La Colmena by Warped Cigars | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Ecuadorian DeFlorada
Binder: Ecuadorian
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican
Size: 5.5 x 44 “Amado No. 44- Corona Extra”
Body: Medium
Price: $14.50 by the single/$12.70 by the 5 Pack/$11.50 in Box of 10


Today we take a look at La Colmena by Warped Cigars.

The La Colmena made its debut at the 2014 IPCPR trade show. And is made at the El Titan de Bronze factory.

Warped Cigars has produced two other blends (reviewed here) called El Oso and Flor del Valle. The El Oso is very old school. I’ve had mine simmering for a few months and have two left. I tried one last week and it did nothing for me. It is either all it can offer or needs 4-6 months humidor. But meanwhile, I loved the Flor del Valle.

The La Colmena comes in two sizes:
Amado No.44: 5.5 x 44~ $14.50
Amado No.36: 6 x 36~ $12.50

From Warped Cigars web site:
“Inspired by the elusive cigars from the mysterious island we all know is close by, yet so far. La Colmena “The Beehive” is blended in old traditional Cuban methods, featuring Entubado bunching, Cuban triple cap, and a historic Cuban covered foot, all masterfully rolled by true category 9 rollers all hailing from Cuba.

“Only 100 of these cigars are masterfully constructed per day in Little Havana, Miami.”

According to the web site, Entubado rolling of the filler is used, a “Cuban” triple cap is applied, and only rolled by #9 rollers.

From Tobacconist University web site:
“This is the bunching technique which rolls each filler leaf into itself, almost like a small scroll. Each individually “scrolled” leaf is then placed together to form the bunch. This skillful rolling technique creates a more firmly packed cigar which allows air to travel between all of the leaves, carrying more aromatics/flavors to the palate. Entubado rolling is the most difficult and complex bunching method and is therefore rarely employed in large scale manufacturing.”

This is one rustic looking stick. I’ve taken a photo of the side of the cigar and you tell me.

Visible, but relatively tight, seams. Loads of ugly veins, a butterscotch colored wrapper that is very smooth, and a perfect triple cap with a nice pig tail atop it. The La Colmena by Warped Cigars is nicely packed with tobacco. No soft spots and just the right amount of give. The sun is beginning to come out so I might be able to get some photos showing how oily it is.

Also, the La Colmena by Warped Cigars has a completely closed foot which I began to light before saying the classic phrase: “Du-oh!”. That is what caused the black dot in the photo.

I clip the cap “yarmulke” style to retain the pig tail for photos and find aromas of cedar, herbs, spice, caramel, leather, wood, and sweet butter.
Time to light up.

The draw is great and I’m immediately blindsided (Go Packs!) by some very nice flavors: Graham cracker, cinnamon, creaminess, the start of a burgeoning spiciness, herbs, wood, and a rich earthiness.

I love this size: 5.5 x 44. Anything in this general size range has quickly become my first choice when buying cigars. Back in the day, I preferred Churchills. But I must have ADHD because I bore easily and after 2-1/2 hours of smoking a Churchill, I want nothing to do with it.

The graham cracker is so potent it takes me back to elementary school days when they had snack time in the first few grades as you were adjusting to the rigors of education…They always gave out a graham cracker and little carton of milk. Man, if you didn’t get that milk right away, you could cough up a hairball because those damn crackers are so dry. And besides doughnuts, it is the only food not yet made without sugar. No such thing as a sugar free graham cracker or doughnut. So I miss both. Honest to God, I’ve not had a doughnut in over 30 years. Really. The look of them, in real life, drives me nuts. I’ve cheated and taken a bite here and there but they are so horrifyingly sweet, that I usually spit it out.

Back to the La Colmena by Warped Cigars.

New flavors arrive. Initially, there was a generic sweetness that has now turned to honey. And it tastes like Raw Manuka Honey. My wife buys this. She is a great believer in the healing power of honey. Don’t laugh. Look it up on all the health care web sites. Honey has been used as a healing agent for thousands of years. Almost as good as Neosporin. The honey is extremely thick and almost a paste. And she takes one teaspoon a day orally.
The char line on the La Colmena by Warped Cigars is outstanding.

A nice floral note fills the air and my palate. Honeysuckle, of course.

Spice has been a no show for most of the cigar. There is this tiny bit of black pepper in the back of my throat but it is so nuanced that it is almost impossible to detect.

The strength has been classic medium from the start.

Uh-oh. A crack forms laterally to the cigar shaft. It runs from the char line upwards about an inch…right where a seam is. That’s not good.

I’ve had the La Colmena by Warped Cigars for a while. It was a gift from a reader who prefers not to be mentioned. I got it the same time I ordered two about a month or 6 weeks ago. And he said it had a month’s humidor time on it already.

I’ve given up rationalizing about humidification. It’s not me. It is the manufacturer. Period.

I had the exact same problem with the El Oso. You can go to my review of the cigar and see the photos. The Flor del Valle? Not a stitch of problems.
I smoked the first of the ones I bought about a week ago. Same thing happened. I have my fingers crossed that I will just burn right through it.

The second third begins.

Flavors are nice but my gut tells me it won’t get close to flavor bomb status. IN some ways, it reminds of the El Oso. A great cigar when you first get it and remove the cello. For the next few days, you get that terrific fresh rolled taste and then it goes flat.

Same goes for the La Colmena. Flavors are muted.

The wrapper crack causes a major imbalance to the char line so I fix it and I am near to saying bye bye to the issue.

I quickly read some reviews of this cigar. This is interesting. The smaller reviewers seem to have had a similar experience as me. The bigger guys who were supplied the cigars by Warped Cigars have rave reviews.

And then by surprise, the La Colmena by Warped Cigars blossoms like a beautiful flower.
Flavors are much bolder and new ones arrive: Honey, graham cracker, nuts, toasty, creaminess, cinnamon, floral notes, black pepper, wood, and rich earthiness.
Now we’re talking.

Most review sites don’t show as many photos as I do. There is one that I like that shows the cigar in stages of it burning down. The tower of burn I think.

All of us agree that the char line is dead nuts.

But no one complains about a wrapper issue. The slightest thing can pierce the wrapper and cause this. And since I wasn’t the first to own it, who knows.

I’ve burned past the cracked wrapper. Huzzah!

The cigar is very complex now. Great balance and long finish.
The strength has jumped to medium/full.

A fruitiness appears. No, Joseph Talotta is not knocking on my front door.

It is densely sweet fruit like berries. This sounds nuts but I can taste a bit of strawberry in the mix. I know, I know. But after 47 years of smoking, I have developed a palate with a keen sense and sensitivity.

I am at the halfway point. I’ve invested 45 minutes of smoke time.

Still not a flavor bomb and I doubt it will get there but it is a very sophisticated flavor profile that the experienced palate will enjoy.

This is very much a dessert cigar. The La Colmena by Warped Cigars has unique qualities found in few cigars. The combination of flavors and their place in the universe of the profile make it interesting and forces you to pay attention.
Damn fine cigar.

The timing of the blooming of flavors isn’t bad. Occurred before the halfway point.

Good news! My daughter was notified she was #7 in over a thousand applicants for the position of police dispatcher for Milwaukee PD. She knows the sergeant that runs that department and called him after receiving the letter. He told her they would be hiring the first 20. So it’s a lock. She will start her training soon. Now a police dispatcher is not a 911 operator. Thank God. I don’t think Katie could handle that emotionally. She will be speaking directly to police and only the police.

We are very proud of her. Number 7 out of 1000. And she is waiting for the letter to tell her about passing the test for becoming a cop. All they will tell her is that she ranked in the top 300 out of thousands of applicants. Now she has to wait for another letter. But in the meantime, she will have experience as a police dispatcher. The money is superb with great benefits. Damn! We are a happy bunch.
And today is the kid’s birthday. She turns 29.
Sorry about that but I had to share.

Back to the La Colmena by Warped Cigars. The flavor profile is splendid.

The price point. This is nuts. $14.50? Nothing is worth that. But I got my two sticks at Cigar Federation and the price was $10.70. But they have this “Name Your Price” auction thing and I bid around $9.50 and won them at that price.

Now $9.50 is more in the ball park for the La Colmena by Warped Cigars. If you’re bucks up and $14.50 is no big deal, well God bless you.

But it doesn’t reveal qualities making it worth that much. The $9.50 price is still expensive for us poor stiffs but worth a shot. It is a limited run and you have to try one or two. I checked and CF is out of stock. The other discount online stores’ bottom line is still $13.00. Way too much.

The last third begins.

I accept the wrapper issue as just a fluke. The char line has behaved nicely. The cap required only one nip.

Manufacturers need to see who their customers are. And not bleed them dry. Only a small percentage of smokers can afford to spend this kind of dough on a regular basis.

The rest of us look for deals and smoke the more mainstream brands/blends. Nothing wrong with a good $6 stick.

Why develop and design a cigar that has an outrageous price point? What are you proving? I think there is a fair amount of greed going on here. And it all started at the 2014 IPCPR trade show. Cigars came flying out of there with ridiculous price points that made me shutter.

Try to find a deal on the La Colmena by Warped Cigars. Don’t pay retail if you can help it. I waited patiently and luck would have it that at the precise moment I had some dough from readers, CF had some for sale. And of course, the gifted one from a lovely reader.

I’ve passed on a lot of cigars because as much as I would like to try them, the price was just too much. And the ones I have gotten with those prices were discounted. But still expensive in my book. And to put the cherry on top of this mess, so far, none of them have been worth the price.

Here is my theory for what it’s worth. The sudden uptick in cigar prices is a test. Sometime in 2015, you will see super premium cigars hit the $16-$17 range. And eventually, the $20 stick. Now this is short sighted planning on those manufacturers. Just while their greed is going nuts, Cuban cigars will become available. Guess where people are going to put their money? On a $17 My Father, a $18 boutique brand, or a real Cuban? This is called stepping on one’s dick. The manufacturers should be working on bringing their new fancy shmancy blends down in price to make them attractive. So that, instead of buying Cuban cigars, you buy a La Aroma de Cuba Noblesse for $8 instead of $16. There will be a hell of a backlash from buyers sending the message that if they have to spend double digits on cigars, they’d rather spend it in Cuba.

The last third of the La Colmena by Warped Cigars is definitely the sweet spot. It is just stunning. A beautifully blended cigar. But if you go to “The Katman’s Best 150 Boutique Brands/Blends in the $6-$9.50+ Range,” you will find a lot of cigars every bit as good for a lot less.

I’m really enjoying the last portion of the La Colmena by Warped Cigars tremendously.

I am happy that I found it at a reasonable price. And I think the “Name Your Price” deal on CF is a great way to get cigars at even more reasonable prices. Especially, if you are a member; which is free. And as a member, you still get to take 10% off.

I recommend the La Colmena by Warped Cigars with some hesitation. If $14.50 is the only way to get some, nah. It ain’t that good. Wait for CF to get more. They even let you sign up so when they get more, you will be notified.
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