Man O' War
Cigars, like women, come in various shapes and sizes
Over the many cigar reviews I have done for Bullz-Eye, I always describe the shape and size of the cigar that I am reviewing. I have been asked questions like, what is a Toro vs. a Robusto? So starting with this entry, I try to offer some sound guidelines on how to discuss cigars in the language of the cigar realm.
Cigars have two primary profiles when it comes to shape and size: straight-sided, which vary by length and thickness; and figurados, which are more “shapely,” and whose thickness may vary along the length of the cigar (e.g., a torpedo). This entry will focus on the more common straight-sided variety, and my next entry on the figurados.
The cigar industry standards, or lack thereof, provide the manufacturer a fair amount of freedom in classifying the shape and size of the smoke. The following descriptions attempt to provide a “rule of thumb” classification among straight-sided cigars. Throughout history, certain sizes tend to go in and out of fashion with the smoking public.
Robusto – One of the favorite sizes of today’s smoker. It is typically 5 to 5½ inches long with a ring gauge at or very near 50.
Rothschild – A short robusto style cigar, 4 to 4½ inches long and 48 to 50 ring gauge.
Corona – Typically 5½ to 6 inches long with a ring gauge in the 40 to 42 range.
Petit Corona – A short version of the corona, roughly 4½ inches long and 40 to 42 ring gauge.
Double Corona – The standard is 7½ to 8 inches long and 49 to 52 ring gauge.
Toro – A 6-inch cigar with a 50 to 52 ring gauge (a personal favorite)
Lonsdale – The classic size is 6¼ inches and 42 to 44 ring gauge.
Panatela – This refers to a cigar that is at least 5 inches long that has a very thin ring gauge (34 to 39). The longer (7-plus-inch) panatelas are also sometimes referred to as lanceros.
Churchill – This 7-inch cigar is named after Winston Churchill. He preferred this very long, robusto thickness (at or near 50 ring gauge), and had these custom cigars made for him.
Man O' War
Size: Robusto - 5½ inches long, 50 ring gauge
Price: $8 to $9
Man O’ War was developed by Abdel “AJ” Fernandez, a relatively new name in the cigar world (and a name that is worth watching). After spending most of his life in Cuba, AJ moved to Nicaragua to begin producing his own cigars. After only six years, he is producing some of the better cigars on the market for big names in the industry, including Rocky Patel Fusion and Indian Tabac 10th Anniversary, Padilla Habano, and Sol Cubano Cuban Cabinet. However, of all the cigars produced at Abdel’s factory, he personally considers Man O’ War to be his best blend.
- Wrapper: Ecuador
- Binder: Nicaragua
- Filler: Nicaragua
This was the first Man O’ War that I tried. Being a newer cigar, it is not found everywhere, so you may have to look for it in several shops or get it online, as I did. Though the cigar is touted as being AJ’s best (in his own opinion) I was skeptical. I have had some of the other cigars that he manufactures for others, and I must say: some of the other blends are damn good!
Look and feel
The cigar construction was fine and the wrapper lived up to its quality billing. The pre-lit aroma was noteworthy and pleasing to the nose. The large, ornate band is a work of art, and perfect for those of you who like to collect them.
Aroma and Taste
Man O’ War is fairly complex and provides a meaty and earthy combo of flavors, with hints of wood, a slight nuttiness and some sweetness. It has a fairly mild peppery finish. I paired this with a cup of black coffee and it was a delight. I did have to pull the lighter out twice during the smoke to keep the burn on an even keel, but that’s not bad for a robusto that provided a 1-hour-15-minute smoke! The complexity and flavor stayed pretty consistent throughout the length of the cigar with a natural up-tick in power as I worked my down to the nub.
It produced plenty of smoke and the aroma of the smoke was pleasing as well. I would classify this as a medium-to-full-flavored cigar that provided a flavor profile fitting the Cuban style. It was never harsh or overpowering.
RATING: 9.1 (on a scale of 1 to 10) – This is a cigar that I would feel good about lighting up anytime, anywhere and among any type of cigar smoker. It is a cigar that rivals the quality and experience you get with the super premiums. As good as it is, I must say that I do like some of his other, more expensive work, slightly better. He does offer some less expensive sticks that I have yet to try, but plan to do so in the future.
Keep the comments and recommendations coming – email: firstname.lastname@example.org
"Whenever I am caught between two evils, I take the one that I have never tried.” – Mae West , Actress