March 27, 2007 It’s the first intelligent travel humidor and the result of two and a half years of hard labour by CAO CEO Tim Ozgener. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect is that it’s just the packaging for the Vision Cigar which has been four and a half years in the making. The CAO Vision Sensi-Box is a showcase, travel cigar box and humidor. It will keep your Vision cigars at 68-72% relative humidity for up to three months before needing a Humidipack refill, and the AAA batteries that power the electronics that regulate the humidity and power the theatrical blue LED lights will last longer with moderate usage. Spacers inside the box adapt it to each type of cigar and a neoprene travel bag protects the box against scratches.
The story of the Vision and the Sensi-box is told on Ozgener’s Ozblog.
“We had been working with my friends at La Aurora, SA on our sub-brand, “flavours by CAO” since 2001. I’d visit Guillermo Leon who would always ask, “Eeeh, Tim, when can we work together on a non-flavored CAO line?” “Send me samples,” was always my reply, which they would then send. We received tons of samples from them, and we sincerely wanted to work with them to produce CAO’s first Dominican cigar. “Four and a half years and over 200 cigar samples later, a blend called #7 came across my desk. I had described the kind of cigar we were looking for in a Dominican blend. I was searching for a full flavor profile with notes of sweet spice in the family of cinnamon, nutmeg (among others) and balanced with white pepper. I was looking for a mouthful of textured, thick smoke that expanded through the palate slowly. I was looking for a cigar that was subtle, complex and expansive and that would leave a pleasant finish. We also wanted an oily, flavorful Dominican wrapper. The #7 blend had all these qualities and I knew it was the blend we had been looking for. “When I told Jose Blanco (of La Aurora) which blend number we had selected, his reaction was, “Oh shit. I’m looking at my notes here-that’s going to be tough! That is a very difficult wrapper to obtain a good yield on and it takes a long time to ferment. I’m not sure what can be done. This will have to be very, very limited.” “I have no problem with that,” I said. “I love the blend and it’s what we’ve been waiting for. Let’s figure out a way to make this work.” After many conversations and debates in house and with La Aurora, we decided that CAO Vision would be released three times a year. The wrapper would have its time to ferment, the fillers were all already well-aged, and then once the cigar would be rolled, it would rest for six moths in a highly aromatic Spanish cedar room. The tobacconists who believe in us and trust our track record on delivering excellence would sign up for the product and be willing to wait for the sake of quality. Since the cigar was so special to us and was going to be fermented and aged in a very specific manner, we wanted the box to essentially guarantee that the cigars would be maintained at an optimum level. Each Vision box would contain a 60 gram Humidipak that would regulate the cigars at 69 % humidity. Once the Humidipak became firm to the touch, it’d be time to replace it with a new one. The decision was also made to assign a serial number to every single cigar to ensure its authenticity and to go towards preventing any potential counterfeiting."