Man o' War Side Project: Phalanx
Price: $79.99 for a box of 12, $40.00 for 5
Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf
Paired with: Samichlaus Classic ( Samichlaus Classic - Review )
Pre-light: This is a nice looking cigar, well constructed with no voids or soft spots, a very well applied double cap, and only one small/medium vein in the slightly oily chocolate brown wrapper leaf. The wrapper smells of barnyard and leather, while the foot has an aroma of earth, barnyard, and cocoa. It clips very easily with my Palio to a draw that is just a touch on the light side and has flavors of fermented tobacco, earth, and a mild black pepper.
1/3: The cigar toasted and lit easily with my trusty Ronson and immediately provided good amounts of smoke. Initial flavors were earth, leather, a slight cocoa, and a tiny hint of floral with a combination of sweet baking spice and fresh pepper on the retrohale. Very nice so far! The floral fades quickly and is replaced with a sweet cedar. Farther in the earthiness fades and is replaced by lightly salted, roasted nuts. The Phalanx reminds me of another cigar that I enjoy, but at this point I can't put my finger on which one exactly. It's good enough that I'm puffing slightly faster than I should, at times, but the flavors aren't suffering because of it. With the larger ring gauge and the slightly light draw I'm giving a quick "starter puff" then a long gentle draw and getting plenty of smoke and rich flavor. Just before the second third some earthiness comes back in. The ash falls at about 1 1/2". The burn, like every other Man o' War I've smoked, is almost perfect. The body is medium at this point.
2/3: At the beginning of the second third the burn line gets a little crooked, but not enough to correct or even complain about. The flavor has shifted again bringing out more sweet cedar and leather, but the nuttiness is still dominant and now there is a very faint hint of coffee. By the halfway point the burn has corrected itself and is almost perfect again, then it goes crooked again in the next 1/2" and requires the only touch up of the smoke. The sweet baking spice comes back and compliments the other flavors very well. There is still just a touch of heat and pepper in the retrohale, but not much. Ash drops again at just over an inch. Body is still medium. Smoke production is just short of copious.
3/3: At the beginning of the final third the earthiness picks up a little more and the sweet spice fades some. Another burn correction is needed, but most likely due to the high ambient humidity. As I'm nubbing it the cocoa comes back. The cigar finishes at medium/full to full bodied
Overall: The Phalanx is a good cigar. Not as good as the Little Devil, but better than the 52C in my opinion. With only the Armada and Virtue left to try out of the entire Man o' War lineup I would put the Phalanx at 3rd favorite, behind the Little Devil and the Puro Authentico Maduro. Thanks for reading! Happy Puffing!