#nowsmoking: Warped Flor del Valle Cristales Cigar Review
Flor del Valle Cristales by Warped
Factory: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A., the AGANORSA Leaf – Estelí, Nicaragua
Size: (6” x 42) Corona
Wrapper: Nicaragua Corojo 99
Dual Binder: Nicaragua Corojo 99 & Criollo 98
Presented in boxes of 25 cigars
The Flor del Valle Backstory
On Warped’s website, they proudly proclaim Flor del Valle as “Cuban history, reimagined.” The name means Flower of the Valley – a nod to the tobacco growing regions and their common homes within lush volcanic valleys. As is the story of many boutique cigars, Flor del Valle is an adaptation of a defunct Cuban blend. And for the first time, Warped founder, Kyle Gellis has left the historic walls of Miami’s El Titan de Bronze factory – opting instead to have the line rolled directly by Aganorsa Leaf in Nicaragua, the source of the brand’s tobaccos. The Flor del Valle blend is available at Famous Smoke Shop in two sizes: a 7” x 40 Lancero and a 6” x 42 Corona (my sample size).
The Basics at-a-Glance
Construction: Well-rolled, nearly seamless. Cuban-style cap with three turns and a nice amount of color on the wrapper that looks brown to red depending on the light.
Cold Draw: Light spices with a maple-like flavor.
Base flavors: Coffee, earth, spice, peppers, earth, and sweet wood.
Aroma: Sweet and warm. Reminds me of baked goods in the oven.
Burn & Ash: Even-tempered and a marbled ash that gets flaky on occasion.
Warped Flor del Valle Cristales Cigar Review – Act I
Big flavors up front that include coffee, wood, salt, mild spices, and a little black licorice. It’s got a sweet finish that’s both floral in nature and quite refreshing. Typically, cigars that exhibit this Cuban style of flavor have a dryness to their smoke that wine geeks can relate to, but not this flower. I could probably even smoke it with no drink at all. It just doesn’t make me thirsty the way most cigars do. Toward the end of this third, I’m noticing a build in ‘pepper intensity’ – but only a little bit.
Warped Flor del Valle Cristales Cigar Review – Act II
The Cristales is a typical Corona size, but it atypically peaks in intensity just shy of the halfway mark (most Coronas in my experience just build throughout) at medium-bodied plus. There’s more bite to the pepper. More zest to the spice. But the overall flavors here are focused on its floral Corojo sweetness. Retrohaling at this point – just wow! Sweet wood, salt, and the faintest hint of cream. I just wanted to put my pen down and enjoy Flor del Valle for what it was. No distractions. No need to record everything. And because of that, I think a quiet setting will get you the most mileage.
Warped Flor del Valle Cristales Cigar Review – Act III
Flor del Valle’s finale comes closer to the band than I would have preferred. I tend to smoke cigars a little faster than I should (we’re good at giving advice, but not so much heeding it) and that means they burn hotter toward the end (especially with smaller ring gauges). But if you aren’t a walking chimney like me, you’ll probably be able to nub this thing happily. You can expect coffee to make a comeback, along with a hearty serving of nuts and a lot less pepper.
What beverage pairs well with the Warped Flor del Valle?
As I said previously, you probably don’t need to have a drink by your side when you smoke this cigar, but I still paired mine with a sweet tea. You can go with anything that’ll keep your palate wet if that’s what you prefer, but I’d probably keep the harder stuff in the cabinet. For more pairing combinations, see our Cigar & Spirit pairing guide.
Is the Flor del Valle Cristales Worth Smoking?
For sure. Even with a price tag north (only slightly) of $10 per individual stick, the value of the deal is squarely on your side – especially if you grab a box (which keeps it under $10 apiece). I’ll echo my previous recommendation of smoking it in a quiet place. Maybe keep a few handy for nightcaps and for a bit of escapism in the winter months since it’s a shorter burn. But to be honest, it’s hard to nail down a specific time, place, or occasion to smoke Flor del Valle. It’s just a phenomenal anytime smoke.