Man O' War is carefully blended and hand-crafted by Abdel “AJ” Fernandez in Esteli, Nicaragua. If you haven’t heard of him then you may have heard of his list of clients which includes Ernie Padilla, Rocky Patel, and Kaizad Hansotia, among others. Born in Cuba, AJ began working with tobacco at a very young age under the watchful eye of cigar legend Alejandro Robaina, considered the Godfather of Cuban cigars. Decades ago, in the country's famed Pinar del Rio region, Don Alejandro cultivated what is still considered Cuba's finest wrapper leaf. After decades spent absorbing the master's knowledge, AJ moved to Nicaragua and began building what is now considered one of the finest boutique makers in the Central American country. Of all the cigars expertly made in his own factory – ITC (Indian Tabac) 10th Anniversary and Rocky Patel's Fusion, among them – AJ considers the Man O' War his best creation. The Damnation may be one of his best yet. Handmade in Nicaragua, this lip-smacker features a luscious and oily Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper and a feisty Nicaraguan binder, and is brimming with Nicaraguan long-fillers. Even though this cigar packs a punch with notes of oak, leather, bitter espresso, and a very good amount of spice, it still is perfectly balanced and will leaving you drooling for another one. Enjoy this palate pleaser with your favorite aged bourbon; one panel member recommended Hillrock Solera Aged Bourbon.
The Nicaraguan cigar industry originated when Cuban cigar makers escaped the revolution and re-established their livelihood in Nicaragua with Cuban-seed tobacco. Blessed with dark, rich soil, their new home was ideal for tobacco cultivation and Nicaragua quickly became known for cigars that rivaled Cuban quality. Unfortunately, revolution and war came to Nicaragua in the 1980s and devastated the industry, but it’s rebounded dramatically and is once again producing tobacco considered by many to be the finest in the world.
The Esteli Valley is in many ways the heart of Nicaraguan production and is known for its very powerful and spicy tobacco. The Jalapa Valley produces arguably the finest tobacco in the country: somewhat sweeter and less intense than Esteli, but extremely complex. The tobacco of the Condega Valley is often described as a blend of the other two regions.
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