Cigar of the Week

Cigar of the Week: CAO Vision Prana/Catalyst

(Note: This review originally appeared on CigarJack.)

CAO Vision Prana cigar

Brand: CAO
Line: Vision
Vitola: Prana (Torpedo 6.25 x 52), Catalyst (Robusto 5 x 50)
Origin: Dominican
Wrapper: Domincan
Binder: Dominican
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan, Brazilian
Body: Medium
Strength: Medium
Box Price: $320 (Box of 20)

I’m always for lighting up a much-hyped cigar. And few have been hyped more than the CAO Vision, Cigar Aficionado‘s #9-ranked cigar of 2007.

In the cigar blogosphere, CAO seems to have a reputation for flexing more marketing muscle than other companies. For the Vision, perhaps it’s justified.

It’s CAO’s first Dominican-made cigar, and it comes in some rather innovative packaging: a high-tech humidor complete with a built-in hygrometer, a digital display and neon blue LED lights. It’s an impressive-looking thingamajig, and the cigars are equally impressive.

The Vision has a veiny, four-year-old Dominican Corojo wrapper, an earthy, leathery scent, along with a good prelight draw. Both the Prana and Catalyst vitolas continued to draw extremely well as I smoked them down. They continued to taste earthy, but they smoothed out towards the middle, as hints of cream and roasted peanuts were added to the mix, probably from the aged wrapper. At the end, the Vision got a tad spicy, which I also enjoyed.

Verdict: The burns on these were even, but slow, so I smoked the Prana for almost two hours, and the Catalyst for about 80 minutes. The Vision is extremely consistent through these two vitolas — I didn’t try the Epiphany (Toro, 6 x 50) — but I think you’ll find it’s a pleasant cigar overall. With a price tag of $12-$16, it’s a good medium-bodied, special-occasion smoke.

Similar cigars: The Graycliff Crystal, which I’ll hopefully have a chance to review soon!