Man O’ War Abomination | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Mexican San Andrés
Binder: Nicaraguan Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 6 x 50 Toro
Strength: Medium/Full
Price: $11.50 ($7.50 Online)


After being off for a bit, I thought I would start out simple for a simple mind. I’ve had these cigars for a couple months. Don’t know if it’s me, but I find that most AJ blends mature a little faster than the other trained monkey blends.

I won a fiver on Cigar Bid and saw them again a couple weeks later and won a 10 pack. I paid $3.60 each. No one is reviewing the cigar. Spoiler alert: I like them. I’m an AJ fan, for the most part. Could not find a lick of PR info on this cigar. Prices range from $8.00-$9.00 per stick online.

I’m going to use Cigar International’s PR description as there must not have been a press release for the cigar as the usual suspects in the review business have not published anything about this new cigar…which I believe has been out for less than 6 months.

The sticks have gotten approximately two months naked humidor time.

BACKGROUND:
From Cigars International:
“Man O’ War Abomination is the complete opposite of what its namesake suggests. Created by the brilliant mind of AJ Fernandez, Man O’ War cigars have boldly charged into the fray and forged their own path of success with anything but normal cigar blends and names. Ruination, Armada, and Damnation are just a few that come to my mind. All uniquely named masterpieces that have become staples in humidors around the world. AJ’s newest creation has the same hopes at accomplishing that achievement.

“Hailing out of AJ’s Nicaraguan factory, Man O’ War Abomination is a full-bodied beast utilizing a mix Nicaraguan fillers, a fragrant Habano binder, and a revered San Andres wrapper to assault your senses with enjoyment from start to finish. The profile on this monster will have notes of pepper, oak, earth, espresso bean and dry cocoa dancing across your palate, while it’s construction will grace the air with ample billows of smoke and the foot of your cigar with an even and consistent burn. But don’t take our word for it. Pick up a box and discover what is soon to be another perfect addition to your humidor!!”

SIZES AND PRICING (Online pricing):
Gordo 6 x 58 $8.00
Robusto 5 x 52 $7.00
Toro 6 x 50 $7.50
Toro (Box Pressed) 6.5 x 52 $8.00

APPEARANCE:
This is a nice-looking cigar; enhanced by the beautiful application of the triple cap. It is nearly seamless with a perfectly symmetrical roundness. The wrapper is a consistent dark chocolate. In close ups, the stick is a bit rough shod but doesn’t impact the look of the cigar. Seams are tight.

Some minor veinage; mostly hidden by the cocoa color of the wrapper. There is a fine grit of toothiness completely covering the wrapper. Lastly, the cigar is plump like a Ball Park Hot Dog…packed to the gills. No hard of soft spots.

SMELL THE GLOVE:
Aromas are complex. Notes of exotic floral, rich dark chocolate, cumin, black pepper, cream, espresso, sweet raw cashews, rich malt, cedar, barnyard, with a thick and sweet prune Danish element.

The cold draw presents flavors of that prune Danish standing taller than any other flavor. It is followed by black pepper, dark chocolate, floral, espresso, raw nuts, malt, creaminess, cedar, and barnyard.

FIRST THIRD:
Before I light up, I must comment on the leaf stats. Mexican wrapper with Nicaraguan guts. I do believe we’ve been here a couple times in the last 6 years…from nearly every blender on the planet.

The Man O’ War series is full of similar leaf stats. But I happen to like these blends as solid go-to sticks for my pleasure.
OK Kohn, stop fucking around and light the damn stick.

The draw is a tad bit tighter than my preferences. It’s OK. But my PerfecDraw draw tool has made me a snob. So, I give it a spanking and we are good to go. As usual, the small plug was in the area of the cigar band.

It starts with a combination of Indian curry spice and hotsy totsy fiery notes on the tongue.

There is an aftertaste of Sriracha sauce. Creaminess enters the picture to mellow the spiciness. There is some grape jelly being gently spread on top of the raw nuts (Fill in your own joke here). This blend is much different than the Man O’ War catalog. But with nothing more than knowing it is a Mexican wrapper with Nic internals, it is impossible to know anything else about the cigar.

I’m actually surprised that I nailed the cigars so cheaply on Cigar Bid. With no reviews out there, it may have had a non-ripple effect on buyers. “Oh no, another Man O’ War.”

The Indian influence begins to dissipate at the same speed as my old man testosterone.

Vanilla creaminess, heavy malt and hops now influence the flavor profile.

The spiciness is at a relaxed posture. Not too much. Just as Goldilocks likes it. In case you didn’t know this, the fairy tale came from one woman’s obsession with bestiality. She just loved boning large forest animals. Gives that term, “It’s just right” another slant.

The burn is spot on.
Strength is an easy going medium. Having smoked two sticks prior to this review, I will add that the last third will rip your ‘nads off.

This is a departure for the MOW series. Flavors are exotic.

Complexity begins to settle in finding a ‘just right’ spot at the forest table.
Transitions start with a slow left to right visual of dancing bears and elephant mountains. I gotta get off this subject.

There is a very nice wholesomeness to this blend. It punches my buttons perfectly. I’m having trouble deciding if it has a Mexican food influence or the Indian curry influence; or both. It’s early. I will need to pick the right curtain to open to display my prize a bit later in the cigar.

The grape jelly adds a very nice sweetness that isn’t cloying or artificial. The nuttiness is the perfect complement.

I’ve gone primal as I sit here in front of my laptop smacking my lips like a hungry dog. The finish is special. Like some of my readers.

Speaking of special…I was diagnosed with gout when I was 13. Actually, I was 14 because the witch doctors told me it was “growing pains.” It took a year of blood tests before the right diagnosis was made. And it wasn’t no British king sitting with his big toe on a pillow. Nope. It affected all the joints in my knees, arms, and hands.

So, I went from someone who loved track and field to Ortho Gym classes. I was in there with guys that were all fucked up. I dreaded that class. I think I’d rather have been water boarded during that class time than actually show up and be on display with the group of Goonies characters: Sloth.
I did grow out of it in my late 20’s and it hasn’t returned. I guess the Cosmic Muffin didn’t want me to go to Vietnam.

A big changeup occurs. The blend gets down and dirty with a richness to die for. This changes the complete character of the cigar. The multiple outstanding flavor points now aggregate in the corner allowing the blender’s intent to take command.
Holy shit. This is a delicious cigar.

SECOND THIRD:
I don’t get it. I guess if I had ever worked in the cigar industry, I’d understand more about the politics of dancing. This is a very good cigar but no reviews. No PR. And I paid $3.60 each. Damn.

I’ve not been depriving myself of cigars several times per day since I got the news I need a head transplant. So, it isn’t a clean palate with some rest that I can use; or you can accuse me of.

Maybe venturing into medium/full territory now. Still, very manageable.
And here comes the nicotine. Batten down the brain cells.

There are a few moments of buttered popcorn playing with Goldilocks in an open field. I have no joke for popcorn and Goldilocks’ sex life.

I do remember in the 1970’s, that edible panties were the rage. My girlfriend and I tried it. Well, she wore them, not me. All I remember is my face full of goo and pubic hair. Took me a week to get that hardened sugar out of my mustache. We gave the rest of the panties to the dog as a treat.

As good as this cigar is, no way would I pay $8 for it. It is a nice blend and far exceeds the quality of a $4 cigar…but is it an $8 stick? Nope.

The complexity is not that of a high premium. But at least it has some. Nice transitions with a tasty finish. Again, a great go-to stick.

Halfway point arrives. 45 minutes.
Smooth. Balanced. Lots of subtleties. But you get more than you paid for. This doesn’t happen often.

Construction has been on point. No issues. The char line is damn straight.

Transitions are the real impact point of this blend. Every few puffs, the character of the blend changes up. Different clumps of flavors that work nicely. The spiciness works with these multitude of elements. They find a nice chewy center each time.

Ever get a Tootsie Pop stuck in your ass? Me neither.

Complexity is on the rise. Big enhancements occur. The blend becomes bolder and struts its stuff. The nicotine hasn’t taken me down yet, but then I have a ways to go before the last third begins…and I walk the plank.

Most definitely medium/full now. Its potency is gaining strength.

I taste a kids’ breakfast cereal now. A fruity carb flavor along with lots of added chemicals with 11 letters each.

Etta James. “I’d Rather Go Blind.” That woman could sing.

The stick is beautifully well-rounded for the first time. I’ve found the sweet spot.
All of the earlier described flavor points return like lemmings throwing themselves off a cliff. Every element is shining.

“Be My Baby” by the Ronettes. Great old tune.
I met Phil Spector once on drummer Hal Blaine’s boat (Studio Sea). I’m really glad I deflected his offer to stick a pistol into my mouth.

Here we go: Exotic spices, vanilla creaminess, malt, espresso, sweet cashews, Cheerios, grape jelly, cedar, a combo of different peppers, and popcorn.

LAST THIRD:
The sweet spot is in “More speed, Scotty” mode.

The richness expands allowing a very satisfying experience.

“What’s Going On.” Marvin Gaye. The 1960’s had some real drek pop music. But the classic R&B at that time was mind blowing. It was one of the first anti-war songs to come from Motown. Owner Barry Gordy was not happy with the new direction. Great Motown artists left the label over this issue.
I expected the strength to be full tilt by this point, but it remains at medium/full. And the nicotine is in abeyance. I can still see out of my third eye.

Spiciness ramps up.

Look, this is not AJ’s greatest performance. But it does qualify as one of his gold standards. Since no one is talking about this blend, it is a great time to hit the online cigar auctions and get some for nothing.

The Abomination is a stick you can hand out to the usual suspects of moochers in your life and you will not be relegated to the guy who hands out bundle cigars.

The progression of the cigar was organic and did not feel forced. Nothing linear about it. A great everyday stick. It won’t make you forget about your high premium collection, but it will fit nicely into your rotation.
The time is to act now before word spreads that the Abomination is a very decent blend.
Interesting blend. The leaves were inexpensive. They got all, and better, from what could have been a half assed attempt to market another unremarkable $10 cigar. I think they did good. And I hope I don’t fuck it up for a lot of smokers by causing supply and demand uppage. If I like a cigar, I will stop writing and go buy, or bid on, a fiver. I have no impulse control. I hide the charge as porn on my account…instead of cigars. It’s that simple.

RATING: 90



Categories: CIGAR REVIEWS

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2 replies

  1. In the year or so I have been smoking almost daily and trying many new cigars including many more boutique-like cigars, I have become very fond of anything AJ creates. Yet to have one of his I did not appreciate. Based on your review of this, I will try it.

    Best wishes on your upcoming procedure. I had C5-C6 fused in ’98. Way better than I was but as I age, neck stays stiff and sore now. But I can still do whatever I want, when I want at age 59.

  2. Thanks Mark,
    This is why I avoided the endeavors of orthopods too excited at fusing me. I really don’t know a soul that had back or neck surgery and said, “Boy! Am I glad I had that done!”
    Most end up in more pain or needing additional surgeries.
    I got by for two decades, but it’s time.
    Then again, it’s not that serious…not cancer…or any other illness.
    It is just a pain in the neck.
    Phil

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