Man o' War Side Project: 52-C
Size: 5x52 Chisel
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano ligero
Price: $40 for a 5er or $80 for a box of 12
Cut: Straight cut with a Palio
Paired with: Rootbeer
Construction & Pre-light: Like most Man o' War cigars the construction on this one is excellent. This cigar has a very uniform, slightly firm roll, with just a little bit of give, only one or two medium veins, very tidy seams and a well placed and affixed cap even with the chisel tip. The wrapper has a nice oily sheen. I'm not picking up a lot of aroma from the wrapper or foot. What is there is a slightly earthy, natural tobacco. The chisel shaped head cuts very easily to reveal almost perfect draw. Pre-light flavor is a light natural tobacco with a little earthiness and a touch of oak.
1/3: The initial flavors are very spicy, almost like green pepper, but with a touch of sweetness and an eye opening spice on the retro-hale. After it settles a little the smoke becomes almost creamy, with the pepper making itself known on the sides of my tongue and the oak from the pre-light hanging out in the background. The room aroma is a very spicy leather. Probably not an aroma that will be enjoyed by non cigar smokers, but fans of spicy cigars will find it enthralling! 15 minutes in I'm getting some hard to pinpoint vegetal flavors with a leathery finish and the earthiness still in the background, but barely clinging on. The ever present pepper had faded some, but it's still there. The smoke is nice and thick and creamy. 20 minutes in I start picking up a touch of black coffee, but the main flavors are leather and the unknown vegetal. The ash is a beautiful solid white and the burn line, although not dead straight, hasn't wavered much. This stick is advertised as full bodied, but at this point I'd say it's a solid medium.
2/3: The second third picks up right where the first left of, leather, vegetal flavors, and some black coffee, but adds a touch of sweetness. The ash is still holding strong and the burn is still very respectable. 30 minutes in I'm getting an almost corojo-like allspice sweetness on the retro-hale, to go along with the pepper that is now just barely there on the retrohale, but still noticeable on the sides of my tongue. The vegetal flavors have faded somewhat and the leather is more creamy now, with a tiny hint of cocoa. The cocoa doesn't last long and is replaced by the earthiness. The vegetal flavor also comes back a little and the allspice fades. And then the coffee pops back in out of nowhere... The ash finally falls at just over ~1 3/4" and the peppery leather is back. Per my usual practice I give a quick purge at this point and am rewarded with a return of the allspice and green pepper to go with the leather and vegetal (man I wish I could pinpoint that!) flavor. 50 minutes in now and I'm just past the halfway point. This stick is definitely well loaded with tobacco and burns nice and slow. The burn wavered a little more in this third, but not enough to need a touch up before it corrected itself. The body has picked up some now to a medium/full.
3/3: Coming into the final third I realize this stick, at this point, is reminding me of a slightly young Diesel Unholy Cocktail. I'm getting sharp leather with a bitter cocoa now and a touch of black, dark roasted coffee. At this point the flavors aren't changing a whole lot. The allspice tries to peak back in occasionally, but isn't real strong. The biggest change is that the cigar is starting to get a little hot. The burn, if anything, has gotten better and the ash is still holding strong since it's first fall. The body has picked up some more, but I'm still not sure I would call this a full bodied smoke. With a little over an inch left the flavor isn't bad, but it is unchanging so I'll end the review here.
Total Smoking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Overall: This was basically a ROTT smoke, as this stick just came in from CBid 2 weeks ago, but that being considered, this stick performed well. I have to say this was unlike any other Man o' War I have smoked. Not in a bad way, it's a good smoke on it's own merits, just very different from the original MoW and Ruination. I'm looking forward to smoking another one of these in another 2 1/2 months to see how they have progressed and I have a feeling I will be buying more of these once the initial excitement of the release has worn off and the CBid price drops a little.