Some Brothers and Sisters of the Leaf may not enjoy the infused or flavored cigars, and there are some that are best left on the shelf, but I really enjoy the CAO line of infused cigars, especially in their cigarillo and petit corona sizes. Something about the smaller cigars really turns the infused cigar into a treat to enjoy. I smoked this delightful Island Life after relishing the Hyde that I had found at the Cigar Cave, as I had wanted another cigar but I didn’t want to have a full Robusto size.
The Island life is a mix of Dominican fillers with a Cameroon wrapper, and it’s been infused with a spiced rum flavor. What I like about the CAO infusions is that they don’t slap you upside the head with a cloying fake flavor. While it’s certainly not hiding the rum-ness, the infusion is well done so that it smoking this cigar feels more like an incense of rum around a cigar, as an essence that is a part of the experience of the cigar, but not the main showstopper. Like someone found a Captain Morgan Spiced Rum scented candle and it happens to be burning as you smoke this cigar.
The label is a simple affair with a nice bit of metallic blue along the edges, and the stick certainly smells of dark rum and tobacco before it’s lit. After lighting, I feel as though the spiced rum is a beautiful compliment to the lighter tobaccos in this little cigar. The Dominican Republic fillers are a brighter flavor than their African wrapper and blend well with the spiced rum flavors.
The draw is very easy, and it’s not a challenge to develop a nice foot on this petit stick. The biggest challenge is not smoking it too quickly! And while the light tobacco and dark rum were the main flavors, I am pleased to report that the last third of this stick actually gets a little peppery. Perhaps that’s why I love the CAO infused so much– it’s not a one note flavor, they layer the aromas to make the smoke a bit more complex. This is a delicious little number that nearly anyone can enjoy with a coffee, I had it with the house Merlot, and I’m sure it would be amazing with any rum drink.