Cigar Ratings & Reviews

#NowSmoking: CAO Arcana Firewalker

Reading Time: 4 minutes

#NowSmoking: CAO Arcana Firewalker Cigar Review (Video)

CAO Arcana Firewalker Review from Famous Smoke Shop on Vimeo.

CAO Arcana Firewalker – Cigar Details

Factory: American Caribbean Cigars, S.A. – Estelí, Nicaragua
Size: 6½” x 56 Toro
Strength: Medium-Full
Wrapper: Ecuadoran Habano Rosado
Binder & Filler: Nicaraguan Masatepe

Presented in boxes of 20 cigars

CAO Arcana Firewalker cigar review cigar for sale

The CAO Arcana Firewalker Back Story

2 cigars on top of the CAO Arcana Firewalker cigar review box

The CAO Arcana Firewalker follows last year’s CAO Arcana Mortal Coil, which was very well received. That cigar utilized a very old and unique Dominican method of fermentation called Andullo. Released in limited edition and in just one size, the CAO Arcana Firewalker uses a Nicaraguan aging method called Chincagre. Chincagre requires placing the fillers in a pilón that is buried deep in the volcanic soil of Masatepe. This allows the tobacco to age slowly locking in the natural sweetness and aroma of the leaves. Two months later, it gets nine more months of aging in the factory. For this Firewalker release only 5,000 boxes were made, all of which are reserved solely for sale in the U.S.

 

The Basics

closeup of the makeup and construction of the CAO Arcana Firewalker cigars reviewed

Construction: The cigar is well-packed and has some weight in the hand; very solid. Under the band, which takes up almost 80% of the cigar, is an attractive Rosado wrapper with a bronze patina. I like the little tail on the cap, which tears off easily and reveals a pretty good draw. In both my samples I could see how well they placed the dark tobaccos so perfectly in the center of the roll, often hard to see from the head (see the photo below).
Cold Draw: A combination of fennel seed and leather.
Base flavors: Sweet, earthy, nutty, spicy (brown sugar, leather, toasted almonds, cinnamon).
Aroma: Sweet (as confirmed by my girlfriend).
Burn & Ash: Textbook, with long very firm, limestone-colored ashes.

 

CAO Arcana Firewalker Cigar Review – Act I

CAO Arcana Firewalker cigar review part 1

Once lit, the first flavor notes out of the gate are a brown sugar sweetness, some leatheriness and a cinnamon-like spice on the finish. The smoke itself was very smooth on the palate and somewhere between mellow and medium in body. Once I was forced to remove the billboard-size band (you may opt to remove it before lighting), some toasted almonds-like nuttiness entered the mix. At this stage, taken altogether, the flavors were well-balanced, too, so I gave high marks to the first couple of inches.

CAO Arcana Firewalker cigar review filler tobacco placement in the cigar
In my first sample, after cutting the cap I was able to clearly see the center placement of the darker fillers, a sign of expert rolling.

 

CAO Arcana Firewalker Cigar Review – Act II

CAO Arcana Firewalker cigar review part 2

As I approached the proverbial sweet spot, I couldn’t help noticing that the burn and ash were about as good as it gets. At this point the smoke volume and body have also intensified giving it a dense chewiness. It was still sweet, nutty, and leathery, but shortly before the cigar began to cross into the final inches, the cinnamon spice was sharper on the finish and the body was medium plus.

 

CAO Arcana Firewalker Cigar Review – Act III

CAO Arcana Firewalker cigar review part 3

Pretty much a continuation of Act II. The spice has increased, but there’s a little less sweetness, while the leather and some nuttiness remain. Then the cigar did a 180. With about two-and-a-half inches left the flavors started to taste a little bitter. I considered putting it down when nuances of brown sugar and toasted almonds returned. A few more good puffs and I put it down on a high note.

 

What whiskey pairs well with the CAO Arcana Firewalker?

What drink should pair with CAO Arcana Firewalker cigar

I would go with a dark premium rum like Flor de Caña 12 Year to bring out more of the leather, nuts and cinnamon flavors in the smoke. A smooth, not-too-sweet Bourbon would do nicely, too. For more combinations, see our Cigar & Spirit pairing guide.

 

Is the CAO Arcana Firewalker cigar worth smoking?

The CAO Arcana Firewalker is a very big cigar with plenty of depth. It’s got a fair amount of dark, spicy notes, but less so than its Mortal Coil predecessor. In this blend it’s the sweetness and aroma that really shine. Taking the Chincagre aging process into account, one of the things that makes Arcana Firewalker unique is that you get to experience Nicaraguan tobacco on an entirely new level.

Newly initiated cigar smokers may want to pass on Firewalker, for now. Reason being, I think more experienced cigar smokers who like Nicaraguans from Diesel, Black Label Trading Co., Foundation, the more boutique-y type brands, will more likely be drawn to this cigar. Then there’s the price which, taking my own experience into consideration, I felt was justified.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

Show all Gary Korb's Articles
cigar advisor #nowsmoking cigar review of cao cameroon l'anniversaire - cover

#NowSmoking: CAO Cameroon L’Anniversaire

Reading Time: 4 minutes Released in 1999, the CAO Cameroon L’Anniversaire is considered a classic selection, and Gary’s got the scoop on the Toro for this cigar review. Dressed in bright new bands, has this medium-bodied box-pressed cigar held-up over time? Watch now and read all about it.

Read More
nowsmoking J Fuego Vudu Broadleaf cigar review Cigar Advisor Cover

#nowsmoking: Vudu Broadleaf Sixty by Jesus Fuego

Reading Time: 5 minutes We’re looking at Vudu Broadleaf Sixty, and it’s all about the Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper. Blended by Jesus Fuego, find out if this earthy-spicy wrapper does the all-Nicaraguan binder and filler core justice.

Read More
cover of introvert's guite to the cigar social life by cigar advisor

2021 CA REPORT: The Introvert’s Guide to the Cigar Social Life

Reading Time: 6 minutes Smoking cigars can be way more enjoyable when shared among the company of others. Whether you’re a shut-in or just don’t have the opportunity to commune with your fellow cigar smokers that often, here are some of the best ways available to get out of the house for your next cigar.

Read More
CA Cover cigar Binder tobacco

5 Things You Need to Know About…Binder Tobacco

Everyone talks about a premium cigar's filler and wrapper, but binder tobacco plays one of the most crucial roles in the blend - and this post explains why.
Read More