A Relajado, a CAO Flathead, and a Byron Cigar

Relajado_RobustoThursday I revisited the Relajado Robusto, which is a house brand from Best Cigar Prices. The cigar is made by General cigar, the trademark rounded head gives that away.  Despite the band being pretty cheesy, and looking like a cheap bundle cigar instead of a reasonably priced boxed cigar, this was pretty darned nice. It reminded me a little of the Macanudo Cru Royal…a little…it has an Ecuador Habano wrapper and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. This is a mild to medium cigar that has some sweet leather flavors.  It burned OK, not razor straight but not needing correction. Nice smoke, but the band kills me on this, Based solely on presentation, I’d definitely pass this up on the shelf (figuratively, this is only available at Best Cigar Prices).  I’ve mentioned this to Jason there, so I’m not blind-siding him.  I hope to get up-state to Drums, PA to visit these guys one of these days. Thanks to Jason for sending these along to try, so far I’m quite impressed with the exclusive cigars from BCP. I really like the Six-Sixty and the Alec Bradley Star Insignia too.


CAO_Flathead_CarbA few weeks ago I lied to you.  I said that I had the CAO Flathead Big Block 770 in my humidor, when I actually had the Carb 660. I’m sorry, it won’t happen again.  I took Friday off from work to get some things done, and one of the things I got done was taking this CAO Flathead Carb 660 for a walk.  Our dog and I took a nice long walk while I smoked this 6″ x 60 square pressed cigar. I am going to have to bite the bullet and get one of the 7x70s just to complete the set, I suppose, as I really enjoy the dark roast coffee, cocoa flavors these cigars have. I think I like the Camshaft the best of the bunch, 5″X 56 is just an all around more manageable size and of the three of four sizes I’ve smoked I liked that one the best in terms of balance. I can make the assumption that the 7″ x 70 won’t be as good as the 6″ x 60, but I like to collect the data first hand.  That’s not to say I didn’t like the Carb, I did.  The square press makes it feel smaller than the 60 ring, and it burned unusually well. This line is loaded with Connecticut Broadleaf goodness. I know there are loyalists and purists who poo-poo the CAO line in the General Cigar era, but they are missing out. Rick, Ed and their team have really made some good cigars for CAO, and the Flathead line is, so far, my favorite. I purchased this Carb, as well as the Piston I smoked previously, and I’ll buy them again.


Byron_LondinesesSaturday was a rainy day, so my plans to do some yard work were put off once again.  I ran a couple errands and took a chair out to the garage and lit up a cigar I’d been trying to find a good reason to smoke since Dave Garofalo, of 2 Guys Smoke Shop, gave this to me at the IPCPR show last year.  The Byron line of cigars is made in Costa Rica by Nelson Alphonso.  Señor Alphonso is the gentleman responsible for most of the modern Habanso S.A.  packaging, the jars and humidors, all the fancy stuff. He started making cigar in Costa Rica under the Byron, Attabey and Bandolero marques a few years ago. I smoked the Byron Londineses, which is 5½ x 54.  These are seriously pricey cigars, they come in a beautiful ceramic jars, not unlike the Cuban special editions. As far as the tobaccos involved in these, it’s a big secret, but I seem to recall hearing that they color sort the filler leaves to make sure the flavor is consistent. This certainly adds to the cost of production.  I knew going in that this was a pricey cigar, but I had no idea it was a $30 cigar.  You know me, I’m a cheap bastid, I think the most I’ve paid for a cigar is around $12.  I did smoke this with an open mind and a clean palate and it was a wonderful cigar.  At one point, I swear I had a hint of buttered popcorn in the middle of the cigar.  It came and went quickly, but it was there. The rest was a buttery smooth, flavorful cigar that burned perfectly.  This was quite a nice smoke and I appreciate Dave giving me the chance to try a cigar I certainly wouldn’t purchase for myself.  I was told once that a small amount of Cuban product is allowed by law based on weight, so the heavier the packaging, the more Cuban ingredients could be used.  I found this to be hard to believe, and I haven’t been able to verify it, but I’ve smoked the Byron and Bandolero and there’s a little “Twang” in both that is reminiscent of Cuban tobacco.  Considering Señor Alphonso’s close ties to the Cuban cigar Industry, he certainly has access to Cuban tobacco, or he was able to find other tobaccos that replicate this profile. I don’t suppose we’ll ever know, and if anyone knows anything about this loophole in the trade embargo, please let us know!


That’s it for today. I’ll be looking for a cigar later today to either celebrate the Flyer’s victory, or console myself. I hate weekend afternoon games, I have so many better things I could be doing. I suppose if it’s rainy like it is today it makes it a little easier to handle.  Until the next time,






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9 Responses to A Relajado, a CAO Flathead, and a Byron Cigar

  1. Craig

    Once again nice reviews. I managed to pick up one of the CAO Flatheads myself last time I was at Old Oaks and plan on enjoying it this trip home. I do have a question regarding house blends for you. In your opinion/experience, which of the house blends from Cigars International do you prefer and recommend. Thanks.

    • I like the Man O War line, and, apart from the Ramon Bueso, I can’t think of any other of their exclusives I’ve smoked. Famous has some winners too, like the Inferno and their Romeo y Julieta Montague.

    • jjo

      Craig (and Craig), you should try the Rosalones by Joya de Nicaragua, which is exclusive to CI. Great smoke at a very affordable price.

      I still need to try that Flathead Piston.

  2. I forgot the Rosalones was a CI Exclusive….we were pretty taken with that last year in Nicaragua when we were told it was sold in Europe. That’s a definite must try.

  3. The Byron sounds completely fascinating – popcorn? Any other unusual notes mixed in there?

  4. Commish

    Thanks to all on their recommendations on the Rosalones. Always looking for a way to save a buck or two without missing the taste!

  5. Nelson Alfonso is absolutely doing something special based on my experience with Atabey. Now I need to light up my Byron and smoke it. I too wish his prices were a little more competitive,

  6. I’m glad I had the chance to try it, it was a very good smoke. Way out of my price range.

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