Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Honduran, Nicaraguan, Dominican
Size: 6 x 60 Gordo
Price: $13.50 ($10 online…I paid much less)
Actually, I can’t remember how I got a fiver. Did General Cigar send them to me? I dunno. I know I wouldn’t have paid $55 for them. I do know I’ve had them in my humidor for months.
Since I’ve been absent without leave, I thought I’d start with a blend that not a single reviewer has touched. I should add that there are 57 customer reviews on the C.I. website and everyone enjoyed them immensely. Don’t know how many were shills but still worth taking a look at. And if the cigar ain’t so hot, it gives me a chance to kick start my skills at being totally inappropriate.
I’ve slowly gotten back into puffing cigars in the last few days and my newly virginized palate found even medium body sticks to kick my ass. If I pass out from this full-strength huge tree trunk, then my hymen will be officially obliterated.
CAO Cigars does not show this cigar on their website. The usual big-time reviewers didn’t announce its release. So, the only info I found was minimal. No backstory on the blend but here is Cigars International’s P.R. statement:
“CAO has thrown their vest into the Mayan M.C. craze. Joining in, and also drawing inspiration from the FX series, Mayans MC, CAO set out to create a more high-end, single sized version cigar to pay homage to the show. Their creation is sure to become the king of the road.”
The rest of the PR hammers down on the beautiful 10 count box that the cigars are contained in. I guess if you like fancy shmancy boxes, this cigar is for you.
I checked out Cigar Bid and the cigars are going for a fraction of the online store pricing.
With all the detritus going on in the form of a million veins and visible seams, the wrapper is beautiful. That inner oil drum sheen just drips from my fingers. The wrapper is mottled with all the shades of darkness. It’s gorgeous.
There is the tiniest bit of tooth to the touch. The triple cap is expertly applied. This is a very heavy cigar in the hand. Feels like a stick of dynamite…more on that later. I feel a couple hard spots; but on the whole, it seems to have the perfect resistance when squeezed.
SMELL THE GLOVE:
Equally distinct aromas of dark chocolate and clove. Rich juicy Medjool dates give off a sweet aroma. Backup aromas are bitter espresso, black licorice, cedar, black pepper, charred ribeye, and black cherries.
The cold draw presents flavors of black pepper, dark cocoa, clove, black cherries, black licorice, espresso, malt, cedar, and barnyard.
The flavor starts with a gorgeous minimalism…charred steak, cocoa, heavy on the malt, black cherries, licorice, a slice of tangerine, black pepper, and cedar. Very nice.
Smoke pours from the foot. The draw is spot on.
There is a perfect and immediate balance of sweet v. savory. Fingers crossed that this balance is a portent of good things to come.
I gotta be honest…I expected this cigar to be a dog. And I was relishing the opportunity to rip it a new one as this is my first review in a while…and going for the jugular is a good exercise for the flabby brain.
But I gotta admit that the cigar has a very unique flavor profile. The strength is an easy going medium. The spiciness is totally held at bay so as not to overpower the early subtlety of this blend.
Something tells me CAO chose some nice tobacco combos. I love Brazilian leaf. It may be the key to the elemental uniqueness.
Oh yeah, the dynamite story…back in our senior year of high school, a bunch of friends and myself went on a cruise through the then desolate Orange County, CA. Back then it was mostly citrus fields and a never-ending field of dairy farms.
One guy was known as a crazy mother fucker. But he also was serious about becoming an Olympian. He ice skated for four hours per day. His parents rented out a rink for him and he’d start at 4am. Then go to school. He was truly dedicated.
As we passed open fields of dairy cows, Ralph yelled for the driver to stop. There were probably 5 of us in the car and we didn’t really pay attention to what happened next. Ralph ran out and over the fence into the cow patty field. He had something in his hand that none of us could make out. He ran up to a cow chewing on grass and placed something underneath the cow and ran like hell.
He jumped into the car and screamed at us to peel out. We kept asking what was going on and then moments later we found out. He placed a stick of dynamite underneath the cow.
The concussion of the explosion shook the car and poof…the cow was gone.
We were in shock. We looked at our ice-skating friend and screamed at him. He just laughed. That was a real buzz kill. We drove back to the rally point silently. We departed in our own cars, and no one ever spoke to Ralph again. Don’t know what happened to him but never saw his name on any Olympic roster.
OK. The cigar.
The char line is spot on.
Strength is still at medium. I was expecting a pepper bomb. But nothing could be further from the truth. The mild spiciness is in its own special place in the universe. A nice little kick, but nothing more.
Complexity has been building. The nuances and subtleties are in perfect harmony. Nice balance of flavors with nothing overpowering the other.
CAO has taken great pride in its Flathead series. And it appears they are keeping the ball rolling with the Mayan. I’ve had the cigars lying naked in my humidor for at least 5 months. Haven’t touched one. They are going cheap on Cigar Bid. I’m guessing that not enough word of mouth has given this blend the hot foot. And without a single review of this cigar always makes curious smokers see a red flag. This is too bad but good for consumers as it allows them to take advantage of lower pricing.
If I remember correctly, I paid around $4.50 each in a fiver online.
The flavor profile begins to waggle its tail as it veers into new directions. The meatiness quotient increases. There is Worcestershire sauce in the mix that is unmistakable. Sweetness emanates from black cherries, orange marmalade, and cinnamon buns.
Spiciness begins to increase.
I taste a nice sourdough breadiness. The candy Boston Baked Beans. Damn. It started slowly but is now visible with eyes closed shut.
Not a flavor bomb. Every component is just cruising yet making an indelible impact.
The first two inches just flew by. Yet it has been a good half hour or longer. I don’t look at clocks as they are the enemy to senior citizens. It either signifies that the cosmic alarm is running out or its time for my Haitian nurse to bathe me.
For being advertised as a full tilt cigar blend, it is surprisingly mellow…even though I know it is medium/full in strength.
The burn has been gorgeous and without complaints from this old man. The construction has been impeccable.
I can’t decide if this cigar is a tasty, marinated meat on a stick or an exotic candy bar. It wavers between the two like a pendulum.
I like this cigar.
But at the msrp of $13.50, it’s a no go. Even at $10, which is the going price online, it is probably worth it. But if you can snag it on cigar auctions for $5, this is the find of 2021.
There is no intensity. A very relaxing experience. Mellow yellow, baby. And yes, back in the 60’s, we idiot boomers all tried smoking banana peel to get high after the release of the Donovan song. Only got a headache, no buzz.
I just checked and there are three separate auctions on cigar bid for these cigars and they are going cheap. But remember that the caveat is I held on to them for 5 months before touching them. Do you have the patience?
“My Girl” by The Temptations. Every working cover band in the 60’s played this song. Great tune. Love Smokey. And then, of course, we segued right into In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.”
Van the Man is playing “Brown Eyed Girl” and I can’t help but tap all my fingers in unison to the beat and ignore the cigar.
I thought this blend was a big gimmick. Gimmicks always suck. Man, color me surprised.
The blend hangs at medium/full but is so balanced that it seems ungodly in its design.
I sense a touch of nicotine. I brace myself.
The character of this cigar is not sudden jolts. It is climbing an easy path to excellence.
I watched a YouTube video of The Beach Boys recording “Good Vibrations” in the studio. I was shocked to see that two basses were used…one a bass guitar. And the other was an upright bass. I watched dumbfounded as I saw the upright player using a pick on some of the parts. Why didn’t I ever think of this? It had a great sound. But using a pick had to take some monumental technique to get it right.
First sip of water and the bomb hits the 10 ring. Some cigars make my throat scratchy and constantly grabbing for liquid refreshment. This baby is so smooth that I haven’t taken a sip of water since I started 75 minutes ago.
Earth, Wind, & Fire. Who doesn’t love this band? But anytime I hear this song, a terrible memory comes rushing back. It was 1978 and my girlfriend of 6 years cheated on me and left me.
Two days later, she returned hat in hand. I was jubilant. I convinced her to take a ride up to Big Bear Lake. We got on a hiking trail and just talked. We got to an area we thought was secluded. She volunteered a BJ.
I’m standing there and after a couple minutes I look up to the rocks above and notice that there is another trail with about a dozen people standing and staring at us. The ride home was silent, and she went back to the asshole she had an affair with. I learned later that they married pretty quickly and then he died a year later. Karma comes in all sizes.
Such a delightful cigar experience. I thought it would rip my head off and vomit down my neck. I love being wrong. I can describe the cigar in one word: Balance.
If you like consistent blends that build slowly and never leave you wanting, this is a good choice.
I’m way past an hour and a half. And the dreaded nicotine never really materialized.
Oh God. “A Horse with No Name.” I don’t deserve this.
A sea of swarming simbas takes me by the hand and shoves me into a warm swirling vortex of tranquility with dust in the wind.
Not a flavor point out of range. Nothing linear going on. A joyful carpet ride into a woodchipper.
A deep, rich element presides over the blend. It goes inward. It doesn’t like what it sees so it returns.
The cigar never enters full tilt territory. It remains smooth as glass. Not a lick of harshness. And the black pepper knew its place throughout. I like that.
“The Boxer” by S&G. I love the sound of that bass harmonica used in the song.
This has been a long journey. With an inch to go, it’s been 2-1/4 hours. All of it damn enjoyable.
I was ready for a totally different experience. I had sharpened my tongue. I was ready. All of that dashed on the rocks.
You will like the Mayans M.C. by CAO. Solid cigar.
July 24 marked the passing of my mother, Frances. She’s been gone 53 years. A wonderful, loving woman who influenced me greatly. No idea what road my life would have taken if she had lived beyond my 18 years.
The photo was taken in 1947 when she was 21 years old. She married my father the following year.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS