General Cigar's motorcycle-themed brand, CAO Steel Horse (an offshoot of its popular CAO Flathead line) is getting two smaller sizes this month.
Called Handbrake, at 4 1/2 inches by 50 ring gauge ($6.99) and Roadkill, at 5 1/2 by 54 ($7.00), the cigars feature the same four-country blend as the previous two sizes of Steel Horse, but in smaller formats. The cigars showcase a wrapper that General refers to as Connecticut Habano Grueso—a U.S.-grown varietal proprietary to the company. The wrapper is complemented by a Brazilian Arapiraca binder, and filler tobaccos from Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
Rick Rodriguez, blender and ambassador for General Cigar Co., designed the original CAO Flathead line to pique the interests of auto enthusiasts, as car parts and pin-up girls are dominant themes in the branding of these cigars. Rodriguez then developed Steel Horse as an answer to cigar smokers who were also motorcycle fans.
Unlike the CAO Flathead line, CAO Steel Horse cigars are not box-pressed, but retain the original brand's hallmark flattened cap and head. The motorcycle inspired smokes first debuted at the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show last year and launched in two sizes, Apehanger and Bullneck.
As with the previous two sizes of Steel Horse, both Handbrake and Roadkill will come packaged in individual cardboard coffins and ship in boxes of 18 cigars.
CAO Steel Horse is made in Nicaragua at the Scandinavian Tobacco Estelí factory. General says the new sizes of Steel Horse should hit retailers later this month.
This article first appeared in the March 8, 2016 issue of Cigar Insider.