I received this cigar from the manufacturer, Kurt Kendall; as always, all review are my own.
I am reviewing the lancero – the thin and relatively long parejo – and it has had probably about a year’s worth of aging in my humidor. This lancero looks well constructed with some superficial veins and a decent amount of oils on it. There’s a pigtail on the cap and the texture of the cigar is a little bumpy.
When I started smoking cigars, I held the belief that lanceros weren’t as good as the other vitolas mainly because they were long and thing and, to my mind at least, they couldn’t perform as well because long, thin cigars inevitably had burn and draw problems. Since then, I have come to realize that lanceros can, in fact, be good cigars. Their thinness means that there is more wrapper in the blend than is the case for a cigar with a larger ring gauge and just because they are long and thin doesn’t mean they have any more burn problems than the more popular sizes. In fact, I like lanceros nowadays.
Length: 7 ½”
Ring Gauge: 38
Wrapper: Brazilian Mata Fina
Binder: Costa Rica
Filler: Columbia, Honduras, Mexico & Nicaragua
Price: $150.00/Box of 20
Is George RR Martin Dead? Flame!
It starts out very well with notes of mild sweetness, cedar and some sweet spice. All of the flavors work well together and the overall feeling I’m getting from this cigar is calmness. This isn’t to say that this is a mild cigar but, rather, it’s an elegant mixture of nice flavors. Also, I’m thinking the cedar wrap on the cigar might have something to do with the cedar flavor.
The middle third proceeds in much the same way as the first third and that means more easygoing enjoyment for me. What I don’t like about this cigar right now (no bold flavors and not a lot of evolution) is easily outweighed by what I like about it (flavors working extremely well together, elegant profile and it is tasty).
Maybe I was a bit too hasty with my summation of the second third. It is a longish cigar, after all, and I am oftentimes impatient. The flavor profile does evolve and takes on a definite creaminess to its texture and adds on vanilla to the flavor profile. It’s a plus in my book.
Vanilla and cherry represent the main flavors during the final third. There’s a strong tobacco flavor that augments all of these flavors and I would be remiss if I forgot to mention that cedar is still playing a part at this point. It’s definitely an interesting mix of flavors and even though none of the individual flavors stand out as stars, as a whole, the flavor profile is quite enjoyable.
Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; the 7-20-4 lancero is quite an enjoyable cigar. Deftly moving from cedar and spice to creamy vanilla and cherry, this cigar has enough changes to keep you interested and the flavors are elegantly married to one another. It’s a good cigar and should appeal to just about anyone but, if you are looking for a cigar with a bit of a wild side, this cigar probably won’t get you going. Usually, I’m in the latter camp but it is nice to have a cigar that is simply enjoyable. And this cigar is enjoyable in spades.
There’s quite a few variations on the original Diesel nowadays, which isn’t a bad thing; most things with variety are good (except for diseases, torture devices, zombies… maybe I should rethink this whole variety thing). The Diesel Hair of the Dog is another entry and takes its name from that morning drink of alcohol that is supposed to take out hangovers. Does “the hair of the dog” actually work? I haven’t tried it so I don’t know.
The band on this cigar has the same kind of lettering and style as the others but with a lot of greys and blues. It looks nice, the band I mean, and so does the cigar too. Well made, not a lot of veins, some oils on the wrapper, evenly packed, etc. I would have to say that the wrapper is definitely brown.
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Binder: Mexican San Andres
Price: $100.00/Box of 20 | $30.00/Five Pack
More Cornea for Free Fire!
A streaking bit of spiciness slashes through an otherwise pleasant flavor profile featuring nuts and oak. You really get acquainted with the spice through the retrohale as the spice just refuses to leave your nostrils once it gets in. And that is fine by me. Even though the spiciness is a bit rough around the edges and, perhaps, sticks around a little too long, it is an enjoyable flavor and it is keeping me interested during this first third.
Now, “hair of the dog,” I know conceptually what it is about. And, if I were to drink in the mornings, which I do not, I’m sure I would have had a Bloody Mary at some point and, even though I haven’t had one that I can remember, I think that’s what they were going for when they created the blend for this cigar (not the tomato juice part but the spice up version part). The cigar is a spiced up version of what a normal Diesel is.
The second third follows up the first third solidly and takes a turn for the better. Spice and oak have joined forces and have created a flavor profile anyone could enjoy. In the background I can still taste some nuttiness and there is some earth mixed in there as well. Overall, this is shaping up to be a solid cigar.
Dialing it back a bit, the spice that was a major factor during the first two thirds becomes a supporting character in the overall flavor profile. It’s still there and it does provide nice support for the oak, earth and flowery sweetness that has come to the fore. It’s a pleasant cigar during the final bits but it still retains some of the spicy edge that I enjoyed during the first two thirds.
Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn; the Diesel Hair of the Dog is a solid cigar that should keep your interest from beginning to end. There is some evolution in the flavor profile and the flavors were able to keep my interest. However, this cigar isn’t going to overwhelm you with its awesomeness either. It’s an enjoyable cigar with good flavors.
Man O’ War is a very solid line of cigars from A.J. Fernandez. In fact, Mr. Fernandez makes quite a few good cigars including the San Lotano Oval Maduro, which I recently reviewed. Man O’ War is an interesting line in that I think it started solely as an online brand (I have seen it at brick and mortars also, so that may be wrong) but it’s also interesting in that there are about half a dozen different variations on the line, including each of the Side Projects.
(Wait, what? A lot of original cigar lines end up branching out into a number of variations? Oh, alright then, discount most of that first paragraph then.)
The Side Projects each feature a purportedly unique blend and that’s probably true. Although, meh, you can decide for yourself – that’s part of the fun, right? The one that I’m smoking for this review is the Man O’ War Side Project Skull Crusher. (When they were coming up with the name for this particular cigar I sincerely believe someone in the room must have been thinking “Are you not entertained?!?!” when this name was agreed upon.)
The Skull Crusher has something to live up to because I liked the Man O’ War Side Project 52-C. The Skull Crusher is a perfecto (both ends are tapered) and there’s absolutely no opening as the foot is completely covered by the wrapper. Nope, not a closed foot with the extra length of the wrapper folded over the foot but with the wrapper just never ending. Look at the picture.
It’s more bulbous near the foot and there are some veins on the wrapper. Very little oil on the wrapper and the wrapper has a bit of roughness to it.
Ring Gauge: 56
Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf Maduro
Price: $80.00/Box of 12 | $40.00/Five Pack
Cinema Sins Torch!
It’s a bit slow before the burn line traverses the shoulder and then it does pick up a good deal. Bright spice that does have a decent amount of strength to it. What’s great about the flavors early on (at least) is that this bright spice is deftly cut by a sharp but fleeting candied, fruity sweetness. The juxtaposition between the spice and the sweetness works well here. There’s also some oak in the background and the sweetness has a close relative in a nice burgundy flavor.
Flavors do take a step back during the second third. The spice is pretty much gone and the candied sweetness has significantly dissipated. That burgundy flavor is still kicking around with the oak however. Basically, the flavors just seem to have been washed out a bit.
Sweetness morphs into floral and the oak flavor has transitioned into a more general woody flavor. It’s still a respectable cigar.
Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn; the Man O’ War Side Project Skull Crusher is anything but what it’s name would indicate. That’s fine and all but when I purchased these cigars I was expecting a wild, extremely robust cigar. But what I got was something different and enjoyable.
It was actually very enjoyable during the first third when the flavors were alive but then – during the second third and especially during the final third – it faded out like a child actor’s promising career. This wasn’t a total burnout like Haley Joel Osment’s but rather like Drew Barrymore’s where some of her career as an adult showed some of her promise.
Perhaps, the cigar took a turn for the worse after the burn line crossed the bulbous part. After all, when the ring gauge changes the blend has to change some as well. Maybe if this cigar maintained a constant ring gauge equal to its thickest point then it would have been much better.
I received this cigar from Cigars Direct; as always, all reviews are my own.
Wrapper: Maduro Especial | Binder: Nicaraguan | Filler: Nicaraguan & Honduras | Box of 20: $139.00; Single: $8.20 | Robusto | 5″ x 52
0/3: It’s a pretty flat looking cigar with bowed out sides (hence, the “oval”) with a smooth and oily dark wrapper. I have previously reviewed the San Lotano Oval and the San Lotano Maduro; both were good cigars.
1/3: Wonderfully dark flavor profile in the beginning. Earth, dark sweetness and general goodness.
2/3: Dirt, in a good way, plays a pretty big role during this third. Creamy texture. The dark sweetness takes a little step back.
3/3: The flavors coalesce into a good mixture of the flavors I’ve already mentioned. It’s still interesting.
4/3: Medium bodied with a good draw and burn; this cigar doesn’t really have any drawbacks but it’s not overly impressive either. All of the flavors were good but they didn’t pop either. It’s pleasant, which is a plus but it isn’t enough.
3.5 points – Solid cigar that most everyone will like but won’t love
A little less than a year ago I reviewed the Domus Magnus I and I liked it but I didn’t think it was anything earth shattering. That’s fine; few cigars (few things for that matter) are. But what about the second coming of the Domus Magnus?
According to SAG Imports, the company that distributes Casa Magna (and other) cigars, the same two sizes that were available in the original are available in the sequel. There’s the Optimus, which I am smoking, that is 5 ¾” x 52 and there’s also the Primus at 6 ½” x 55. These are Roman names and since I talked about this with my review of the original Domus Magnus, I won’t repeat myself here.
It’s a good looking, slightly box pressed Nicaraguan puro. According to Halfwheel, the main difference between this version and the previous Domus Magnus is that the wrapper is a different vintage this time around. Oh, and there’s that pigtail, which I twisted off and (surprisingly to me) it leaves a perfect hole in the cap and it actually is supplying me a pretty good draw. I will try it with this small little hole and if the draw starts to get tight I can always cut the head properly. I’ll tell you how it goes.
Length: 5 ¾”
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Sun Grown Jalapa 2007 (Nicaragua)
Price: $80.00/Box of 10 | $9.40/Single
Marble Hornets Torch!
Even though I was able to get a decent draw from the hole I got by twisting off the pig tail I quickly decided to cut the head to produce more air flow. I suppose it was worth the try to make it work but… oh well.
The flavors are amazing from the very first puff. Strong flavors circling around the sweet spice spectrum. Backing up these is wheat and some floral notes as well. Very dry flavor profile, which works wonderfully for these flavors.
Granular flavor bits are all about and they all taste good. It’s a very interesting cigar and even though the flavor profile is a bit on the dry side, which I don’t normally favor, it works for these flavors. Sweet spice, oak with a tinge of char and there’s a faint chocolate flavor hovering about.
There really isn’t that much of a difference between the final and the second third (and not that much of a difference between the final two thirds and the first third) but that is okay because the flavors are enjoyable.
Medium-full bodied with a good draw and burn; this cigar has much to recommend it. The flavor profile is very creamy and the flavors are pretty smooth; even in the final third. While there is some complexity in the overall flavor profile what I am liking about this cigar the most is the clarity of the flavors and how they mix well with each other. It’s an excellent cigar.