Cigar Review: Man O’ War

IMG_4059_thinSize: 6.5×52, Toro

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano

Binder: Nicaraguan

Filler: Nicaraguan

Strength: Full

Price: Box of 22, $128

Grade: 8.9

The Man O’ War received a lot of attention not too long ago, flying high the full-bodied flag that so many have waved recently. Manufactured at Tabacalera Fernandez in Nicaragua, this Man of a cigar was created by A. J. Fernandez, the man responsible for such popular blends as the Rocky Patel Fusion, ITC 10th, Padilla Habano, and the Sol Cubano Cuban Cabinet. Cigar.com has some great information on the uniqueness of the blend:

The secret to this full-bodied blend stems from its rare and expensive Habano Ecuador wrapper. The leaf is taken from the upper middle portion of the plant, known as viso, which is where some of the richest, oiliest and most coveted tobacco can be found. These viso leaves are then put through a three-year fermentation process that is personally overseen by Fernandez himself…Abdel then personally proportions the tobacco, since this blend is one of his most closely guarded secrets, to create an incredibly rich and complex cigar.

I received this monster smoke in a sampler from one of the online shops. It has rested in the humidor for over two years and at the urging of Matt, I fired it up one night while spending some time with my dad. The size of this smoke is a bit out of character for me but I am looking forward to the anticipated long smoke time.

Pre-light, 1.8:
The band on this cigar is very aggressive and fits the size of the large smoke very well. The Man O’ War had good weight, good construction, and a nice cap. The Habano wrapper was pretty smooth with one prominent vein and no discoloration. The pre-light aroma featured leather, some sweetness, and a hint of barnyard toward the foot. The cold draw was a blast of spice in the nose and the back of the throat. Everything about this smoke screams powerhouse.

Burn, 1.7:
The Man O’ War toasted well and started off with a super even burn line. The draw was dead on and the ash held very tightly for almost two inches. Going into the second third, the smoke started to burn in an uneven manner and then extinguished itself going into the final third. The smoke was cool throughout but the uneven burn and re-light caused some deduction.

Flavor, 2.7:
The first draw on the big stick produced a mouthful of tobacco flavor with some sweetness and spice on the finish. The first third of the smoke was a combination of roasted nuts, spice, and some cocoa. The second third was a bit darker, but continued with the above flavor profile. The final third of the Man O’ War was full of aged tobacco and spice on the palate. Though not as complex as I expected, the flavor profile was satisfying, though it did lack a significant finish.

Overall, 2.7:
I enjoyed this smoke, all two and half hours of it! With a price point of around $5.80 a stick, I think this cigar is a good deal. A.J. Fernandez really has a great blend with the Man O’ War and to be honest, even after the length of time it took to smoke, it was hard to put it down. There are some great deals on this smoke here and there online, so keep your eyes open and if you get a chance pick a few up let us know what you think after Toasting the Foot.

(Total: 8.9)

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