Cigar Czars


Review of CAO Flathead V19 Cigars

By: Gary Manelski

CAO Flathead V19 is a limited edition cigar available in two sizes named Carb (6 x 60) and Camshaft (5.5 x 50), which are priced at $12.99 and $11.99, respectively. Both sizes are box pressed and made with a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, Connecticut Habano binder, and a blend of Nicaraguan Estelí, Jalapa and Condega leaves, with Dominican Piloto Cubano. This is virtually the same blend as the original CAO Flathead. However, the tobacco leaves in the V19 were fermented for a shorter period of time but aged longer, to create a bolder more powerful smoke without being unrefined. These cigars were released in August 2019, and are available for a limited period of time. For more information, please check out the press release.

The CAO Flathead V19 Camshaft that was sampled for this review began with a very full flavor highlighted by sweet molasses, earth and leather, along with a very modest amount of pepper and spice that gradually faded. Yes, it was a also a powerful cigar that would not be appropriate for beginners nor mainstream cigar smokers. I puffed on this cigar at a much slower pace than usual, to avoid any undesirable consequences. However, even though the cigar got a bit stronger after 20 minutes, it still was not over the top. Also, the sweetness was now fading fast, as deep bold earthy and leathery flavors became predominate.

The cigar was well made and had a very good draw with a mostly even burn. I did apply three booster lights during my smoking session to keep the cigar from going out, probably because I was puffing slower than usual. It took me 70 minutes to smoke the CAO Flathead V19 down to about 2˝ inches remaining.

CAO Flathead V19 cigars are bold and powerful smokes aimed at a niche group of hard core cigar smokers. All others should pass on this one. I enjoy and appreciate fuller (but not necessarily stronger) cigars on occasion, but not on a regular basis. Therefore, I rate the CAO Flathead V19 with a decent 3 points on a 5-point scale. If you must try one, go with the smaller 5.5 x 50 Camshaft size. I smoked a large original CAO Flathead Carb (6 x 60) a couple of months prior to this review, and although it was not as bold as the V19, I still left almost 3 inches unsmoked. It's time to stop smoking when you either run out of cigar, or the experience is no longer enjoyable.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer.

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CAO Flathead V19 Cigar
CAO Flathead V19 Cigar