Warped El Oso Blanco 2021 | Cigar Reviews by the Katman

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Deflorada
Binder: Ecuadorian
Filler: Nicaraguan, Dominican
Size: 6 x 48 Toro
Strength: Medium
Price: $18.00

I bought two cigars early November. They have 2-1/2 months naked humidor time.

Factory: El Titan de Bronze in Miami
Blender: Kyle Gellis
Production: 600 Boxes of 20
Release Date: Nov. 9, 2021
The Warped Cigars website has zero info on this cigar.
I found no remnants of a press release. And I found only two written reviews.
Warped puts out a limited-edition cigar for 18 Clameroos and they say nothing about it?
Is the cigar tobacco aged and if so, how long? For this kind of dough, I expect some serious cigar tobacco in place. But we are left in the dark.

Warped is an inconsistent brand. Some of their blends have gotten stellar ratings from me. Others were just ordinary.
I reviewed the original El Oso in 2014 and did not like it one bit. In fact, reviews of the different El Oso blends are wildly inconsistent. Most didn’t care for it, but some did. The price point history of this blend has always been over the top.
I have reviewed 12 Warped blends since 2014. You can see them here.
I expect this cigar to be better than Brigitte Bardot covered in unsalted butter.

Some blenders realize that a beautiful presentation gives a new cigar a leg up. Others do not care. This stick is just OK looking. Seams are plainly visible. The veins are minor and not distracting.

The wrapper is the hue of butterscotch with a nice oily sheen. The triple cap is expertly applied. The cigar also feels good in the hand. No soft or hard spots and a nice resistance when squeezed. I did have burn issues with my first stick. But then I’ve noticed that a lot of my cigars have had the same problem since the Wisconsin weather has maintained a below zero temperature. I won’t hold this against the cigar if it goes rogue in this review. Not the cigar’s fault…although, maybe I should bring my humidors in from our second-floor balcony. Doesn’t get any sun. We have North/South exposure.
The cigar band keeps the tradition for this blend over the years. But at my age, I need my readers to inspect it.

The reigning aroma is a delightful honey. In pursuit, are notes of creaminess, peanut butter, cedar, malt, a light Dijon mustard, cinnamon, white pepper, barnyard, a mild note of chocolate, and buttered popcorn.
The cold draw presents flavors of cinnamon, creaminess, peanut butter, malt, chocolate, cedar, and molasses.

I smoked the first stick after 1-1/2 months of humi time. It tasted generic. I really hope the cigar shows some real progress. If not a stunning cigar, at least a peek into the blender’s intent.
The draw is spot on…my PerfecDraw draw adjustment tool goes back to the Bat Cave.

It is a good start. Much better than my first try a month ago.
Flavorful hoisted by notes of chocolate, peanut butter, creaminess, cinnamon, honey, white pepper, espresso, carrot cake, cedar, and the entire spice cabinet.
Complexity shows up early.

I detect red pepper making my mouth tingle.
Strength is mild. And while I dislike mild strength blends, this has enough diversity in the flavor profile that strength is rendered moot.
The char line is dead nuts perfect.

So far, a very pleasant morning cigar with your coffee. But I think one needs to be careful about their choice of beverage with this stick as the flavors do not hover like a hot air balloon. They are fulfilling but held in check. I stick with water. Later in the cigar, I may change my mind.

I gotta say it…I am enjoying it. But the cigar should back up its price point with a gob smack from the very start. It should explode like Soupy Sales using a device to slam one cream pie into your face with gusto. So far, the cigar has no gusto. It is gustoless.

If I spend nearly $20 on a cigar, I expect big things. I sense that the aging process for the tobacco was not years in the making and that the heavy lifting is left to the consumer. I never get that.

Construction is excellent as the ash hangs on for dear life.
With an inch burned, I am a little disappointed that I am not battered by serious transitions, nuances, and balance. The finish is creamy and sweet.

The savory qualities I enjoy in a cigar are overwhelmed by the sweet factors.
The stick is like a fancy French dessert that is light and decadent but not filling.

Still, I am enjoying its delicate nature. Blenders like Robert Holt and Johnny Piette see their blends slamming your palate with transitions one after another with bona fide gusto.

The cigar is a little too linear at this early stage.
If I am smoking it too early, the second half will tell the tale. I expect a nice sweet spot.

The cigar is burning a little too quickly. I am nearing the second third and it only took 10-13 minutes to get here.

Once again, I must mention Southern Draw and Isabela Cigars…they have such beautifully aged tobacco that you can get a boner this big upon receipt of the cigar. The responsibility of the aging was done correctly by the companies. Transitions hit immediate forward momentum by this point. This mild cigar is not impressive per its price point.

Just as I finish that last paragraph, renewal occurs. Flavors show some intensity missing in the first third.

The burn is nicely done. Gotta give Warped props for that.
A sip of water and the aforementioned flavor points come to the surface in a wave you see at Huntington Beach. Surfing through the pipe.

I want this cigar to do well. But I am truly glad that I only bought two sticks from Atlantic Cigar. I truly appreciate that they offer singles on every cigar. I bang my head against a brick wall when I am forced to buy a fiver and find myself disappointed.

The complexity is forming a nice queue. The strength hits medium.

There have been no additions to the previously mentioned flavors. The flavors do not need additional help, but they should be sparkling by now instead of heading towards a linear presentation.

The blender’s intent I experience is not supporting the price tag.
There are plenty of $8 cigars that share the same place in the universe as the Warped El Oso Blanco.

Maybe this is one of those blends that will taste marvelous after a year of humidor time.

The stick burns at a gallop. A good Toro should provide at least a 90-minute smoke if not more. I am guessing that this baby will be over in 45 minutes.
I am nearing the halfway point at only 25 minutes.
I also do not detect a surge.

There is no need to replicate the same list of flavors over and over as they do not change. No single flavor point stands out. Hoping that the whole will exceed the sum of its parts is sinking into the mire.
It should be a swinging dick by now.

There are no surprises, no nuances, an off-kilter balance, and devoid of interesting transitions. The finish is blah.

The halfway point feels like the horse wants to be free of its stable. But it does not have opposing thumbs to open the gate.

The cigar will never exceed being a slight medium experience.

While only 600 boxes were produced, it is going to take a while before the cigar disappears from shelves. Smokers are wary of sticks in this price range and often wait to read some reviews before they make a purchase of $90 for a fiver. Even if I was flush and bought a box, I’d be slapping myself in the face with a dead cat after realizing that the cigar is merely bargain bin fodder.

I have been delighted by so many Warped cigars since 2014. But there have been a few real clunkers in the lineup. The El Oso Blanco is going to be in the latter category.
What a shame.

The blend has made its mind up and bows its head in shame as it discovers that it is strictly a linear experience.
There is no sweet spot on the horizon.

I don’t care what the experts say about not using the price point to rate a cigar. They live in a bubble and do not seem to relate to the average smoker who definitely weighs the price into their decision to pull the trigger.

If I had blind tasted this cigar, I would say this is merely an unexciting cigar with no real thought behind the blending process.
I know that there will be many smokers who disagree with me about this blend. And that’s OK. Palates are very mysterious.

Flavors are tapering off and disappearing into a black hole with no chance of ever returning.
I’m bummed.

I was sick with a head cold for a couple weeks but have been well for several days now. My palate should be fresh and open to the slightest nuances.

Instead of a big improvement in the last third, it seems that the flavors have been strangled and discarded.
The complexity level is that of a $5 bundle cigar.

Some brands put out consistently excellent blends cigar after cigar. Warped is not one of those brands. It is always a roll of the dice.

And then I taste an improvement that helps but is late to the party.

I have no idea if extended humidor time will transform this blend. My gut and experience tell me that a big change is not in the cards.

Maybe this is why only 600 boxes were released. Warped cut and ran due to the less than exciting reaction from their palates. They probably hope that enough fans of the brand will come to the rescue and forgive their sins.

The El Oso Blanco is mildly pleasant but does not warrant the price tag.
On the upside, not a lick of nicotine rears its head.

And then nicotine appears. Damn. I jinxed it.

There is no sweet spot.
There is nothing but a calamitous disappointment.

The fact that there have been only two written reviews 2-1/2 months after release does tell the tale. Reviewers are hanging back hoping that at some point, they will have a gem on their hands. But the release is so limited that many reviewers will not touch it fearing that the cigar will be sold out before they have the opportunity to review it.

I have no doubts that some smokers will absolutely love this cigar. Unfortunately, I do not.

At this price, you can buy nearly 5 cigars of the recently reviewed Master Blends 3 Maduro (Atlantic Cigar exclusive) which is a far better cigar.

I am going to finish the cigar. There is no heat or harshness. So why not?

The last third shows some potential but never reveals what might be a great cigar with a hefty amount of humidor time.
Speaking plainly, the blend is boring.

I am sure that Warped had high hopes for this blend. But something went awry. You are always working with an organic product. And predicting its outcome is tricky.

I feel bad that this cigar did not meet my expectations.
This might be the reason for not seeing a huge P.R. campaign upon its release.

Construction was perfect.
But the cigar is far afield from attaining the construction’s status.
You can always buy a couple and make up your own mind.

The last inch shows a nice balance of savory v. sweet. It could have been a contender.
I say a fond adieu to the El Oso Blanco. A 55-minute Toro.



10 replies

  1. I have been curious about this one. Didn’t know they were so pricey and now I can let them fly by without regret.

  2. I am extremely surprised by this review. This was one of my favorite cigars last year. The rich almost funky honey note really set it a cut above on my palate. I do agree it’s pricey but I didn’t find the cigar mediocre. But I’m betting I’m wrong. My palate is all over the place and very unreliable which is why I’d make a terrible reviewer. LOL!!! This cigar is very limited but they are still in stock locally for me so I’m guessing plenty agree with your assessment.

  3. Abe,
    If you feel you got your money’s worth, then God bless.
    Palates are the most unpredictable thing second only to politics.
    I never know for sure if I’m right about my assessments.
    No reviewer is.
    Most of the time, one cigar blend is judged by 12 jurors…and none agree.
    Go figure. I always endorse my readers to read other reviews to get a variety of opinions. Can’t hurt, right?
    Be well,

  4. Braddah Phil;

    Thanks for the Caveat Emptor!

    With all the hype, was wondering if I should bite the bullet and get a few before they sold out but after your review, naaaah.

  5. One thing I know is you have one of the best palates I’ve had the pleasure of reading about. & it helps my ego that we often times agree. Thanks for sharing your passion, honesty and very interesting stories.

  6. Hey Conan,
    You never know…you might like them.
    Or not…it’s only two saw bucks per stick.

  7. Hey Abe,
    Thanks buddy.
    Your comment gave me a boner this big…

  8. Mission accomplished. Hahahaha

  9. Greetings Phil.

    Sorry to read about the challenges you are experiencing. Everyone needs sleep and no one wants pain , (at least no sane person). A little bit goes a long way and a lot will send you to the moon and back screaming. What you are going through is tough and takes a tough man to get through it day by day. I wouldn’t worry about the humor, I don’t think you can help yourself. It comes so naturally with you. I hope you find the right doctor with the right knowledge and understanding who can make a difference for you.

    You and Charlotte are in my thoughts. (If I thought praying would do any good I would do that too.)


    On Mon, Jan 17, 2022 at 2:03 PM Cigar Reviews by Phil ‘Katman’ Kohn wrote:

    > The Katman commented: “Dear Readers, I’m at over 200 days and counting > with no more than one hour sleep per day. The pain is unbearable and > therefore keeps me from sleeping. Imagine getting only one hour of sleep > for 5 days. Imagine how you’d feel. Multiply that by 40. The” >

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