The recently announced Son of Uncle Sam project from CAO is getting a new name, as Rick Rodriguez told halfwheel that the project will now be known as Sinister Sam.

CAO Sinister Sam1

Rodriguez said the original name, a combination of Uncle Sam and the serial killer Son of Sam, wasn’t as well received as he had hoped and subsequently changed it. The project is being made in the same vein as the Angry Santa and Evil Snowman lines that were released this past winter, which were tweaked blends of the CAO La Traviata and La Traviata Maduro, respectively.

When he started at CAO, Rodriguez said he was asked by Dan Carr, president of General Cigar Co., what his favorite cigar in the line was, to which Rodriguez replied that it was the Brazilia. Carr encouraged him to create his own take on the Brazilia, which resulted in the CAO Brazilia Carnivale that came out in the spring of 2013. The Sinister Sam is Rodriguez’s take on the CAO America, though he didn’t say which component of the CAO America the Sinister Sam is based on, encouraging consumers to compare the two.


CAO Sinister Sam single-smaller

He also confirmed that pictures posted to his Facebook page in April are in fact the Sinister Sam release.

CAO 4th of July 2014

The CAO Sinister Sam, which measures 6 x 52, is still slated for release around July 4.

Update (May 15, 2014) — An earlier version of this story mistakenly said the Sinister Sam was based on the CAO Brazilia, when in fact it is based on the CAO America. We sincerely apologize for that mistake and any confusion it may have caused.

Update (June 3, 2014) — General Cigar Co. released pictures of the Sinister Sam project today, which have been added to the story. In a media advisory, the company noted that the blend  features CAO America’s Connecticut Shade wrapper and broadleaf binder, powered by a new, ligero-driven blend with a touch of Columbian tobacco. The wrapper also uses Connecticut Broadleaf, which the company describes by noting “Below the large band is a cut-out star.  At the bottom of the cigar, there is the America footband, and below it is the another cut-out star of broadleaf. The result is a unique smoking experience as the smoker progresses along the cigar from shade to a shade + broadleaf overwrap, and then back to shade with a hint of broadleaf at the end.”

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Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and previously the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for Major League Baseball, plus I'm a voice over artist. Prior to joining halfwheel, I covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.