Like something from a Joseph Conrad novel, the newest version of CAO Amazon Basin features a Brazilian tobacco that’s grown in the Amazon rain forest and transported by boat down the Amazon River before it’s blended into this limited-edition cigar.
The tropical tobacco is called Bragança and its methods for cultivation are quite unorthodox. According to brand owner Scandinavian Tobacco Group, seedlings for Bragança are planted in the soil a full yard apart from each other, resulting in half the yield of other tobacco crops. Once culled, the leaves are packed tightly into tubes called carottes (similar to the condensed cylinders of andullo) where the tobacco undergoes a six-month fermentation. The carottes of tobacco are then loaded into a canoe and paddled out of the jungle on the Amazon River, eventually completing its journey from the heart of darkness to the STG Estelí factory in Nicaragua, where CAO cigars are produced.
The image of tobacco in a canoe gliding along the Amazon River certainly gives this release a literary air, but STG believes that the Bragança in the filler truly brings an exotic note to the cigar. At 6 inches by 52 ring gauge, CAO Amazon Basin is composed of a dark Ecuador Sumatra wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and a filler blend of Colombian and Dominican tobacco that accentuates the Brazilian Bragança.
Another distinctive trait quite unique to the CAO Amazon Basin brand is the rope-like tobacco tied around each cigar serving as its band. These tropical toros started shipping last week in rustic, primitive-looking boxes of 18, and retail for $12.99 per cigar. Only 6,000 boxes have been made for the U.S. market.