Man O’ War Virtue Toro – Cigar Review
Size: 6 x 50
Blend: Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapper around Nicaraguan long fillers.
Construction: The cigar was wrapped with a slightly oily & very smooth near claro coloured
Connecticut wrapper. The wrapper has some reasonable sized veins on the reverse side of the band. Under the wrapper the pack is inconsistent being textbook density at the foot and progressively turning concrete hard on the band & head. Beneath the wrapper there were some significant lumps and bumps which had broken through to the surface. The seams where barely visible and the cigar was neatly finished with a double cap.
Smell: Slight Hints of green grass and dried hay with subtle hints of butter or oil in the background. The foot smelled of dried hay.
Cold Draw: After cutting and exposing the pack I was concerned that this stick was going to have a Firm draw, it looked extremely tightly packed. Upon testing the draw I was pleasantly surprised to have a very easy draw with a desirable level of resistance. Flavours on the draw consisted of Dried Hay and a slight inkling of butter.
First Light: Flavours on the first light consisted primarily of a very sharp almost charred tasting white pepper which rapidly filled the mouth and left an electric tingle at the tip of the tongue. Behind the pepper there was a dried tobacco taste with a dash of salt and oil.
Flavours at this time were dominated by the white pepper and very difficult to identify while my palate is literally on fire as if I took a shot of white pepper. At this stage the cigar was offering excellent smoke production with thick clouds of oily white smoke.
First 3rd – 10 min
As the cigar warmed up into the First 3rd the sting of the white pepper started to mellow out slightly. The cigar was starting to deposit slight oil onto the palate presenting flavour wise like salty butter. In conjunction with the pepper and butter there were slight hints of tobacco and an extremely subtle sweetness. Overall the body of this stick with because the pepper is a medium to full.
At this stage the cigar was burning and drawing perfectly with a near straight edge burn line.
As the cigar progressed the white pepper continued to dial down and allowed the identification of the more subtle components of the flavour profile. The cigar’s personality was headed for a shift, in conjunction with the subsidence of the pepper, the stick formed a grassy breaded character whilst maintain the buttery oil and hints of tobacco and sweetness in the background. By The end of the third the white pepper had almost disappeared leaving the grassy, bready flavours at the front. In my opinion this was a good thing. The pepper was definitely white pepper, but there was something overpowering and unpleasant about it.
Second 3rd – 35min
Things really started to look up for this cigar into the second third, the previous flavours experienced lacked synergy and made for an odd and disjointed taste The white pepper was gone, the bread dried out into a more pleasant toast while the grass remained. The more subtle flavours in the background marched closer to the front presenting as sweet caramel and wood. With the pepper out of the picture this cigar is now presenting with a very pleasant light to medium body.
As the cigar progressed through the second third the sweeter notes mover further into the front leaving the grass closer to the back heralding another change to the character of this cigar in the direction of toasty semi oily sweetness. Late in the third the head started to foul up with tar and made the draw tighter, this was mad further evident by the tang on the lips created by the tar. A new cut was made which only slightly helped with the draw but did manage to remove the poor taste created by the tar.
The cigar started to smoke very slowly as it approached the band, which I attribute to the pack being significantly tighter as identified in the initial inspection.
Third 3rd -1 hour
Flavours remained unchanged moving into the final segment of this cigar.
As the third progressed, as per usual heat started to present itself slightly being identifiable in the finish. As the heat ramped up I tried a purge on the cigar in a bit to buy a few more enjoyable minutes with reasonable success.
As the cigar was near the finish line the wrapper massively split on one of the binders bumps close to the head.
As the third progressed the heat came up and started to ruin the experience so I retired the stick with 40 mm remaining at 1 hour 25 min.
This cigar started off to a very rocky and unpleasant start flavour wise. The overpowering and acidic white pepper made for a pretty unpleasant start. As this cigar progressed it really turned itself around and made for an interesting smoke with good diversity in the flavours offered.
I personally would not buy any more of these as I prefer the offerings of a sun grown or maduro wrapped cigar.
If you enjoy lighter body shade grown cigars this stick is well worth a try. I’ve only had one of these as it was a gift from a friend at a recent herf. (thanks Burkey) I think the experience would be brilliant if the pepper was reined in at the start a little more. The cigar Burnt and smoked like an absolute dream.
Suggested pairings with this cigar would be a light, wet and refreshing white wine like a New Zealand Sav Blanc or a Vodka & Lime with soda water.
Thanks for reading!