Manowar Virtue Toro

Years ago, before I worked in the cigar industry, I used to order some Meier & Dutch cigars in America, cigars like the Diesel Unholy Cocktail, Manowar, Reposado and a few others but once I started working for a Dutch distributer I couldn’t do that anymore for a couple of reasons, first one that it’s illigal to import tobacco without a license, secondly that I needed to keep all my customers, the shop owners, happy and ordering online from America was a needle in their eye. But damn, how I missed my Diesels and Manowars.

I started bugging my employer to see if he could import and distribute them. He said “Meier & Dutch is part of STG, they will never allow it” but after more pushing and handing him all contact info he decided to send a mail. A few weeks later I ran into Alex Svenson, general manager of Meier & Dutch, in Nicaragua and that settled the deal. STG saw our success and is now starting to distribute those cigars in other European countries too. Late september the Manowar Virtue was introduced to the Dutch market and Alex handed me this one in person.

The Ecuadorian Connecticut Shade wrapper is silky and smooth without veins and the triple cap looks good. The construction feels fine. The cigar has a strong hay and straw aroma with some ammonia or something else acidic. Now I used to be a avid opponent of Connecticut Shade tobacco, but the last few months I finally started to enjoy it, so I’m looking forward to this cigar. The ring is the regular manowar ring, but in silver and white and that makes the mask quite hard to see. An other color combination should have worked better but on the other hand, the combination looks good with the pale wrapper.

I cut the cigar with my Xikar cutter, the cold draw is fine but I don’t taste a lot. After lighting I taste a mild coffee flavor, mild sweet and a little rough around the edge. After a centimeter the cigar remains mild, a little coffee, sweetness and a little pepper. The mild harshness I tasted is completely gone. Halfway The cigar is very creamy with a little vanilla and a little pepper. Near the end the pepper grows in strength, it’s white pepper.

The draw is good, could have been a hair tighter to be perfect. The smoke is thick, full and plentiful. The light gray ash shows clear rings. The burn is razor sharp though. This cigar is mild, both in flavor and body. It’s also a quite monotone cigar. The smoke time is about and hour and a half.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, this is too mild for me, and not enough flavor.

Score: 89

Categories: 89, Manowar, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , , ,

Manowar Side Project Phalanx

This is another A.J. Fernandez made cigar for Maier & Dutch in the beautiful factory in Esteli, Nicaragua. I had the opportunity to visit the factory and I was impressed by the sheer size of the facility. Like the name says, it’s a side project from the successful Manowar cigar series. I got this one from the Manowar sampler and the previous side project from that sampler blew me away so I have high expectations.
The cigar is big and dark, it looks like it’s not for the faint of hearted. I feel a dent behind the band, but the construction feels good otherwise. The dark wrapper is smooth and oily. The cigar has a nice aroma, a mixture of dark chocolate and barnyard. The predraw is fine, I taste raisin and then loads of pepper in the aftertaste.
I taste coffee with some chocolate bitterness and sweetness while there is a little bit of pepper in the aftertaste. After half an inch it’s like 65% dark chocolate with a little bit of citrus and some wood. The pepper in the aftertaste is growing in strength. After two centimeter I taste spices, pepper, sweetness and a little bit of that chocolate bitterness.
After a third it’s spicy wet wood, lots of pepper and some sweetness. The acidity returns with that mild chocolate bitterness. The pepper isn’t that strong anymore, but it returns. This cigar is pretty dynamic. The chocolate like bitterness mellows out and gains strength all the time, it’s like a roller coaster in strength. The pepper throws punches.
The draw is fantastic and the smoke is ok, a good amount of smoke but not thick enough to be great. The ash is light but firm. This cigar is full bodied and full flavored. The burn is great. The cigar lasted me well over 2 hours.
Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, but I’ll buy the skull crusher more often.

Appearance: 9
Construction: 9
Draw: 9
Burn: 8
Smoke & ash: 7
Aroma first part: 8
Aroma second part: 8
Aroma third part: 8

Categories: Manowar, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , ,

Man’o’war side project Skull Crusher

Yeah, another ‘skull’ cigar, a movement started with the Skull & Bones from Viaje, followed by the Surrogates Skull Breaker and now this Manowar Side Project Skull Crusher. Like all Manowar cigars these are made by A.J. Fernandez in Esteli, Nicaragua exclusively for Maier & Dutch, the wholesaler affiliated with cigars international.
This perfecto with a closed food and closed head looks rugged and rustic with a dark leathery wrapper but it fits the name of the cigar. I like it to be honest. The construction feels good and the cigar has an earthy aroma you find on some barnyards. With a closed foot it’s impossible to predraw, so I didn’t even bother to try.
I taste espresso, quite spicy and strong as you would expect from a cigar with this name. After a few puffs it’s mainly pepper with toast but still some coffee on the background. The flavors then slowly change to oak, plenty of pepper and some lemon on the background. After an inch it’s mostly pepper with lemon in the aftertaste, it’s a good old fashioned pepper bomb.
After a third I get some oak flavors again, the pepper is still leading even though it toned down a bit. A few puffs further i also taste a bit of nutmeg. Halfway I taste a little bit of sugar too, very faint though. The pepper gets accompanied with a nice spice mix of nutmeg, cinnamon and more of these kind of spices, with that sweet and sour lemon as the aftertaste. Near the end the pepper gets stronger, like a hot habanero pepper or a madam Jeanette from Surinam.
The draw is fine, especially considering the vitola. The smoke is thick and plentiful. At the beginning I had some burn issues, but that might be the vitola because afterward the burn was good. The ash is light gray and firm. The cigar lasted me for an hour and a half.
Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, most certainly. This is the perfect post barbecue cigar.

Appearance: 8
Construction: 9
Draw: 9
Burn: 7
Smoke & ash: 8
Aroma first part: 8
Aroma second part: 8
Aroma third part: 9

Categories: Manowar, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , ,

Man’o’War Special Edition Figurado

A while ago a Dutch friend called me and told me “monster deal of the day, Man O’ War special editionfigurado for just 50 bucks, I’m ordering a box, do you want one too?”. I jumped the gun, as I was dying to try these. I love the regular Man O’ War cigars, as a matter of fact, I like almost all A.J. Fernandez cigars, and this Man O’ War special edition figurado combines the Man O’ War blend with the Man O’ War ruination Habano wrapper. The cigar is a 7.1×58 figurado and comes in boxes of 10.
The wrapper is dark, oily and silky with a few veins. I love the figurado shape. The cigar has a strong barnyard smell. The construction feels good. The predraw is fine and tastes peppery.
I taste wood and nuts with pepper. The wood and pepper are the dominant flavors. The nut flavor disappears after ¾ inch and the pepper becomes less strong. On the background I taste a little bit of chocolate.
The cigar turns flat, but pleasantly flat. Halfway I taste some herbs with pepper and wood, quite strong and full. After two thirds I get a lot of black pepper with some wood on the background.
This cigar has a smoke time of an hour and forty minutes. The draw is great and the burn is phenomenal, usually I have issues with figurados but this burn was straight as an arrow from the start. The ash is almost white and firm. This cigar is full flavored and full bodied.
Would I buy this cigar again? Next time when they are ‘deal of the day’ I’ll have to pick up a new box

Appearance: 8 / 10
Construction: 8 / 10
Draw: 8 / 10
Burn: 9 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 8 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Manowar, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , ,

Man’o’war corona

The Man O War is a creation by AJ Fernandez, who used to be an apprentice of the godfather of tobacco, Alejandro Robaina. Fernandez left Cuba and started to work his magic for others like Rocky Patel and is creating his own cigars now like this Man O War, Reposado, Nica Libre and Diesel Unholy Cocktail, but he is also responsible for the Rocky Patel Fusion, ITC and Padilla Habano blends.
This 6 x 44 Corona has a nice silky wrapper with some tough looking veins. The construction feels good and the cigar has a strong barnyard aroma. The predraw is good and tastes peppery. Just by wetting the cap before punching it, I got a peppery flavor on my lips.
I taste wood, espresso and pepper, all quite strong. The espresso disappears and I am left with a bit of wood and a lot of pepper. After two inch I get some chocolate on the background and the flavors become less spicy.
Halfway the wood and pepper lose the chocolate but get accompanied by some nuts and earthy tones a bit later. At the ⅔ mark the nuts disappear too but the earthy tones stick with the wood and pepper.
I got a lot of thick smoke from this cigar. The compact ash is almost white and the burn is good. This cigar is full bodied and full flavored, but that seems to be a AJ Fernandez signature.
Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, this is a very nice cigar and they are on sale at the daily deal sites regularly.

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 7 / 10
Smoke & ash: 8 / 10
Aroma first part: 7 / 10
Aroma second part: 7 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Manowar, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , ,

Man’o’war ruination robusto 2

Adampc22 gave me this cigar when he came to Amsterdam to herf because he knew that I liked the ManOWar but never had a Ruination. The cigar he brought me came from the original Ruination release with the normal ManOWar band, the newer releases have an slightly different band.
This 6 x 60 monster has a nice dark and oily wrapper with a few big veins that make it look rough and tough. The cigar has a strong barnyard aroma and the construction feels good. I can taste raisin at the predraw.
The first flavor I recognize is coffee with a hint of creamy chocolate, but the chocolate disappears straightaway. I also taste some pepper and a flavor I don’t recognize. After an inch the creamy chocolate returns with some pepper while all the other flavors fade away.
After 2 inches the pepper disappears and the chocolate becomes milder. I can also taste an ashy flavor. At the 2/3rd mark I taste some wood with a mild creamy chocolate far on the background.
I get plenty of smoke, but it’s quite thin. The burn is great, sharp as a razorblade, no burn issues whatsoever and the cigar doesn’t burn to hot or quick. This medium flavored full bodied cigar lasted me 90 minutes. It gave me a bit of a nicotine rush.

Would I buy this cigar again? No. I was unimpressed my it. I do like the normal ManOWar though..

Appearance: 7 / 10
Construction: 7 / 10
Draw: 7 / 10
Burn: 8 / 10
Smoke & ash: 7 / 10
Aroma first part: 6 / 10
Aroma second part: 6 / 10
Aroma third part: 7 / 10

Categories: Manowar, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , ,

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