Team Cigar Review: CAO Flathead V19 Camshaft

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Cigar Details: CAO Flathead V19 Camshaft

  • Vitola: Robusto Extra
  • Length: 5.5″
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Country of Origin: Honduras
  • Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
  • Binder: Connecticut Habano
  • Filler: Nicaragua and Dominican Republic
  • Factory: STG Danli
  • Blender: Rick Rodriguez
  • Price: $11.99
  • Release Date: August 2019
  • Source: CAO

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

John-McTavish

 John McTavish

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the CAO Flathead V19 Camshaft is a marbled dark brown and all of the veins that are visible are well pressed. The seams are easily visible as they are slightly raised. The head is flat and has a sloppily applied double cap. The band is black with gold borders and denotes the brand and line. The embossing and detail on the band is pretty hard to see unless you play with it in the light. The aroma from the wrapper is a mix of damp wood and damp earth while the foot brings some wood and raisin sweetness. The pre-light draw is a mix of wood and lightly sweet hay. There is a mild spiciness present on my lips.

Pre-light Experience

The CAO Flathead V19 Camshaft has a fairly firm box press shape. The wrapper has a dark, lumpy, rustic appearance. Nosing the wrapper, I pick up fermented tobacco and cedar. In the foot, sweet cedar and tobacco.

First Third

The cigar begins with dark wood and baking spice. At a half inch in, some cream joins the profile. At three quarters of an inch in, the baking spice has morphed to black pepper and really sits on my tongue with a long finish. The retrohale is wood with a mild baking spice. At an inch and a quarter, the creaminess has converted to mustiness. As the third comes to a close, the wood is up front with the mustiness and black pepper slightly behind. The strength in this third was slightly below medium.

First Third

Cedar, baking spices, with hay to finish as the first third opens up. That hay immediately moves into the post draw. Spices increase in strength rapidly. Some creaminess on the retrohale, with a pepper chaser. The cedar defines the profile as the cigar settles in. Molasses joins the retrohale as the cigar continues. The pepper lingers between draws at medium strength. At the halfway point, sweet citrus joins. There is no other flavor evolution through the remainder of the third.

Second Third

The second third begins with the wood and mustiness paired together up front and the black pepper slightly behind. At a quarter inch in, the wood gains a slight char. At half an inch in, some creamy coffee joins the profile. The retrohale is slightly creamy wood. At an inch in, the profile is slightly charred wood with a light creamy coffee. The black pepper has left the profile. At an inch and a quarter, the char has increased and the creamy coffee in the background has been replaced by mustiness. The strength in this third bumped up to medium.

Second Third

Sweet citrus with a mild earthy chaser as the Flathead V19 moves into the second third. Cedar on the middle profile, which lingers into the post draw, with some earthy edges to it. As the second third settles in, some sweetness joins the cedar. Some mild cinnamon also joins minutes later. Bready notes on the retrohale as the cigar settles in. The profile remains the same through the remainder of the second third.

Final Third

As the final third begins, a light vegetal note joins the profile. At a quarter inch in, a light creamy coffee rejoins the profile. At three quarters of an inch in, the profile is just musty wood and the retrohale is a mirror image. At an inch in, a light vegetal note returns. As the cigar comes to a close, it heats up a bit and the vegetal note morphs into a pine note to go along with the musty wood up front. The strength in this third bumped up to slightly above medium.

Final Third

There is an earth and cedar duo moving into the last third. Cedar gains some faint citrus, with an earthy finish, as the earth and cedar both carry into the post draw. Once the last third settles in, the profile is almost entirely defined by cedar.

Burn

The burn was straight at times and slightly wavy at others but never needed any attention. The ash held on in inch and a quarter increments.

Burn

I rated the burn to be very good. The burn was even through the first and second third. The cigar went out in the last third, requiring a re-light. The ash held on well at 1 inch plus increments.

Draw

The draw was perfect with just the right amount of resistance that I prefer.

Overall

The flavor profile started with dark wood and baking spice and gained some mustiness. There were short stretches of creamy coffee and vegetal notes with musty wood being the core profile. Construction was very good and strength moved from slightly below medium to slightly above. Overall, the CAO Flathead V19 Camshaft was pretty average. It did show some typical Broadfleaf characteristics, but they were pretty typical of what can be found in any number of cigars on the market. I can see this having a wide appeal to fans of the CAO brand and the Flathead line, but nothing that took it to the level of a good cigar. It’s probably not something I’d rush out to smoke again, but I would smoke it if I had it in front of me as there was nothing to make me want to steer clear of it.

Aaron
John
AveragePre
Light
Average
AverageFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond ThirdGood
AverageFinal
Third
Average
Very GoodBurnVery Good
AmazingDrawAmazing
AverageOverallGood

Draw

The draw is perfect, right in the ideal zone of resistance.

Overall

When the original CAO Flathead project came out, I was skeptical. After reviewing them, I was quickly won over when I realized that the cigars were more than just a branding gimmick. The CAO Flathead V19 Camshaft is a solid additional to the lineup. With interesting flavors of cedar, baking spices, sweetness, bread, molasses, earth and cinnamon combine to satisfy the palate. I found the first and second thirds to be the most satisfying with the last third to be fairly average. Total smoking time was 2 hours and 9 minutes.

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.65

Cost/Point

$2.12

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.72

Cost/Point

$1.79

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: CAO Flathead V19 Camshaft
John McTavishTeam Cigar Review: CAO Flathead V19 Camshaft

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