In 2014, CAO made headlines in the premium cigar industry by taking their exploratory World Series to new heights, delving deep into the Amazon rainforest for inspiration. CAO has long been known for incorporating South American tobaccos, such as with the popular Brazilia and Colombia cigars, but Amazon Basin took this concept a step further, focusing on an untamed tobacco known as Bragança.
The legendary Amazon Basin cigar was quick to sell out, but CAO brought the blend back for a second run in 2016. This was then followed by two sequel cigars in 2017, amounting to a full trilogy of Amazonian cigars. Now, CAO is taking a victory lap, offering a final, limited edition run of the cigar that started it all—Amazon Basin.
For this unique blend, Ernest Gocaj (aka the Indiana Jones of the cigar world) ventured into the Amazon rainforest of Brazil, where he discovered the indigenous tobacco known as Bragança. This unique leaf is grown without modern techniques, such as tilling, fertilizing, and clear-cutting. Instead, the villagers venture deeper into the jungle for each harvest (as they have done for centuries), plating the tobacco in virgin soil. The harvested leaves are then cured and fermented in an unusual fashion; rolling the tobacco in long, rope-bound and snake-like bundles known as carottes. After fermentation, the carottes are transported to Nicaragua, where the tobaccos become the core identifier of the Amazon Basin.
The full Amazon Basin blend consists of an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper, Nicaraguan binder, and fillers of Dominican and Colombian tobaccos that accentuate the Brazilian Bragança leaf. The rolled cigars are finished with a smokeable band (always fun!) of tightly rolled tobacco. Expect a medium-full body and unique flavors of earth, black pepper, raisons, chocolate, fermented fruit, and leather.
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