Cigar Review: CAO Fuma em Corda

  • EmCordaStraightVitola: Robusto
  • 5” x 50 ring gauge 
  • MSRP $8.99
  • Samples provided by General Cigar

Background

Every great movie (and most crappy movies) gets a sequel…really interesting properties get trilogies…

Known as the Indiana Jones of the cigar business, Ernest Gocaj traveled to Brazil in 2012. There, in the Amazon, he met natives who cultivated a rare variety of tobacco. The tobacco Ernest discovered was Brazilian Bragança tobacco, the foundation of CAO’s Amazon Basin. 

Fast forward to 2015. Ernest returned to Brazil, this time to the Alagoas region in the center of the country. There he was witness to an ancestral fermentation method that produced tobacco with flavor like nothing else. In the Alagoas, the natives fermented Arapiraca tobacco in ropes and call the tobacco Fuma Em Corda. Ernest put the fermented tobacco in his mouth and chewed it to experience the aroma and flavor. He instantly knew he was on to something. To get his hands on as much of this tobacco as he could, Ernest told the farmers he would take all of that year’s harvest, right then and there.

The tobacco was sent to Honduras and the blenders for CAO worked to build a blend around this very special tobacco. To tie thing together with the Amazon Basin release, they included some Bragança in the blend, then added Honduran and Nicaraguan leaf to round out the fillers, utilized a Cameroon binder, and a Honduran Colorado wrapper leaf.

At this time, they are saying Fuma Em Corda is a one-and-done release, but I’m told that’s more of an FDA issue than a supply issue. Just 3,000 boxes of Robustos were created for brick-and-mortar shops, along with a small quantity of Toros for online retailers. They were supposed to be in shops already, but there was apparently a “customs” hold-up and they will arrive in early August…right before the late August completion of the Amazon Trilogy: Anaconda.

General Cigar Company sent me samples for this review. I’m smoking my fifth example of the Fuma em Corda for this review.

EmCordaRopesPrelight

The Amazon Trilogy cigars are utilizing similar packaging so far. The boxes are rough wood with the name carved into them. The cigars themselves have wound tobacco string for “bands.” It’s really quite striking and unique. The “band” for Fuma em Corda crosses, making an “X.” It’s a rustic and primitive look that I’m sure takes a lot of time and effort to actually achieve.

The wrapper leaf of the Fuma was oily, lumpy and rough. It looks like well-weathered old leather. It was dark chocolate brown in color with some lighter mottling and an earthy and leather aroma. From the foot, I got more earth notes, along with anise, cocoa powder, and black coffee.

Once cut the Fuma em Corda had a very good prelight draw. It featured flavors notes of earth and natural tobacco, cocoa powder and espresso, as well as a faint dried fruit sweetness.

EmCordaBandFlavor

The CAO Fuma em Corda took time and patience to light completely. Once it was going, it had a deep, full-bodied leathery quality with notes of sweetness and earth, pepper and tobacco. Further puffs revealed roasted nuts and baking spice in the mix, as well. The retrohale was somewhat spicy and held some coffee notes, too. As the first third burned along, I was struck by just how good this cigar is. I enjoyed it the first few times I smoked it, but I think it could have been just a bit young. I haven’t had one in two or three week before this review stick and it just seems to have more character, more aggressiveness, and more flavor overall.

The second third featured coffee and anise notes coming the fore, with earth, bittersweet chocolate and spice taking on secondary roles. The smoke was still rich, thick, oily and full-bodied with a decidedly leathery note. One thing I wanted to mention was the band. For Amazon Basin, the band of tobacco string was bound very tightly around the cigar and almost impossible to remove. On this stick, the “band” moves around a bit when you touch it. I left it on a couple times and burned through it, but found this to be a touchy thing as it will inevitably fall off during the process. Better to break and remove it before you get to it burning.

During the final third, the Fuma em Corda got more leathery and more full-bodied, with a pleasing sweetness riding underneath the whole time. The pepper spice never went abated, providing a nice burn throughout.

Construction

The draw of the Fuma em Corda was fantastic. The burn line was even enough and the ash was solid most of the time while the cigar burned slowly through.

EmCordaBoxValue

For such a limited-supply cigar to cost this little is testament to General’s buying power. For it to be this good is tribute to the fact that today General is putting that buying power to good use.

Conclusions

The CAO Fuma em Corda is more than a fitting follow-up to Amazon Basin. By combining the rare tobacco from that cigar with more rare leaf from Brazil, the blenders have created a truly unique cigar that in my mind outshines the first release in this trilogy. A sequel that’s better than the original? It happens…look at Empire Strikes Back. Let’s just hope that there are no Ewoks in the conclusion of this trilogy…and let’s hope that they find a way to make this blend again, even if it’s just an occasional limited release.

By-The-Numbers

Prelight: 2/2
Construction: 2/2
Flavor: 4.5/5
Value: 1/1
Total: 9.5/10

David Jones

David has been smoking premium cigars since 2001. He is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Leaf Enthusiast. He is a full-time retail tobacconist, working for Burns Tobacconist in Chattanooga, where he has also organized the Chattanooga Tweet-Up for the last four years. He is also an independent graphic designer and typesetter. Twitter: @dmjones1009

You may also like...