The days are starting to get shorter and the weather is getting cooler. I like it, I am ready for those brisk mornings and comfortably cool days. As it gets colder here in the Northeast, shorter cigars become more popular. This evening is a good example of why. I have had a busy day and was unable to review the cigar I had planned earlier today, and now that it is near dark at 6:30ish, I need to go with something a little shorter.
I recently picked up a single of the La Hacienda First Growth from Warped Cigars. Warped Cigars interests me. They are a popular company in the boutique cigar world; although I feel some of that popularity has waned in recent years. They use top notch factories and tobaccos for their products, they have cool concepts, good marketing, and the cigars aren’t bad. For some reason or another, they just don’t typically resonate with me. One such cigar was the original La Hacienda. I am curious to see what this tweaked version has to offer.
Country of Origin: Nicaragua
Factory: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A.
Wrapper: Nicaragua Corojo ‘99
Binder: Nicaragua (Corojo ‘99, Criollo ‘98)
Filler: Nicaragua (Corojo ‘99 Ligero, Criollo ‘98)
Vitola: 4 x 50 Petit Robusto
MSRP: $8.95 MSRP
Release Date: Sept. 2021
Company Website: www.warpedcigars.com
Based on other Warped products, the original La Hacienda, and Aganorsa tobaccos, I am expecting woodiness, some bitter char, some mushroomy-earth, and some general sweetness. The original La Hacienda, as I recall, was medium-full in body, medium in flavor, and mild-medium in strength. This First Growth should be full in body and flavor, and at least medium to medium-full in strength.
I really do enjoy these shorter format cigars in both appearance and feel. I like that Kyle had the color of the band tweaked for this blend so it was distinguishable, and I actually prefer this band to the green band on the original La Hacienda. The wrapper is a medium brown with a reddish hue. The pack is very firm and the cigar is weighty. The cold draw is distinctly like vodka in flavor. That may sound bad but it actually isn’t, and I am not a vodka drinker. The cigar smells of cedar.
The cigar kicks off with full body and medium-full flavors of a breadiness, a bit of earth, some charred wood, and some pepper on the back of the palate. The bread note is quickly turning into an Aganorsa tobacco ligero-like note that I think I decided I was going to call turmeric or tannins in my Illusione Ultra review. There is a little caramel-like sweetness in there now. I had to do a little touch up as the wrapper didn’t want to burn as easily on one side. The draw has been good since the start. So on the regular La Hacienda, I got a real mushroomy earth note. This First growth, through the nose, and a bit on the finish, has a vegetal earthiness instead of a mushroomy earthiness. The end of the first third sees a pretty decent flavor shift. The draw is a slight mustiness, a little of that caramel, and some wood. The retrohale has a definite fruity sweetness. It’s like a berry. The body is medium-full and the flavor is medium.
The caramel is coming up a bit on the draw. The mustiness is leaning more vegetal earthiness again. The burn is wavering again near halfway so I dropped the ash and had to touch it up. Interestingly enough, the caramel sweetness on the draw has started transitioning to that berry-like sweetness from the retrohale and the retrohale is taking on a more molasses-like sweetness. There’s no pepper in the profile. The strength isn’t noticeable yet. The draw has still been good. The performance has been good besides the one touch up. These flavors hold through the remainder of this third.
The final third starts with the berry-like sweetness and caramel swapping places again. A little pepper is coming in on the draw now. The finish is showing some creaminess for the first time. The body is still medium-full and the flavor is now also medium-full. Nearing the band there’s a sweet peppermint coming in. I haven’t had that note in a cigar in awhile. With the evenings getting cooler, it’s a fitting flavor. The peppermint didn’t last many puffs on the draw, but is still subtly present on the finish. It’s more prominent on the finish if you retrohale. The overall profile is rich and creamier now, but the flavors are becoming less discernible with the exception of the peppermint. I think the strength is coming in a touch. There’s a slight woodiness and the vegetal earthiness is coming back. Nearing the end the peppermint is sharper. The flavors remained unchanged to the end. It ended at medium-full in flavor and body, and medium in strength.
As mentioned in the beginning, I’m not the biggest Warped fan, but this was a nicely done cigar. I think I anticipated a little more heft to the profile and more strength, so I wasn’t prepared for the experience that was delivered. Again, I like the format, and I was able to get an hour and 13 minutes of smoke time, which makes this a great bang for your buck as well. Historically speaking, with Warped cigars, I have been plagued by wonky burns, relights, and fairly one dimensional flavor profiles that often incorporate more bitter components (possibly a result of the burn issues). This cigar performed very well with the exception of a couple small relights. The flavor profile was also more dynamic. The first two thirds were solid profiles that are fitting for a fan of Nicaraguan cigars and Aganorsa tobacco, but they did show a bit more character with the caramel and berry type sweetnesses. However, the final third really brought the blend to life for me by providing a creamier textured smoke with richness and that sweet peppermint flavor. This won’t be something I buy a bunch of, but I would happily grab a 3 or 5er to visit again periodically.
Try the cigar yourself at Small Batch Cigars and let me know what you think! Use code “Whiskey” to get 10% off your entire order. Plus, sign up and begin earning 5% back in rewards points with each purchase.
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