CAO — the Sinister Sam toro (6.5 x 52) — released in conjunction with Independence Day here in the US. This is a brick‐and‐mortar exclusive.CAO Sinister Sam cigar - banded

This parejo is much along the lines of the other CAO special releases in November 2013: the Angry Santa and the Evil Snowman.

In a June 3, 2014 press release from CAO:

Sinister Sam features CAO America’s Connecticut Shade wrapper and broadleaf binder, powered by a new, ligero‐driven blend with a touch of Columbian tobacco. The flavor is similar to CAO America, amped up with fuller‐body.

Sinister Sam is complex in its construction. The cigar is made with a Connecticut Shade wrapper predominantly, but it also features a sheath of Broadleaf.”

Draw: This has an unnecessary photo‐illustrative band covering the majority of the cigar – an illustration of a decidedly sinister Uncle Sam. Removing the printed monstrosity reveals the truly beautiful decoration: this light, coppery Connecticut wrapper has a black leaf wrapping it around the middle with a single 5‐point star die‐cut from it, near the foot, allowing the copper wrapper to show through.CAO Sinister Sam cigar - unbanded

A band around the foot featuring stars alternating with the eagle from the United States of America coat of arms. The punched‐star is applied under the foot band, in line with the punch out.

Nicely constructed; the seam of the black overleaf is a vertical. Not a problem, just noticable being different from traditional wrapping technique. Cold‐draw reveals milk‐chocolate and wheat straw, very mild to my palette.

Punch: Punching with my large punch, the draw is medium‐tight. Cold draw is chocolate raisin fruit cake. Once lit, I taste new leather, smooth natural tobacco with some melon sweetness on the finish.

D: I like that description. I find a little creaminess in the middle, as well. Sweet cream. About ten minutes later, I’ve burned into the broadleaf; the flavor has turned chamois: sweet leather with cream.

P: Into the second third, I’m getting sweet leather, with mild cinnamon finish

D: Same, but I’m calling it cardamon.

P: At four fingers, I’m getting wintermint. Or maybe its just red‐hots cinnamon.

D: I’m getting some mintiness, yes. Mostly in the aftertaste. It’s still a meaty chamois for me, but I’m getting automotive esters now, and that could be the mint. A hint of aroma that is kind of cooling.

P: Into the last third, I’m getting cinamon‐cedar. Some cedar and mint, with some meat and spice on the finish.

D: I have more mint…but if I purge this stick, I can taste what you’re describing, but it’s cardamon. When I let it rest, and clear my mouth, the draw comes on sharp, then I get the other flavors.

Burn it or Spurn it?

Punch: Light one off and prepare for a nice, colorful, aerial burst. This doesn’t change fast and furiously, but is predominantly a pleasantly sweet leather throughout with a noticeable increase in flavor intensity between the beginning shade wrapper and the broadleaf. Near the end it finished off with meatiness and mint. The burn has been straight all the way, with occasional need for push/pull puffs to relight the wrapper. Overall full flavor, with enough strength to force me to take it slow, in spite of my desire to imbibe in the fine flavor profile. Worth having one at the $12 I paid, even better if you can get them for $9, like Draw did.

Draw: Punch captures my take on this Sinister Sam quite well. He experienced more strength than I, but I did feel the affect. Definitely full flavor, growing as it burns. Smoke it slowly to experience all the flavor possibilities. Great construction, great burn qualities, prodigious smoke. Swing by your local brick‐and‐mortar shop and pick up a few of these before they’re gone. It makes a fine companion for a reading of the Declaration of Independence, and some Kentucky bourbon.

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