Posts Tagged With: Manowar

Manowar Anthology Sampler: Side Project Skull Crusher

One of the four side projects, next to the Phalanx, 52C and the Little Devil, yet the Skull Crusher was the latest to be released. Where the others saw daylight in march of 2012, this Skull Crusher was born on january 2013. I have smoked a few before and this is my favorite ‘after BBQ’ cigar, because it’s so strong and full flavored you can still taste the cigar even after all the spicy BBQ food and sauce.


The cigar, which is a figurado, 5 3/4×56 and ‘club shaped’ according to Meier & Dutch. I would call it a perfecto, but that’s just me. The cigar is packed with ligero tobacco, Nicaraguan in the filler and an Honduran Habano ligero as binder. The wrapper is Pennsylvania Broadleaf Maduro.


First of all, I love the shape, it reminds me a bit of a feral flying pig, yet a tad less fat and without the pigtail. The dry leathery toothy wrapper has a nice dark soil color with a few veins. The secondary ring, black with gray and golden letters, fits the regular Man O’ War ring. The cigar has the aroma of dark chocolate.


I cut the cigar, the tobacco is a bit salty. There is no cold draw because of the glued closed foot. It takes a few puffs to get passed the closed foot and get a draw. I taste some sweetness, a mild vinegar and some cedar with a hint of pepper. After a quarter of an inch I taste honey with cedar. An inch in I taste a little honey, oak and cedar plus a growing pepper. After a third pepper is the main flavor, with cedar and honey on the background. The changes are now subtle, the wood, honey and pepper constantly change in strength.


After the first quarter of an inch the draw is fantastic. The smoke is white, thick and full. The salt and pepper colored ash is dense and firm. The burn is straight. The evolution of this full bodied full flavored cigar is good. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes! Yes! Perfect as an after (vegetarian) barbecue smoke.

Score: 94
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Categories: 94, Manowar, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Manowar Anthology Sampler: Manowar Ruination Torpedo

Less than a year after the so successful release of the Man O’ War series, Meier & Dutch and A.J. Fernandez came with a new blend, even stronger and bolder than the original. A blend that would blow you away, kill you and leave you ruined so the name Ruination was picked for the second Man O’ War release.


The cigar, of which I’m smoking the 5.7×56 Belicoso featured in the Anthology Sampler, is made from Honduran and Nicaraguan ligero with a Nicaraguan Habano binder. The wrapper comes from Ecuador and is of a Habano ligero kind.


The cigar looks tough, the dark, bitter chocolate colored wrapper with a leathery touch, the Man O’ War wing in darker colors, the fat yet pointy shape, well finished, it all makes this cigar look bad ass yet cool. The aroma is medium strong, it smells like manure and wood.


I used my butterfly cutter to take the cap off. The cold draw is good, I taste a little pepper and well fermented tobacco. After lighting I taste coffee, mild spicy, with some acidity and pepper. After a centimeter I taste soil with some sweetness. The sweetness slowly grows. Halfway I taste wood, cinnamon, sweetness and soil. The sweetness is balanced perfectly with the other flavors. The final third starts with vegetable flavors, a strong flower flavor, some wood and soil, all balanced and very nice.


The draw is good. The smoke is medium thick and full. The light gray ash is dense, firm with nice rings. The burn is good, quite straight. The cigar is medium full bodied, full flavored. The flavors are well balanced. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes, loved it.

Score: 91
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Categories: 91, Manowar, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Manowar Anthology Sampler: Manowar Torpedo

In the first part of 2008 Meier & Dutch together with A.J. Fernandez released what would become one of their success stories, the Man O’ War line, that has sprouted in many more lines and side projects in the last decade, but this blend with Nicaraguan filler, Honduran Habano binder and Ecuadorian Habano wrapper started it all.


The cigar comes in six different vitolas, from a 6×44 corona to a 7.1×58 salomon with a 7 1/2×52 double corona 5 1/2×50 robusto, a 6 1/2×52 toro and a 6.1×54 torpedo. I’m smoking the torpedo as that was the one in the Man O’ War anthology sampler.


The wrapper is a nice, medium dark, brown, in between milk chocolate and dark chocolate. The ring is the regular Man O’ War ring like described two days ago. The cigar feels good and is well finished. It has a medium strong, deep, spicy and peppery aroma.


Due to the vitola I have no other option than to cut the cigar. The cold draw is fine and I taste a little peppery raising flavor. After lighting I taste wood, coffee and a little nutmeg. After a centimeter the basic flavor is wood, with nutmeg, cinnamon and ground black pepper. The pepper is getting stronger with a bit of vegetable flavor joining the wood as a base aroma. After a third I taste soil with some sweetness too. The cigar gets stronger, more woody, more peppery.


The draw is great. The smoke, with a little brown glow, is thick and full. The ash has that same brown tarnish as the smoke. The burn is straight, the cigar is full bodied and full flavored. I smoked slow and it took me two hours to finish the cigar.

Would I buy this cigar again? Maybe, if they are on sale.

Score: 90
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Categories: 90, Manowar, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Manowar Anthology Sampler: Manowar Virtue Torpedo

Last year, in september, I reviewed the same cigar. I did that before I came up with the idea to review this complete sampler but I’m not going to change my plans because of that older review, let’s just call this a quick redux.


The Man O’ War Virtue line was releases only two years after the Man O’ War brand came to life, and it was the third blend that got released. The regular Man O’ War and the Man O’ War Ruination were strong cigars, this Man O’ War Virtue, with the Nicaraguan Habano filler and binder and the Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper was in a different league, the league of mild to medium cigars.


The light colored, almost pale, wrapper looks dry and brittle. The ring is the same as the other Man O’ War rings but in white and silver, making it more difficult to see what the picture is. The cigar is well made, it feels good and looks good. It has a medium strong hay and ammonia aroma.


The cold draw is fine, I taste dry, mild sweet and mild acidic raisin and tobacco. After lighting I taste a metallic dirt aroma. There’s also that classic Connecticut Shade mustiness. After the metallic dirt disappears I taste cedar, mild sweet, with that classic mustiness and a bit of black pepper. The flavors remain practically the same all around, except for a little metallic flavor returning at the end and the pepper grew in strength. In the dying seconds I taste some nuts too.


The draw is a bit loose and the cigar produces a lot of smoke. The salt and peppered colored ash is firm and pretty. The burn is straight. The cigar is medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and forty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Nah, it’s a classic Connecticut Shade, which I don’t appreciate

Score: 89
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Categories: 89, Manowar, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Manowar Anthology Sampler: Manowar Side Project Phalanx

The next 9 days I will be working my way through the beautiful Man O’ war Anthology sampler, a 9 cigar sampler with several Man O’ War blends and vitolas, released by Meier & Dutch and made in Esteli, Nicaragua by the famous cigar blender and factory owner Abdel ‘A.J.’ Fernandez.


The first cigar is the 6 1/2×56 Man O’ War Side Project Phalanx, made with a Pennsylvania Broadleaf wrapper, an Habano binder from Honduras and Habano fillers from both Nicaragua and Honduras. The cigar was originally released early 2012, I have no idea what the box code of this sampler is, but it has aged for minimum of two years.


The cigar looks intimidating, a dark, almost black, dull, leathery wrapper, add the big ring gauge and the length, the ring with the warrior with the metal mask in a brushed golden color, the red mohawk and an additional ring in black with gray blue banner saying Phalanx. The construction feels good, the cigar is well finished. The aroma surprises me, the cigar smells the way it looks, like dry leather and it’s not that strong.


The cold draw is a bit tight after cutting the cigar. I taste some gingerbread in the cold draw. After lighting I taste soil with gingerbread. After three puffs that gingerbread is gone, I’m stuck with the muddy soil. After half a centimeter the gingerbread is back.  After a third I taste wood with some sweetness, aspertam like, and a little spice in the aftertaste. Halfway the flavors are a bit milder and there’s a bit of a low quality milk chocolate too. Slowly some spices show up, some pepper and cumin. The base flavor is woody. Near the end I taste licorice and some mint.


The draw is fantastic. The smoke is medium thick but not exactly white.  The ash is though, and its firm too. The burn is amazing. The cigar is medium in both body and flavor. There isn’t enough evolution to satisfy me. The smoke time is two hours.

Would I buy this cigar again? I like the cigar but dislike the vitola, it’s too thick for me.

Score: 90

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Categories: 90, Manowar, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Manowar Virtue Torpedo

I had this Manowar Virtue in my humidor for some time now but always left it alone because of the Ecuadorean Connecticut Shade wrapper, a type of wrapper I used to hate. Yes, you read it right, used to hate because since a few months I find myself enjoying the Connecticut shade wrapper more than I ever did, much to my own surprise so tonight I decided to finally grab this Manowar Virtue.


I do have some experience with the Manowar brand, made by A.J. Fernandez in Esteli, Nicaragua in a state of the art, huge & modern factory of which I had the pleasure to visit once. I smoked the regular Manowar, the Ruination and some of the side projects but as said before, never this Virtue which is supposed to be the smoothest of them all due to the wrapper.


I still don’t like the look of Connecticut Shade, it’s pale and looks like a cigar turned sick.  The construction of this 6 1/2×52 torpedo looks and feels good though although the cap isn’t placed completely straight. The ring is beautiful, the mask that’s on all Manowar cigars but this time in silver and white with dark blue letters Virtue. The aroma is quite strong and reminds me of a barnyard and a hay stack.


I cut the cigar with my butterfly cutter and get a fabulous cold draw. I taste some mint with dry tobacco and pepper on my lips. After lighting the cigar with my soft flame I taste the classic mustiness from Connecticut Shade but with some sweetness and a bite. The sweetness is pure cane sugar and I also taste autumn leaves but with some harshness in the back of my throat. The harshness disappears soon and I taste nutmeg instead. After a third I taste some dry hay with white pepper and still a little sweetness, but no longer that strong cane sugar anymore but more like a mild stevia sweetness. Halfway I taste mild spicy and sweet wood and peanut shells, which is pretty nice. The sweetness turns sugary again and grows in strength


The draw is perfect, smooth and open. The smoke is medium thick and medium in volume. The salt and pepper colored ash looks flaky but is still quite firm. The burn is quite straight. LThe cigar is smooth indeed, mild to medium bodied and medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and twenty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? No, it’s not a bad cigar though and it is a confirmation that Connecticut Shade is growing on me but not enough to justify buying more.

Score: 89

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

Cigar of the month December

The final month of 2017 so the final ‘cigar of the month’, tomorrow I’ll be posting my top 25 but for now I focus on what December 2017 brought me.

The cigar with the highest rating last month is:

Plasencia Alma Fuerte Generacion V with a 93 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) Plasencia Alma Fuerte Generacion V Figurado (Nicaragua) 93 points
2) Viking Nordic Warrior Churchill (Dominican Republic) 93 points
3) C.A.O. Amazon Basin Toro (Nicaragua) 92 points
4) Cornelius & Anthony Señor Esugars (Nicaragua) 92 points
4) Bespoke Tradicional Cottontail (Dominican Republic) 91 points
6) Punch Platino Double Corona (Cuba) 90 points
7) Xiphos Habano Lonsdale (Costa Rica) 90 points
8) Colon Lancero (Panama) 89 points
9) C.A.O. Angry Santa Toro (Nicaragua) 89 points
10) Manowar Virtue Toro (Nicaragua) 89 points
11) C.A.O. Evil Snowman (Nicaragua) 87 points

Categories: Cigar of the month | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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: , , ,

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