Warped Cigars was founded in 2009 by a then 19-year-old Kyle Gellis but things didn’t fully take off until the company attended their first IPCPR in 2014. What sets Warped Cigars apart from other boutique manufacturers in my mind is they haven’t created their name on strong cigars.
The future of Warped might be in danger though as none of their brands make the predicate date of 2007. Like many newer manufacturers they are taking a wait and see approach to weigh the costs of getting a newer brand approved. Questions like how much will the labs cost for the product testing that needs to be completed in order to gain approval need to be answered. Hopefully, those costs are realistic and the same game isn’t played with cigar manufacturers that currently plagues to cigarette industry where only 2 brands out of over 3500 applications have been approved.
Cigar: Flor Del Valle
Wrapper: Nicaragua Jalapa Corojo 99′
Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo 99′ & Criollo 98
Ring Gauge: 42
Size: Lonsdale (Cristales)
The Look: Flor Del Valle translates to Flower Valley and is packaged in a 25 count box with two rows of 12 and 13 respectively. The name is reference to where the wrapper grows in the Jalapa valley right near the border of Honduras. The valley where it grows features a reddish-brown soil similar to that found in the region of Vuelta Abajo, Cuba which is home to Pinar del Rio. The mahogany colored Corojo 99′ wrapper is loaded with oils and it is meticulously rolled right down to its triple cap. The band which is ornate features colors of white and gold with a subtle turquoise in the center. In the hand the cigar has a hefty weight to it and is firmly rolled with no soft spots.
The Notes: As a proponent of the cold draw, a process of taking a pull from the cigar before it is lit I do this prior to every review. I find it helps open up the palate as often, the notes on the cold draw are easier to identify. That is not the case however with the Flor del Valle. This is not a bad thing, because often the notes on the cold draw do not transcend to the cigar itself once lit. I do find a subtle honey sweetness with hints of spices. The aroma off the foot is spicy with a touch of wood, but like the cold draw its difficult to find.
Once we light up the Lonsdale size of the Flor Del Valle some sweetness develops that reminds me of honey and gingerbread. The retrohale offers some pepper. As we smoke the first third the cigar has a finish that I wouldn’t call short or long, if I was Goldilocks it would be just right for me. As the first third comes to a close some nuttiness appears for the first time.
The second third of the cigar sees some caramel notes and aroma develop, but the nuts that appeared at the end of the last third become the dominant note. Some spices also begin to emerge that are reminiscent of cinnamon and nutmeg with a continued pepper on the retrohale.
In the last third a note that reminds me of peppermint schnapps develops that I find incredibly different and enjoyable. It intertwines with a floral note and continued nuttiness and touches of white pepper that are especially noticeable on the retrohale.
The Finish: With 8 years under their belt I wouldn’t call Warped a new brand, but they have come a long way in a short time. It’s also a testament to how bad the FDA regulations will be. From the cigar boom came boutique brands with a following such as Tatuaje, Illusione and Drew Estates. While the industry hasn’t seen a boom like that, there is a new school of boutique brands such as RomaCraft, Foundation and Warped that could have reached those levels of popularity. As it stands now these new school players have come to the dance, but their future is cloudy and it is a shame.
Price: $9.29 / $199.99