CAO Pilón Añejo review by Don José

Hey team, Don José here back with another review.

Today we have the

Pilón Añejo

by CAO

If this is your first time here, my reviews rate each cigar on 10 factors and each factor gets a rating out of 10 giving me an overall out of 100. The 10 factors are: Construction, Draw, Burn, Flavour, 1/3 overall, 2/3 overall, 3/3 overall, Journey (how well it flows), Complexity & Value for money.


In 2015, CAO introduced pilón fermented tobaccos with the 90+ rated CAO Pilón.

Pilón is a technique that has been around since the 19th century to cure tobacco. Put simply, the tobacco, harvested, bunched and then stacked in piles to cure and age.

The pilón process creates premium leaves that are rich and smooth with a touch of spice, that are worth the wait.

For the Pilón Añejo however, they added in an additional two years of aging once the cigars were rolled! This adds complexity and smoothness to the cigar.

Rick Rodriguez, CAO’s blender, choose a new blend for this release. A combination of Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers bound by a Honduran binder. and an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.

The original Pilón is an amazing stick, and the addition of the Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper on this release makes me very excited.


  • Brand: CAO

  • Size: 6 x 52 (Toro)

  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra

  • Binder: Honduran Habano binder

  • Filler: Seco and Ligero from the Dominican and Nicaragua

let's get into the review.

First thoughts

Appearance is very... .CAO, In a good way.

Not a huge amount happening on the cold draw so let's kick right into it.


Classic CAO construction; dark, oily wrapper with plenty of teeth, solid to the point that it seems like it would be un-smokable yet somehow smokes amazingly and holds together right to the nub.

Burn & Draw The draw is again outstanding, tonnes of smoke. Burn is a little wayward dropping points a tad.

Flavour & Complexity Flavour wise, plenty of earthiness and a whack of spice some subtile sweetness from a caramel/molasses undertone.

Complexity, a little less complex that expected given the extra aging TBH.

Strength 68% - Midium-full

Enjoyment / Journey I'm not sure I've ever not enjoyed a CAO, but there are some that are MUCH better than the others. This stick sits in the top tier of CAO sticks and the progression is great, each third is better than the last.

Overall Outstanding cigar! It has a bit more kick than the original Pilón, which is interesting given that its aged further, but then this isn't the same bland as the original, just shares a name, so I guess I should stop comparing the two aye.. Only 5,000 boxes of these were made, so get at them!

I rate this cigar 91 points.

A look at the numbers.

Construction -- 10/10

Burn -- 9/10

Draw -- 10/10

Flavour -- 9/10

Complexity -- 8/10

First 1/3 -- 8/10

Second 1/3 -- 9/10

Third 1/3 -- 10/10

Journey -- 9/10

Value -- 9/10


About the author

Joe Murdie aka Don José has been reviewing cigars in New Zealand for over 10 years now, originally as a writer for NZBlokes, a mens magazine.

Outside of Cigars Joe is an international award winning film-maker based in Wānaka, OTA.


Enjoy your read with a good cigar.