A Man O’War, A Joya de Nicaragua and a New Nomad Cigar

As the evenings get colder, my desire to smoke fuller bodied cigars increases.  Normally I’ll smoke just about any strength cigar, but I lose milder cigars in the cold air.  I have a beautiful Connecticut Shade wrapped cigar that the folks at Custom Tobacco sent me, complete with a personalized band, that I’ve been putting off smoking for this reason.  I really want to be able to give this cigar my complete attention and smoke it in daylight and relative warmth!  Hopefully I can get that done soon, because I like what those folks do and I’m anxious to see how the cigars smoke!


ManOWar_DarkAgedMaduroSo Thursday evening I picked out a Man O’ War Dark Aged Maduro Robusto.  This was a sample from the Meier and Dutch booth at the IPCPR show.  I noted when I took a sniff of the cigar that it reminded me of some jalapeño dark chocolate I once had, and once I lit it up I got that nice spice right off the bat.  The spice continued either until it mellowed out of my palate got used to it, I’m not sure which.  That brings up an interesting point.  Do the flavors in a cigar actually change, or do our taste perceptions change during the time we are smoking a cigar?  I’ve seen cigars made, I understand how tobaccos can be placed in a bunch in various ways to effect the burn and flavor, but it’s hard for me to imagine someone sitting at a bench eight hours a day, five days a week placing the exact leaves in the exact place every time to make a specific flavor transition.  It’s certainly plausible, but the cynical side of me just wonders if it’s more of a physiological change in our mouths than a physical change in the tobaccos.  The comment section is open for your thoughts on this, the more expert opinions the better!  I digress.  The Man O’ War was a fantastic cigar, right in my wheelhouse, up my alley and was just about perfect for the time and situation.  If you don’t see these listed on Cigars International’s website, it’s because it’s a brick and mortar exclusive.  I’ll look for these the next time I stop in one of the Cigars International stores, or look in local B&Ms.


Joya 1970ConsulFriday I’m known to smoke a sure thing, something I know, or strongly suspect, will be a great, satisfying smoke.  I had a Joya de Nicaragua Antaño 1970 Consul floating around the humidor that suffered a little head damage. I think it got pinched in a travel humidor somewhere along the line, resulting in a perfect split in the middle of the cap and a tapered on two sides, not unlike a La Flor Dominicana Chisel. Of course, because I’m borderline CDO (OCD in alphabetical order, as it should be!), and the taper was up and down instead of side to side, I had to remove the band.  I was going to just turn the band the right way, but I figured it had to come off eventually anyway.  Apart from the damage, it smoked perfectly, and the tapered head actually made it a little more interesting so smoke.  Fortunately I was alone and in the dark, my vanity wouldn’t allow me to smoke this in public. (Those who know me know I’m joking about this….not he CDO part, but the vanity part!).  Great, full flavor, full strength cigar that’s been a favorite of mine since they came out.  I have a soft spot for just about any cigar that was made in a factory I’ve visited, having some personal connection seems to make a difference in a lot of cases.


Saturday evening I chose a new cigar from Nomad Cigars to accompany me on my evening walk. This S-307 box pressed toro is made for Fred Rewey by A.J.Fernandez.  Here’s a blurb from the press release:


Nomad_S-307Estelí, Nicaragua (November 4, 2013) – Nomad Cigar Company is pleased to announce the release of the much-anticipated Nomad S-307. 

Nomad’s first full production cigar in Nicaragua, the S-307 is a box pressed Sumatra wrapped cigar blended and rolled at the AJ Fernandez factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. 

Name: Nomad S-307

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra 

Binder: Ecuadorian Habano

Filler: Nicaraguan

Factory: AJ Fernandez

Notable: 21 count, Box Pressed

Sizes / Pricing

Toro (6×50) – $7.95 MSRP

Robusto (5×50) – $7.75 MSRP

Torpedo (6.5×52) – $7.95 MSRP

In keeping with his trend, Rewey gave meaning to the name of his new cigar as well. The “S” stands for Sumatra. The “307” pays homage to the approximate square miles of the Estelì area. 


I’ve not met many cigars made by A.J. Fernandez that I didn’t like, including the above mentioned Man O’ War.  This cigar was no different.  It was full of flavor and left me quite satisfied and wishing it were a little bit longer.  The construction was perfect and it was quite enjoyable.  So far, Fred’s Nicaraguan offerings have hit the spot for me more than his Dominican cigars, but both are excellent and they deserve to be tried if you are presented with the opportunity.


I’ve started the ball rolling on the upcoming 12 Days of Spectacular Giveaways!  So far I’m one third of the way there, with 4 companies on board, and I just sent the e-mail out yesterday!  I expect to hear from more tomorrow when people get back to work and have my 12 sponsors lined up by the end of the week.  Then it’s the arduous task of finding humidor room, taking pictures and writing up posts.  Tune in on December 12 when we start the madness for 2013!


Once again, I didn’t smoke any crappy cigars this week!  It’s time for my walk now, I wonder what I should grab?  Something new that I may not care for, or a tried and true cigar that will cap off the weekend nicely.  It’s getting hard to “take one for the team” when the humidor is filled with such great smokes!  I’m feeling like a lancero (I don’t look like one!).  Until the next time, 





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3 Responses to A Man O’War, A Joya de Nicaragua and a New Nomad Cigar

  1. i think your theory about flavor/strength changes is a good one, but maybe there’s more involved. i once smoked a Brickhouse robusto. when i lit up, the pepper flavor was very prominent and just about scared me off. i told myself it would be fine and that it would settle down. it never did. that pepper flavor was the only thing i tasted throughout the entire cigar and it never let up or allowed any other flavors in. a short while after finishing the cigar i got very sick. haven’t been able to look at a Brickhouse cigar since.

  2. czerbe

    Did somebody say 12days of Christmas?!?!? I love me a good A.J. stick and I have had a bunch of the MOW series but not this one. I think the Ruination is one of his best all around sticks, body, and power!

  3. TriMarkC

    Interesting theory! First, I also like the Man O’War and JdN lines – lots of flavor and a reasonable price.

    Back to your theory – I’ve tested this in various ways in the past. For example, if I read that a cigar has vanilla flavors, then I look for & usually find those flavors. Similarly, if I tell someone I’m gifting a cigar to that I found it had cocoa and coffee flavors, they tend to find those flavors. So, that leads me to suspect that our tastes are influenced by what we think we know about a cigar.
    I’ve also tried to find flavors in a cigar, just to see what happens – say cherry for example. And 50/50, I can usually “find” that flavor (or more likely, something that reminds me of cherry) in the cigar.

    When I’ve done blind cigar tastings, that’s when things get more interesting. You’re trying to find flavors – any flavors – that stand out, to note and comment about. While these I think would produce the most honest tastings for flavors, even the cigar itself (wrapper color, prelit aroma, prelight draw aroma & flavors, etc) can lead us down a path.

    So, I’ve concluded that cigars flavors are alot like the old “genetics vs environment” argument — the tobaccos themselves certainly have flavors that we can taste and experience, but our mental state of experiences, olfactory-related memories (the strongest memories), the current environment we’re in, the progression of our palate during that cigar experience, etc I believe play a more defining role in determining what flavors we actually find in each cigar we experience.