News: CAO to Show Left Coast Love


CAO is joining the regional release trend and pushing the cigar size barrier at the same time with a cigar slated for stores in the Western region of the United States.

The CAO Left Coast is a trapezoid-shaped cigar that measures 6 3/4 x 72, continuing the trend of large ring gauge regional releases from General Cigar Co., as La Gloria Cubana’s Gorda Gorda measured 6 1/2 x 64 and their Piramide Supra measured 7 1/4 x 62. Those cigars were released for the western and northeastern regions of the United States, respectively. While the two La Gloria Cubana cigars came in 10-count boxes, the CAO Left Coast will be packed 14 to a box with production capped at 400 boxes, for a total run of 5,600 cigars.


The blend for the CAO Left Coast is said to use a Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper, Honduran binder, and filler from Honduras and Columbia. MSRP is $8 per cigar, $112 per box.

Ed McKenna, CAO’s senior brand manager, said that the idea for the cigar was generated by Rick Rodriguez in conjunction with some of the company’s West Coast reps. A unique mold had to be made for the cigar’s distinctive vitola, and once that was done the project was off and running. McKenna noted it was a fairly quick process getting the cigar from idea to production, taking “just a few months.”

The cigar began shipping to retailers on December 5th. According to a source familiar with the project, the distribution will stretch well beyond the traditional West Coast states, with stores in Oklahoma and Texas being offered the cigar.

La Gloria Cubana and CAO have been two brands that General Cigar has focused specific attention on in recent years, including numerous new releases, increased social media presence and a team of individuals to give each brand a face. CAO’s brand manager, Rick Rodriguez, was formerly a member of Team La Gloria.

Initial details about the CAO Left Coast were reported on

Patrick Lagreid
About the author

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 the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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