It feels like a lifetime since I last smoked a C.A.O. Moontrance. Not because I had lost interest in the bourbon vanilla and peach-infused cigar, but because I had quite frankly forgotten about the blend.
Like many stogie smokers, infused cigars really aren't my thing... at least most of the time.
However, I do remember enjoying the premium cigar blend that is Moontrance immensely back in the day. There's a reason why C.A.O.'s infused "Flavours" portfolio is still around after more than two decades, and remains one of the manufacturer's hottest selling product lines.
So one soggy winter afternoon, I strolled down to the park bench next to my house, to see if this cigar still offered as much enjoyment as I remembered. A decision that did not disappoint...
Encapsulated in a cedar tube with a color-matched blue ribbon surrounding its foot, the corona size of this smoke looks rather snazzy. Peel that tube away and you are rewarded with a nut-brown Cameroon wrapper, where in which the secrets to that C.A.O. infusion process lie.
Take a snort of any section of this cigar and your honker will be blessed with all of the bourbon vanilla and peach bliss boasted on the C.A.O. website. It's an intoxicating blend of aromatics, and one that you will be tempted to get a whiff of again and again.
The wrapper is a fairly dry-looking (and feeling) outer leaf too. One that clasps tight to the Connecticut Broadleaf binder beneath, creating a roll that almost feels too tight at first touch.
The first puffs of Moontrance hold true to its aromatherapy-inducing infusions. There's peach, vanilla, and a welcoming cedar dryness, surely from the extended exposure of the wrapper to the cedar sheath.
Underneath it all, a subtle caramel essence begins to emerge. This is joined by a peanut-like toastiness, likely from the Cameroon wrapper. Slightly dry, with a hint of sweetness, the first portion of the stick offers a grand showing.
While the fruity peach and exotic fruit-like flavors fade a bit by the halfway mark, the vanilla decides to make a grandiose return. This is supported by familiar Cameroon tobacco flavors of earth, tree nuts, and buttery shortbread.
The cedar is still present, but in more of an aromatic fashion by now, and the balance it provides is just the ticket.
Nearing the end of the corona-sized Moontrance, brings with it a traditional Cameroon-wrapped cigar flavor profile. The infusion flavors have nearly dispersed, leaving behind little more than an intoxicating aroma and a tasty Cameroon stogie.
That's perfectly fine for a cigar smoker like me. This far into a cloud of smoke, and I don't know if I could take any more infusion flavors. No matter how well-blended and tasty they might be.
Ash / Burn / Smoke / Draw
It may have felt like a tight roll, but this corona-sized smoke pulled alright. It wasn't cumulus cloud levels of smoke, but I didn't find myself wanting either. However, the draw was still a tad tight, so I found myself massaging the shoulder a bit to loosen things up.
Incineration was outstanding on this cigar, with a finely lined burn, and impressive ash development being the most notable attributes.
As a guy who claims he isn't really into flavored/infused cigars, revisiting Moontrance by C.A.O. was a wise decision. There's a reason why this particular blend, as well as its unique infusion, have made Moontrance a best seller for C.A.O. for so many years.
The balance this cigar incorporates into every pull is pretty damn near perfect, and I like how the cigar is just a shy bit sweet. The fruitiness and vanilla notes are notable enough that they can be enjoyed, but do not overpower, allowing the flavors of that Cameroon wrapper to take the lead.
All told, this was a fantastic little infused cigar. So if you are like me, and tend to avoid infused cigars, this is one that deserves to be sampled at some point. Just don't tell your old-school ligero-smoking uncle...
Cameroon (infused w/ bourbon vanilla and peaches)
General Cigar (Dominican Republic)
5.25 x 42 Corona
Herb Tea Spiked w/ Rum Cask Conditioned Single-Malt Scotch