During the 2012 STUDIO TOBAC Tour, attendees who purchased a box of cigars received a STUDIO TOBAC Limited Edition Sampler 2012, along with a chance to win a box of one of two event only releases: the Cain Special Release or the Cain NUb Daytona 460.

Says STUDIO TOBAC Brand Ambassador Bryan Scholle:

The Ligero used in this cigar is not at the same strength as most of our Cain cigars. It’s a very small batch of Ligero we had at the factory that we got our hands on. We have been sitting on it wondering what to do with it because we had so little. So this small batch release was perfect for it. This cigar is one of my favorites, it’s not a knock your socks off Cain F, but it gives you a lot of flavor.

STUDIO TOBAC Cain Special Release Box 1

STUDIO TOBAC Cain Special Release Box 2

STUDIO TOBAC Cain Special Release Box 3

STUDIO TOBAC Cain Special Release 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: STUDIO TOBAC Cain Special Release
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacalera Oliva de Nicaragua S.A.
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua Habano
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Size: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Vitola: Toro
  • Est. Price: $10.40 (Boxes of 12, $124.80)
  • Date Released: April 5, 2012
  • Number of Cigars Released: 80 Boxes of 10 (800 total cigars)
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3 

The cigar is very well rolled with a reddish brown wrapper that is devoid of seams and totally smooth to the touch. There is just a bit of oil present and it has a great amount of resistance when squeezed. The aroma coming off of the wrapper is a combination of strong espresso, oak, barnyard and earth along with just a tiny amount of pepper.

Starting out the first third of the STUDIO TOBAC Cain Special Release, and I am immediately struck with a great combination of creamy oak on the palate and black pepper on the retrohale. Other flavors include black coffee, leather, earth and toast . There is a very nice—albeit slight—raisin sweetness underneath the other flavors that really combines well with the other flavors making the whole profile better. Smoke production is insane and the construction is wonderful through the first third. Strength ends the first third just below medium, but does seem to be getting stronger.

STUDIO TOBAC Cain Special Release 2

Coming into the second third of the STUDIO TOBAC and the sweetness that was present in the first third has died down almost totally, leaving a very interesting combination of dominant creamy oak and peppery earth. The pepper on the retrohale is wonderful—just enough sharp pepper to keep you interested—but not enough to overwhelm any flavors. More flavors flit in and out: dark chocolate, bitter espresso, earth and even a small note of tea leaves. The burn and draw remain excellent, and the strength only gains a little, ending at a solid medium by the end of the second third.

STUDIO TOBAC Cain Special Release 3

The final third of the STUDIO TOBAC Cain Special Release retains much of the same profile: creamy oak and earth, with other notes of coffee and hay and even just a touch of floral. The sweetness from the first third is completely gone, but I don’t mind as much as I thought I would and the black pepper on the retrohale has remained at a constant level. Smoke production is still well above average, and both the burn and draw are wonderful. The strength ends the cigar just above medium, nowhere near a regular Cain F.

STUDIO TOBAC Cain Special Release 4

Final Notes

  • While I did not notice any sweetness in this blend after the first third, which was barely sweet, I decided to pair my second sample of this cigar with an extremely sweet drink, namely Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva (rum) and Diet Dr. Pepper. The combination is, shall I say, heavenly. The dichotomy of the creamy/pepper from the cigar and the overt sweetness from the rum/soda was the perfect combination. Seriously.
  • Both the STUDIO TOBAC Cain Special Release and the Cain NUb Daytona 460 will never be available as regular production release.
  • People who attended any of the STUDIO TOBAC events in 2011 could enter a grand prize raffle, which awarded a STUDIO TOBAC Scrimshawed Xikar Xi3 custom made by Rick “HutcH” Hutchings.
  • This cigar really did not have the overt strength of a regular Cain blend. I have to imagine the cause was the “Special” ligero that was used.
  • The construction was absolutely wonderful on both samples I smoke for this review, with not a problem to be had on the burn or the draw.
  • The finish is a bit dry, but not so much that it affects the enjoyment of the cigar.
  • There is no official price for the boxes, as they are given out. A few boxes have been sold on the secondary market with prices ranging from $100-125.00 per box.
  • These were first given out at a STUDIO TOBAC even on April 5, 2012 at Tampa Humidor.
  • The boxes for both the STUDIO TOBAC Cain Special Release and the NUb Daytona 460 are exactly the same, other than the different size to hold different vitola cigars. In my opinion, the look of the STUDIO TOBAC logo on the top of the box kicks major ass, and they should really think about using it again for other projects.
  • It’s much the same finish and style as the World Tour Sampler boxes, which means it also scuffs and scratches quite easily
  • Cigars for this review were provided by Oliva/STUDIO TOBAC.
  • The final smoking time for the STUDIO TOBAC Cain Special Release averaged around one hour and 25 minutes.
  • If you want to get some of the STUDIO TOBAC Cain Special Release, the only way at this point is to seek them out from someone who won them at one of the STUDIO TOBAC events, as they have all been given away, and sadly, no more will be made.
88 Overall Score

If you are looking for an overt sweetness in a blend, this is not your cigar. But if you are looking for a much better balanced Cain F blend with a bit less strength—you have found it. The STUDIO TOBAC Cain Special Release is creamy and peppery all at once, with a great retrohale and excellent construction. Like the rest of the Cain F vitolas, sans Lancero, this is not the most complex of blends, but I found it quite a bit more enjoyable then any of the regular Cain F lines. Is it worth seeking one out if you know someone who got a box at an event? Easily.

Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.