|La Colmena Amado No.44|
La Colmena is one of three new cigar lines that was launched by Kyle Gellis’ Warped Cigars in 2014. The La Colmena made its debut at the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The name La Colmena is Spanish for “the beehive”. The line is manufactured in the United States at the famed El Titan de Bronze factory. La Colmena was launched in three sizes and today we take a look at the La Colmena Amado No. 44 – a corona sized offering. If there is one company that had a huge boost a the IPCPR Trade Show it was Warped Cigars. The new cigars released by the company were very well received and it definitely shows this is a company on the rise. In the case of the Amado 44, this was the second cigar I’ve had an opportunity to smoke in the La Colmena line. Overall, this is a line I’m highly impressed with. This solidified in my book that Warped Cigars will be a player in the boutique cigar market for a long time.
In addition to launching the La Colmena line, the company launched its El Oso line – a cigar line also coming out of El Titan de Bronze. The company also launched the Flor de Valle line – a cigar being produced in conjunction with Casa Fernandez in Nicaragua. Perhaps the most interesting fact about the current state of the Warped Cigars portfolio is that the largest ring gauge is a 50 – and that one exists in the Flor de Valle line. The remainder of Warped Cigars’ portfolio is all under 50.
The La Colmena line has three facings – two of which (the Amado No. 44 and Amado No. 36) are regular distribution products. The third facing is the La Colmena Unico Especial. This is a variation of the La Colmena blend in a unique corona-gorda sized torpedo. The Unico Especial was only made available to those retailers that attending the IPCPR Trade Show. I took a look at the La Colmena Unico Especial back in July and found this to be a fantastic cigar, therefore I was curious how the other vitolas in this line would smoke.
Without further ado, let’s take a closer look the La Colmena Amado No. 44 and see what this cigar brings to the table.
The wrapper on the La Colmena line is an Ecuadorian DeFlorada leaf. If the wrapper sounds familiar, this is something El Titan de Bronze has worked with before – most notably on Chinnock Cellars’ Terroir.
Wrapper: Ecuadorian DeFlorada
Filler: Nicaraguan and Dominican
As mentioned there are three vitolas in the La Colmena line. Each vitola is rolled by a level 9 toreador who has specific responsiblities for rolling an assigned size. We include all of the sizes and the rollers below.
Amado No. 44: 5 1/2 x 44 by Reynaldo
Amado No. 36: 6 x 36 by Raf
Unico Especial: 5 x 48 by Jose Santiesteban *
* As mentioned, the Unico Especial features a slightly different blend.
|La Colmena Unico Especial (Top),
La Colmena Amado No. 44 (Bottom)
|La Colmena Amado No. 36|
The La Colmena line is packaged in boxes of ten – although the Unico Especial is packaged in a commemorative cedar-lined tin.
The Ecuadorian DeFlorada of the La Colmena Amado No. 44 has a light brown color with a (very appropriate) honey colored tint to it. This wrapper had less oil tan the Unico Especial I smoked. There are some visible thin veins and thin wrapper seams. The Amado No. 44 has a traditional covered foot. There is a small pig-tail on the cap.
The band has an olive green, gold, and white color scheme. At the center of the band is a modern gold colored stripe pattern that represents a beehive shape. This logo sits on an olive background with a white circular trim to it. The front of the band has a gold octagon shape to it. There is a thick olive stripe protruding to the left and right of the octagon. On the left side is the text “WARPED” in white font. On the right side is the text “LA COLMENA” in white font. The remainder of the band has white and gold trim.
Preparation for the Cigar Experience
I opted to place a straight cut into the cap of the La Colmena Amado No. 44 as opposed to pulling the small tail off the cigar. Once the cap was removed, I moved on to the pre-light draw. The dry draw provided a combination of wood, cedar, and an herbal spice note. The herbal spice note was something I also found on the La Colmena Unico Especial. Overall I was quite pleased with the pre-light draw of the Amado No. 44. At this point I was ready to light up this cigar and see what the smoking phase would deliver.
The start to the La Colmena Amado No. 44 delivered notes of pepper, cream, and natural tobacco. The pepper was a combination of black pepper and a slight herbal spice component. The spice never became overwhelming on the pallet. The herbal spice component was much more prominent on the retro-hale.
In the early stages of the cigar, the spices slightly dialed back, yet remained in the forefront. The cream notes moved into the background. I also picked up some sweetness in the background in the form of cedar and a fruit flavor.
Later in the first third, the cedar notes joined the spice in the forefront – eclipsing the natural tobacco flavors. The fruit sweetness floated back and forth between a primary and secondary note. In the background I now picked up a slight nutty note. Meanwhile the cream was further in the background and really more of a tertiary flavor. This profile held well into the second third.
In the last third, the flavors were similar. I did notice the nut flavors were now more prominent. The spice remained, but still never assaulted the pallet. The resulting nub was slightly soft to the touch, but cool in temperature.
Burn and Draw
Overall I found the La Colmena Amado No. 44 to score very nicely in the area of burn and draw. While there was some jaggedness to the burn, the Amado No. 44 never got off track. The resulting ash remained on the firm side and came off in nice clean chunks. The ash itself was somewhere between a white and light gray color. The burn rate and burn temperature were ideal.
|Burn of the La Colmena Amado No. 44|
The draw to the Amado No. 44 was excellent. It was not too tight and not too loose. The cigar itself produced an ample amount of smoke, yet I never found this draw to be too open.
Strength and Body
While there were some differences in the flavor profile between the Amado No. 44 and Unico Especial, I found the strength and body of both cigars to be similar. The Amado No. 44 is not a nicotine bomb as it delivered medium strength from start to finish. As for the body, the flavors had some nice depth to them – and have almost an ideal amount of weight on the pallet. I assessed the Amado No. 44 as being medium to full-bodied. Like the Unico Especial, the Amado No. 44 is going to be a cigar that emphasize body and flavor over strength.
When Warped Cigars announced that the Unico Especial, they mentioned how it would provide have “more fruit and a creamier complexity” than the rest of the La Colmena line. I definitely agree with the part about the Unico Especial being creamier than the Amado No. 44. However that shouldn’t be constituted as any negative on the La Colmena Amado No. 44. This corona sized vitola really delivers a mix of flavor and complexity throughout the smoking experience.
Smoking a second vitola with this tobacco mix only confirmed to me that Gellis is sitting on a very special line here. The La Colmena No. 44 is a cigar that can appeal to a large audience. This is an enjoyable cigar any time of the day. This is a cigar I could also recommend to either the novice or experienced cigar enthusiast. La Colmena is a pricer line, but the cigars are high quality and are made in Miami. As for myself, this is a box worthy cigar – and I would smoke again.
Body: Medium to Full
Assessment: 4.0 – Box Worthy
News: Warped Cigars La Colmena to Launch at the 2014 IPCPR Trade Show
Source: Sample Provided by Manufacturer (*)
Stogie Geeks Podcast: Episode 103 (La Colmena Unico Especial)
Stogie Feed: La Colmena Unico Especial by Warped Cigars
* The cigar for this assessment was given to Cigar Coop by Warped Cigars. Cigar Coop is appreciative for the sample, but this does not influence the review.