Cigar Review: Man O’ War Ruination


Well the good part about this time of year being slow in new releases it allows me to catch up and smoke cigars that I have not had but wanted to try based on the reviews of others. One of those cigars is the Man O War Ruination. I first found out about this cigar from Jerry Cruz on his review over at and last year I was so concentrating on getting certain reviews up I just put it on the list.

When Jerry was in NYC a couple of weeks ago I was hoping he would have one on him to try but he did not so I got a 5 pack from the devil site for $21.00 and now we get to ask the question, is a box purchase in my future?

Cigar: Man O War Ruination
Size: 5.5 x 54 (No. 1/Robusto)
Wrapper: Ecuador Habano Ligero
Filler: Honduran & Nicaraguan
Strength: Full/Medium
Twitter: N/A

Man O War Ruination

Man O' War Ruination

Appearance and Construction: The Man O’ War Ruination features a very oily wrapper with a fair amount of veins. None of these veins stick out in an obscene way, but they are there none the less. The cigar is expertly rolled with the seams almost impossible find with a picture perfect cap. This hefty cigar has no soft spots and a wonderful looking band that makes you want to watch a USC game, Gladiator or Monty Python’s Holy Grail. The foot has a secondary band, but I understand these cigars might have a new band on newer releases.

Flavor & Notes : You can smell the Ligero wrapper as spice is present to the nose. The foot offers a similar spice but there also a subtle cocoa hidden underneath. The pre-light draw offers some subtle spices and raisin. Once the cigar is lit there is some pepper present with notes of leather and a subtle sweetness that borders on vanilla. After the first inch the cigar mellows some and becomes an incredibly rich cigar with notes of leather, cocoa and coffee that are simple insane. The second third of this cigar notes of wood begin to emerge as the leather moves to the background. The cigar loses some of its strength as it mellows out into a medium bodied experience. As the second third comes to a close there are notes of wood, nuts, cocoa and coffee intertwined making this a delightful smoking experience. The final third of the cigar the wood remains with notes of coffee as the leather slowly creeps up. The finish is dry so be sure to keep a beverage handy.

Smoking Characteristics: I was a little bit worried this cigar that is loaded with ligero tobacco would have burn issues. The thick ligero wrapper burned very well and almost perfectly even from start to finish. The Man O War Ruination produced a lot of smoke and never went out which was a plus. The medium gray ash held on very well with only a minimal amount of flake. The draw was perfect as I enjoyed this slow burning cigar.

Conclusion: I said it before and I will say it again. AJ Fernandez is the next big thing. Cigar after cigar that I have sampled from him have been an extremely enjoyable experience with great price points. This Man O War Ruination is perfect for the full bodied cigar lover. For those who do not like the full strength ligero ass kick the regular Man O War line is a great alternative.

Price: $49.95 for a 10 cigar sampler of both Man O War Cigars at Cigars International

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  • Luke – AspiringGent

    One of my favorites. Thanks for the review!

  • dj

    Thanks! Got a couple humi-ing up!

  • Marty – lilwing88

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but if that’s the photo of the cigar you reviewed and not a stock photo, then that’s the regular MOW. Not the Ruination. Again, I could be wrong……

    The reason why I think you may have had the original, is the dry finish you speak of, which is characteristic to the original. The Ruination has more of an oily finish, in my experience.

  • DaByrdman33

    Great review bro. Jerry Cruz turned a bunch of us on to these sticks. I have only had the Robusto #2 size but I agree with the review.

  • Barry


    There are 3 versions of bands tied into the Ruination.

    1.0) The original Man O War label.
    2.0) The original label + foot label (pictured here)
    3.0) The completely redesign ruination label.

    Allegedly the blends remained the same, but to clear up confusion the labels were re-worked.

    This is indeed the Ruination version 2.0

  • Marty – lilwing88

    Got it. Thanks for clarifying.

  • Adam

    Nice review Barry. I have still not tried the Runation which is dumb because it sounds like this cigar is right up my alley.

    However, I am skeptical that AJ Fernandez will become of anything until he gets out from underneath the CI/ thumb. Reason I say that is because B&M’s will not carry his stuff because CI has undercut the price so much, not to mention I think they are exclusives anyway, correct me if I am wrong. CI and will tout this guy as the next big thing but until you see a lot of his stuff in B&M’s I think he will just be thier pawn. Don’t get me wrong I love a lot of AJ’s stuff and I think he is doing a fantastic job but… What are your thoghts on that?

  • JoshK

    Initially I stayed away from these, as I’m not a straight legero kind of guy. But I tend to buy a fair share of my smokes through CI so I’ll probably get some eventually.

  • Barry


    My thoughts are this. AJ Fernandez is a smart man. He was a protege to one of the greatest blenders in the history of cigars. He needs to raise capital and what have you. I don’t see him being with CI and only CI for the rest of his career. I think in time he will begin to branch out.

    I say in due time you will see him branch out and start making a name for himself in B&Ms around the country. He does have a core following right now and that puts him one step ahead of many others.


  • Adam

    Barry, loving the conversation we have going here…I agree he has a big following that should help him. But my point is that he won’t make it big until he gets out from CI. When he does it is going to be great to see the kid really flourish.

  • Chris McCann

    Thanks for the review, Barry. I recently smoked a few of these and they’ve become one of my favorites.

  • dmj

    On the other hand, he seems to be doing quite well for himself within the CI-sphere of influence. He was one of the main Friday attractions at CigarFest last weekend with an event all to himself (for Man O War and Diesel) and the line for autographs was almost out the door. Would I like to see his stuff carried at regular B&Ms? Sure. Is it a bad thing for CI to have an exclusive that is actually good and desirable (unlike so many of their “exclusive” Rockys and Gurkhas)? Not at all.

    In the last week I’ve smoked all 3 varieties of Man O War (includes the new “Virtue” Connecticut Shade wrapped cigar) and Diesel Unholy Cocktail and they are all very good to great cigars. The Ruination is at the top of the heap, though, IMO.

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