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“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” – Sun Tzu

If our enemy is a bad, weak, or boring smoke, then the Ruination may be the supreme cigar. Name aside, there is no fighting, just pure enjoyment.


What. A. Cigar. This big brown beauty delivers tons of smoke and flavor right from the first puff. The Ruination packs a punch, both in terms of quality and taste, for a well-sub-$10 stick. By the way, to make sure you get the best price possible for your Man O’ War, consult the good folks at Cigars City, where the advertised sticks are never “out of stock”.

My Robusto boasted a superb draw born of excellent quality and solid construction. As one can easily see from the above photo, this smoke has smooth lines which match its smooth yet energetic taste. This particular size, 5 ½ x 54, is perfect for after dinner enjoyment or while passing a long (well-deserved) lunch break. Take any break and add this masculine masterpiece from master cigar-maker Abdel “A.J.” Fernandez of Tabacalera Fernandez, Esteli (new site under development). It’s a great example of the ages-old Cuban rolling legacy alive and thriving in Nicaragua today.

I would classify my Robusto’s strength as a fuller-medium. Really, for me personally, I’d call it medium, but I call most cigars “medium” – either through my increased fortitude or loss of senses – jury is still out. Anyway, the usual, seasoned cigar smoker should find the Ruination full-bodied but not too strong. If fact, it may be just right for any veteran. (Newbies might need to ease into it to avoid … that unpleasantness … you know what I mean … or you will. Ha ha ha).


The burn began with a slight unevenness which rapidly worked itself out. After the initial light-up the burn was perfect as was the draw – lots and lots of generous smoke, not too hot and none too mild. The ash held on in average fashion – and I didn’t burn myself! Aside from a foolish, self-inflicted blister, I hate nothing more than a poor-burning stick that detracts from the tasting experience. No such worries here.

Rich flavors appeared immediately and developed in wonderful complexity. Underlying everything is the earthy, woody, maybe leathery deliciousness born of the ligero filler from Nicaraguan and Honduras. The binder is a top-notch Nicaraguan and the exquisite wrapper is an oily, deep-brown, sun grown leaf from Ecuador. Happy notes of lively pepper punctuate the hearty smoke culminating in a rich finish both toasty and mildly spiced.

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Think of the Ruination as a go-to when you need a great experience of slightly higher power yet of easy handling. I had mine during the evening while watching Lightning Bugs flit about. I dare to venture you might enjoy the smoke accompanied by a stout bourbon, a good single-malt, or even a dark rum. I find most stronger cigars go well with a hefty beer though the Southern ambient evening temperatures run some interference during the summer. Again, those unaccustomed to a little horsepower might be advised to eat a good meal first. You’ll figure it out. There are no wrong approaches in cigar-land. Let this Man O’ War bring you a little peace and happiness one night soon.