By this point, it's no secret that I love the gloriously spiced bliss that is the Corojo tobacco leaf.
Blame it on my addiction to hot sauce and black pepper, or pin it on my affinity for the fire you get from a snort of horseradish, but hot damn is a spicy red leaf-wrapped cigar my jam.
With all of its shade-grown smoothness and intense tastes, I admired the zest found within the Futuro Selección 109 from Warped Cigar. It's a damn good belicoso, especially for when you're in the mood for a macho smoke.
But that's just one of several premium cigar blends Klaro stocks from Warped Cigars. Another intriguing option to consider is the Futuro's robusto baby brother: The "Serie Gran Reserva 1988."
Although my test runs with this blend left me impressed (and reeling), it was the second round I had in the ring with this cigar a few days back that really rang my bell. For when it comes to puffing on a premium cigar blend in this weight class, sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.
Even though this 100% Nicaraguan puro is pretty unimpressive in appearance, the veiny robusto takes you for a ride courtesy of its aromatics.
Spicy corojo fragrances, sweet cedar, and caramelized toffee are the winning aromatic trifecta here. This is enhanced by the addition of a distinct malt extract powder taste from the cut end of the cap.
This portion of my smoking session proved to be so pleasant, that I made a note about putting this blend into rotation as a new favorite "chew stick" for when lighting up was not an option.
Well pop me in the patella and don't pull any punches. This blend hits harder than a pissed-off Van Damme in a pool hall full of baddies.
Spicy dried red pepper flakes and a hefty handful of black and white peppercorns pop you in the palate almost instantly upon ignition. And just like the first sample stick I smoked, these fiery flavors continue to hit hard with each passing pull, all the way up until at least a dozen draws are made. Don't forget to pour an extra tall beverage ahead of lighting this one up folks because dayum...
The big cooldown comes to the rescue somewhere within the first inch of the stick, where one freshly milled plank of sweet cedar after another suddenly emerges. There's vanilla here in abundance as well, but not in an intense format or anything. Leave that for the toffee and brewer malt extracts that were detected prior to the light.
As the spice levels return to their peppery prior state, all but in a more refined manner, a super fun transition occurs. Toward the core of the barrel of this cigar is an apple and grain cereal taste. It's all Apple Jacks breakfast cereal, but without all the diabetes, and it tastes fantastic.
You also get some dry cedar notes with a bit of char, almost like the scent you get off a freshly lit cedar spill. Blend in a handful of dried flowers for aromatics, and you've got a winning closing round.
It's not often that the final third of a cigar strikes me with such pleasant attributes, but the Serie Gran Reserva 1988 is that sort of stick.
Charry and slightly acidic, parting puffs are a far cry from the bliss detected just an inch upward on the cigar. It's still got loads of exotic spice flavors and chewy sweet tobacco tastes, but they all taste a bit burnt. Caramelized sugars that border on being bitter finish things out, along with a whole lot of nicotine and some last-minute corojo spice.
Ash / Burn / Smoke / Draw
Despite a stunning showing for much of the first third, a run formed toward the start of the second third of the cigar. Its rapid formation was quickly fixed with a torch light, but it returned once more in the final third along the same side of the barrel. At this point, a sharp spike in heat could also be detected, and the ash began to grow exceedingly flakey.
However, the first stick I smoked burned beautifully from first light to parting puffs, and the draw and smoke produced from both cigars were superb. So I erred on the side of forgiveness and focused more on the cigar flavor profile, aromatics, and appearance portions of the review.
This was a cigar that truly made me salivate straight from the start. And no, I'm not just referring to that robust corojo kickoff.
The aromatics, taste, and transitions found within the "Serie Gran Reserva 1988" blend bank upon being bold. This makes it pretty damn ideal for fans of fiery red tobacco.
Thanks to Aganorsa Leaf, some sensational tobacco helps make this particular premium cigar blend become yet another winner from Warped Cigars.
So whereas the Futuro 109 was far more memorable in the appearance and performance department, I find myself favoring the "Serie Gran Reserva 1988" for its flavors. Either way, you can't go wrong with either of these corojo tobacco leaf-forward premium cigar blends...
Warped "Gran Reserva 1988"
Corojo '99 (Nicaragua)
5.25" x 50 Robusto
Pineapple & Sudachi Lime Vinegar Soda