Earlier this year, General Cigar announced a new line in the CAO brand: The Arcana Series. The first to come out was the CAO Arcana Mortal Coil. The idea behind the Arcana series is to showcase secrets and traditional of old tobacco techniques passed down for generations. Mortal Coil is blended with Andullo tobacco, one of the oldest tobacco fermentation methods in the Dominican Republic. Instead of using a traditional pilon to ferment the tobacco, Andullo tobacco is wrapped in palm tree pods called “yaguas” and are then compressed with a rope. The old-world process takes two years to complete, much longer than a current method. The final product is rough and leathery. There have been a few other cigars to use Andullo tobacco over the years, most notably, Ventura Project 805, La Aurora ADN Dominicano, H. Upmann Hispaniola by Jose Mendez, and the VegaFina Fortaleza 2 Andullo.
This cigar was reviewed blind (no bands) by a panel of at least 4 reviewers. They did not know what they were smoking beforehand. The scores are an average of all the reviewers' scores with outliers removed. All of our cigars reviewed are shipped to the panelists with Boveda packs to ensure optimal smoking experience.
The blend uses a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, Connecticut Shade binder, and a fillers including Honduran Jamastran, Nicaraguan Esteli, Dominican Piloto Cubano, and Dominican Andullo. The CAO Arcana Mortal Coil comes in only one size, a 6 1/8 x 50 toro that sells for $10.99. They come in 20 count boxes and only 5,000 were made. It is rolled at STG Estelí.
Vitola: Toro Length: 6 1/8″ Ring Gauge: 50 Country of Origin: Nicaragua Wrapper: USA Connecticut Broadleaf Binder: USA Connecticut Shade Filler: Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua Factory: STG Estelí Blender: Rick Rodriguez Number of reviewers: 5 – Isaac M.(The Nothing) Estevan Z.(TheRealBanzi) John I. (John I.) Adam B.(Bushboi) Jason H.(Jokey Smurf) Price: $10.99 Age: 5 Months Release Date: Feb 2021 Contributed by: General Cigar
Initial Impressions – CAO Arcana Mortal Coil
“This is a dark and oily cigar. Darker at the foot and then washing out as it closer to the cap. It has a mixture of large and small veins throughout. Taking a closer look at the wrapper and I find a very fine tooth covering the whole cigar. It isn’t perfectly rolled, there are areas that one would call lumpy. There are visible seams but it seem to be rolled tightly and finished with a double cap.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“Wapper smells like leather, raisins, and sawdust. Very sweet subtle flavors that work nicely together.” –Adam B. (Bushboi)
Flavor: 94 Strength: Medium Body/Complexity: Medium-Full
“Upon lighting this cigar I am met with a heavy dry cedar. This is quickly balanced with an undefined sweetness. Pushing some smoke through my nose and I find a delightful cinnamon raisin note. At the halfway point of the third the cigar shifts into a more dark earthy profile. This stays around for the rest of the third. It is being driven by a baker’s chocolate essence that is complemented by a healthy dose of white pepper in the retrohale. All of this makes for a finish that is medium in length.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“Pre-light there is a lot of sweetness, very promising. Starts out very impressively. Velvety, mouth-coating smoke. Flavor right off the bat is rich roasty goodness. A very meaty smoke. Fifteen minutes in and I’m just very happy with this cigar. There are some robust spice notes wisping around, along with a good amount of upfront sweetness. Surprisingly easy on the retrohale, really smooth for a cigar with a fair amount of body. Potency continues to escalate throughout this third.”-John I. (John I.)
“The second portion of this cigar has the smoke remaining smooth and slightly sweet but there is also a bit bit of char creeping into the finish to go along with a hint of nicotine power. I’m finding it very interesting how the flavors are so smooth yet I can sense an underlying strength that is continually making me take stock of the cigar…this one is pleasantly tricksy. Through the nose, the intensity of the pepper blast is lessening yet lasting longer…so good at this point!” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“Black pepper, Leather, and a Dark chocolate bittersweetness on the finish. I can’t find anything negative to say about the cigar. Every aspect of performance is near perfection. The strength is definitely growing.” –Adam B. (Bushboi)
“Such a transition in this cigar. The sweetness has entirely left and now I’m experiencing full power with flavors of charred oak and earthy espresso. Through the nose, the peppery spice has faded somewhat but still is strong enough to leave my sinuses stimulated. The oily character of the smoke has me experiencing a long, savory finish that I’m really loving. The strength of the cigar is impressive and has me second-guessing my decision to drink water…some sugar would be ideal to counteract the nicotine! But then again, I like power and this is exactly what I like!” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“The final third brought back that meaty quality that I got only after first lighting this cigar. It was good umami and made better by the hint of pepper that was still along for the ride. The retrohale brought along the wood notes now, giving the cigar an overall good barbecue quality. It was a great way to finish out this cigar” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
Overall Impressions – CAO Arcana Mortal Coil
“This cigar drew very close to perfect. It created plenty of smoke each puff and allowed for a nice cool burn.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“Solid burn for the duration. Not exactly razor-sharp, but I rarely even noticed the burn line so, it certainly never became an issue.” –John I. (John I.)
“It’s rare when all I can criticize a cigar for is a single, prominent vein. That was the case with this cigar…excellent appearance and superb performance. Well done!” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
“Holy hell, three hours to smoke a Toro? Sure was! And it was a great one at that. It had great flavors, good transitions, and kept my interest going, somehow, for that long. The entirety of this cigar is better than its components. Each third, when broken down, doesn’t score as well to me as the entire experience. This isn’t a cigar I could smoke on a daily basis because, frankly, I don’t have three hours every day to enjoy a cigar. However when I find such occasion you bet I will fire this one up again.” –Isaac M. (The Nothing)
“A beautiful dark cigar with a lot of flavor profile changes. This cigar could be a problem for those individuals that insist on a perfectly straight burn. They might spend too much time worrying about the burn line and less on the overall experience. As for me, I could see myself reaching for this cigar as I’m out BBQing. There are some great transition and ultimately a wonderful cigar smoking experience to be found.” –Estevan Z. (TheRealBanzi)
“This one really did it for me. Pretty full-bodied. All the flavor notes that I most appreciate in a cigar, coupled with really solid construction. It wasn’t terribly complex, but there were some transitions in flavors, with sweetness early on fading a bit as it became more focused on dark notes of wood and roasty flavors. Without being too precise in terms of comparisons, this reminded me again and again of roasted or grilled meats. Maybe the ultimate after-dinner smoke.”-John I. (John I.)
“Overall this was a very good cigar. I will definitely be buying more of these in the future. I would advise smoking this after dinner on a full stomach due to the strength, however, you will not be disappointed in the flavors, construction, and overall experience.” –Adam B. (Bushboi)
“This was a cigar of three distinct parts and I loved each of them. A subtle entry followed by a steadily building power that I found enchanting and fully demanding of my attention, and my stamina. This may not be for the faint of heart but I would highly recommend this to the adventurous and nicotine tolerant smoker. If you couldn’t tell…I loved it, and I want more!” –Jason H. (Jokey Smurf)
"Holy hell, three hours to smoke a Toro? Sure was! And it was a great one at that. It had great flavors, good transitions, and kept my interest going, somehow, for that long. The entirety of this cigar is better than its components. Each third, when broken down, doesn't score as well to me as the entire experience. This isn't a cigar I could smoke on a daily basis because, frankly, I don't have three hours every day to enjoy a cigar. However when I find such occasion you bet I will fire this one up again." -Isaac M. (The Nothing)