Tag Archive for cao

Smoke Blog: CAO Flathead

When I visited my friend John’s man cave for the NFL championship games, he handed me a CAO Flathead cigar. The sheer size of the thing surprised me, and I took it as a challenge.

The Flathead 770, aka Big Block. 7″ long, 70 ring gauge.

I lit this cigar during the 1st quarter of the Seahawks game. Shortly after Richard Sherman’s post-game outburst about three hours later, I stubbed out the last inch-and-a-half or so to get back on the road. Amazing.

The cigar lit easy and drew fine, but one of the box-pressed sides would start to go out from time to time. I blame the ring gauge. It looked like a Maduro, but instead the Flathead sports a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper. Inside we’ve got a Habano Connecticut binder and a mix of Nicaraguan and Piloto Cubano Ligero for the filler.

I’ll say now I’ve never had a Ligero I didn’t like, and the Flathead is no exception. I truly enjoyed those three hours with this monster, and when I saw Flathead 660 “Carb” in a local liquor store’s humidor this past weekend, I thought I would try to repeat the experience.

I found the 660 sported the same smooth taste, the same draw and sturdy construction, but did not have as many lighting problems. Of course, it didn’t last quite as long, either, but it was still a damn fine smoke in its own right.

Ligero fans, put this one on your must-try list. Highly recommended.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Smoke Blog: A Couple of Big Ones

The humidor’s environment is finally under control. Hells yes. Last check, 77 degrees and 74% humidity. It took a couple of reseasonings, but the results were worth the minimal effort. \m/

(Is “reseasoning” a word? It is now.)

I burned through two sticks this week while getting some work done, and both times I opted for some of the larger smokes in the humidor. The main motivation was to stay busy longer, but I also felt they were less likely to be affected by the period of time the humidor was out of whack.

First up was the Macanudo Cru Royale. When I first lit it up, I was not impressed. It was very harsh and hot. However, this is possibly due to the dry environment in the humidor before I got it fixed, as it quickly mellowed into a fine smoke. Loaded with hints of leather, it smoked clean and easy. Not a remarkable smoke for my palate, but it paired well with the Boulevard Smokestack Series IPA (Double-Wide IPA, in fact) I was drinking. If you’re a Macanudo fan and prefer a medium- or full-bodied cigar, pick one up.

Last night I opted for a CAO Gold series maduro. This Churchill (I believe) stayed with me a good two hours. Very impressive. Not my go-to flavor preference, but I enjoyed it. Sturdy, easy to hold, lots of smoke to play with. A hint of cocoa in the beginning, then that hefty maduro profile took over. Near the end it picked up in heat and needed to be touched up with the lighter a few times, but not enough to kill the cigar. Alongside some Four Roses Yellow bourbon, it made for a very pleasant experience as I punched the keyboard.

For those wondering how I’ve managed to get so much variety in these Smoke Blog entries, I have two explanations: 1) my wallet; 2) my cousin Mark.

I like to experiment, and because I don’t always have the cash to drop on a full box, I pick up a stick or two at a time. The rotating stock in the limited cigar selections in Peoria then makes it easy to try different things. Sometimes this bites me in the ass, but more often than not I’m able to pick out reputable brands and some pleasant surprises.

Most of my stock right now, though, is courtesy of my cousin. Twice now he’s sent me a variety of cigars to try, typically to celebrate finishing a project. He also once rounded up a bunch of guys on a forum to restock my my humidor when it ran dry. It’s been great for the blog, for the productivity, and for the general enjoyment of the smoke. Thanks again, Mark! I hope to return the favor sometime soon.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

Smoke Blog: The Twitter Smokes

I had two cigars as a result of Twitter activity in the last week or so.

First up, CAO Cigars sent me an LX2 after I participated in a simple contest via Twitpic. LX2 is shorthand for “ligero times two,” making it a full-bodied smoke. Talk about truth in advertising! I enjoyed this one, but I may have been better off saving it for a time I could sample it alongside a good lager. A very bold smoke, full of leather and spice, with good construction that held up to a windy evening on my front porch. I don’t normally stock full-bodied smokes in my humidor (they’re tougher to share with cigar rookies), but I’d seek these out again in a cigar bar.

Shortly after the CAO contest, I picked up a follow from Nub Cigars. I’d not heard of them before, but I recognized the name on a box of smokes at the shop on Saturday and thought I’d give their Habano a try. They’re a very unusual-looking cigar, with a fat ring gauge (about an inch in diameter) and a short length (4 inches), making “nub” a suitable moniker. I expected it to be a short smoke like a robusto, that it might be good for those times I don’t have a full hour to hang out on in the back yard. Instead it took an hour, easily matching an average-length cigar. I do think the ring gauge worked against me in the wind out here, as the rim would cool off and the interior would keep on burning. As a result, a burn appeared on the outside of the wrapper about a quarter-inch back from the end, then started spreading and effectively circumsizing the end. As for flavor, no problems there: I tasted pepper before I even lit her up, and that more or less set the trend for the smoke. It had a surprisingly clean draw given the ring gauge, and my only regret was not smoking it indoors somewhere to keep the burn problem at bay.

In the end, two great smokes, both thanks to Twitter. I could really get used to this.

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.