Man O’ War Side Project Little Devil

The Man O’ War Side Project Little Devil is one of three blends that make up the Man O’ War Side Projects line.  This is a retail exclusive series to Cigar International.   The Side Projects line consists of three blends – each available in a single vitola.   The overall Man O’ War line has gained a huge following in the cigar community.  It is also one of the lines that helped turn A.J. Fernandez into a bonifide cigar celebrity.  On a recent trip I took to A.J. Fernandez’s factory in Nicaragua I could see his attention to detail.  This precise attention is reflected in the Man O’ War line and this is certainly reflected in the Man O’ War Side Project line.  I recently have had an opportunity to sample Man O’ War Side Project Little Devil and I found this to be an outstanding cigar experience – and one that reflects well on the legacy of A.J. Fernandez.

The Man O’ War Side Project Little Devil is a corona-sized vitola offering.  As we mentioned at the start, there is only one vitola per blend in the Side Project series.   Without further adieu, let’s break down the Man O’ War Side Project Little Devil and see what this cigar brings to the table.

Blend Profile and Vitolas Available

Normally these are separate components to the assessments done on this
web-site, but in this case they will be combined as it will be easier to talk about the Side Projects line as a whole.   Most of the information on the Side Projects line has not been disclosed. We honor that decision here and include the information made available.

Little Devil

Wrapper: Habano Sun Grown
Binder: Not disclosed
Filler: Not disclosed
Vitola: 5 x 44  (Corona)

For completeness, we include the other two offerings in the Side Projects line.


Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Ligero
Binder: Not disclosed
Filler: Not disclosed
Vitola: 5 x 52 (Chisel)


Wrapper: Pennsylvania Broadleaf Maduro
Binder: Not disclosed
Filler: Not disclosed
Vitola: 6 1/2 x 56

The Little Devil comes packaged 20 cigars per box.   The 52C and Phalanx are packaged 12 per box.


The Man O’ War Side Project Little Devil’s Habano Sun Grown wrapper is milk chocolate in color and oily in complexion.  The cigar itself is bumpy on the surface.  It has some visible veins and visible wrapper seams.   There is a covered footer and a pig-tail cap.

Man O’ War Side Project Little Devil covered footer


Man O’ War Side Project Little Devil pigtail cap

The Little Devil features two bands.  The first band is the standard Man O’ War band with a gold, silver, black, and red color scheme with the image of a knight.  Below that band is a secondary band that features a silver stripe in the middle with one black stripe on the top of the band and one black stripe on the bottom.  Gold pinstripes separate the silver stripe from the black stripe.  On the silver stripe is the text “LITTLE DEVIL SIDE PROJECT” in gold font.

Preparation for the Cigar Experience

For my smoke of the Man O’ War Side Project Little Devil, I went with a straight cut through the pigtail cap.  While many people will often remove the pigtail cap and smoke, I always prefer to go with the straight cut.  Given this has a closed foot, the straight cut also makes the pre-light draw easier.  The dry draw was a little muted in terms of body on the pre-light, but this was also expected because of the covered foot.  At the same time, there still were some very good flavor notes from the dry draw. I detected wood, white pepper, and coffee on the pre-light draw.  Overall I considered this pre-light experience to be positive, so it was time to fire up the Little Devil and see what this cigar experience would bring to the table.

Flavor Profile

The start to the Little Devil yielded a decent dose of pepper to start.  The pepper seemed to be a cross of white and red pepper.  While it provided some spice in the early going, I would not categorize it as an overly spicy pepper blast.  The pepper also didn’t really fade into the sunset as is common with a traditional “pepper blast”.  However, as the Little Devil burns through the first third, I detected some notes of chocolate.  These chocolate notes increased throughout the first third.

By the end of the first third, the chocolate notes were on par with the pepper notes.  I also detected some mild citrus notes in the background.   The citrus notes provided a nice sweetness to balance the chocolate and pepper up front.   This is the flavor profile that would hold for the majority of the smoking experience.  As the cigar experience with the Little Devil came to a close, the profile of pepper, chocolate, and citrus was still there.  I liked how the pepper was present throughout the smoking experience.   The pepper never got overwhelming at any point during the cigar – including the end.  The resulting nub was outstanding – firm to the touch and cool in temperature.  This is the way a cigar should close.

Burn and Draw

A.J. Fernandez is known for his impeccable construction – and this is often reflected on the burn and draw attributes of the cigar.  The Man O’ War Side Project Little Devil holds true to form here.  The burn to the Little Devil was truly a no maintenance burn.  It required very few touch-ups and had a razor-sharp burn.  The resulting ash was firm and white in color.  The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.

Burn and ash of the Man O’ War Side Project Little Devil

Strength and Body

The Man O’ War Little Devil is a cigar that has just the right amount of strength and just the right amount of flavor.  From a strength perspective, this cigar does have a kick to it, but isn’t a nicotine bomb.  I assessed the Little Devil to be medium to full in terms of strength.  As for the flavors, there is some nice depth to them.  I assessed the Little Devil to be medium to full in terms of body.  The attributes of strength and body balance each other very nicely.  This allows the cigar enthusiast to get the right amount of flavor and the right amount of kick.

Final Thoughts

There is something to setting up a blend to the right sized vitola.  In the case of the Man O’ War Side Project Little Devil, I firmly believe that the corona size was the perfect vitola for this particular blend.  I particularly like how this cigar has “the right amount of spice”, “the right amount of strength”, and the “right amount of flavor”.  I feel this provides a healthy dose of those attributes without going overboard.  There still is enough strength with this cigar where I probably would steer this more toward an experienced cigar enthusiast.  This cigar should definitely satisfy A.J. Fernandez fans.  As for myself, I look forward to smoking this cigar again.


Burn: Excellent
Draw: Excellent
Complexity: Low
Strength: Medium to Full
Body: Medium to Full
Finish: Excellent
Assessment: Nice to Have
Score: 91

Source: The cigars for this assessment were provided by Cigars International.