Review of CAO Flathead V21 Cigar
By: Gary Manelski
CAO Flathead V21 cigars are made in Nicaragua with a Mexican San Andres wrapper, Connecticut Broadleaf binder, and a blend of ligero filler tobaccos from Nicaragua and Dominican Republic. Like CAO's previous Flathead V19 release, the filler leaves were given an abbreviated fermentation for added boldness and a longer aging process to refine the blend. The cigars were released in August 2021, and are available in two box pressed sizes: Carb V21 (6 x 60) priced at $13.99 per cigar (reviewed here), and Big Block V21 (7 x 70) priced at $14.99 per cigar. Only two thousand boxes of each size were produced, and will be available for a limited time. Each box contains 27 cigars. For more information, please refer to the press release.
The sample CAO Flathead V21 Carb cigar began with a medium-to-full bodied smooth leathery flavor, along with a naturally subtle tobacco sweetness. Right from the start, this cigar was much more enjoyable than the previously released CAO V19, in which the filler also had an abbreviated fermentation but a different binder and wrapper. The V21 was more balanced, and not as bold as the V19.
After about 30 minutes, the leathery flavor became more pronounced, but not excessive. The subtle sweetness at the beginning continued. After another 10 minutes, I detected hints of molasses, which gradually faded during the next five to ten minutes. The remainder of the cigar tasted about the same as at the 30-minute mark, and was very enjoyable down to the very end.
It took me 85 minutes to smoke the CAO Flathead V21 Carb cigar down to just 1½ inches remaining. During that time, the cigar had good draw, held a long ash, and had an even burn. No relights were required, and only one minor/optional touch-up was applied at about the one-hour mark.
The CAO V21 is a very good to superior cigar worthy of a rating between 4 and 4.25 points on a 5-point scale. Recommended for more experienced cigar smokers, but at least some mainstream smokers would enjoy it, too! These are limited edition cigars, so get them while you can.
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer.