Bite Size Review: Warped La Relatos
Orally, I’ve never been a good storyteller. Guess it’s just not my thing. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a wealth of stories to tell. Segue to Warped Cigars, part deux: La Relatos. Spanish for “the stories”, La Relatos, according to Warped’s website, is a celebration of life’s stories. The inspiration for the cigar’s Ecuadorian Habano-wrapped blend harkens back to Warped antiquity, i.e. 10 years ago. Warped’s creator, Kyle Gellis, wanted to feature the rebirth of his original blend with which he christened the company in 2009.
Interestingly, Gellis chose a sole panetela vitola (referred to by Gellis as “The First”) to showcase the blend, an elegant size and shape that some believe highlight the flavors of the wrapper. Reportedly, Gellis intends to increase the number of vitolas available to three after the original launch of La Relatos at the IPCPR show in the summer of 2018. While Warped’s website claims La Relatos come in “cabinets of 50”, they are actually only available in small boxed packs of 5, another holdover from Gellis’ very early days of selling his cigars in singles and 5-packs.
I’m geeking out over this panetela which is similar to a petit lancero except for the 38 RG. Elegant, sleek and oily, the build of our La Relatos is exceptional, highlighted by a seamless roll and triple-seam cap. The peanut brittle-hue wrapper is rife with bouquets of peanut oil, raisins and yes, chocolate cake. I would characterize the draw as open, and certainly more open than that of the Gran Reserva 1988 we recently reviewed. Due to the thinner ring gauge, I would strongly recommend a guillotine-style cutter and target the cigar’s shoulder.
The initial profile is very enjoyable highlighted by a zesty core of burnt leather, salted nuts and caramel notes complemented by a robust finish of toasted oats. The wonderful combination of edgy texture and finessed palette conjure images of Gary Busey crooning a Neil Diamond song. This and future transitions offer up a medley of light spice and earthy and woody profiles, but complexity wanes in the second transition leading to a one-dimensional stretch that is disappointing.
Like its sibling, Gran Reserva 1988, the ash is very weak and flaky, but combustion is very good which produces a wavy char. Overall, La Relatos was enjoyable – the panatela shape, the fragrance and the initial profiles. But with pushing the $10 barrier, the rebirth of the10-year old blend does come up a little short. – In Fumo Pax!
Recommendation: 2. 5-Packer
Did you Know: Warped Cigars are produced at both the venerable El Titan de Bronze in Miami, Florida or the Casa Fernandez factory, TABSA, in Estelí, Nicaragua.
- Profile: Medium
- Vitola: Panetela [“The First”]
- Length / Ring Gauge: 6.0″ x 38
- Purchased: B&M
- Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98
- Blade: Xikar Xi1
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price: $9.46
- Humidor Age: 9 weeks
- Box: 5
- Other Vitolas: N/A
Smoke Time: 1:05
Construction: Semi-veiny; lumpy; seamless; good uniform girth; nice triple cap; peanut brittle-hue wrapper; elegant panetela roll; weak, flaky ash.
- Wrapper – Peanut oil, raisins
- Foot – Chocolate cake
- Cold Draw – Apricot, chocolate
- Initial: Zesty nucleus with intonations of burnt leather, caramel and salted nuts; round finish of oats; light spice on palate; edgy texture.
- Transition: Earthy profile complemented by notes of chocolate, wood and espresso; long finish of toast and black coffee; more cedar on draw; woody elements become more prevalent; intermittent metallic aftertaste
- Transition: Draw more earthy preceding a woody profile; finish remains coffee-esque; intonations of dark fruit and robust espresso on retro; fuller bodied with spice in the nose.
Complexity: Very good
Touch ups: N/A
Combustion: Very good, but char line consistently wavy
Weaknesses: Complexity becomes one-dimensional; weak ash leads to constant ashing
Recommendation: 2. 5-Packer
- Go-to (boxworthy)
- Yard ‘gar
- Smoke a banana instead