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“Cigar of the month December 2015” CAO Flathead Steel Horse Apehanger Cigar Review.


Brand History

CAO International, Inc. is the producer of one of the country’s top lines of premium cigars.  Founded by Cano A. Ozgener in Nashville as a labor of love 41 years ago, today CAO products can be found on every continent in the world with the exception of Antarctica.  They have a terrific reputation of delivering quality products at fair prices.  The line consists of a wide variety of blends such as American, Brazilia, Colombia, Criolla, Flavours, Gold, Italia, L’Anniversaire Cameroon, L’Anniversaire Maduro, Lx2, Mx2, OSA Sol, Sopranos and Vision, La Traviata, Brazilia, America, Italia, CAO Gold, and CAO Maduro as well as unique flavored brands like Moontrance and Eileen’s Dream.

CAO was later acquired by General Cigar Company,  one of the world’s foremost manufacturers and marketers of premium cigars.  Their artisans in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Nicaragua are passionate about handcrafting their iconic products to maximize the cigar smoking experience.  General Cigar’s portfolio of acclaimed brands includes Macanudo, Cohiba, Partagas, La Gloria Cubana, CAO, Hoyo de Monterrey, Excalibur and Foundry.  Given their large size, they are able to buy, age and store their own tobacco, operating three factories in each of the top cigar-making countries.  As a result, their team of cigar masters can utilize an extremely broad base of tobacco in creating new blends, and they can move quickly to bring innovative new products to consumers.  Their joint venture with the Plasencia Group provides additional capabilities in leaf growing, processing, and cigar making.  The Plasencia Group’s highly regarded, family-owned operations encompass five cigar factories and more than 20,000 acres of tobacco farms.

CAO’s new extension line, Flathead Steel Horse, pays tribute to motorcycle culture. A great handmade standard parejo with a squared-off head will be something you can truly enjoy.


The cigar has a very hearty, marbleized wrapper with noticeable oils.  Its reddish brown color was both rich and impressive, and the cigar itself was very smooth to the touch.  It was aromatic, with a mild and slightly sweet earthy smell on the pre-light.

 Journey Profile:

1st quarter: A smooth draw was offered along with a lot of earthiness in the smoke.  Some flavorful and creamy texture was detectable on the palate within the first minutes of lighting it.  Very bold earthy characters and hints of spice hit the palate right away.  2nd quarter: Some of the punch in the spice faded nicely while being replaced by an interesting and creamy texture.  A dominant oak texture lingered on the palate.  3rd quarter: A smooth draw remained along with a dense and creamy texture, all of which stayed consistent with its medium-body profile.  An incredibly even burn held onto a long and flaky ash.  4th quarter: The smoke retained a creamy and dense texture.  There were noticeably heavy tobacco notes, along with a hay-like flavors developing.  Some spice developed on the palate and carried through to the nose.

Final Thoughts:

The CAO Flathead Steel Horse Apehanger has great construction.  Spices developed early on and faded away nicely into a tasteful earthiness.  It is a steady medium-body with a slow and even burn.  Overall, it is a cigar that yields a good profile; while not overly complex, there is enough happening to keep you wanting more.

Myron Gooch Sr.

Reviewed at: The Man Cave.

Time Smoked: 2 hour 10 minutes.

Cost: $9.50

Wrapper: Connecticut Habano.

Binder: Brazilian.

Filler: Honduran, Dominican Republic and Nicaragua.

Size: 5 ½” x 58.

Rating: 91





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