Cigar Review: El Oso Blanco from Warped Cigars

I’ve only been in the cigar hobby for four years. For better or worse, that means that I’ve missed a lot. But in that four years, I’ve found that Warped Cigars have had some of the most solid offerings out there; especially in the last few years. The Moon Garden, Sky Flower, La Hacienda, La Hacienda First Growth, and La Colemena Unico have been some of my favorites since I’ve jumped head first into this hobby. 

All of that is relevant information given that this review is about the El Oso Blanco from Warped. The El Oso Blanco is touted to be a reverse Black Honey. The Black Honey was an LE of the La Colmena blend, and one that I missed. I also missed the the other Warped cigar that this blend is based on, the El Oso. The El Oso Blanco takes both blends, a few tweaks, and merges them together. It features an Ecuadorian DeFlorada wrapper over an Ecuadorian binder and Dominican and Nicaraguan fillers. While I can’t speak to how well this “reverse Black Honey” lives up to its predecessors, I can give you my unbiased thoughts on the El Oso Blanco.

OVERVIEW

VITOLA:   Toro
SIZE:   6″ x 48

ORIGIN:   United States
FACTORY:   El Titan de Bronze

WRAPPER:   Ecuadorian DeFlorada
BINDER:   Ecuadorian
FILLER:   Dominican and Nicaraguan

STRENGTH:   Medium

SOURCE:   
Oxford Cigar Company

ENVIRONMENT

WHERE:   
The garage

WHEN:   
March 19 @1:00pm

DRINKS:   
Bottled water

WEATHER:   
47° and 66% humidity

HOW MANY CIGARS SMOKED:   
3

PRODUCTION

RELEASE TYPE  Limited Release

ORIGINALLY RELEASE DATE  November 2021

TOTAL PRODUCTION
Typical Box Size:     Boxes of 20
Production Totals:  12,000 total cigars

VITOLA BREAKDOWN
o  Toro  (46″ x 48)

BAND DESIGN

The band is a slim design that looks a bit silly on such a long cigar. It certainly goes against the norm of bands that almost covers the entire cigar. The band is silver with blue trim. A bear with a crown is the featured image. The sides of the band have “Miami” and “El Oso” on either side.

PRE-LIGHT OBSERVATIONS

CONSTRUCTION

The Ecuadorian wrapper is a beautiful light caramel color that shows each seam and vein. It gives the cigar character. One of the El Oso Blancos has a water spot, but nothing concerning. The cap appears to be expertly triple capped.

AROMA

The Ecuadorian wrapper has a an intoxicating cedar aroma with just a touch of barnyard. The foot gives off the smell of sweet tobacco, barnyard, and a hint of floral and fruity notes. The El Oso Blanco is one of the best smelling cigars that I’ve reviewed in a while.

COLD DRAW

The draw is a little tight after the straight cut, but doesn’t sound any alarm bells. There is a chalky sweetness that immediately comes through. A few more cold draws and honey and floral notes shine through with a faint nuttiness on the finish.

SMOKING EXPERIENCE

LIGHT & DRAW
Cut: Les Fines Lames LE PETITE cigar knife
Fire: ST Dupont Hooked

Creamy nuts, cedar, honey and black pepper jump out from the initial light. Salted nuts and honey linger on the finish. There’s a bit of spiciness to the initial light, but it is very smooth. There are no rough edges here.

SMOKE

The smoke seems extra creamy from the El Oso Blanco. It’s the perfect amount for me. The smoke rising from the El Oso Blanco even looks creamy.

FIRST THIRD
>> Sweet Cream, Cedar, Honey, Black Pepper

Salted nuts, sweet cream, and a touch of honey begin the first third. There’s a nice dark chocolate note that adds depth and richness to the El Oso Blanco. Cedar stays on the finish. Big notes of black peppee on the retrohale. The salt component begins to fall off. Sweet, salty, savory. The El Oso Blanco seems intent on impressing. The burn line is even and the ash is flawless. The honey note now seems elusive, being dominated by the black pepper and spicy cedar. It’s still there, just as more of a role player than the star. But when it hits, man does it hit! A nice floral note offsets the spicy cedar, allowing the honey and sweet cream to come through just a bit more. What was dark chocolate is now a beautiful coffee note. A faint citrus note joins the party. The ash is compact and holds on to the end of the first third.

SECOND THIRD
>> Citrus, Honey, Baking Spices, White Pepper

Citrus, espresso, and charred wood begin the second third. There was a nice transition between the thirds. It was subtle, but it allowed those flavors to develop from the first third rather nicely. Honey and a floral note linger on the finish. Orange zest seems to be the dominant flavor. White pepper and light baking spices on the retrohale. Chocolate returns adding a nice complexity to the flavors. The burn line remains even and the ash compact. There is a nice umami flavor that plays well with the sweet and woody notes. Everything is in balance with the El Oso Blanco. The flavors are well defined and almost vibrant. The citrus and honey brighten up the flavor profile and keep it interesting. The smoke is still creamy and satisfying. Dark chocolate re-enters the chat in a big way, taking top billing and working wonderfully with the citrus and nuttiness of the middle third.

FINAL THIRD
>> Coffee, Fruit, Honey, Black Pepper

A funky, earthy, mushroom note begins the final third. Chocolate on the finish with just a touch of salted nuts. The orange zest that was so prominent in the middle third is quickly fading. Red pepper flake on the retrohale. It has that spicy bite to it, adding more nuance to the El Oso Blanco. Avocado oil returns. Coffee now takes over for the dark chocolate. The final third has ramped up to a definite medium plus. Campfire, earth/mushroom, coffee, nuts, and red pepper. The El Oso Blanco continues to impress with its burn and ash. The smoke is still as creamy as it was on the first few puffs. A burst of lemon zest and honey really brighten up this final third and bring out the creaminess, once again. The honey is absolutely sublime when it’s there, and it has been here for the final third. The lemon zest has morphed into a fantastic fruit note. Coffee, fruit and honey, cedar, and black pepper on the retrohale. Wow.

RATING & FINAL THOUGHTS

FLAVOR PROGRESSION

The El Oso Blanco has some great flavors throughout, but is it a “reverse honey?” I don’t know, but here’s what I do know. The first third begins with just a bit of honey and starts ramping up from there. The honey note comes and goes in each third, and acts as the vehicle for other flavors to really shine. Notes of fruit, cream, pepper, citrus, nuts, chocolate and coffee are helped along by the wonderous note of honey that permeates the cigar. Sometimes you have to look for it, but when you find…just wow.

BURN EXPERIENCE

The El Oso Blanco provided one of the best burn experiences I’ve ever had. All three cigars smoked for this review burned straight, had a compact ash, and gave me zero burn issues.

RATING BREAKDOWN
0.78 / 0.80 … Craft & Aesthetic
0.50 / 0.50 … Pre-Light Characteristics
0.50 / 0.50 … Lighting Process
7.20 / 7.70 … Smoking Experience
0.50 / 0.50 … Personal Enjoyment

COMPLIMENTS & CRITIQUES

SWEET AS HONEY.

A cigar really only competes against itself. Sure, we all have our favorites of blends that hit our palate just right but every cigar should be able to stand on its own. The El Oso Blanco does that. Not having ever smoked the Black Honey or the El Oso, it’s easy for me to say that. For those who have smoked the aforementioned cigars might have a different view of the El Oso Blanco. For this reviewer, Warped hit it out of the ballpark. A perfectly medium profile cigar that is full of flavors, that has a profile that will keep you interested from start to finish. I nubbed each of the three smoked for this review, and will be hard pressed not to smoke the rest of my El Oso Blanco stash anytime soon.

SIMPLY STOGIES RATING:  9.48 / 10.0

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