these three side projects sounds great! AJ will have to build up his inventory so he can offer boxes of each.
Having received the Man O' War 52c in the Summer Vacation Sampler, which I stongly suggest you purchase one of the best samplers CI has ever offered. The Man O' War and I already had a love relationship going on, and I really didn't think anything could be added to a cigar that was already great. Not to say that the other Man O' War cigars are less, but I want to say WOW, how in the heck could they add another great cigar to their list? This is a cigar that true tobacco lovers will go bonkers over, and be so busy enjoying the time spent smoking this cigar. I doubt you will take the time to figure out the many flavors as it evolves. Thank you CI for the best sampler you have put out in a long time, the Summer Vacation. The Man O' War Side Project 52c will find a place in my humidor.
These 52C chisels are fantastic. Draw is perfect, even with just pinching the chisel, no cut necessary. Burn is perfect. Strength- medium, Body full -complex with very rich flavors, coca, cedar, with a touch of sweetness on the finish, can't pinpoint it, maybe mint? Extremely smooth on the retrohale as well as in the mouth. I am enjoying it with Amrut Single Malt and Chet Baker on the cd player. Life couldn't be better. Try these 52c's you won't be disappointed!
I'm a big fan of the little devil's.. a great smoke all around from spice to cocoa and cream to floral notes.. just ordered another 40 after half way through my first 10 received on MMAO.. saved some money and cut down on the evidence maybe (no boxes) haha.. can't go wrong with this cigar, make sure you eat first though. The 52c however isn't as good in my experiece.. still need to try the Phalanx.
I have had several of the newer Skull Crushers...they are very similar in flavor to the Phalanx. The main difference is there is a pronounced tannic flavor to the Skull Crushers I am not fond of. I have also found they are difficult to keep lit and have a draw that is a little tighter than I personally like.
Little Devil is hands down the BEST cigar ever made.
52C (Wedge) Amazing cigar! Got it in a sampler and was very impressed. Easy and smooth to draw on and burned real evenly. A little spice and pepper tasting with hints of leather and earth. A cigar worth trying.
I just got through smoking the Skull Crusher. This has to be one of the best cigars I have ever had the pleasure of smoking. Full bodied, flavorful and the aroma was a bit of heaven (I smoked it outside because my wife doesn't like cigars). I will be ordering many of these but right now it's close to my birthday and although the wife doesn't like cigars she may get me some for that event. Smoke and enjoy, just don't wipe out the stash that CI has available.
Today I smoked a cigar that absolutely blew me away: the Man O War Side Project. This devil was bursting with spice, cocoa and mesquite! Yes mesquite. Midway thru I swear this baby had a distinct flavor of sweet mesquite.
Absolutely the best cigar I have had in a long long time. In fact, I will have to say this should be a candidate for cigar of the year.
Little Devil's top shelf. Will silence any full flavored aficionado..
Just got the sampler and so far I've just had the Little Devil. It is quite the smoke! I am not so attenuated to describe all of the nuanced flavors but it definitely has some great flavors and really took on a taste all it's own in the second third. Draw & burn were near perfect and held its burn perfectly even after ashing. The Man O' War is my favorite cigar and so far the Side Projects continue the greatness.
Just had the Phalanx last night. Cool 50 degrees in November, went to the hottub and sparked it up. I was very impressed. I had tried the Skull Crusher a few months earlier and wasn't the biggest fan. Got both of them in a sampler back a few months back. I'm thinking the age in my humi helped. The Phalanx was excellent last night. Powerful, dark, creamy, white smoke the whole time. I'm a big pepper and cedar guy and this had the perfect amount. I've also been enjoying shorter smokes recently (robustos, etc.), but I nubbed this gordo to the bottom I liked it so much. Phenomenal first third, decent second third, and a delicious final third. This has me wanting to get another sampler and try the Skull Crusher again after aging it some. Definitely try the Phalanx!!
Just had the Man O'War Phalanx, and it is all that and a bag of chips. Solid cigar (filler is tight), even burn, holds a great ash, maintains its flavor throughout the entire smoke. This cigar doesn't give you a hard burn in the back of the throat that some full strength cigars can do. Phalanx gives a great scent, easy draw with a tightly packed filler, and the taste stays true. A great purchase that I am putting on my favorites list.
Smoking the Phalynx, nothing short of spectacular. Beautiful white ash that had to be hammered off, nutty, med-full and perfect construction. Oily to view and a beauty to behold, and I'll be holding more of these soon! CI offers these babies at a great price point, and they'll not disappoint. Compare to a 5 Vegas AAA, but with a bit more oomph. Easy draw, great pre and post light aroma. Man O' War does it again.
I was introduced to the Skull Crusher at Cigarfest 2014 and it is hands down one of the best cigars I have ever smoked. It replaces Ruination as my favorite Man O' War cigars.
DJ from N.C. You are completely right. This is the best cigar I have ever had. Nubbing it as I write this. All I know is that it prompted me to speak about it on this review, which I hardly ever do. This cigar had it all. It's like the Puro Authentico in its perfect form.
Just finished a skull crusher, and am for the most part impressed. The draw was a little tight, but still managed copious amounts of smoke. The start was fairly mild, much more tame than I'd expected or hoped for, but grew stronger as it burned. Very mild spice, with a plethora of subtleties contesting & complementing throughout.
I am an unashamed enthusiast for all things AJ Fernandez. From his affordable maduro masterpiece Diesel, to the expensive habano-clad wonder Core. When he puts his name on something, you can be sure its darn good. Pinolero & San Lotano are the 90+ rated gems he has put his signature on that proves the hypothesis. I will never forget the 1st time I puffed on a Man-O-War. What a revelation! It immediately became my favorite vitola. It goes on & on, from Estd 1844 to Ave Maria. Everyone a delight, many are must haves & even a few are top 10 smokes. But I am partaking of my very 1st Side Project offering, the aptly named 52-C, as I write this review. The C is for chisel, which is the unique shape of this full bodied/full flavored 5" X 52 figurado. A mere 1/8" cut opens the chiseled end to allow clouds of creamy white smoke to billow forth from the Equadorian habano wrapped body crammed full of Nicaraguan ligero long fillers. Heavy doses of peppery goodness mingle with hearty spices & notes of leather, earth, oak, cinnamon & an underlying sweetness that belies the overall power of this stick. The strength is obvious from the git-go. It clings to the palate, resonates in the nose & can be felt deep in the gut, but in a way that is not overbearing. It just seems appropriate that a Bluto like 52-C should be this obtuse. It goes perfectly with a cup of my favorite expresso. Everything about it is top notch, from the unique flavor profile to its outstanding construction. It is expensive, however. 12 of these 40 minute treats will set you back a cool 80 clams, or $6.66 per unit. As much as I love it, I will have to wait for deals like the one from the MMAO section that netted me 6 different AJ Fernandez blends for only $3.00 each. At that price it earns a 93/100. I can't wait to try the other 3 Side Projects. Fullheads will probably agree. 52-C is a logical extension of the Man-O-War line of outstanding cigars.
Many of the reviews are subjective, in that they don't specify which of the four Side Project vitolas they are praising. Probably all four, considering the pedigree & the fact that you rarely see a bad review of any AJ Fernandez offering. I have only tried the 52-C Wedge, but want to say it is deliciously bold, flavorful, unique & on sale somewhere, yet still very pricey. I do adore the blend & can't wait to try all four, in due course. 52-C includes three of my favorite things, a chocolate brown, spicy Equadorian Habano wrapper, bold ligeros from Nicaragua & a precocious Mexican binder that takes this blend right over the top! Full bodied, caramel coated flavors, accented with a peppery spice mix that is proving to be addictive. The rare chisel shape is renamed the wedge & expertly hand rolled to give it a flawless appearance. Burn is spotless. What's not to like about 52-C? Well, it could be a lot bigger, in my opinion. Particularly at this price point. Say, a 6.5" X 58 gordo toro dagger chisel wedge! The seven to eight bone maduros are larger which should yield a much longer smoke than the 52-C's 30-40 minute burn time. A very good, very expensive indulgence, it receives a 91/100 & is highly recommended to fullheads & AJ lovers alike.
Nice little smoke. When I'm back in school and working full time, don't get too much time for the toros and churchills so this is an excellent stick. Nice and spicy which I'm a big fan of.
*Skull Crushers* My awesome wife dropped a bundle of these sticks in my Christmas stocking just to say how good I was this year. I've tried and loved the line of MOW, as each stick compliments their own occasion. BUT, the SC's have superseded my Ruin favorite and I'll be stocking my humidor with more. Great job MOW!
The Phalanx is the best Maduro I have yet had the pleasure to smoke. Right of the bat, the most intense caramel sweetness on the nose I have ever gotten out of a stick. This reminds me exactly of an Oscuro I enjoy, but better! Sweet dark chocolate, fresh roasted sweet snappy Italian espresso beans, sweet cedar. Are you following me yet? Sweet, sweet, sweet smoky dark joy. The "medium" tag is meaningless and led me to mis-judge before lighting up. This has a fuller, more delicate and wider complex palate than all the stronger Maduros I have smoked! Without a doubt, this has become my top favorite cigar, and I really HOPE this one is here to stay. I would love more sizes and for this to become a mainstay.
Here's the deal. I love cigars with bite. Bite is when the cigar is strong. It's rare. Lots of cigars brag about being "strong" and "full-bodied" but most miss the mark, and there's no bite at all to the smoke. Litto Gomez brought the heat when the double ligero dropped back in the early 2000's, tons of bite, especially the chiselitos, but the following crops couldn't replicate the magic of those first offerings.
Well, AJ has NAILED it with the Little Devil. A Bomb of a smoke with bite for days. If you are a full flavored, strong cigar lover as I am, you won't go wrong with this smoke. Wasn't a fan of the skull crusher and liked the other vitolas, but the Little Devil is the star of the bunch. Beautiful flavors to the nub, strong as hell, and tons of bite. Smoke one on an empty stomach and your head will be woozy by the end. Just how I like 'em! Thanks to AJ Fernandez (One of the only cigar makers out there offering blends with real bite) for putting together such smokes and thanks to CI for offering them! Kudos! Side tip - AJ's Mayimbe is another a$$ kicker, especially the smaller vitolas. Keep it up AJ!
I absolutely LOVE the Little Devil... the others, not so much.
After smoking mostly Drew Estate cigars, I was not happy with the Little Devil. Was a very full cigar and had a strong taste that didn't agree with me.
One of my all time favorite cigars. Best AJ has made in my opinion. Ranks with his Mayimbe.. Have just ordered 4 more boxes for my humidor.
love this cigar real good flavor