You probably cannot smoke and review any CAO Sopranos cigar without some expectations of what to come. I know I already created a clear picture of the Robusto sized Associate cigar inspired by its name and appearance only. However, what came as a surprise to me, was that the image in my head did not fully go together with the true nature of the cigar.
In a local magazine, Mr. Olli Alho described the wrapper to be "as dark as a hitman's soul", and indeed, it is a fair picture of the mentality of the TV series Sopranos. However, that is where the similarities between the series and the cigar end, atleast in my view about them both together and separately.
I think the Associate is generally considered as a full bodied smoke, but i quite did not buy that one. A robust medium perhaps. Medium, medium to full...
As mentioned before, the wrapper is very dark brown with a beautiful golden hue to it. The cigar feels great in the fingers and the unlit, sweet chocolate and tobacco fragrance makes your mouth water. What the cigar loses in a slightly uneven burn, it gains in great draw, good looking ash and generous white smoke.
What comes to the flavours of the cigar, it could be much more complex. Although the tobacco leaves used as wrapper and filler are from all over the map, they do not succeed in giving all their potential depth and variety into the blend. The blend is balanced, in the sense, that no flavour becomes overpowering in any stage of the cigar, but all in all it is a simple and straight forward in taste. All along the way, the cigar is sharing out sweet tobacco, coffee and chocolate flavours.
All in all, the CAO Sopranos Associate is a good smoke for an afternoon coffee or together with a darker beer, but it probably is not what you would expect the Family to be like, if you would meet them in person. I hope you will not owe them money if you ever do...
Aroma 7/10 (7,8,7)
TOTAL POINTS 89/100