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OSA SOL Lot 50 by CAO

We’re reviewing the CAO OSA SOL Lot 50 Robusto 5x50. This is our first CAO. We were drawn to it from comments found in reviews for the Gurkha Warlord.
Draw: Boy, I’m looking at the title to this review… that’s a mouthfull of alphabet soup!

As with many of our smokes, one of us buys two, and then we have to figure out how to get one to the other brother. I picked these up at The Cigar Room at Lee’s Summit, Missouri while in town for a chiropractic visit last November.

Punch: I caught up with Draw at our folks for Thanksgiving where we made the trade. We’re just learning the art of humidity control, so in all fairness, this SOL was probably a little dry by the time we got around to smoking it.

D: Agreed; my SOL probably is SOL. This Sunday is a mild afternoon for Punch on Arizona, and a brisk day for me on Kansas with a high of 40 degrees (F).

P: This has a nice construction, with a minimum of prominent veins. The construction is firm, but poor humidification may have played a role in its tightness. It has a nice, green, clover scent.

D: It appears to have a thick wrapper. I’ve seen better caps, but this isn’t bad. It’s shorter than others I’ve seen, as if it were an afterthought. I’m going to have a Warsteiner Oktoberfest with mine, today.

P: Yeah. Me too. My initial impression: earthy, leathery, spicy — an intriguing indefinable complexity.

D: The prelight draw is somewhat tight, giving the impression of chocolate. It’s being a little difficult to light. The draw has loosened up a little, to what I would call firm. Modest amounts of smoke. Flavors of leather and a mild sweet, with a touch of spice. Unburned flakes of wrapper cling to the ash. The burn is uneven, but consistently so. And I have a visible split in the ash, but not the unburned stick.

About the middle of the first third, the flavor is mellowing; not really mellow, but becoming flavorful, loosing the pepper.  And the flavor is developing to walnut, with hint of maple, but very bright flavor, not heavy. The burn is evening itself out without touchup.

P: I’ve gone through about 13  of my stick and the wrapper split, almost catastrophically, really blown out. I guess this emphasizes the importance of good humidification, and probably more so here in Arizona.

D: There is little wind here in Kansas, but it is gusting from random directions. Thus I discovered that smoke in the eyes is painful. I have not noticed this with other cigars; perhaps it is the citrus influence that made the smoke from this stick cause me tears.

The middle burn is consistent, with the same leather/walnut and touch of sweet, plus a little cedar. Nice flavor. Am I getting some caramel?

The last third is hard to keep lit. It keeps dying, just after a draw. Eventually, between frequent relights and a fussy torch, I let the nubbins lie.

P: I would definitely have one of these again. And the next time I do I want to try the robusto size — well humidified.

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