Cigar Czars

Review of CAO Flathead
860 Resonator Cigar

By: Gary Manelski

CAO Flathead 860 Resonator is a large box-pressed cigar that is made in Nicaragua with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, Connecticut Habano binder and a blend of Dominican and Nicaraguan filler tobaccos. However, this cigar is not all about the blend (same as other CAO Flatheads), but is more about its very large size of 8 x 60 (eight inches in length and having a ring gauge of 60). In fact, this cigar was the inspiration for an article that I recently posted about computing cigar volume to compare the amount of tobacco contained in different sizes of parejo cigars (for example, an 8 x 60 cigar does not have the same number of cubic inches as a 6 x 80 cigar). CAO Flathead 860 Resonator cigars were released in February 2024, and are priced at $12.79 per stick. For more information about these cigars, please check out the press release.

The sample CAO Flathead 860 Resonator cigar started off with a very enjoyable modest and naturally sweet tobacco flavor. After about five minutes, the tastes of leather and earth joined in, as the smoke became more full bodied (but not overpowering). During the next 30 minutes, the sweetness gradually faded into the background as the leather flavor became more predominate than the earth. After another 20 minutes, the flavor was mostly leather along with some lingering sweetness in the background. This flavor remained pretty consistent during the remainder of the cigar.

The CAO Flathead 860 Resonator cigar was very well made and performed admirably, especially for being such a large cigar. The cigar had a very good draw throughout, held a long ash, and maintained an even burn except near the end, when one minor touch-up was applied at the 1:50 (one hour and 50 minute) mark. Only one relight was required earlier at the 1:30 point when the cigar went out. During the 135 minutes of total smoking time, I ashed the Resonator only four times, once every 30 minutes. And yes, it took me a record 2:15 (that's two hours and 15 minutes) to smoke this 8-inch monster down to two inches remaining, when the cigar went out for the second and final time. This beats my previous record of two hours, and now stands as the longest time that it ever took me to smoke any cigar, after many years of being a cigar connoisseur.

Despite its very large size, the CAO Flathead 860 Resonator is more than just a novelty cigar. It is made with the same quality tobaccos as other CAO Flatheads, and delivers an enjoyable (and time consuming) smoking experience from start to finish. I enjoyed the first 30 minutes (4 points) just a bit more than the following 105 minutes (3.75 points), making for an overall rating of 3.75+ points on a 5-point scale, which is indicative of a good to very good premium cigar. It is also a very good value at less than $13 per stick, especially since it provides the same amount of smoking time as two (or more) normal size cigars – just make sure that you have the time to smoke it before lighting up.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer.

Other Large Cigars:

Review of Asylum 13 Eighty Cigar

Review of Room 101 Big Payback 70 Cigar

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CAO Resonator
CAO Flathead 860 Resonator 8 x 60 Cigar