When it comes to flavored cigars, I've always had a soft spot for the C.A.O. Flavours line.
So with St. Patrick's Day just a couple weeks away, I sat down to puff on the "Irish Cream" alternative to the aforementioned infused cigar trio. An intriguing smoke, that's been spiked with splashes of Irish whiskey, coconut milk, white chocolate truffle, and sweet cream.
This is "Eileen's Dream" by C.A.O., and she is here to give you an Irish cream-filled kiss, regardless of whether you are Irish or not...
Slide the cedar sheath off Eileen's 5.25" Corona length, and her 42 ring-gauge will engulf your nostrils with every ounce of the infusion recipe listed on C.A.O.'s website.
Look past the milky Irish cream montage, and you are greeted by a well-packed cigar, that suffers from an unsightly wrapper. Mottled, overly veiny, and pock-marked with bumps from the Broadleaf binder beneath, Eileen isn't much of a looker once disrobed.
Sever the poorly affixed cap on this parejo, and you will be rewarded with more infusion flavors, which give just cause to fire 'er up.
Since C.A.O. does not sweeten the tip of this cigar, the infusion cigar flavor profile is more of a mellow one. Pretty much everything save that creamy coconut hits you almost immediately.
This is backed by a familiar Cameroon nuttiness, that features hints of nutmeg and other desert spice.
Throughout the first third, delightful dollops of cream, vanilla, and hazelnuts dominated the flavor wheel, while subtler touches of white chocolate were detected exclusively via retrohale. The old schnoz is an impressive portion of the olfactory unit and very rarely does it lie.
As with most smokes, the center of the cigar was where all of the action was contained, as Irish whiskey spiked the cigar with its sweet yet unmistakable subtleties.
As with all of the C.A.O. Flavours cigars, transitions remained virtually nonexistent, with the second half of the stick being a wee bit more robust than the first.
This was likely due to the development of heat within that Connecticut Broadleaf binder. Earthen and fairly grounded, it provides a balance to the infusion flavors and plays a pleasant contrast to the far more focused profile of the Cameroon wrapper.
During my nearly hour-long smoke session, I kept thinking about how good Eileen's Dream would be as a breakfast cigar.
It really would make for a mighty fine "first thing in the morning" sort of smoke, especially when paired with a generously spiked Irish coffee.
This did not change, even when reaching the end of the stick, at which point I proclaimed that I had finally found the ideal hangover cigar.
Ash / Burn / Smoke / Draw
While her ash was definitely a highlight, Eileen's Dream produced a pleasant volume of smoke as well due to the liberal draw pulled from her slender circumference.
Outside of a last-minute touch-up with my torch prior to parting puffs, this cigar burned in an identical manner to every other corona-sized C.A.O. I've ever smoked: Like a freakin' champ.
My final verdict? Time well-spent with one of the creamier cigars you will ever encounter, and that Eileen's Dream is indeed one of the best stogies you can smoke on St. Paddy's Day.
Just as long as you are into the whole infused cigar side of the stogie spectrum...
C.A.O. "Eileen's Dream"
General Cigar (Dominican Republic)
5.25" x 42 "Corona"
Japanese Canned Milk Coffee