My Weekend Cigar: CAO La Traviata “Divino” and Quesada Ltd. Edition 35th Anniversary

On Saturday, I sampled the 5″ x 50 CAO La Traviata “Divina.” Blended with a core of two different ligero filler tobaccos – one from Pueblo Nuevo in Nicaragua, the other from The Dominican Republic, a Cameroon binder, and a dark, mouthwatering Ecuadorian Habano wrapper, this cigar hit on all cylinders. The smoke was exceptionally smooth and complex with dark, earthy tobacco flavors dominated by strong woody notes, and laced with an appealing sweetness.

I paired it with a cup of coffee, which made a good match. The cigar was exceptionally creamy, well-balanced, and highly consistent from start to finish. Although CAO is marketing it as a “full-body” cigar, to my taste it was more medium to full; definitely “full” for the novice, but bearable, for it was never overpowering. Highly recommended!

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On Sunday, I decided it was time to try the Quesada Limited Edition 35th Anniversary cigar. This is a box-pressed 6″ x 49 Toro with an Ecuadorian-grown Arapiraca seed wrapper that caps a Dominican binder and a longfiller blend of Dominican, with Nicaraguan ligero at its heart.

As a big fan of Manolo Quesada’s work over the year, this cigar did not disappoint. It was also one of the most perfectly balanced and flavorful cigars I’ve ever smoked. Paired with a glass of Tapeña Garnacha (2007), a nice fruity table wine, the cigar was a virtual kaleidoscope of flavor.

The smoke was extremely smooth, creamy and complex. Rich flavors of sweet cedar, cocoa and coffee prevailed throughout, and each puff was as succulent as the one that preceded it, as it didn’t gather any significant strength until the middle of the final third. This is, no doubt, the definition of a “full-flavored” cigar, and belongs in the full-bodied category, too.

I was so impressed with this cigar that, like his #1 ranked Casa Magna of last year, I will not be surprised if the 35th Anniversary makes it into a least the Top-5 this year. Very highly recommended!

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Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor at

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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