Bite Size Review: Warped Serie Gran Reserva 1988
We’re kicking off the week with a bang and a pair of Nicaraguan goodies from Warped Cigars. Warped’s kingpin, Kyle Gellis, celebrated his 30th birthday in 2018. To commemorate the occasion and his birth year, 1988, the Jupiter, Florida-based outfit released the Serie Gran Reserva 1988 in August of 2018. Reportedly, the 1988 made a cameo at the 2017 IPCPR show, but Gellis wanted to wait a bit longer for the release to get the blend just right.
That strategy paid dividends as critics far and wide have praised the blend which included a 94 rating from industry good-life mag, Cigar Aficionado. The 1988 is a Nicaraguan puro employing lots of Corojo ’99 (wrapper and filler) and Criollo ’98 (filler) leaves crafted under the watchful eye of Eduardo Fernandez (Aganorsa) at his factory, Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A.(TABSA), in Estelí, Nicaragua. Yes, we did ask and research, but apparently the band’s cryptic “976212” will remain a mystery.
The rich, seamless golden-brown hue of the Corojo skin is eye-catching and imparts enticing aromas of honeysuckle, cocoa and citrus. Construction is solid, though I found the draw to be on the tight side, but not unpleasant. The oily 1988 came to life with an overtly savory essence punctuated by notes of charred wood and black pepper. Swirling around creamy underpinnings are leathery notes with hints of citrus and caramel preceding a long, rich woody finish.
All transitions offer outstanding complexity, near perfect balance and a lush, delicious coffee-based finish that becomes the anchor throughout. This thing is just plain delicious. Aside from a small tear in the wrapper above the band, my only knock is the ash quality. Loose and flaky, the ash would randomly tumble even without any jostling, causing me to frantically pat my shirt like I’d been attacked by killer bees. You can have any vitola you’d like as long as it’s a robusto, but it’s still a killer cigar for under ten bucks. – In Fumo Pax!
Did you Know: Kyle Gellis launched Warped Cigars in 2009 while he was still in college.
- Profile: Medium
- Vitola: Robusto
- Length / Ring Gauge: 5.25″ x 50
- Purchased: B&M
- Origin: Nicaragua
- Wrapper: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99
- Binder: Nicaraguan
- Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98
- Blade: Colibri V
- Fire: Colibri Firebird
- Price: $9.12
- Humidor Age: 9 weeks
- Box: 25
- Other Vitolas: N/A
Smoke Time: 1:33
Draw: Somewhat restricted
Construction: Golden-brown hue; seamless; semi-veiny; oily; nice triple seam cap; light give in places; wrapper tear above band; struggles to hold 1″ ash; ash flaky.
- Wrapper – Honeysuckle, raisins
- Foot – Citrus, cocoa
- Cold Draw – Orange zest, prune
- Initial: Savory profile; toasted nuts on draw; black pepper and charred wood on palate; creamy overtones with intonations of caramel, leather and citrus on retro; Savory, woody finish.
- Transition: Core of sweet cedar; nuances of caramel and nutmeg; spice on palate; long finish of toasted oats and coffee.
- Transition: Malty foundation with an uptick in body; notes of leather and salted caramel on retro; charred wood on palate; long espresso finish.
Touch ups: N/A
Weaknesses: Tear in wrapper became worse (physical damage); weak ash
Recommendation: 1. Boxworthy
- Go-to (boxworthy)
- Yard ‘gar
- Smoke a banana instead