Cigar Reviews

Man O’ War Virtue

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Today I bring you the newest offering from master blender AJ Fernandez’s Man O’ War line of cigars. The Virtue is a great compliment to the already popular Man O’ War lineup. To read more about AJ Fernandez and about the Man O’ War line, check out my review of the Man O’ War Torpedo or Tony’s review of the powerful Man O’ War Ruination. While the Ruination and the regular Man O’ War line are good full bodied smokes, the Virtue comes in at the lower mild-medium level to balance out the line.

As far as Connecticut’s go, there is quite a selection out on the market and each one tries to be unique in it’s own way. The Virtue has a great blender to back it up along with a line of cigars that has been well received by most of the cigar community. The Virtue line comes in 6 vitolas including Robusto, Toro, Torpedo, Solomon, Lonsdale and Churchill. If you are looking for the power that the Ruination offers, don’t look here. It may have some faintly similar notes but no where near the strength offered. What this does offer is a great medium smoke that can go well anytime of the day.

I’m settling down outside after a nice BBQ lunch to enjoy this cigar with one of my favorite blondes (No, not a woman, a beer…) Take a read through and leave a comment to let us know what you think!

Cigar: Man O War Virtue
Drink: Innis & Gunn Original Oak Aged Beer
Vitola: Robusto (5 x 50)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Connecticut
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $7 – $8 MSRP
Burn Time: 1.5 Hours

Construction:
• Very even diameter throughout
• A good firmness with a perfect spring, consistent throughout
• Looks to be a little bit of extra glue on the triple cap and it has some discoloration but still looks clean
• No major veins on the wrapper
• Foot looks to be well packed
• Cut was even and clean
• Great draw, very little effort but not too open
• I still love these Man O War bands, the Spartan-type logo is really neat
• With about 1.5 inches left the wrapper cracked a bit just below the cap, hoping it doesn’t cause any issues
• Burned through the crack without any problems

Burn:
• Toasting was a little uneven but gave off an awesome cedar aroma
• Burn has been dead on for the first half
• Staying lit easily, not much effort required
• Cigar stayed effortless until the end with no major burn issues

Smoke & Ash:
• Lots of smoke from each draw, really fills the mouth
• Lots of resting smoke that gives off that awesome burning cedar aroma
• Ash looks strong but first fell off in about half an inch, could be the wind today
• No flaking or crookedness
• Second ash was around an inch but the rest were all smaller so have an ashtray nearby

Tasting Notes:
• Wrapper aroma is of dry wood and tobacco
• Foot has a sort of honey-sweet and grassy aroma complimented by cedar
• Pre-light draw has lots of cedar flavor to it with an earthy undertone and a mild spice
• Initial draws are very woodsy with a tiny hint of honey sweetness
• Mild body at the start
• Retrohale is also mild and has a wonderful cedar finish
• Approaching the half-way mark, the sweet honey has changed to a more natural honey flavor.  Not as sweet but still quite good
• Past the half-way point and flavors haven’t changed much more but this is still an enjoyable smoke with some nice cedar notes to it and a bit of creaminess
• Getting close to the nub and cedar with a natural honey flavors are still the only major ones around
• There were hints of creamy vanilla and a cinnamon-like spice here and there but they never made a prominent appearance
• Very little harshness on the nub, got to enjoy it right to the end

Final Thoughts:
A lot of people avoid some of the milder sticks because they feel the flavors are just not as enjoyable or complex as most fuller bodied sticks.  There are some exceptions that stand out in the pack against this rule and this stick has now joined that group in my books.  Construction, burn, draw, flavor, everything worked well here to make a fine smoke.  It’s great for new cigar smokers or veterans looking for a tasty morning smoke.  Even though the flavors did not change much they were enjoyable from start to finish.  I could see this getting boring in a churchill size but a robusto or smaller would go very nicely. The price is a bit high compared to other Connecticuts on the market but you can find good deals on them well below MSRP if you look.  Did I mention that I like the band?

Pairings:
Innis & Gunn Oak Aged Beer is a great brew from Edinburgh, Scotland.  Oak flavors are one of my favorites, in wine, ports and beers alike.  This brew is fairly light but full of flavors making for a great summer or lunchtime beer but can be enjoyed anytime easily.  It matched very well with the woodsy flavors of this cigar.  The cigar would also go very well with a morning coffee or even a simple diet soda or glass of water.  Try not to drink anything too strong or full with this cigar as it will drown out the flavors it offers.
 

Daniel T. (a.k.a. Dalamscius) is an IT Professional from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He enjoys cigars, scuba diving, hockey, fishing, nature and anything that challenges his mind. If he's not sitting on his big comfy couch or at work you can usually find him in a boat on top of the water or 100ft under the water enjoying a dive. He is engaged to a wonderful Fiance and looking forward to his wedding. Feel free to contact Daniel anytime via email (dalamscius[at]gmail[dot]com). And make sure to follow him on twitter http://twitter.com/Dalamscius

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