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Cigar Geeks Geek Critique

CAO Flathead V450 Sparkplug
Written by Cigar Geeks Member: Brad (Longhorn)
95
Cigar Geeks Rating

Welcome to another Member sponsored Geek Critique.  Up for review this time is the CAO Flathead V450 Sparkplug, the latest release from CAO in their Flathead line - a box pressed 4.5 inches by 50 ring gauge and features a closed foot. The cigar is packaged in a box reminiscent of the packaging that sparkplugs come in.  Some of the hype surrounding the cigar: "CAO Flathead cigars are for the car lover in us all. Each cigar is named after a legendary hot rod engine and comes in a beautifully crafted box to commemorate the old school muscle car. Each cigar contains a flavorful Nicaraguan filler, a smooth yet spicy Ecuadorian Habano CT binder, and a Connecticut Broadleaf Maduro wrapper to add sweetness and balance out the spicier Habano binder. No doubt another great offering by CAO developed by master blender Rick Rodriguez."  This cigar has been generously sponsored by our member Chuck (cfickter).  Thanks very much for your generosity Chuck!

Length:
4.5
Ring Gauge:
50
Country Manufactured:
Nicaragua
Filler:
Nicaragua
Binder:
Connecticut
Ecuador
Wrapper:
Connecticut Broadleaf
Color:
Maduro
Strength:
Medium-Full
Shape:
Rothschild

This cigar was enjoyed with Iced Tea

Pre-Light: 20 Points of 10 Possible

This is a great looking cigar with a dark, chocolaty Connecticut broadleaf wrapper.  There was a slight sheen, but not oily.  The cigar was firm and had a slight sweetness to the smell.  I cut the cigar with scissors and removed a small amount of the cap flush with the squared head.  The wrapper is rather large for the cigar size, so that was removed prior to lighting.

Light & Burn: 13 Points of 15 Possible

I lit the Spark Plug with a spill to ensure there was plenty of soft flame.  It burned well for the first 2/3 but required a minor touch up as I got in to the final third - the burn was possible affected by smoking it outdoors with a light breeze blowing.  The ash was solid revealing a well rolled cigar. It produced a good amount of smoke on the exhale with a slight trail being produced while at rest.  The burn rate was very good and the cigar never felt "hot".  All in all, a very pleasant experience.

Construction: 30 Points of 30 Possible

Only small, minor veins were apparent on the wrapper and the foot showed kind of an "S" shaped swirl to the roll tobacco.  Even with a shallow cut the cigar had a great draw - just enough to reveal good construction.  I really like the box press in this size of cigar and the flat head is an added treat.

Flavor: 32 Points of 45 Possible

The overall impression was a cigar in the medium-bold range.  After lighting there was a trace of spice/pepper that stayed on throughout the entire smoke.  During the final third, the pepper picked up a bit adding nicely to the overall complexity.  During the first third I picked up notes of coffee and chocolate - almost sweet.  As I progressed, this gave way to a more earthy and nutty profile, but the coffee lingered.  At this point I should tell you I also noticed hints of burnt tobacco :).  Seriously, the flavors were well balanced and very enjoyable with slight changes occurring throughout the smoke - pepper with sweetness; coffee with a hint of pepper; nut and leather with a touch of pepper at the end.  I only deducted a few points as I had anticipated a much fuller body with the smaller vitola.

Summary

I really enjoy the CAO Flathead line of cigars and this one did not disappoint.  The packaging is great - each cigar comes in a box that resembles a spark plug box you get at an automotive store.  The Connecticut broadleaf wrapper is really nice on this smaller vitola.  Plenty of strength but a very smooth, enjoyable cigar. A hat tip to Chuck for choosing this cigar and sponsoring this critique - very much appreciated!



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