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Last post 3 months ago by delta1. 41 replies replies.
AJ and cbid...
KingoftheCove Offline
#1 Posted:
Joined: 10-08-2011
Posts: 5,471
Anyone know if AJ is still making the Man o War line?
Or, has it been licensed out to cbid et al?
dstieger Offline
#2 Posted:
Joined: 06-22-2007
Posts: 10,316
Did they go from bad to worse?
Mrs. dpnewell Offline
#3 Posted:
Joined: 08-23-2014
Posts: 1,040
I don't feel the flavor has changed, but quality has gone down hill. Just from recent shipments, I've had a couple that where plugged, and several with wrapper defects. They ones with wrapper defects where smokable, but should have been pulled aside as 2nds.

I do know that the scary place sells them, so I don't know how they would still be a CI exclusive. Main reason I'm back here. I won a few 5vers over there, and realized I missed them as a decent everyday cheap smoke. Not the regular MOW, but the Ruination, etc. I also came back for the Genisis Project, but man, has that thing turned into a turd.

David
midmofan Offline
#4 Posted:
Joined: 04-25-2014
Posts: 875
KingoftheCove wrote:
Anyone know if AJ is still making the Man o War line?
Or, has it been licensed out to cbid et al?


The Man 'o War line was always one of the "branded-house-brands" only available through CI and the CI-related companies. It was always an "under contract" cigar not available at a B&M or from other companies. But, as far as I can tell from several searches, they are still made at the Tabacalera location. If they are available from a non-"Scandinavian" outlet, that would be interesting. Dumping excess? Bad batch even by CI standards? Here is an interesting blurb I found.

While Fernandez has his own brands, like the vaunted San Lotano, 60 percent of the cigars made at this factory go to Cigars International, a giant catalog company owned by Scandinavian Tobacco Group. About 10 percent of his production is dedicated to private-label brands and the rest of the workforce produces Fernandez's own brands. If Cigar International's catalog customers don't know A.J.'s name, they know his cigars, most notably Man O' War and Diesel—two brands that have become immensely popular with budget conscious fans of full-bodied cigars.

Cigars International keeps the factory in business, but the catalog company has no direct financial stake in the operation (despite industry whispers that they've bankrolled the factory). Tabacalera A.J. Fernandez belongs to Fernandez alone. The steady flow of massive business from Cigars International allows Fernandez the leeway to be creative with his own brands. Lines like San Lotano (Top 25 cigars of 2012, 91 points), New World and Enclave, which scored 92 points in Cigar Aficionado for its Churchill size, are emblematic of Fernandez's acumen as a cigar maker. And while his large operation requires him to buy a lot of third-party leaf in bulk, he uses mostly tobacco that he's grown himself for his own brands.


Note that last bit with the third-party leaf. As stated, that does not go into his own brands but the stuff made for CI which opens up a lot of possibilities for variations in quality, flavor and even burn.

I have always liked the Puro Authentico ones when gotten here at Cbid fairly cheap. Pretty sure one of the old Blendlabs that I liked and bought a bunch of was a prototype of this offering.
KingoftheCove Offline
#5 Posted:
Joined: 10-08-2011
Posts: 5,471
dstieger wrote:
Did they go from bad to worse?

Eh.........don’t know about that.
I like the MOWPAs after a long nap, and I used to like the Ruinations after a good nap as well.
Still have plenty of MOWPAs with years on them, but ran out of Ruinations a few years back.........kinda forget about them................so maybe that’s a tell, in and of itself.....heh heh.

I just remember liking them, and was gonna grab some.
But then thought I read/heard that the ManoWar and Diesel lines are now made under contract.
Hoping that it was just a rumor...
KingoftheCove Offline
#6 Posted:
Joined: 10-08-2011
Posts: 5,471
Didn’t see the midMo and DP posts before posting (baby sitting)
Good info.....thanks fellas
Mrs. dpnewell Offline
#7 Posted:
Joined: 08-23-2014
Posts: 1,040
midmofan,

As of this moment, the scary place has multiple lines of Diesel and MOW up for auction. Unless I'm completely out of the loop, they are still non-Scandinavian. Maybe the cigars are no longer an exclusive, the scary place is no longer non-Scandinavian, OR CI's now selling cigars to their competition. Uhmmmmm.

David
midmofan Offline
#8 Posted:
Joined: 04-25-2014
Posts: 875
Mrs. dpnewell wrote:
midmofan,

As of this moment, the scary place has multiple lines of Diesel and MOW up for auction. Unless I'm completely out of the loop, they are still non-Scandinavian. Maybe the cigars are no longer an exclusive, the scary place is no longer non-Scandinavian, OR CI's now selling cigars to their competition. Uhmmmmm.

David


You know, I have never been certain which place people are referring to when they say the "scary place" LOL, but STG has in the past year purchased some additional outlets including the Machine-gunned themed store based in Tampa.
KingoftheCove Offline
#9 Posted:
Joined: 10-08-2011
Posts: 5,471
That part about AJ having to buy bulk for his CI lines?
That’s a bit troubling.........seriously doubt Diesels and MoWs are going to be as solid as they once were.
And DP finding quality issues with recent shipments isn’t a good development either.
Think I’m gonna pass on those Ruinations...........10-packs going for $26 on FF?
That’s another red flag imo.
KingoftheCove Offline
#10 Posted:
Joined: 10-08-2011
Posts: 5,471
midmofan wrote:
You know, I have never been certain which place people are referring to when they say the "scary place" LOL, but STG has in the past year purchased some additional outlets including the Machine-gunned themed store based in Tampa.

The well known scary place, the MB3 place, and a short list of smaller other players is all that is left of independent online shpos doing a decent volume of sales.
If the Wellknown and MB3 place get gobbled up?
We’re kinda scrood...
tamapatom Offline
#11 Posted:
Joined: 03-19-2015
Posts: 7,231
We all be schpeaking Svedish.
midmofan Offline
#12 Posted:
Joined: 04-25-2014
Posts: 875
KingoftheCove wrote:
That part about AJ having to buy bulk for his CI lines?
That’s a bit troubling.........seriously doubt Diesels and MoWs are going to be as solid as they once were.
And DP finding quality issues with recent shipments isn’t a good development either.
Think I’m gonna pass on those Ruinations...........10-packs going for $26 on FF?
That’s another red flag imo.


Ya know, although it doesn't quite specifically state this, the blurb implies that there are even different rollers and others that make the CI offerings when it says "the rest of the workforce." Training people on the CI blends?????
tamapatom Offline
#13 Posted:
Joined: 03-19-2015
Posts: 7,231
What did you expect? Internet cigars.
midmofan Offline
#14 Posted:
Joined: 04-25-2014
Posts: 875
And, FWIW, the MB3 place has a pretty good sale going on for a number of NON-CI exclusive AJ Cigars.
opelmanta1900 Offline
#15 Posted:
Joined: 01-10-2012
Posts: 9,845
I doubt the mb3 place sells out anytime soon... AJ however, I think has already joined the ranks of k. hore and Rocky... Lower end stuff like the mow line is probably already being mass produced, altadis and general style, with whatever similar tobacco he can acquire...

Seems like a lot of the buzz with aj for a long time was that he had a bunch of aged tobacco... Can't imagine he's been keeping that store and age process up at the rate he's been selling... I'm sure he's still got access to quality tobacco, but do you think he's putting it in anything that sells for $3?

On a similar note, the mb3 place - which is usually at least $1/cigar over priced when stuffs not on sale - sells all the Undercrowns for $3.50 a pop now... Never thought I'd see the day when some of my favorites became unsmokeable...
delta1 Offline
#16 Posted:
Joined: 11-23-2011
Posts: 17,626
if they would let us know when they will change the quality and production of their lines, we could load up on our faves before they go south...then we wouldn't be stuck with poor imitations of the OR's that we paid OR prices for...
KingoftheCove Offline
#17 Posted:
Joined: 10-08-2011
Posts: 5,471
delta1 wrote:
if they would let us know when they will change the quality and production of their lines, we could load up on our faves before they go south...then we wouldn't be stuck with poor imitations of the OR's that we paid OR prices for...

Hahahaha!
Delta! You funny!
KingoftheCove Offline
#18 Posted:
Joined: 10-08-2011
Posts: 5,471
opelmanta1900 wrote:


On a similar note, the mb3 place - which is usually at least $1/cigar over priced when stuffs not on sale - sells all the Undercrowns for $3.50 a pop now... Never thought I'd see the day when some of my favorites became unsmokeable...

What did you put in your bong this morning?
$3.50/ea for all Undercrowns at MB3??
I’m not seeing that..................and never saw that.
Maybe I need to smoke your stuff?
opelmanta1900 Offline
#19 Posted:
Joined: 01-10-2012
Posts: 9,845
You should definitely be smoking my stuff...

Not seeing it now either, but I saw it multiple times on the weekly special in the last 2 month's... $3.49 a pop... All 3 kinds...
KingoftheCove Offline
#20 Posted:
Joined: 10-08-2011
Posts: 5,471
opelmanta1900 wrote:
You should definitely be smoking my stuff...

Not seeing it now either, but I saw it multiple times on the weekly special in the last 2 month's... $3.49 a pop... All 3 kinds...

Ok......got it.........I thought that you meant all the time.
Must have missed the sales............I like the Shade line for A Connie
opelmanta1900 Offline
#21 Posted:
Joined: 01-10-2012
Posts: 9,845
I thought I did too... But I guess not...

I had seen them so many times I thought that was the going price... Kinda like the 12 honest men... It's occasionally marked $60 I think, but the price is $45...
delta1 Offline
#22 Posted:
Joined: 11-23-2011
Posts: 17,626
at $45 for the Twelve Honest Men, that is a great deal...smoked one a couple of nights ago, and it has to be the best of the Jericho Hill vitolas, IMHO...now, if they are still the same as that one, at least two/three years old...
borndead1 Offline
#23 Posted:
Joined: 11-07-2006
Posts: 4,665
I don't know what's going on with AJ, but after my recent purchase of a fiver of really poorly rolled Diesel Unlimited lanceros (light as air, loose draw), he's about 1 bad experience away from being added to my list of cigar makers I no longer buy from or pay any attention to.
Pudding Mittens Offline
#24 Posted:
Joined: 08-15-2016
Posts: 745
Quote:
If they (CI exclusive cigars) are available from a non-"Scandinavian" outlet, that would be interesting. Dumping excess? Bad batch even by CI standards?

Quote:
the scary place has multiple lines of Diesel and MOW up for auction. Unless I'm completely out of the loop, they are still non-Scandinavian. Maybe the cigars are no longer an exclusive, the scary place is no longer non-Scandinavian, OR CI's now selling cigars to their competition. Uhmmmmm.

Nope, it's simply that they're wholesaling them now, so any retailer can profitably sell them.

For those who don't know: CI has a wholesale arm which... I probably can't directly mention.

Hey, remember the guy who developed the computer games "Civilization" and other simulations? If you take his last name, add an ampersand, then the missing word from "_____ Boy Paint", that just might be it. Drool

Their address is the same "1911 Spillman Drive" one in Bethlehem PA that all the other CI-associated businesses (including CigarBid) use.

That's why you now see some "CI exclusive" cigars sold at other vendors (like the "well known" cigar company and its discount "scary" site, local B&Ms, etc. etc.)

KingoftheCove wrote:
That part about AJ having to buy bulk for his CI lines?
That’s a bit troubling.........seriously doubt Diesels and MoWs are going to be as solid as they once were.
And DP finding quality issues with recent shipments isn’t a good development either.
Think I’m gonna pass on those Ruinations...........

I don't know, but I'm guessing that he ALWAYS used bought leaf for Diesel/MoW, so it shouldn't be a big deal. The man knows tobacco. You can bet he tests every batch he buys to make sure it's up to par before accepting it and using it.

I've noticed no decline in Diesel or MoW. I haven't bought any in about 4 months, but up until year-end 2018 at least, I haven't noticed any dropoff.

Quote:
10-packs going for $26 on FF? That’s another red flag imo.

I've always been able to get Ruinations for about $2.00 or a bit more, each. I'm talking the price attainable by knowledgeable deal-hounds, not street price or MSRP. So $2.60 each on CigarBid, a site known for making really low prices possible if you're patient, is not a new or worrying price drop at all.

Quote:
Ya know, although it doesn't quite specifically state this, the blurb implies that there are even different rollers and others that make the CI offerings when it says "the rest of the workforce." Training people on the CI blends?????

I've never had any significant construction or draw problems on any Diesel/MoW cigars, and I've smoked a metric schitt-ton of them over the years, and bought them as late as December 2018 as noted above. AJ has strict quality standards and uses draw-test machines, etc. I wouldn't worry about quality control, so far he's always had it well under control, to a very commendable extent actually.
.
midmofan Offline
#25 Posted:
Joined: 04-25-2014
Posts: 875
Pudding Mittens wrote:
Nope, it's simply... yadda-yadda-yadda ...actually.
Angel


I have not had any of the MOW offerings for some time except for the puro authentico and they were ones that were purchased a year or so ago. They are very nice- so whatever tobacco AJ was using in them back then was the good stuff and they are rolled just fine

I do trust the judgment of those that say that the quality of some recent batches has gone downhill. Could be just coincidences of the rare bad box or a blip on the production line, or even how a recent boatload was stored and cared for, but if CI is now wholesale selling them to others, that is going to put pressure on CI and AJ to pump even more of them out which, as we have seen with RP and some others, is not always a good thing.

I have a few bids in right now to replenish the PA, so I may be able to see if those are still doing OK.
opelmanta1900 Offline
#26 Posted:
Joined: 01-10-2012
Posts: 9,845
For the record, Meier and Dutch have been going strong for many years selling MOW's and everything else CI sells as an exclusive to anyone with a tobacco distributors license... Many years... I've seen mow's in b&m's in ca...

Maybe AJ's new found mainstream popularity means they're moving more than before, I dunno... But i know mow's available through ci's wholesale is nothing new...
KingoftheCove Offline
#27 Posted:
Joined: 10-08-2011
Posts: 5,471
Pudding Mittens wrote:



I've always been able to get Ruinations for about $2.00 or a bit more, each. I'm talking the price attainable by knowledgeable deal-hounds, not street price or MSRP. So $2.60 each on CigarBid, a site known for making really low prices possible if you're patient, is not a new or worrying price drop at all.
.
.

Well that shows how long I’ve been out of that market, because I dont remember them being under $3.............but that was years ago. Always thought the Ruination was one of his best cigars.
Maybe I’ll grab a tener off FF and see for myself.
opelmanta1900 Offline
#28 Posted:
Joined: 01-10-2012
Posts: 9,845
You're not thinking of the puro authentico are you? Ruination @ $2 a pop was pretty standard back in the day...
KingoftheCove Offline
#29 Posted:
Joined: 10-08-2011
Posts: 5,471
opelmanta1900 wrote:
You're not thinking of the puro authentico are you? Ruination @ $2 a pop was pretty standard back in the day...

Maybe I’m getting old and cornfuzed........but not thinking of the MOWPA.......maybe I just never got a good deal on the Ruinations...
KingoftheCove Offline
#30 Posted:
Joined: 10-08-2011
Posts: 5,471
Holy carp........I am losing it.......checked my spreadsheet

6/24/11, Belicosos.........$2.00/ea
2/1/12, Robustos...........$2.08/ea
3/29/12, Robustos.........$1.83/ea
6/1/12, Robustos...........$2.00/ea
10/30/14, Belicosos........$3.00/ea
10/30/14, Robustos.........$3.00/ea

Guess I started over paying in 2014, and said enough of that.......heh heh!
Mrs. dpnewell Offline
#31 Posted:
Joined: 08-23-2014
Posts: 1,040
I see everyone is still overpaying. Sarcasm


Last spring I was picking up Ruination 5 packs at will for $8. I won at least 10 of them for that price.

https://www.cigarbid.com...tion-robusto-1/2874420/

David

dstieger Offline
#32 Posted:
Joined: 06-22-2007
Posts: 10,316
Virtue was the only MoW anything that I found to be worth auction prices.
KingoftheCove Offline
#33 Posted:
Joined: 10-08-2011
Posts: 5,471
Mrs. dpnewell wrote:
I see everyone is still overpaying. Sarcasm


Last spring I was picking up Ruination 5 packs at will for $8. I won at least 10 of them for that price.

https://www.cigarbid.com...tion-robusto-1/2874420/

David


yeah, well I did my part to keep the lights on for October, 2014.

Have you been smoking those Runiations from last Spring?
How are they?
KingoftheCove Offline
#34 Posted:
Joined: 10-08-2011
Posts: 5,471
dstieger wrote:
Virtue was the only MoW anything that I found to be worth auction prices.

Ha!
Different strokes....
I thought the Virtue was an airball with hints of the New York Times thrown in during the second half.
tonygraz Offline
#35 Posted:
Joined: 08-11-2008
Posts: 11,106
I didn't read the Times.
KingoftheCove Offline
#36 Posted:
Joined: 10-08-2011
Posts: 5,471
tonygraz wrote:
I didn't read the Times.

Heh heh.........but I’m sure you’ve felt like you were smoking the Times..............a Time or two.......eh?
You’ve had to sample quite a bit of stuff to end up with your secret list of smokeable $1.00 cigars!
delta1 Offline
#37 Posted:
Joined: 11-23-2011
Posts: 17,626
the Last Call Ecuador habano wrapped smokes are pretty good AJ cigars...

anybody know what the FF price is?
Mrs. dpnewell Offline
#38 Posted:
Joined: 08-23-2014
Posts: 1,040
KingoftheCove wrote:
yeah, well I did my part to keep the lights on for October, 2014.

Have you been smoking those Runiations from last Spring?
How are they?


GONE! But, I enjoyed them. Much better then the standard MOW.

David
Mrs. dpnewell Offline
#39 Posted:
Joined: 08-23-2014
Posts: 1,040
dstieger wrote:
Virtue was the only MoW anything that I found to be worth auction prices.


I like the Virtue also, one of my regular early morning smokes, but again, only at the $8 five pack price. I won multiple lots last month at that price, but am having a hard time doing it now.

David
opelmanta1900 Offline
#40 Posted:
Joined: 01-10-2012
Posts: 9,845
KingoftheCove wrote:
What did you put in your bong this morning?
$3.50/ea for all Undercrowns at MB3??
I’m not seeing that..................and never saw that.
Maybe I need to smoke your stuff?

Haven't smoked yet this morning and I seen em at $3.95... Not sure on the size...

Last calls are less than $3...

Jericho hills less than $4...
delta1 Offline
#41 Posted:
Joined: 11-23-2011
Posts: 17,626
Last Call and Jericho Hill: two faves...............hmmmm.........................................add in the cost of another tupperdor, and there goes the price/stick......................Think Think Think


must resist...must resist...must resist...Not talking

Think
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