CAO "Brazilia" Review: A Living Legend Still Delivers Decades Later

It's hard to believe that the CAO "Brazilia" has been around for over two decades. Seems like it was only yesterday that I was puffing one of these magnificent maduro cigars for the first time at the cigar shop where I worked back in college. It kicking my ass, me loving it, and everyone around me complaining about the smell.

Yet here we are, and here it is. Still, the same spiced, earthy, oily, pungent, mocha-filled full-bodied premium cigar blend that I remember. This cigar has not only withstood the test of time, but it shaped the future of things to come.

Yes, the CAO Brazilia was the first mass-produced cigar to sport a Brazilian maduro wrapper. No, it would not be the last of its kind.

So bring on the heavily fermented throwback vibes, because it's time to revisit a living legend.

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CAO Brazilia

Unlit Impressions

The vitola we stock at Klaro is the "Brazilia Box-Press" in toro form. It's a bit of a soft pressing, and roughly finished on each end. The wrapper is this dark mocha color, and there is a nice shine to it in the light. The banding is broad and tiered, with an instantly recognizable Brazilian flag motif working in the blend's favor.

Whereas the wrapper is all light leather, cedar, mild spices, and faint milk cocoa, the foot is a very different matter entirely. Wet leather, damp mulch, coffee grounds, farmhouse funkiness, and a smidgeon of star anise make the open-end smell very intense. Unlit pulls provide all of these things in flavor form but in a slightly more toned-down, sweeter sense.


CAO Brazilia

Initial Smoke  

Black pepper and tilled Brazilian turf up front, but milk chocolate and leather-like on the retrohale, there is some distinct potency to the start of this cigar. There is only a touch of nuttiness to be found on the stick I smoked during my review video, and it is fleeting at best. More on that to come a little later...


CAO Brazilia

1st Half 

 As the first third burns and strength shifts from medium to medium plus, that milk cocoa taste turns mocha on you. The black pepper spiciness of the cigar becomes far more intense as well at this moment, especially via retrohale. 

Whiffs of farmhouse funk come into the picture too, and continue to build gradually. Nuttiness is generic and vague, and both woodiness and sweetness are similarly nondescript.


CAO Brazilia

2nd Half   

Chewy, dark chocolate smoke, and a shift toward that star anise spice found on the unlit end of the foot flourish in the second section of the stick. 

However, it doesn't take long for those funky, heavily fermented maduro flavors (and aromas) to find a foothold and take over. There's also a mild, milky Brazil nut taste behind this that is very raw, and bitterness increases a bit near the transition to parting puffs.


CAO Brazilia


Parting Puffs  

Full-bodied, and bordering on full strength, the Brazilia's final act continues to be unappealing to me, even twenty years later. It's not harsh, but neither is it refined. With all of the resins and maduro flavors mixing to make a muddled mess. 


CAO Brazilia

Ash / Burn / Smoke / Draw 

Performance though has always been a strong suit for the Brazilia. Touch-ups, flakey ashes, tight pulls, and uneven burns have never been an issue for this blend. Outside of a dropped ash on occasion, this smoke succeeds in bringing the thunder in the performance department.


CAO Brazilia

Final Thoughts

I have adored the CAO Brazilia ever since I first came across it in college. And little has changed in the nearly twenty years since that first smoke. 

Sure, there are some inconsistencies in the flavor profile of each stick, but it's pretty much just the nuttiness of the cigar that is a craps shoot.

And while I will more than likely never love the parting puffs of this blend, everything up until then is dark and delicious. Deep, richly layered, and balanced to an extent, this blend is sure to keep on pleasing the masses for decades to come.


CAO Brazilia

Cigar Stats


CAO "Brazilia Box-Press"


Maduro (Brazil)








5.25" x 54 "Toro" (box-pressed)



Pairing Drink

Boss Coffee Italiano



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