Warped La Hacienda | Cigar Review

Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo
Binder: Nicaraguan
Filler: Nicaraguan
Size: 5.5 x 52 “Gran Robusto”
Body: Medium
Price: $7.95
Number of Cigars Smoked Prior to Review: 1
Accompanying Libation: Water

Hacienda-Boxed-2

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Today we take a look at the new Warped La Hacienda.

BACKGROUND:
Warped Cigars came to be in 2009 under the helm of Kyle Gellis.
kyle

This is the latest blend from Warped cigars. Their other blends include: El Oso, Skyflower, La Colmena, and Flor del Valle. I’ve reviewed all but the Skyflower. Which has just hit stores.
La Hacienda is manufactured at Casa Fernandez TABSA factory in Nicaragua. The Flor del Valle is made there as well.
The others are made at El Titan Bronze.
The cigar comes in 25 count boxes.

DESCRIPTION:
From the Warped Cigars web site:
“La Hacienda is an old Cuban marca brought back from the depths of history and re-imagined by Warped. This rustic Cuban brand is the second line we have produced with TABSA (Casa Fernandez) down in Esteli, Nicaragua. This is a medium-bodied Nicaraguan Puro with 100% Aganorsa tobacco and features notes of citrus, nut, and cream, with a fruit finish. Available in 25 count boxes these beautiful cigars are not like any Nicaraguan Puro you have smoked. Available in two sizes, Gran Robusto 5 1/2 x 52 and Superiores 5 5/8 x 46, these cigars pack tons of flavor!”

This is a really well made stick. Beautiful presentation from an experienced roller. Tight seams, few veins, perfect flat triple cap, and densely packed without exception. No soft spots. The Wrapper is a russet brown/tan color with a touch of oiliness and smooth to the touch.

SIZES AND PRICING:
Superiores: 5.625 x 46 $7.50 ($6.75 at Small Batch Cigar minus 10% – $6.08)
Gran Robusto: 5.5 x 52 $7.95 ($7.16 at Small Batch Cigar minus 10% = $6.44)
(I have no affiliation with SBC. Just thought I’d pass on good pricing.)

AROMA AND COLD DRAW NOTES:
Lots of things to titillate the senses: cedar, earthiness, cocoa, and herbal notes along the shaft. At the foot and newly clipped cap I can smell mint, floral notes, strong spice. (I sneeze twice in quick succession), and sweetness,
Mostly hay, cedar, and natural tobacco scent, with a minor hint of cocoa.
The cold draw brings coffee, chocolate, sweetness, earthiness, vegetal notes, and leather to the table.

FIRST THIRD:
Before lighting, I must disclose that there are not many reviews of this cigar. And the Warped web site has not included any info on this cigar yet. I read some, even for me, startling observations on the taste from a couple of reviews. I will hold back til I light up before I disclose whether or not I think those reviewers were on peyote when reviewing this cigar.
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After an eternity of roasting the foot, I take my first puffs and I am engulfed in smoke swirling above my pate.
The draw is without exception, grand.
The most potent flavor is rich earthiness with a touch of mineral. The soil is upfront. There are some vegetal notes that are able to transition from aromas to flavors.

Sweetness makes a big time entrance followed by a bid dose of creaminess. Then comes a touch of coffee and cocoa. There is a warm bread note and the whole thing is on all four burners after two minutes of smoke time.
The strength is dead center of medium body.
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Flavors keep building like Hebrew slaves built the pyramids. My people. (I watch a lot of “Discovery” based TV shows and current historical evidence shows that the Bible got it wrong. No, they weren’t treated well but they things weren’t as bad for the builders as thought. They even got paid and had villages with plenty of food. Makes sense when you think about it. No point in starving your work force. Of course, that thought process changed in 1933 in Germany.)

Back to the Warped La Hacienda. A beautiful flavor profile with a very complex nature. The balance is spot on and even this early has a long chewy finish.

Here they are: Creaminess, black pepper, vegetal notes, a touch of black licorice, fruitiness, earthiness, and lemon citrus.

I taste something different than the two reviews I read and mentioned earlier. Which is perfectly OK. The palate is a diverse and wonderful thing. Just like people, each one is different. I would love to research the palate and if there is enough info to make it interesting, I will write about it instead of a rock n roll story at the end of a review.

Graham cracker and milk. It’s kindergarten time. Remember those dried out graham crackers that kept you from speaking while eating them? If it were not for the milk, the schools would have lost children to choking by the truck loads.

I was gifted two of the Warped La Hacienda by a reader who didn’t want his name mentioned. He didn’t want to appear generous for fear of his mooch friends that also read me.
The first third ends a bit lackluster. Yes, it has a belly full of flavors but all are subtle and nuanced. Nothing jumps out at me.
Even the strength ratchets back to a light medium body.

SECOND THIRD:
The citrus begins to climb upwards. So does the black pepper. Now there is one review…and I respect the man, but he found some flavors that even my wild imagination cannot discern in this blend.
The sweetness is subdued. But there is an odd salty quality. And this one reviewer wrote exactly what I am about to write: There is some sort of cheese element. Like a soft, mild white cheese. Sounds crazy, I know. As the cigar progresses, I might be able to describe it better.
5third

All the flavors listed are in place and pretty much in the same order.
What I earlier described as lackluster pulls its shit together and finds its complexity.

These are not bold flavors. And I have my doubts one can taste them all if this is your fourth cigar of the day. But as my first cigar of the day, they are nicely arranged and easy to taste.
A nice toasty nuttiness arrives.

The char line has been very good to me. Although, the ash has now fallen twice into my lap. The toastiness brings the graham cracker and creaminess components to the surface and makes them bolder.
The fruitiness finally divulges itself: Vine fruits. Pomegranate and kiwi. It gives the flavor profile a sweet and tart element. There is even a bit of persimmon.

And then BLAM! The Warped La Hacienda goes for it. Now we have pedal to the metal.
The flavors that were once subtle and nuance are on a Mars mission. Just like turning on a light switch, the Warped La Hacienda blasts away.

The cocoa and coffee disappear. The sweet characteristics take over completely. With the exception of the very nice earthiness of the mineral laden tobacco.
I smoked the first one I was given in the middle of the day after a couple of cigars had already found themselves in my ashtray. I didn’t taste even half of what I taste now. I heartily urge you to make the Warped La Hacienda your first cigar of the day in order to reap the benefits.

HALFWAY POINT:
Smoke time has been 40 minutes now. Good sign for a robusto. Even a big robusto.
I have zero criticisms. The wrapper is fully intact. As is the cap. The char line is on the money. And the draw is perfect.

The black pepper provides bedrock for the other flavors: Creaminess, graham cracker, lemon zest, fruit, cheese, earthiness, toasty nuts, vegetal notes, floral notes, and black licorice. A very interesting cigar blend.
6half

The ash doesn’t seem to make it past half an inch this whole time.
The Warped La Hacienda is uber complex. I only take puffs every two minutes. This is what everyone should do to get the most out of their cigar’s flavor profile. Puffing too hard and too often can destroy the whole thing. As well as bring a heavy tar issue to the cigar and burn issues.

LAST THIRD:
I could afford a fiver. But this month, I chose to hit the CI Clearance List. I got some incredible cigars for one third their normal prices. But of course, I’ve reviewed them all. I averaged paying $3.40 per stick for $7-$9 cigars. But I take it back. There is one cigar I can review: E.P. Carrillo Short Run 2013.
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7third

So this means, ladies and germs, they are selling a vanishing breed of limited edition of cigars for pennies on the dollar. Oops. Instead of paying $7 a stick, I paid $3 a stick. Don’t tell anyone about this. But I would get in on this. I smoked one yesterday. The same day I got them. And the Short Run 2013 clearly showed its age and was wonderful. I won’t have to wait long before I review it.

The Warped La Hacienda is a delightful blend. A kitchen sink blend. A nice easy going medium body. And very complex. Plus, it matured quickly in my humidor. Maybe a month or less.
With 1-1/2” to go, the Warped La Hacienda reaches medium/full. And the nicotine comes roaring in.
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PRICE POINT:
$8.00 for the Warped La Hacienda is a very fair price for the quality. And paying $6.44 is the real prize in the Cracker Jack box.

Not all the Warped varieties are this wallet friendly. The La Colmena I reviewed goes for $13.00. The Flor del Valle goes for $9.50. And the El Oso goes for $12.50. The Warped La Hacienda is the first to hit below the double digit pricing. The just released Skyflower goes for $12.50. Ouch.

This is why I just can’t keep up. I know most of you can afford these cigars but there are a lot of us that cannot. The single cigar group I belong to on Face Book is made up of flush members. They auction off cigars all the time and every auction is made up of very expensive cigars. And the sellers have no problem getting their dough. The Warped line of cigars should be no problem for these guys.

SUMMATION:
The price point alone makes it easy to recommend. Especially, when it comes from a company that keeps the price point in the double digit landscape.

This is an excellent blend and I’d be hard pressed to choose which Warped blend I liked the most.
Maybe next month, if they are still around, I will snag a 5 pack.
I have no idea why Warped decided to keep this quality stick below the price range of its other blends. But kudos to Gellis for doing this.

I enjoyed the entire Warped line except for the El Oso. I bought a box of 10 and no matter how long I allowed them to rest, they just didn’t improve.
The El Oso comes in three sizes: 4 x 44, 7 x 38, and 6 x 48. All good sizes. I reviewed the 6 x 48. I should try the 4 x 44 and see if there is a major difference.

I highly recommend the Warped La Hacienda.
Final smoke time is 90 minutes.

I want to thank Jason Haley, Jim Grande, Eric Anderson, and David Weinberg for making donations to the cause on PayPal. And to Johnny Piette and Eric Anderson for sending me a few cigars.
You know, you can do the same. Help the Katman out. All proceeds go strictly to my review cigar fund.
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And now for something completely different:

I wrote about going to a restaurant, for a drink, with Ron Howard in a recent review that I should dig up again; and how I got to shake hands with Johnny Carson, Streisand and Howard Cosell.

And I told you I had a great Streisand story. Then I remembered that I’ve told this story before. So my apologies to my long time readers as I write this anecdote.
str

I did a lot of bass session work for a man named Gary Gladstone (Gary passed a few years ago from cancer). He had his own studio in Beverly Hills and engineered and produced a lot of acts. His most famous was the African American rock band called The BusBoys who had the hit “Boys are Back in Town.”
Gary had this weird saying that, at first, put me off. When we would do multiple takes, he kept telling me I was approaching “average.” I felt insulted.
And then he explained, that in his mind, average was perfect. Go figure.
BusBoysbio

Gary got lots of calls to engineer big acts at other studios. He began to recommend me and I got work through him. My work with Hall of Fame drummer, Hal Blaine stead me well as I had to relearn reading notes all over again. Something I hadn’t done since I was 18.

This was 1982. And he got the call to engineer a Streisand gig. The recording was done with a 12 piece band playing simultaneously instead of the tried and true method of recording the rhythm section first; and then layering.

Outside of doing big commercials in the studio with the assistance of drummer Hal Blaine giving me the thumbs up to the producer, this session was not rock n roll. And so far, all the sessions I’d done were rock music. Except for the Chevy commercials.

The point being is that Streisand’s music was out of my comfort zone. Very complex tunes and I had to read every note written. Absolutely no improvisation which I could sometimes do on other sessions. It was hard at first but I quickly made the adjustment and kept on chooglin’.

It just so happened that that night was the first night of Passover and I was supposed to be with the family for the evening Seder. But the Streisand gig was good money. Hal got me into the musician’s union without much trouble.

I think I got around $440 per song. But I had to sign away my rights for royalties. Standard procedure.

As we were finishing for the night, Streisand walks in. She was supposed to put down scratch vocals to help the rest of the band when they recorded. These were not her final vocals. Hence the description of “Scratch Vocals.” They were tossed.

It was around 7pm. Gary introduced me to Streisand and when she heard my last name (Very Jewish), she asked why I wasn’t at someone’s Seder?
I schmoozed her and told her I would rather be here.

I told her that I was going to try and get to my dad’s house for leftovers which explained why I was packing my gear quickly. I was in Hollywood and had a good hour ride home to Long Beach.

All of a sudden, she proclaimed to everyone she was coming with me and having Seder with my family. Everyone laughed. She had a big entourage who laughed on cue.

I grabbed my gear and headed to the parking lot. It was 1982 and I was driving a beat up 1971 Datsun station wagon.
dat

She followed me out to my car. She opened the passenger side and got in. “Let’s go, hon.”

Her manager was right behind her screaming that they had time booked and she needed to get her ass back into the studio. I was flushed with embarrassment.

He went over to her side of the car and she rolled up the window. They screamed at each other for a couple minutes and I sat there like a schlump.

Finally, she leaned over and gave me a kiss and winked. I stared into those big beautiful blue eyes and almost fainted.

She had no intention of going with me. She just wanted to fuck with her manager.
When I got to my dad’s, I told everyone what happened. My evil step mother went nuts. She was from Brooklyn, just like Streisand, and that’s all she talked about. For years, she would tell people this story whenever she had a get together and I was there.

It was sort of crazy and lots of fun. Imagine Streisand sitting in my 1971 Datsun and you can’t help but laugh.

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