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Veteran Vices: Warfighter Tobacco

While many veterans and first responders enjoy cigars, and many cigar companies contribute to veteran and first responder causes, there is still a substantial culture gap between companies selling a primarily luxury product and a demographic that are not, by and large, luxury product consumers.

Then there’s Warfighter Tobacco – a cigar company founded by veterans specifically for grunts and their lifestyle. They don’t make the cigars you would smoke at a cocktail party or a charity golf outing. These are the sticks you reach for after a morning at the range, or to bring to a tailgate party or unit bonfire. The company was founded in 2015 by Scott Jansen and Chris Ferdico, with Jon Simons, Bryan Betty, Vincent “Rocco” Vargas and George Patton signing on shortly thereafter. All of these guys are military vets with at least one combat deployment under their belts, and they’re all true grunts. From Cavalry Officers to SOTIC instructors the Warfighter crew are all dyed-in-the-wool knuckle draggers. It’s part of why we like them so much.

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But this story isn’t about them. It’s about their cigars. They were cool enough to send us a sampling of their complete line – six individual sticks, total. Three in their “Field” line and three in their “Garrison” line. Easiest way to tell the difference is the ring. Garrison cigars have well-appointed foil rings that shine like a polished pair of boots. The field line has sturdy matte paper rings that, despite their lack of gloss, still give the cigars a sleek clean-cut aesthetic. The Warfighter line is produced at the Plasencia factory in Esteli, Nicaragua.

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This is what Warfighter has to say about their lineup:

Our 5.56 MM Field is a Connecticut Shade and has been our consistent best seller. It is medium bodied cigar but has a pleasant spice that both beginners and seasoned smokers enjoy. Our 7.62 MM Field is a premium Sumatra wrapped mild blend that is a great choice for new smokers or a seasoned smoker who likes a mild smoke earlier in the day. Our .50 Cal Field is a medium-bold Maduro which is nice and complex but not so bold as to scare off someone who is new to Maduros.

Our Garrison Line is similar in profile to each of their respective Field Cigars, but are dressed up for that special occasion. Think mess dress uniforms and whiskey instead of battle dress uniforms and, well, whiskey…. The 5.56 MM Garrison is a medium bodied Corojo that has that spicy kick that Corojo is known for. Our 7.62 MM Garrison is a smooth and unique Rosado. Our .50 Cal Garrison has become our second most popular cigar. It is a bold Oscuro Maduro. Unlike a lot of Oscuro Maduro cigars, ours does not smoke heavy on the pepper. It is complex with nice blend of the spice with leather, wood and earth tones.

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Our personal favorite was the .50 Cal Garrison Maduro. While it was a little spicier than we care for it’s a smooth rich smoke that’s thick with flavors. The wood and earth tones seem to be most prominent. In the same sit-down, RECOIL contributor Kris Southards tried the 7.62mm Field Sumatra. He describes it as earthy but not heavy, “an excellent morning smoke” in his words. Both of those conclusions were drawn before we received the quotes above. Our taste test and the factory tasting notes seem to be mostly in lockstep, which tells us that these guys know their products and have produced an accurate guide to select which Warfighter works for you.

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In addition to these, they have their Victory line cigar. The only one we didn’t get a chance to sample, the Victory sports a rare Brazilian Mata Fina wrapper. While the Victory is the single most expensive cigar in the Warfighter stable, it’s only $17.76 – no accident, we’re sure. Anybody who smokes regularly knows that eighteen bucks is not particularly pricey for a quality stick. Whether you’re going to dinner at the Colonel’s house, or killing time on a ten-day FTX…or just find yourself craving a well-priced, meat-and-potatoes kind of smoke…we’d bet that Warfighter Tobacco has something for your palate.

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