I got these as part of the "Artichoke King" sampler paired with CAO Criollo. Usually you enjoy the name brand and tolerate the of brand as a good bang for the buck. I have to tell you I was so surprised. First of all I am a big CAO fan - especially the Brazilia. So I was prepared to really enjoy the CAO Criollo. Wow, was I shocked. The Artorious Grand Robusto was better in every way. I first have to say that I am primarily tactile. I respond to how a cigar feels in my hand. How it sustains being cut with my bullet cutter without falling apart. Finally, the cigar, for lack of a better term, felt nicely stout and balanced in the hand. After lighting it and allowing it to settle in for about an inch, I was pleasantly rewarded with a complex, leathery smoke with nice earth tones and a moderate finish. The ash was firm and white, and the burn was beyond reproach. I did not need to touch it up or relight once. What can I say. in this rare instance, the Artorious blew the CAO Criollo away. This may be my go-to cigar (I only smoke about 3 a week, maybe a few more in the summer when the windows are open. It's worth the $ for the test, and at 1/2 the cost of the CAOs you can't go wrong. Don't get me wrong, the CAO Brazilias are still in my playbook, but this is a new and welcome addition.
Glen Ilacqua in PROVIDENCE January 25, 2011
I wasn't expecting much from this cigar, but I got a pleasant surprise! Good burn and draw. great flavor, down to the nub. I usually smoke much more expensive cigars. I will definitely revisit this brand.
Dusty in Central Iowa January 9, 2011