I saved the last cigarillo in my CAO Flavours sampler for the evening of the Winter Solstice. For Wiccans, Solstice is our seasonal winter holiday. Most of us do the more Pagany customs of Christmas, but we also do sacred ceremony to honour the Longest Night. I was especially enchanted by the beauty and magic of that this year, and already being acquainted with the Moontrance, I thought it would be absolutely perfect for the drive back from our Solstice ritual.
The Moontrance has a Dominican and Nicaraguan filler and binder and the signature Cameroon wrapper of the Flavours line. The colour is a golden Colorado shade and the wrapper is typical of the Flavours line also; which is to say that it is not at all veiny and the wrap is tight but not overly firm. Unfortunately the wrapper was a little dry and started flaking a bit even before I managed to remove the shiny blue ribbon that matched the blue-and-silver label and the (generally useless) cedar spill. I chalk this up to my storage and the flakes came loose when I peeled them without unraveling the whole cigar.
CAO’s handy little display card had this to say:
Moontrance is an intricate blend of natural exotic fruit and bourbon vanilla. Bourbon vanilla, renowned for its caramel-like sweetness, is mixed with Georgia peaches and other organic fruits. A splash of white Hawaiian honey is added for its tropical essence. This well-rounded extract is gently misted into a blend of mild Dominican tobaccos and finished with a Grade One Cameroon wrapper. Experience the magic of moontrance by allowing its taste and aroma to transport you into another world of pleasure.”
I’m not sure what the difference would be between Hawaiian honey and other honey products in a cigar, personally. I am enough of a honey snob to know that what the bees eat has a subtle effect on the flavour of the honey, but I am skeptical as to whether this would have any discernible effect on tobacco casing. Still it certainly sounds appealing when you put it that way! The wrapper note is mostly of that sweet honey and a bit of vanilla, with an element of something floral.
The first draw, if you like aromatics, is inviting. That floral element with its dash of vanilla quickly takes over from the honey – not cloying, though certainly strong – and somehow you are reminded of smoking a fine cigar in a grove of night-blooming flowers on an enchanted starry night.
Other than that it’s not really complex. I enjoy this cigarillo off and on as a change of pace from the “usual thing” anyway, so I evidently enjoy it. But its flavour doesn’t change much as you smoke it because of the flavouring. The beauty of this line, however, is that you do not lose the high-quality tobacco that CAO uses as the basis of their compositions. It doesn’t really need purging because of its size, and it never got bitter. The cigarillo lasted, like clockwork, for almost the entire trip home; again the stub went out beyond the point of relighting just as I returned to town.
All in all, I rather enjoyed it and I will continue to smoke these from time to time. However, I do have to mark this particular cigar down just a bit due to the flaking.
You can get these guys almost anywhere. Thompson Cigar has them for $49.60 for a box of ten; Pipes & Cigars has them for $72.69 for a box of 25; or an amazing $49.99 for a pack of 50 at Famous-Smoke.com.
And that’s a lady’s perspective!