Gary of Orange County Choppers told me that within 24 hours of posting this review on their social media, they have had over 17,000 hits. And the number is growing. I would like to thank the good folks at OCC for their support. They are good people.
And for those who are reading me for the first time, I normally add a story at the end of the review about my past. Usually R or X rated stories about my exploits as an ex-rock god in the music business. But not always strictly about music.
I got a five pack on a daily deal and I’ve only had them a week. And I am smoking them all up so if I plan to do a review, I better do it now before I smoke the last one.
The cigar comes in this one size only.
Cross promotions normally scare off most experienced smokers. This is AJ at his best. The OCC guys probably still have him locked up in a garage where they keep spare parts.
From Cigars International:
“Man O’ War OCC Edition was developed in conjunction with the hit series Orange County Choppers, a reality show full of both drama and chrome. This limited edition premium blend from AJ Fernandez features an Ecuadorian Habano Sun Grown wrapper seated atop a bold mix of Nicaraguan long-fillers. Notes of rich tobacco, pepper, wood, caramel, and spices mingle deliciously for the length of this full-bodied experience. With box artwork that was designed to commemorate the show, I’ve got no doubt that this one will sell out – and fast.
“Only 5,000 ten-count boxes are being produced, and once they’re gone, they ain’t coming back.”
From an interview with Paul Teutel from Cigar.com:
“Testing the foot for aromas, there were hints of spicy toast. The same flavors were found from the cold draw once the cap was clipped. Upon lighting the cigar, initially notes of Oak, rich tobacco and spice came through in the first few mouthfuls of full bodied smoke. As the burn progressed other flavors came and went. There were nuances of cocoa, raisins, brown sugar, nuts, coffee, earth and mild black pepper. These flavors came together in the final third creating a long, tasty, burnt mocha with extra sugar finish.”
Construction, like in all the MOW blends, is immaculate. Virtually seamless. An attractive marbling of colors that range from dark coffee bean to charcoal. Very toothy. Lots of small veins. The cap is perfectly executed. The stick is hard but has that perfect push. No soft spots. And the gorgeous MOW cigar band with the words: “Orange County Choppers” in chrome lettering. The foot band has that cool silhouette of a hipster, hardworking Harley.
I clip the cap and find aromas of very strong spice, lemon citrus, cedar, delicious baking cocoa, dark berries along the shaft, coffee at the cap, and smokiness mixed with leather.
Time to light up.
This is a big honker of a cigar. And it belies all my theories and postulations about big cigars needing so much humidor time before you get to experience the blender’s intent.
Like I said earlier, I have smoked one a day since I got them. AJ wasn’t kidding around when he helped develop this blend for Paul Teutel and his cohorts. Like Al Pacino said in the movie, “Heat”– “Give me everything you got! Give me everything you got!!!”
There is a combo of honeysuckle and caramel. The spicy red pepper is mowing down the brush with one sharp swath.
Creaminess enters the arena at the 1” mark. Black cherry enters at the same time pushing the cigar into flavor bomb status. This is one of the most delicious AJ cigars I’ve smoked. There are so many flavors going on, I am not catching them all as the cigar seeks its complexity early on.
This stick has so much character that it is running down my leg. Squeeze my lemon. (My apologies to Zep.)
The second third begins and is in full flavor bomb mode. The spiciness is a bit less but allows the other flavors to excel.
The construction remains immaculate with no loose tobacco from the cap and a perfect char line at the foot.
Here are the flavors, in super extravaganza form: Creaminess, sweetness, earthiness, cocoa, mocha latte, honeysuckle, caramel, black cherry, cedar, vanilla bean, toasty, woody(Like me), and chock full of smoky leather.
This is a helluva cigar.
And virtually needs no humidor time.
The fruitiness of the black cherry, and the newly added floral notes and the honeysuckle, make this blend absolutely delectable. Add the creaminess on top, like a cherry, and you have something wonderful.
I near the halfway point and the flavors become more intense. The complexity is in overdrive. The balance is spot on. A nice long finish. And the spice has moved to the end of the list.
I’ve only got one more of these cigars. I shall treasure it until I can buy more.
This is the perfect cigar for the experienced smoker and perfect for the adventurous newbie smoker that wants to move on to something more exciting than an ACID or Macanudo.
Nicotine settles in at the halfway point. The swirl begins. I suggest you have something in your stomach. As usual, I forgot to eat something this morning so the nicotine is hitting me hard. I have to walk it off.
The strength hits full bodied.
Without question, this is one of AJ Fernandez’s finest creations. He dared go where no man has gone before. (My apologies to Star Trek)
The char line remains intact. The cap is behaving admirably.
I take a break and down some breakfast cereal. I am much better now.
With the last third to go, I’ve spent 90 minutes with the cigar. And now I’m slowing down to avoid the brightly lit tunnel.
There is no change to the flavor profile. Doesn’t need one. Although, the spiciness does return. My vision does not.
And once again, proof that a great cigar need not cost double digits. $7 is a fantastic price for this cigar. Even cheaper on Cbid. It is so good that I may not mess around with Cbid and go right for the retail purchase.
And now for something completely different:
We were out of herb. We were in fucking Germany. No worse place to be to be out of smoke.
We played at some German town not far from the border of Holland. We announced to the crowd that we needed advice on where to get some hash. Of course, lots of people handed us stuff after the concert but we threw it away. Never trust free dope. Too many horror stories about that.
One audience member said we could follow him to a hash club right on the border where we could buy enough for the rest of the tour.
We finished around 11pm. We quickly changed. Darryl didn’t do drugs so he went to a local bar and drank. He was half through with his beer when we taunted him into coming. We all grabbed our instruments.
The other four of us got into the Lincoln town car driven by our road manager and we followed the bloke to a nice little town. Can’t remember the name of it.
A band was playing. The club was huge. With a really nice stage and sound system. The good fellow from the concert showed us where the dealer was. The dealer had set up a little station for selling hash. He sat in a big overstuffed chair with a big chalk board standing behind him. There were the names of different types of hash and the prices.
The dealer wouldn’t take our money but we foisted it upon him because we got a lot of hash. Probably an ounce. That’s a lot.
Then we took the stage. We didn’t ask if we could play. We were Curved Air. The crowd went nuts. The band that was playing were thrilled we would be using their equipment and they had a good sound guy.
Stewart, Mick, Sonja and I lit up a big bowl of hash a couple minutes before jumping on the stage.
Within minutes, it hit us. Holy shit this stuff was strong. And because we hadn’t had any in several days, we were gluttons.
We stumbled on to the stage and giggled the whole time. Darryl downed an English pint in two minutes to catch up with us.
We tried to play but couldn’t stop laughing. The crowd knew what was going on and they began to laugh. Must have been 400 of them.
The heavens had aligned perfectly. I grew up a huge fan of Zep. And the best band I ever played with, prior to CA, was named Homegrown. Subtle, huh?
We had a singer and guitarist that could perfectly mimic those two guys in Zep. So we were damn near a tribute band. And of course, we got booked constantly.
After a few songs, Plant and Page got on stage with us. Curved Air was a progressive band based in classical music. These guys had not an ounce of blues in their background. That is, except for our guitarist, Mick.
We played an obscure blues tune that the drummer, guitarist and I followed without a single glitch.
I asked if we could play some Zep music. Page asked what I would like to play and I said, “Dazed and Confused.” Plant smiled as I began that iconic bass line that started the song. Darryl freaked and left the stage when he couldn’t keep up.
Page had his famous Les Paul with him. I damn near fainted.
Mick sort of stayed in the background but since Zep was basically a musical trio, all they needed was for me to know the songs. And I DID!
Word got out and the audience swelled by two hundred more people. No one could move in that place. 600 people in a large bar was still a lot of people.
I got to be John Paul Jones.
We played 3 more songs: “Whole Lotta Love,” “Stairway to Heaven,” and “Rock and Roll.”
Page and Plant shook hands with the band and gave me a big bear hug. I could barely speak. All I could utter was a meek “Thanks.”
And you ain’t going to believe this. Clapton was in the audience the whole time. Plant went to where he was standing and they talked for a few minutes. Next thing I knew, Clapton was on stage.
They had decided to do some Yardbirds songs. Both Plant and Clapton were in the band. Different times of course.
No one was left on the stage except for me and Copeland the drummer. CA chickened out.
We started with “Over Under Sideways Down.” Then “Heart Full of Soul” and finished with “For Your Love.”
It was 3am and the bar closed long ago but the bar owner would have been lynched if he tried to shoo everyone out.
I was still in my stage dress. Leather pants. And I was schvitzing like crazy. Totally soaked to the bone from a long night and the excitement of playing with my heroes.
We got back to the hotel around 5am. Couldn’t sleep because I was so jacked up. I used the hotel phone to call all my friends at home to tell them what happened. I later got into trouble with management for spending the dough on the phone calls.
But we made the cover of Melody Maker in the following issue with photos. Management eased up on me when they saw that. You can’t buy that kind of publicity.
I’m a broken old man now but those memories. Life, and the recession, has taken a lot away from me but those wonderful memories are with me til I croak.
Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS