The CAO Flathead brand is about to burn rubber. Next month, General Cigar Co. will be releasing the new CAO Flathead V21, a limited-edition smoke with bulky ring gauges, Mexican wrappers and tobacco that the company says has a shorter fermentation time.
The V21 blend consists of a San Andrés wrapper from Mexico, Connecticut broadleaf binder and filler of Dominican and Nicaraguan leaf. It sounds like a typical blend at first, but according to General, the filler tobacco underwent an abbreviated fermentation to “lock in the tobacco’s native characteristics and added a secondary aging process to bring everything together.” The process should result in a cigar that’s medium-to-full bodied.
Made in Nicaragua at the STG Estelí factory, CAO Flathead V21 comes in two sizes: Carb V21, which measures 6 inches by 60 ring gauge, and a mammoth, 7-by-70 Big Block V21. They retail for $13.99 and $14.99 each, respectively, and come in 27-count boxes. Only 2,000 boxes per size are being produced, and will begin shipping to retailers on August 3.
The CAO Flathead series debuted in 2013 and was inspired by America’s hot rod culture. The large, blocky, box-pressed shapes and notably flat heads are meant to resemble the engine blocks found in vintage hot rods. Automotive theme aside, the V660 Carb was Cigar Aficionado’s No. 3 cigar of 2013, making it the first time a grande had made it to the annual Top 25 list.