Posted by Jack | in CAO | on 07 Sep 2014 | at 5:22 AM | 2679 views
Of all of the cigars showcased at the IPCPR this year, the subject of this review surprised me the most.   When I first read about the Amazon Basin I thought gimmick from the start.   This ultra rare tobacco from the middle of the Amazon rain forest called Braganca is only grown every three years.   It is rolled into tubes and fermented for six months and then rowed by canoe to the civilized world.   After smoking a few of these, I am convinced it is not a gimmick.   Let's get smoking and you'll see what I mean....
Construction:  The wrapper on this cigar is a deep brown with streaks of black and loads of oils.   No seams or veins to speak of either.   The band...if you can call it that...is twisted tobacco.   Overall a very attractive look that feels very antique.
Pre-light Aroma and Draw:  Out of the cellophane this cigar tends to give off a very unique aroma.   A fermented earthy note that is quite pungent. It is a sort of sweet and sour note that honestly I can't say I have ever found in a cigar before.
Light and Burn:  Flawless from start to finish with no issues at all.
Tasting:  The Amazon Basin starts off with peppery notes, earth, salt, and a musky sweetness underneath.   The fermented quality of the unlit aroma translates into a highly unusual sour note that is, if you can believe it, not unpleasant.   Mixed with the pepper and salt this sour flavor makes something very unusual.   One of the things I have been looking for in cigars lately is something new or unique and this cigar certainly fits the bill.   Excellent so far.
Roasted meat, nuts, and some fermented wheat notes pop up in the middle third.   A mild mineral undertone mixes with the salty flavor and musky sweetness from the first third to generate a flavor profile that seems ancient.   I find myself picturing Jeremy Irons and Robert Deniro in The Mission smoking these....a film you should watch if you haven't seen it already.   Anyhoo, where was I?   Oh yeah, back to the flavors....more sweetness does appear slightly but I should warn you that this really isn't a sweet cigar even if those flavors do show up on my chart below.   It is more of an earthy cigar overall.
Well here I am at the end.   This is a great cigar.   I never find myself wanting when I smoke these.   The Amazon Basin hits me with a core of more raw nuts, tart fermented earth, and just a hint of leather.   The blend is very well done and the overall balance is just terrific.   Pepper, burnt sugar, dried cherries, and some mild coffee mingle well with that rather dense core.   As I burn past the band, which turns to little ash rings, I get some more of that Brazilian musky sweetness.   I am totally sold on these, guys.   Totally.
And...I'll just leave this here for you to enjoy while you smoke one...
Value:  At around $10 at your brick and mortar, you can't go wrong.
Final Thoughts:  Unique and downright enjoyable, the Amazon Basin delivers a wonderful boutique flavor set you will not find anywhere else.   There is a downside to it, however.   This tobacco is limited to a harvest every three years. So, unless CAO has some spirited away for next year we may be waiting for a while once these are gone.   Until then, I will be adding this cigar to my regular rotation.   Very highly recommended.
Wrapper:  Ecuadorian Sumatra ligero
Strength:  Medium to full
Size:  6 x 52
Check out those ash rings from the band.  Love it!
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