CAO has officially launched the first cigar in its new Arcana series, dubbed the Mortal Coil. As announced by CAO last year, the Arcana series is set to focus on unique processes for the curing and fermentation of tobacco. Each cigar in the series will highlight a particular process, and the cigars will be blended to best display the flavor characteristics imparted to tobacco leaves by those processes. Here’s what you need to know about the CAO Mortal Coil before trying one out for yourself.
In the Mortal Coil, CAO has chosen to highlight an infrequently used curing method known as Andullo, said to be the oldest method still used in the Dominican Republic today. In the Andullo process, tobacco leaves are bound together using the leaves of palm trees. The resulting pods, called yaguas, are pressed with ropes multiple times during the initial stages of the curing process. The yaguas are then left intact for up to two years while the tobacco inside fully dries and ferments. The result of this process is a rich, fermented tobacco that displays both increased strength and potent aromatic qualities.
The CAO Mortal Coil uses this premium fermented tobacco as part of its filler blend, alongside Nicaraguan, Honduran and Dominican Cubano leaves. The cigar’s binder is made from Connecticut shade grown tobacco, and a dark, oily Connecticut broadleaf maduro wrapper caps off this wonderfully intricate cigar.
The tobacco blend used in the CAO Mortal Coil offers up creamy notes alongside an earthy sweetness. Despite its dark looks and heavily fermented leaves, the Mortal Coil isn’t as strong as other CAO cigars, especially the full-bodied Flathead series. With a medium body, the Mortal Coil provides full flavor without too much punch. While the refined and complex flavor makes this cigar a great choice for experienced cigar connoisseurs, it’s also approachable enough for beginners and intermediate smokers to enjoy.
The Arcana Series is the latest effort from CAO cigars and the General Cigar parent company to highlight unusual tobaccos and processing methods. The most notable example from the CAO portfolio prior to the introduction of the Arcana Series was the brand’s explosively popular Amazon Basin cigar. Initially announced at the ICPCR Show in 2014, the Amazon Basin introduced the world to Braganca tobacco. Other efforts from General Cigar to incorporate unique processes and tobaccos into their products include the 2019 limited release of the Macanudo Inspirado Palladium and the heavily aged ongoing Decadas series from Partagas.
The CAO Mortal Coil has already begun shipping to retailers. Only 5,000 boxes of 20 cigars each will be produced, and the cigar is restricted to sale in the US market exclusively. Only one vitola, a 6.125×50 toro, is being offered as part of the rollout.
While CAO has yet to announce plans for the future of the Arcana series, the uniqueness of the Mortal Coil is sure to drum up excitement among cigar smokers for the line’s future offerings. Be sure to pick one up soon, since the 5,000 boxes initially being produced likely won’t last long.