Posts Tagged With: side project

Cigar of the month February

I decided to make February Fernandez month, all cigars I reviewed for this month are made at the A.J. Fernandez factory in Esteli, Nicaragua, a factory I have visited in 2015 and a factory that produces some of my favourite cigars.

The cigar with the highest rating last month are two cigars with the exact same score:

San Lotano Pigskin & Man’o’war Skull Crusher with a 94 score

Now as for the complete list of cigars I published:

1) San Lotano Pigskin (Nicaragua) 94 points
1) Man’o’war Skull Crusher (Nicaragua) 94 points
3) Ave Maria Divinia (Nicaragua) 93 points
4) Ave Maria Reconquista  (Nicaragua) 92 points
5) San Lotano Maduro Lancero (Nicaragua) 92 points
6) San Lotano Habano Lancero (Nicaragua) 92 points
6) Man’o’war little devil (Nicaragua) 92 points
8) San Lotano Maduro Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
8) San Lotano The Bull Robusto (Nicaragua) 92 points
10) Man’o’War 52C (Nicaragua) 92 points
11) Man’o’War Ruination Torpedo (Nicaragua) 91 points
12) Reposado Habano Salomon (Nicaragua) 91 points
13) La Herencia Cubana Perfecto (Nicaragua) 91 points
14) Reposado Maduro Salomon (Nicaragua) 90 points
15) Man’o’war Phalanx (Nicaragua) 90 points
16) La Herencia Cubana Fuerte Robusto (Nicaragua) 90 points
17) Ave Maria Churchill (Nicaragua) 90 points
18) Man’o’war Torpedo (Nicaragua) 90 points
19) Man’o’war Virtue Torpedo (Nicaragua) 89 points
20) Puro Autentico Maduro (Nicaragua) 89 points
21) Puro Autentico Ligero (Nicaragua) 89 points

 

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Manowar Anthology Sampler: Puro Authentico Maduro

Yesterday I wrote about the Man O’ War Puro Authentico Habano Ligero and the same story goes for the maduro. Originally a personal blend for A.J. Fernandez who released the cigars commercially after years of begging from Meier & Dutch.


The blend consists of the same tobacco as the natural, yet with another wrapper. Instead of using a Nicaraguan Habano ligero A.J. Fernandez chose a Pennsylvania Broadleaf Maduro to wrap around the Nicaraguan Habano binder and the Nicaraguan Habano ligero filler for this 5×44 corona.


The wrapper is dark, almost black, dry and a little rough. The ring is simple, just a glossy black with the silhouette of the Man O’ War mask. I love closed foots and a pigtail, so this cigar fits right up my alley. The aroma is medium strong, like dark chocolate in a farm field.


After cutting the cigar I try the cold draw. Surprisingly it’s good, even with the closed foot. I taste a little sweetness and a lot of spice. After lighting I taste a sweet earthy leather flavor. Soon I taste spice and pepper. After an inch I taste sweetness and pepper. Slowly the sweetness disappears while the pepper gets stronger and an earthy flavor shows up too.


The draw is great. The smoke is medium thick, beautiful white of color. The ash is white too. The burn is great. The cigar is strong, full bodied yet medium flavored. The smoke time is an hour and twenty minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Meh

Score: 89

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

Manowar Anthology Sampler: Puro Authentico Ligero

The Puro Authentico from the Man O’ War series were actually created as a personal blend for A.J. Fernandez and it took Meier & Dutch three years to convince A.J. to release these small cigars, a 5×44 corona, commercially. Both the natural, which I’m reviewing today, and the maduro, which will be reviewed tomorrow, are for sale nowadays in ten count boxes.


The natural version of the Man O’ War Puro Authentico Corona is made from Nicaraguan Habano ligero filler with a Nicaraguan Habano binder. The blend is the same as the maduro version, the difference is in the wrapper, which in this case is a Nicaraguan Habano ligero.


The oily wrapper is dark, if someone gave me this cigar and said it was the maduro version, I would have believed it. Only when I put it next to the maduro I see a slight difference. The ring is different from the other Man O’ War cigars, just a small glossy black ring with a golden silhouette of the Man O’ War mask. The cigar comes with a closed foot and a small pigtail, so that’s a plus. I smell a mild, peppery chocolate aroma.


The cold draw is non existing because of the closed foot. I taste chocolate and marzipan. After lighting I taste espresso, strong, bold espresso. After a few puffs I taste sugar. After an inch I taste an earthy flavor, coffee and wood. After a third some cinnamon joins the flavors. Halfway it’s earthy, with a little sugar and quite some pepper. Near the end it’s just earthy and peppery.


The draw is good, the medium thick smoke is white. The ash is dark, it’s not firm. The burn is great. The cigar is medium flavored, full bodied. Even though it’s a thin cigar and not too long, the smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? They come in the sampler, I want a few samplers so yeah.

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

Manowar Anthology Sampler: Side Project 52C

I’m guessing the C in the name stands for Chisel, although brand owner Meier & Dutch talkes about a wedge, and the 52 refers to the ring gauge. Maybe they cannot use the name chisel because it’s trademarked by La Flor Dominicana, who invented the shape and to my knowledge even have the patent to the shape.


The cigar, a 5×52 figured, is made with Nicaraguan Habano and ligero tobacco in the filler, a Nicaraguan Habano under and Ecuadorian Habano ligero as a wrapper. It was released together with the Little Devil and the Phalanx in march of 2012.


The wrapper looks smoother than the other side projects, less dry with more oil. It also looks like the head is a lighter shade than the foot. The shape is great and the cigar is well finished, the rings fit the wrapper.  The medium barnyard aroma is quite pleasant.


I cut a little slice of the chisel like cigar. The cold draw is a little tight, with a spicy raw tobacco aroma. After lighting the cigar is earthy with coffee and leather. After a centimeter I taste love licorice with some sweetness. The flavors change to earthy with cumin, burner and a little cinnamon like spices. The flavors are mellow and balanced. Halfway I’m getting a very unsuspected and unusual flavor that reminds me most of thick potato chips. That flavor disappears quickly and I taste pepper and sweetness. The final third is herbal and spicy with powdered sugar.


The draw is good. The white smoke is medium thick and full. The light colored ash is firm. The burn is straight. The cigar is full flavored and full bodied. The smoke time is an hour and forty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes I will.

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Manowar, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , , ,

Manowar Anthology Sampler: Side Project Little Devil

Released in march of 2012, almost four years after the birth of the Man O’ War base line and together with the Phalanx and 52C was this Little Devil. The cigar, I would consider it a corona, measures 5 1/2×44 and with that it’s the thinnest of the side projects. As a fan of thinner cigars, I’m looking forward to reviewing this, it’s one of the few Man O’ War cigars I haven’t smoked yet.


The cigar is made from extra fermented sun grown Habano tobacco from Ecuador as a wrapper, an Habano binder from Nicaragua and as filler A.J. Fernandez came up with an Habano ligero from Nicaragua and ligero from Honduras.


The wrapper is clearly sun grown, you can see that from the leathery look, the veins and the tooth. The ring is great, the regular ring with the classic side projects ring. I love the closed foot and the tiny pigtail. The cigar just feels good. I smell a mild barnyard aroma.


After cutting the cigar I find a great cold draw. I taste a mild sour and peppery aroma. After lighting I taste powdered sugar, coffee and some lime. After an inch I taste lime and pepper with an earthy base flavor. Halfway I get that powdered sugar flavor again and the pepper changed from black pepper to a strong spicy red chili. The final third has done cedar, a mild sweetness, earthiness and pepper.


The draw is great and the white smoke is thick and luscious like a beautiful curvy woman. The salt and pepper colored ash is flaky though. The burn is pretty good. The cigars is full bodied, full flavored. The smoke time is an hour in twenty five minutes.

Would I buy this cigar again? Yes

Score: 92
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Categories: 92, Manowar, Nicaraguan cigars, Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez | Tags: , , , , , ,

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: , , , , , ,

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: , , , , , ,

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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