While CAO Cigars is often looked upon as one of the major pioneers in the realm of chic, contemporary brands for the modern cigar enthusiast, most hobbyists will be surprised to learn the brand dates back—way back—to 1968! One look at the brand’s clean logo or heavily-lacquered packaging would have one believing the brand produces futuristic electronics—instead of the time-honored practice of cigar craftsmanship; known for being steeped in antiquated traditions.
The brand was built by Cano A. Ozgener (C.A.O.), a Turkish-American engineer, whom offered primarily pipes and humidors until the brand finally caught attention as a cigar manufacturer during the great cigar boom of the mid-90s. Not only did CAO transform from pipe-makers to cigar artisans, but the brand has gone through enough manufacturing changes to confuse even the most diligent enthusiasts—changing hands from Honduras, to Costa Rica, to Nicaragua—and working with notable names such as the Plasencias, Perdomos, Toraños, and more! Eventually, the family-owned CAO was purchased by cigar juggernaut Scandinavian Tobacco Group—putting the Nashville-based brand on the world-wide stage.
Armed with with a heavy arsenal of ultra-premium and aged tobaccos from parent company STG, CAO now operates primarily out of their factory in Nicaragua. Here, the brand continues their focus on innovative smoking experiences, delivered through unparalleled marketing approaches. The CAO lineup is boiled down to four categories: Classic, Flavours, New Age, and World. This gives the brand the ability to cover the complete flavor profile gamut—offering traditional smoking experiences through the Classic line (Pilón, La Traviata, CAO Gold), imaginative and flavored experiences with the Flavours line (Cherrybomb, Moontrance, Solfyre), ultra-modern and unorthodox experiences with the New Age line (Flathead, Concert, MX2), and exotic offerings from the World series (Amazon Basin, Brazilia, Colombia).