Originail review of the box pressed version from 1/1/2012
So I did it, I smoked the $20.00 Armada that came in the Man O’ War box-pressed sampler from CI for $39.95. At first I was a bit disappointed with the lack of flavor and strength, it did not compare at all to the Yankee, but as this cigar burned down it finished with a bang of chocolate and spice and actually made it to the top of the list as the best cigar I have ever smoked. It took over an hour to finish this stick and to be honest I wish it would have taken longer to reach the final inch. It burned slow and even, was well packed with no soft spots and had a nice easy draw.
At $20.00 retail I doubt that another of these will come my way unless I pick up another sampler, but if you can afford them they are a fantastic smoke!!
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Sumatra maduro
Size: Toro Grande
Ring Gauge: 56
Price: $5.83 Retail $20.00
Smoking time: 2 Hour 5 Min.
Humidor time: 19 days
Purchased: Cigars.com Heavy Hitters Double Stack sampler
Construction: Since the new year I have smoked enough fine cigars to now fully appreciate this stick. The dark maduro wrapper covering this firm stick just flat out had a rich look about it. It had a nice glossy sheen, yet looked like it had some tooth to it and only one minor vein in the wrapper that was rolled on perfectly.
Pre-light:The aroma from the wrapper and the foot had notes of nuts and mocha and the end cap had the same nice mocha flavor that really popped. This was qutie easily the tastiest wrapper I had ever set my lips too. Using my V cutter to clip the stick I found it had the same nutty mocha flavor on the cold draw that came from the foot and the draw was close to perfection.
First third: As I lit this cigar smoke with a very pleasant nutty mocha aroma poured out from both ends. As before I expected a big bold cigar like this to produce a full bodied flavor that would almost knock you from the chair, but not this stick. The first few draws started out mildly with flavor notes of cream, nuts and chocolate, but with each draw the flavors and strength intensified building into a nice medium bodied cigar.
Middle: Reaching the mid point there was a quite sudden flavor shift as a nice mild earthy note jumped out and hit the palate. At this point the burn was razor sharp and I was really enjoying this cigar.
End: As the burn progressed the earthiness flavor notes continued and a bit of cedar entered into the flavor and the aroma that was filling the room. Around the final two inch point the flavor took another turn. The new flavor was a very pleasant dark roasted espresso flavor that actually moved the cigar into the full bodied range.
Overall: I don’t know where to start, tfhis cigar was simply flawless. The ever shifting complexity of flavors, the fantastic taste of the wrapper, the incredible smoking time or just the overall appearance of this fine stick were all top notch. Without a doubt this is the finest cigar I have ever smoked!
Appearance and construction: 19.5
Smoking characteristics: 19.5
Overall experience: 19.5
Purchased Price: 15