CAO is undoubtedly one of the most coveted cigar brands in the world. Every piece of tobacco they make reflects an unwavering commitment to quality — one reason why I keep coming back for more.

Debuted in 2013, the Flathead is among the brand’s finest blends designed to appeal to car enthusiasts. A dark Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper encasing a rich two-nation interior lends the cigars a sleek and elegant appearance. With five vitolas to choose from, you’ll indeed find something that matches your palate.

However, when you thought that Flathead was a real treat, CAO surprises you. Introduced in 2015, Flathead Steel Horse is both similar to and different from its predecessor. The line features the same iconic flat cap we all know and love — only that this time around, it was inspired by popular motorcycle culture. Using an entirely new approach, the CAO took a step further to achieve a blend that will satisfy you or leave you wanting more.

Wrapper Origin: ConnecticutShape: Toro
Length: 5.75Ring: 54
Wrapper: HabanoList Price: $179.80 (Box of 20)
Origin: NicaraguaStrength: Full

Pull of Cigar

The Flathead Steel Horse Apehanger stands out from every angle with its stunning rustic exterior. A lovely Connecticut Habano wrapper firmly encircles the cigar, never letting any possibility of tearing. It sports decent oils, just enough to give the stick a shiny look highlighting its bronze color.

A beautiful pattern of non-protruding veins runs through the cigar’s length. The seams were meticulously sealed, concealing their existence to the eyes. Construction-wise, the Apehanger looks solid and has no weak points when squeezed. The band features an exquisite color scheme radiating simplicity and class.

As fine as the surface, its core possesses something impressive as well. Along with a Brazilian Arapiraca Binder, the cigar contains fillers from the Dominican Republic, Honduras, and Nicaragua. If CAO Flathead Steel Horse Apehanger isn’t a work of art, I don’t know what is.

Before the light-up, my scent picks up sweet dried fruit, hay, dark chocolate, and cedar from the shaft. A precise incision performed by my punch cutter allows the cap to slide off easily, providing an excellent draw. Notes of cream, raisin, spice, and earth dominated the cold taste leaving a nice impression on the palate.


As I lit the foot, a thick layer of smoke revealed itself and cascaded the first hearty notes onto the tongue. The grassy, woodsy flavor coming from the aromatic coffee beans took control of the start. I can recognize a touch of white pepper in the background, giving a little kick to the blend. After another puff, sweetness, and creaminess oozed out from the wrapper, enriching every note I am able to taste.

Although the start delivered less spice than I expected, the retrohale didn’t disappoint my senses. As the smoke enters my nasal cavity, heat spreads like wildfire, causing me to tingle. At this phase, the burn on the edges and interior seems symmetrical, requiring no touch-ups.

With a little more time to open up, the Flathead Steel Horse Apehanger advanced to the medium-plus range. A robust peppery note began to emerge, satisfying my desire for something spicy. As I sip from my black coffee, cinnamons joined the blend giving off a sweet and woody taste. The earthy note I picked up from the cold draw rounded out and melded with leather, creating an interesting flavor combination.

Several reviews across the internet said that their Apehanger lack complexity, so I stored mine in my humidor for months, which was a good idea as it unleashed its true flavors. Towards the midpoint, the initially woodsy coffee became creamy. Meanwhile, the spice on the retrohale became distinct — a sweet and spicy red pepper.

When the last third settles in, the excellent construction of the CAO Flathead Steel Horse Apehanger was highlighted. The burn never made a detour and maintained a straight burn path. Slowly, the ember consumed the stick, leaving a tower of silvery ash. A minor change characterized the flavor profile. While the earth took the lead, the cedar lingers in the background. Toward the finish, spicy undertones appeared — ending the smoke with waves of heat.


Flathead Steel Horse

From a visual standpoint, the CAO Flathead Steel Horse Apehanger is truly an attractive piece. Although the cigar’s luster intrigues you at first glance, it’s the perfect box-pressed figure and flat cap that entice you to dig into it. Also, I like the simplicity and elegance of the band.

The construction was spot-on. Never did the wrapper threatens to crack nor unravel in my entire smoking experience. The cigar’s razor-sharp burn, good draw, and stellar smoke production made it well worth the $9.00 retail price. I give it a 92-point rating.

Overall, I found the Apehanger to be loaded with a great deal of depth. It starts out medium and gradually progresses to a nearly full spectrum. Additionally, it had great flavors. I highly recommend it both to novices and experts alike.

Will I smoke the CAO Flathead Steel Horse Apehanger again? Definitely.

Other Cigars Reviews

Other CAO Cigar Reviews

CAO Flathead V770 Big Block

CAO Flathead cigar will evoke memories of the ‘50s and ‘60s muscle car culture. They come with distinctive and highly complex flavors and they are molded into unique shapes giving it an attractive construction. These excellent Maduro cigars are wrapped delicately in a Connecticut Broadleaf and made up of Ecuadorian/Connecticut binder which is accentuated by a Nicaraguan tobacco blend, leading into a smooth and slightly spicy taste. You can expect expert craftsmanship from this full-bodied smoke.

CAO Brazilia Amazon

CAO Brazilia, lauded as one of the brand’s premium offerings, boasts a full-bodied blend recognized for its exceptional quality and high market ratings. Crafted with superior Nicaraguan filler tobacco and binder, it’s distinctively sheathed in a dark Brazilian leaf from Bahia, contributing to its robust reputation. The flavor profile is a complex tapestry of earthy tones intertwined with a spicy palette, culminating in a sweet yet hearty finish with every smoke. This rich composition and satisfying experience have garnered much attention, prompting a comprehensive review of CAO Brazilia Amazon among enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike.

Other Nicaraguan Cigar Reviews

Acid Red Nasty

Drew Estate’s Acid line, renowned for its distinctive, infusion-rich flavors, continues to captivate aficionados of infused cigars despite some traditionalists’ reservations. The Acid Red Nasty stands out in this line, boasting an intense blend wrapped in Maduro, delivering a sweet yet robust flavor profile. Its appearance is notably dynamic, resembling a stick of dynamite, complete with a pyramid-shaped 52 ring gauge. The smoking experience evolves from a sweet, fruity aroma to a complex palate of floral, leather, and earthy notes, concluding with a unique cherry finish. Despite some inconsistencies in the draw and a potentially overpowering flavor profile in the final third, its solid construction and even burn contribute to a generally positive smoking experience. This review of Acid Red Nasty underscores its recommendation for those who appreciate complex, full-bodied tastes, especially fans of Acid’s signature sweetness and aromatic richness.

Tabak Especial Robusto Dulce

Infused cigars offer a diverse experience, blending strength with nuanced sweetness for a relaxing smoke suitable for mornings or afternoons. While some enthusiasts prefer robust profiles, mellow, flavor-infused options offer a delightful change, albeit at a slightly higher price point. The Drew Estate Tabak Especial Robusto Dulce stands out in this category, known for its rich, coffee-infused flavors and consistent quality associated with the brand. This particular cigar, crafted with a Connecticut Shade wrapper and infused with Nicaraguan Selva Negra coffee, delivers an aromatic, flavorful experience, complemented by its excellent construction and an hour-long burn time. Initially surprising with its sweetened cap, the cigar evolves to reveal a complex coffee dominance, maintaining a smooth, enjoyable profile throughout without any bitter aftertaste. Paired perfectly with coffee or light tea, it offers a unique experience for those appreciating sweeter, complex profiles, earning an overall score of 87 in this review of Tabak Especial Robusto Dulce.

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Glyn Caddell

Glyn Caddell