CAO Italia Ciao Cigar Review

by Bryan Glynn, May 2, 2009
  • Cigar And Pipes Smokin' Deals

This dense, pressed 5×56 stick offers a nice blend of flavors, comprised of a chocolate nuttiness with a touch of pepper on the draw and short finish. The draw is on the firm side, and it needed quick double puffs to get any smoke and flavor out. It had burn issues all the way down, requiring multiple touch-ups. Overall a medium bodied experience worth trying if you get a good deal on them.

  • john m

    Nice review, the Italia is one of my favorite CAO’S.

  • Mike – KnightRid

    Nice review. I only ever had 1 of these so far but I thought it was okay. I will have to pick up a couple more and see how they are now.


    You answered my question before i asked! are you inside my head? I was goign to ask if you smoked more than 1 of the cigars before a review 🙂

  • Brian

    Might have been over humidified i tend to dry box my smokes before i smoke em so i know they aren’t over humidified.

  • Definitely not – I only use 65% beads, and it’s holding exactly there according to my digital gauge.

    If by dry-box you mean put them in a dry humidor before smoking – all that does is dry the wrapper out faster than the filler, which can lead to burn issues of it’s own.

    Sticks should always be the same humidity throughout, wrapper to filler.

    Now it’s possible that these particular sticks would like a different humidity, but I would guess more not less. 99% of my stuff likes 65%, so I’m not changing for them even if that’s true 😉

  • Brian

    Thanks for the info i wont dry box anymore.

  • Tim

    Love the CAO brand. But i have to agree that Cao’s i.e. the brazilia italia have horrible burn problems. Flavor is excellent .

    By the way . lOVE THE VIDEO REVIEWS. I am thinking about doing my own. Your views are exactly like mine as far as cigars go. I will reference you page more offten.

    By the way do you take request?

    • Stefan Nychka

      (I realize I’m posting to an older thread, and am a tad off-topic.)

      For others who are interested in trying a CAO Brazilia: I have smoked about 5, from two different cigar shops, over a period of a few months. There’s very likely been at least 3 different boxes.

      No burn issues with any of them.

      I’m not saying Tim is wrong, but am saying it’s not normal, in my experience, for a Brazilia to burn badly. Please try for yourself, and hopefully you share my experiences.

      The ones I smoked were the box-pressed robustos, I believe, straight from the tobacconist’s.

      I should be trying an Italia for the first time in the next few days.

      Thanks for the review, Bryan, and for the comment, Tim.

    • Stefan Nychka

      Tried two Italias. First had burn problems, second burned great, but it has a sour taste I don’t like.

      A very peculiar flavour. Others may like it, though.

      (I tried one another Brazilia, from a completely different tobacconist’s, this time not box pressed, and it was great. Burn wasn’t razor sharp, but no touch ups needed and it tasted great.)


  • Thank you! I have to admit I thought it would be easy when I started – but it does involve quite a bit of work 🙂 Good thing I like it!

    Sure I take requests…shoot.

  • tim

    I am curious about the prosado 96 that cI is pushung, Looks appealing by with me living in japan kind of hard to get a sanple without buying a whole box of forty. iF YOU RUN ACROSS ONE PLEASE DO A VIDEO ON IGT.THANK AGAIN FOR THE GOOG REVIEWS

  • tim



  • D-rod91

    I agree, if u get good deal on a Stick & CAO is your choice, try it out. This, the Brazilias, & their Gold r sum good smokes…but I got my own opinions on CAO, so it’s a rarity that I will actually have one…they r more of a Hassle than anything-most of them have “issues” in my experiences (& no, my Humi’s not the prob).

  • JeepsDirty

    Seems as though most of the CAO in this size smoke the same way, tight draw, uneven burn.

  • ryanmo45

    I am at the half way point on an Italia ciao right now. It came to me as part of a sampler. i have had it sitting in the humi at about 67% for maybe 6 months. My experience is very different from bryans review. I dont know if I have a very good stick here, or if Bryan got a view bad ones, or what but it is great. The draw is actually on the loose side(similar to a rocky and just the way I like it), I was not getting a very high volume of smoke output until about 15 min or 1 1/4 inches in when it picked up drastically. Flavors match Bryans exactly. Right up my alley. I do have a very mild headrush but nothing to make me shy away(and I dont like high strength). I have only ever had the cao gold before this one and after burning this one I will have to get a sampler for cao’s because I am really enjoying them. Thank you for the review Bryan!

  • chris cole

    Being new i was steered to the cao line love all your reviews on them. Keep it up so us newbs can learn.

  • USA2ndAmendment

    This was one of the first cigars I ever smoked and it kicked my butt. I got nausea, dizzy, and of course a headache. Found out later from one of my friends that I should of drank a Coke to take away those effects. I’m a lightweight 🙂

  • Bpope31

    Smoked one of these when I was barely legal. Maybe I was too ignorant to realize but I didn’t feel as if it was very strong. Or I just don’t remember since it was 7 or 8 years ago. I’ve also heard and experienced how great a coca cola cherry zero can be with a cigar. I Need to try one of these cigars again.

  • Camshaft83

    I’ve been wanting to try one of these for a while but I always end up getting brazilias instead.

  • eric.hanson

    This is one of the few CAOs that I’ve ever had that I just didn’t like at all.

  • PAG

    Love this cigar, particularly in the 4.5×46 Novella size. A unique flavor of black tea comes through nicely. The 4.0×38 little guys are a nice quick smoke as well.

  • Rob Visconti

    Bryan, thanks for this review as well as all your other ones. Keep up the great work your doing!
    I just finished smoking this exact same cigar. As I was smoking it i was watching your review. I actually had quite the opposite it terms of performance and construction. Mine was a razor sharp burn, Prefect draw with just the right amount of resistance and plenty of thick Smoke. As you experienced, my ash held on until the half way point and fell off in a nice solid chunk. I never once had to touch it up and I was taking one draw ever 60-90 seconds. In terms of body and flavor I experienced the same medium body flavors as you described but again the compete opposite in terms of performance and construction. I know is been 5 years since doing this review but who knows maybe CAO saw your review and changed what they were doing as far as construction goes. Who knows maybe give it another shot and see for yourself. Thanks again!

Get Email Updates Of New Posts

  • CigarsOfHabanos - cuban and non-cuban cigars
  • Cigar Oasis
  • Drew Estate
  • 1st Class
  • SmokeInn

My Other Sites

My Motovlog:
My Photography: