At the 2013 IPCPR Trade Show, CAO Cigars showcased a new line of cigars to be released this September called the CAO Flathead. The Flathead becomes the third core line by CAO since the brand was absorbed into the General Cigar portfolio in 2010. The cigar line continues the tradition of innovative packaging the brand has become synonymous with- and introduces some more firsts for the CAO brand.
The theme of the CAO Flathead is based on cigars, cars, and girls with very much a retro-theme associated with it. In a press release issued on the CAO Flathead “Rick Rodriguez and I were talking about the great people we’ve met at CAO events across the country, and about the conversations we’ve had with them. It didn’t take us long to realize that the conversations were always about the same things: Cigars, Cars and Girls. Not necessarily in that order. So that’s what led us to come up with Flathead.”
The Flathead is the first all CAO box-press line by CAO. The blend consists of a Connecticut Broadleaf over Nicaraguan filler. The cigar is being launched in four sizes, including the brand’s first 7 x 70 as well as their first box-press lancero. This included making the molds from scratch for these sizes.
The packaging of the CAO Flathead is meant with a “hot rod” theme in mind. The tops of the boxes were made using a machine that is used to make auto parts. Real engine paint was used to paint the boxes. The lids remove where they can sit on the back of the box or can be hung on the walls.
In each of the boxes, there is a collectible pin-up girl flysheet that is included.
At a glance, here is a break-down of the CAO Flathead.
Wrapper: Connecticut Broadleaf
Binder: Ecuadorian Connecticut *
* Updated via comment by CAO Senior Brand Manager Ed McKenna via comments below.
As mentioned the CAO Flathead is being launched in four box-press frontmarks. Each of the frontmarks have a car theme for the name:
V642 Piston: 6 1/2 x 42 (SRP $6.75)
V554 Camshaft: 5 1/2 x 54 (SRP $7.25)
V660 Carb: 6 x 60 (SRP $8.25)
V770 Big Block: 7 x 70 (SRP $9.50)
In a discussion we had with blender Rick Rodriguez, he told us he adjusted the blend such that the smaller ring gauges would have more emphasis on body, while the larger sizes emphasized more flavor. This was achieved by tweaking the proportions of the ligero and seco in the filler from the same leaf.