Headline Cigar: CAO Pilon Robusto Extra

Par La rédaction,
le 29 May 2024

The CAO brand has successfully carved out a niche for itself thanks to its originality and its many lines, often featuring exotic tobacco. Distributed by Scandinavian Tobacco Group, CAO’s blenders continue to innovate with exotic wrappers and tobacco from novel origins…  The Pilón line, one of our favorites, features cigars with distinctive characters; always well-crafted and aromatic, most importantly they have the advantage of being widely available  and always at a very affordable price.

Gabriel Valentin


CAO Pilón

Launched in France in 2016, this range is now a classic, and it has taken up residency in our humidors. Available in several formats, including this Robusto Extra, which is in particularly good form at the moment, the line owes its name to a fermentation technique used in Cuba from the 19th century but abandoned over fifty years ago in favor of less costly, more profitable methods. This “monticule” or pilón technique involves stacking the leaves in a pyramid, which allows for better natural fermentation, maximizing flavor and even improving the leaves’ color.


Made in Nicaragua
Wrapper: Ecuador
Binder, filler: Nicaragua
Dimensions: 127 mm × 52
Format: Robusto
Price: €10.50

Appearance: A smooth, oily colorado wrapper with beautiful glints.
Cold draw: Barnyard, suint, black pepper, and hint of gingerbread. Excellent draw.

 Smoking experience:

First third: Starts off strong; refreshing with a good level of intensity. Roasted and nutty flavors add roundness. Well-balanced from the get-go, the strength is contained, letting woody and earthy flavors settle in and make their mark on the palate.
Second third: Deeper, comforting flavors, the CAO maintains good structure and consistency.  The flavor profile is dominated by underbrush, with a slight hint of bitter cocoa. It then becomes drier (dry earth) and woodier before moving into the final third. A hint of mocha. A beautiful, well-controlled second third.
Final third: The final third is intense and full-strength. There’s a very slight imbalance, with a certain intensity and dark, roasted notes, as well as a hint of spices. However, the cigar holds up well and smokes to the end. An aggressive finish; satisfying and very endearing.

The ADC’s Verdict: A well-crafted cigar that we regularly enjoy. The latest batches are particularly good, with refined, mature, and complex blends and a nice balance. Experienced smokers will appreciate the build-up in strength toward the end. Easy to find, which is always a plus.

Flavor: 7/10
Strength: 7/10
Persistency: 7/10

Bands: 4 1/2