Warped Cigars EL OSO | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
Binder: Ecuadorian
Filler: Dominican, Nicaraguan
Size: 6 x 48 “Belicoso-PaPa”
Body: Medium
Price: $12.50 (Can be had as cheap for $10.00)
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Today we take a look at Warped Cigars EL OSO PaPa. I was gifted two of these cigars about two months ago. I smoked one after having it a month and it wasn’t ready. So at the two month mark, I am going all in.

In case you are not fluent in Spanish, El Oso means The Bear.

From the Warped Cigars web site:
“…rolled at the esteemed El Titan de Bronze factory in the historic neighborhood of Little Havana in Miami. And rolled by true category 9 cigar rollers from Havana, Cuba. Each EL OSO utilizes true Cuban technique, such as entubado bunching and the classic Cuban triple cap.

“Featuring a traditional Cuban belicoso in a 6 x 48 vitola, MaMa is limited to only 150 cigars per day. A single roller is responsible for the entire production of PaPa, as this true category 9 cigar roller has his certification to roll the historic belicoso. Not all rollers in Cuba are permitted to roll the belicoso, as it requires years of additional schooling and certification.”

The cigar comes in only three sizes:
Cub- 4 x 44: $11.50
MaMa- 7 x 38: $12.50
PaPa- 6 x 48: $12.50

Back in 2009, Warped Cigars put out three blends: Anubis, Osiris, and Private Blend. And then soon after shut down production completely.

The company geared up once more in 2012 with the production of cigar accessories.

Cigar production revved up this year with the release of EL OSO. Followed by LA COMENA(made at El Titan de Bronze) and FLOR DEL VALLE(made at the Casa Fernandez factory).

No idea why everything is capitalized but that is how it is spelled on the Warped Cigars web site. And a helluva web site it is. Must take a gander: Warped Cigars.

The cigar could not have one single hair of tobacco stuffed into it. It is paced to the gills. You could use it as a railroad spike.

It is a very clean looking stick. Invisible seams. A modicum of veins. A perfect roll in that the cigar is right on the money being “round.” The triple cap really is a work of art.

The wrapper is an oily medium chocolate brown with a little bit of tooth. It is dark and gloomy so I must use the flash for a bit.

And the cigar is offset by a tiny, eensie, weensie, silver and blue cigar band. It says EL OSO and MAMA on it and a portrait of what looks like Smokey the Bear.

I must address this immediately. I am taken aback by the price like you are. Wow. $12.50. Ouch! So let’s see if it is worth it.

I clip the cap and find aromas of spice, cedar, sweetness, barnyard, mocha, and leather.
Time to light up.

First puffs are sweet and chocolaty. The draw is tight. There is a small blockage near the cigar band. I try my cigar awl but ¾” in, I hear cracking so I stop. I try massaging the cigar. This helps. And the draw has opened nicely.
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A nice mocha java flavor complements the flavor profile. And then a slowly building combination of black and red pepper.

The char line is spot on.

Warped Cigars is a relatively new company in terms of cigar blending. The fact that it has taken two months of humidor time for the cigar to be ready to smoke baffles me. This is old school. And when you call your company, “Warped” one expects something on the edge, skewed, out there. Instead, we get a cigar made the same way General Cigar and Altadis USA make their cigars. You automatically expect to be lucky to smoke their cigars in just two months; but not a cutting edge company.

Honeysuckle adds a nice floral note.

I have burned 1” and I am way less than impressed. For almost $13.00, this cigar should be knocking me out of my chair. Instead, I get a good $4.00 cigar.

For chrissakes, how much humidor time does the Warped Cigars EL OSO PaPa need?

As is par for the course, as soon as I diss a cigar, interesting flavors emerge.

And heeeeere’s Johnny: Chocolate, spice, creaminess, honeysuckle, leather, fruit, cedar, and leather.

It is at this point, that the flavor profile becomes more complex. The fruit is cherries from a can of Fruit Cocktail. That sharp artificial taste because the cherries have been soaking in embalming fluid or something like that as the urban myth goes.
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Even though flavors are emerging, it is too little too late. They should have hit me hard in the first quarter inch. And continued blossoming from there. Instead, the cigar starts out dull and reaches “OK” at the 1-1/4” burned mark.

A very rich earthiness appears for the first time. And the early problems with the draw are totally gone. Nice draw now.

Either this is all the cigar has to offer or it needs 6 months of humidor time. The best cigars hit flavor bomb status within the first 5 minutes.

I thought that the flavor emergence was a signal of good things to come. And quickly. Instead, the flavors have flat lined. Still there but going nowhere.

I have to give two snaps to the construction of the Warped Cigars EL OSO PaPa. The char line is doing nicely. The cap is in good shape. And no issues with the wrapper.

The strength started out just shy of medium body. It is now medium body+.

A woody element appears. I am terrible at discerning the different types of wood except cedar. It could be oak, it could be a giant Redwood. I don’t know.

The second third begins.

C’mon Mama! Show Papa what you got!

The Warped Cigars EL OSO PaPa is a pleasant cigar. My fingers are crossed that the halfway mark shows a big improvement.

OK. We are far enough along to discuss price point. Haha.

I don’t care if Warped Cigars dragged the tobacco through the tropical rain forest or from Siberia, for $12.50 this cigar should be light years better than what my experience is.

Man, am I glad I wasn’t the guy that bought these. Hell, yeah!

At the very outside, with plenty of humidor time, this is a good $5.75 cigar.

Watch. I am going to get a nasty comment from Warped Cigars telling me I’m full of shit. You watch.

I don’t know if it is because I want it to be so or it is actually happening; but the cigar’s flavor profile is improving.

Flavors: Creaminess, chocolate, honeysuckle, wood, fruit, earthiness, and leather.

While I can perform the process of retrohaling, I never do it on reviews. I’m pretty sure that most smokers don’t retrohale. It is an art that is tough to figure out without passing out. Reviewers that talk about the flavor of a cigar while they are retrohaling leave the smokers that don’t do that in the dust.

I am the halfway point.
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Flavors are better. The creaminess is buttery smooth and the chocolate is similar to fine Swiss dark hot cocoa. That shit is hard to make from scratch. But that is how intense the cocoa is.

The spiciness has disappeared.

I notice from the photo below that the wrapper, at the seam, is beginning to come loose. I’ve only made one very minor clip to the cap and I don’t think it should have this kind of effect.

I have to stop and glue it. And wait 5 minutes for it to completely dry. If I put my mouth on it before that 5 minutes is up, it will come undone again.

I had hoped the halfway point would really zoom. Instead, it is more of a crash and burn.

In my humble opinion, Warped Cigars spent the bulk of their money on the #9 rollers and not the leaves.

OK. Back to it. The Warped Cigars EL OSO PaPa is a major disappointment.

If it were not for the review, I’d have put the cigar down by now. Why torture oneself with a bland cigar?
Now my hopes are entirely hinged on the last third seeing some action.

The strength has settled into classic medium body.

I really disdain writing a negative review. I like the ones where I fawn over the blend because the cigar bowls me over with its flavor quality.
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I’ve written a couple negative reviews lately and that’s a bummer.

Some nicotine shows up.

I cannot control the condition of the wrapper near the cap. So be it.

If any of you dear readers buy this cigar, I will personally come to your house and cold cock you.

I am ½” away from the start of the last third and the Warped Cigars EL OSO PaPa begins to perk up.

The flavors have never been bold but now they are subtle and nuanced. Very pleasant.

I would be happier if there were some trace of spiciness. I am a spicy kind of guy.

I am counting the days until my birthday when I get a new camera. It is dark, foreboding, and raining hard outside this morning. We might get a dusting of snow later. The only good thing about rain is that it keeps the temps up. As soon as it hits the low 30’s, we get snow. But if we go into the teens, it is too cold for snow. I want to live where winter doesn’t last 7 months.

Using a flash on my camera completely washes out most cigar bands; especially the shiny ones. In return for not using a flash, you are not able to see how oily this cigar really is.

The last third begins.

The Warped Cigars EL OSO PaPa is a much better stick now. That’s a sure sign that it needs more humidor time. If you’ve smoked one of these cigars, leave a comment and tell me about your experience.
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Flavors are punchy now. Bolder. The sweetness really drives the bus now. So does the creaminess. The fruitiness has changed from cherries to something else…peaches.

The nicotine swells and the strength moves to medium/full.

If you read my review of the Crowned Heads The Mason Dixon Project Southern Edition, you will remember how owner Wes Thornton spanked me over several issues. The funniest is where he tells me it is not a medium/full cigar. “IT IS MEDIUM BODIED!” That makes me laugh when I think of it.
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The sweetness takes on a caramel aspect. Now I like the Warped Cigars EL OSO PaPa.

The nicotine is really giving me the spins. Whoa. I can barely focus.

I will end with this….If you disobey me and buy this cigar, let it rest for at least 4-6 months. It is old school blending at its best.

The Warped Cigars EL OSO PaPa ends very flavorful. I would gladly spend $6 for another.

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1 reply

  1. I was very disappointed with the El Oso line too. But let me tell you about the La Colmena (the beehive), now that cigar is absolutely amazing, one of the best cigar I have smoked in the last 3-4 years (non-Cuban). I pre-ordered all 3 sizes of the La Colmena off of one sample I smoked from the IPCPR and the day I got them in the mail I lit one up and it was ready to smoke, a “94” ROTT! El Oso bummed me out (luckily I only grabbed a 5 pack) but the La Colmena is KILLER! If you get your hands on some Colmena’s, you will hit flavor bomb status in the first puff the day they hit your mailbox!