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Doc's Analysis - Man O' War Ruination

We have all ruined something during our lives. I know I have a few times. There is a reason why I don't have that many white tee shirts in my dresser. I just end up ruining them in short order. Perhaps you can relate. I've also ruined plenty of holes on the golf course with my putts. Even if by some miracle my drive is straight, there is a good chance I'm going to tank the putts and destroy my hole score. Since I'm not Thanos from the Marvel Universe, I would normally think that the word "ruination" carries a negative vibe. Taking a look at the Man O' War Ruination War Horse, I may have to check that notion. The figurado has nice lines, but often times I am left disappointed by monsters like this one at 6.5" x 64. Will I be in ruins after this beast? Let's snap our fingers and see.

Walkin' Tall

Matching band & wrapper looks sharp

What seams?


Rideable wave for sure

The Deets

Cigar: Man O' War Ruination War Horse

Origin: Estelí, Nicaragua

Factory: Tabacalera AJ Fernandez de Nicaragua

Size: 6.5 x 64 figurado

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sun Grown Habano

Binder: Nicaragua Cuban-seed

Filler: Honduran ligero, Nicaraguan Cuban-seed

Appearance 9/10

I'm definitely digging the look of this vitola. The large profile has a bit of a gentle giant appearance as the figurado shape is not so drastic. Most of the cigar body is straight and has smooth transitions at either end. I liked how the foot wasn't tapered down too small. Many perfectos and figurados taper the foot to a very tiny nipple and I can never get the burn to be proper upon lighting. Maybe it's just me...Moving on, the band is taught, and not only have the veins vanished, but so have the seams. The sun grown wrapper is surprisingly delicate and soft. Not the thick & leathers sun grown wrappers I typically see. Cap looks nice & clean. There is a hearty wrapper ding on the back side and some loose stragglers needed to be plucked from the foot nip, but likely an isolated incident with the lone sample I have. Still though, it looks nice and feels pleasant to hold.

Draw 9/10

I whispered to the cigar and it told me that a crown cut was ideal, so that's what I did. It was on the tight side during the first 1" or so, but after getting past the transition taper things opened up and was excellent for the rest of the duration. No poking or prodding required.

Burn/Construction 9/10

There was a mild wave in the burn right from the beginning and it continued to be fluid. It never got out of hand and I never felt the need to do any corrections. As cool as razor sharp burn lines are when they happen, we're burning dead leaves and a small wave is never an issue for me. If I have to pull out the torch over and over, then it's an issue. The ash was great too. Solid and well behaved. The wrapper tear on the backside did not impact the burn or integrity at all.

Taste 9/10

1/3 - Kicking off the session are mesquite, hickory, and peppercorn. I'm also picking up some lemon zest in the rear. Retro is that of bright leather & shredded paper. Not the most impressive first 1", but things then become interesting. Some spice rolls in, along with pine nuts and dark chocolate. By the end of the 1st third coffee shows up too.

2/3 - At this point the dark chocolate and coffee are bolder. The spiciness ramps upward as well. Hickory has taken a back seat and the retro is now very much white pepper that is accompanied by a pleasant nose zing. The end of the 2nd third has tweaked the dark chocolate to be creamier, more like chocolate milk. Very good!

3/3 - The final third begins to transition the spiciness & chocolate milk to the front. The retro is still a white pepper blast. Overall I find the complexity has simplified, but in a way that maintains a delicious profile. If I squint I can still see hickory in the back, though dustier now.

Overall 9/10

A few months back I reviewed another beast from Man O' War, three samples actually, and it was a brutal process. I was somewhat dreading this review based on that experience, but the story played out very differently this time. Ruination is a large ring gauge cigar that packs some serious flavor with a solid performance. I rarely purchase 60s, let alone 64, but this behemoth is one that I would certainly smoke again. Two thumbs up for Ruination.

**Number of cigars smoked for the review: 1



@rayklouda21 Sorry for the super late response my dude! I'm with ya. For their price bracket they're pretty decent!


Dec 05, 2023

Big fan. Man O War cigars climbing up my list.

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