Brand: Man O’War Country: Nicaragua
Size: Toro Grande 6.5 x 56 Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra
The Label Factor:
We have raved about the Man O’War labels in the past. Though similar to its little brothers, the Armada stands out for its simplicity. The gold spartan helmet pops from the solid black background, giving the Man O’War Armada a label worthy of the steep asking price. If you are a real baller, you may get to see the box they come in. How badass is that?
What We Liked:
I typically don’t take notice of the construction of a cigar but it is difficult not to with the Armada. Coming in only a single vitola (with the exception of special samplers), the Toro Grande looks and feels fantastic. The result of the excellent construction is a sharp, even burn with hands down THE sexiest white ash I have ever seen. I want to know the science behind ash. Why does the color vary so much from cigar to cigar? Why do the cigars I enjoy most tend to have whiter, more compact ash? If you’re an ashologist, please answer these questions. Anyway, If you are unhappy with the Man O’War Armada, it certainly won’t be due to poor build quality.
Flavor-wise, to kick things off, the Armada greets you with a very sweet tobacco taste accompanied by a subtle hint of pepper. After a half inch, the Armada floats into cream port. Cream port is located in coffee county and surrounded by the nut forest. I should draw you a map. A flavor map. The Armada on this map would be marked in the heart of Delicious Town.
Really, the Armada is tasty, but this cigar doesn’t really distinguish itself on flavor, as much as it does on smoothness. It’s one smooth, creamy fleet of war ships. I think I am forcing these armada puns now. If you are looking for a silky smooth smoking experience from start to finish, the Man O’War Armada is a cigar for you.
What We Didn’t Like:
When you smoke a cigar that carries such a high price tag, you expect something special. It is here where I felt the Man O’War Armada falls short. While the flavors are good, there just isn’t enough variety or complexity to justify that $20 price tag.
It is also worth noting that I have smoked two of these sticks and the second brought on a strange, chemical taste towards the very end. It didn’t ruin the experience but it threw me for an unpleasant loop. A chemical loop. This was unique to my second experience and I feel pretty confident this was a fluke.
Should You Buy/Try It
I smoked my first Armada almost a year ago. At the time, I was pretty new to the world of cigars and was blown away by it. With the memory of that experience on my mind, I couldn’t wait to smoke another. Now that I know more, I was disappointed the second time. Yes, the Armada is a high quality cigar but is it really worthy of the $20 price tag? No. It’s not. It makes me sad to say that, because I really want to Armada to be something truly special. Buying this cigar would be like paying $60,000 for a Toyota Camry. It’s a great, reliable and creamy car with subtle notes of coffee and nuts, but for the price, why not smoke a BMW or something? There are so many fantastic cigars for a fraction of this price that there is simply no way I can justify buying more of these in the future.
I have occasionally seen these pop up on CigarBid so it is possible that you could find them far cheaper than MSRP. If so, jump on it. Otherwise, grab yourself two Ashton VSGs or Padron 1964s for the same price.