In Warped Cigars’ fifth Nicaraguan offering (eighth overall), the brand sets out to introduce a unique, Nicaraguan puro experience—patiently awaiting countless iterations and years of trial and error. This was due to brand owner Kyle Gellis’ experimental approach, opting to seek out “hidden gems” within the AGANORSA umbrella. This acronym represents Agricola Ganadera Norteña S.A., a series of Nicaraguan farms owned by the Fernández family (Casa Fernández) that produce among the largest yields of Nicaraguan tobaccos, as well as some of the most highly acclaimed tobacco in the world.

Every Nicaraguan marca in Warped’s lineup (at this point) is a Nicaraguan puro, using 100% AGANORSA leaf, and rolled at Casa Fernández’s TABSA factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. Understandably, the process of crafting Warped’s fifth TABSA-produced cigar, while maintaining a unique spot within the quickly-growing lineup, provided a unique set of challenges. This is where Maestro del Tiempo receives its name—Spanish for “Master of Time”.

[Maestro del Tiempo] is a culmination of the years of blend testing and improvements for this marca. Several years and scouring the depths of AGANORSA through their vast lineage of regions, farms, and lots to make this blend happen. You need to master time to create the ideal cigar, and this is living proof.

*Images from IPCPR 2016

Maestro del Tiempo Breakdown

  • Wrapper: Corojo ’99 Clara (Jalapa, Nicaragua)
  • Binder: Condega, Nicaraguan
  • Filler: Criollo ’98 (Nicaragua) | Corojo ’99 (Nicaragua)
  • Factory: TABSA (Nicaragua)
  • Production: Regular Release (line contains one limited edition size)
  • Vitola: 6⅜” × 42 “5205” (lonsdale)
  • Price: $9.65

The cigars were introduced at the 2016 IPCPR show, bearing perhaps Warped’s most traditional, Cubanesque look to date. Two sizes were slated for introduction shortly after the show (some orders began arriving at retailers this weekend), with a special, third size being limited to 15,000 cigars. This size, dubbed 6102R, contains use of the rare medio tiempo leaf (perhaps due to the play on words), making for a unique alteration on this new smoking experience.

The other sizes in the line are named 5205 (lonsdale) and 5712 (rothschild)—Warped is not divulging the meaning behind the cigar’s codenames.

Look/Feel

The long and slender size of the 5205’s lonsdale shape is absolutely beautiful (but who doesn’t dig a nice lonsdale?). The cigar’s Clara wrapper is about the shade of light-roast coffee beans, showing an intricate web of fine, easily visible veins. The seams are also very visible, though appear well-placed, leading up to the cigar’s triple cap. It’s a light-weight cigar (considering the long size), feeling medium packed and somewhat delicate—even light squeezes introduce subtle cracking noises—and this cigar has had plenty of time in the humidor.

The nose is very light, showing subtle notes of bread, nuts, and cedar. With a pre-light draw, there are continued flavors of cedar and nuts—this time more in the realm of peanuts.

Smoking Experience

The start of Maestro del Tiempo is not exactly what I’d expected, offering an interesting mix of Mexican chili spices. The notes are a bit harsher than anticipated, but after about one minute, the tone shifts towards creamier flavors, with cashews leading the charge. This little twist proved very indicative of the flavors to come; it was like Pandora’s box had been opened… Almonds and candy-coated cashews flowed from every puff, soaked in an irresistible texture that is best described as gritty, chewable, and even peanut-buttery.

Burning down the cigar’s lengthy six and three-eighths inches, my only complaint thus far is frequent touchups. The burn is wavy and the smoke begins to thin about every half-inch to inch, calling for a quick blast from the torch flame. This is with five weeks acclimation in the humidor, which isn’t the eight I’d prefer, but certainly long enough for most cigars. The draw is about medium and feels literally perfect for this vitola. Each tug produces medium volumes of smoke, increasing the cigar’s white/gray and lightly flakey ash—which seems to hold one-and-a-half inch increments (touch-ups permitting).



Warped Maestro del Tiempo 5205 cigar smoking

These objective qualities range from mildly cumbersome to very impressive—this is not my main concern. The subjective attributes, i.e. flavor, are where Maestro del Tiempo really shines. Bright and punchy cedar notes hit the palate hard, accompanied by saw dust, sweet toffee, loads of butter, and a hint of anise in the retrohale. The flavors are very rich, giving a tannin-like, mouth-puckering sensation. This observation had me running for a glass of red wine (red blend), which is not a common pairing in my arsenal, but matched the cigar perfectly. This tended to tone down the cigar’s cloying qualities, giving more balanced vanillas and cream.

Moving into the cigar’s final segment, the profile has grown from mild to medium in strength and is beyond full in flavor—ultimately resting around medium-bodied all together. But the over-the-top flavors seem to tone down in this portion of the cigar. The smoke is clean and the texture remains chalky, but the finish isn’t as long and the flavors now depend on the occasional touch-up jumpstart to return to their former glory. The flavors pick up some saltiness, along with a little sweetness and creaminess from before, and darker attributes of burnt nuts and bread.

Maestro del Tiempo 5205 cigar review

Would I Smoke This Cigar Again?

Again and again, I would smoke this cigar. The profile is nearly exactly what I look for in my ideal smoking experience. It was very Cubanesque, although showcasing the flavors much more intensely than you’ll find in a Cuban cigar. This is what I love about Warped’s common usage of Nicaraguan puros—it’s the closest you’ll find to a classic Havana puro—giving those subtle and unique flavors that hit your entire palate from every angle, often making it difficult to decipher the nuances within.

One thing we (the Dojo staff) discussed was whether you can have too much of a good flavor. When Maestro is at about the end of the one-third mark, the rich and sweet flavors are so much that it can almost be hard to enjoy—make me work for it a little! This was ultimately reconciled (if you can call it that) by a near-perfect pairing of the red wine. This is our recommended pairing, but it would certainly work well with a gin and tonic, mojito, or other clean beverages.

  • Smoke Time: 1.5 hours
  • Purchase Recommendation: Max the credit card
Samples for review were provided by Warped Cigars (prior to August 8, 2016). They were final production grade (not test blends) and used pre-release banding. We typically do not review cigars of this nature, as we want to give opinions on the same cigars consumers will experience. However, we were assured they are of regular-production quality by Warped Cigars owner Kyle Gellis.

Warped Maestro del Tiempo 5205 cigar review and rating

Maestro del Tiempo 5205
Warped Cigars sets out to master time by patiently perfecting the Maestro del Tiempo blend over the past few years. Using different farms and regions than usual, this Nicaraguan puro opts to set itself apart from the four other Nicaraguan puros in the Warped lineup. The verdict? This cigar is leaps and bounds ahead of all other Nicaraguan-made Warped products (and that's saying a lot). The draw is near-perfect, the size is a connoisseur's dream, and the flavors are truly incredible. The profile is sweet, sophisticated, and positively over the top. At its absolute best (2/3 mark), it was discussed whether the flavors could be "too much". Indeed, it's not a cigar you'd smoke back-to-back, acting as a flavor sensory overload—attacking the palate from all sides. This can occasionally make it difficult to decipher the cigar's subtler aspects. The cigar's paradoxical profile to start and dwindling flavors at the end were only slight setbacks, with the only significant criticism coming from the frequent need for touch-ups.
Appearance95%
Burn/Construction81%
Draw100%
Flavor100%
Complexity92%
Price/Value96%
Pros
  • Incredibly full, sweet, and sophisticated flavors
  • Perfect draw
  • Chalky, gritty, chewable smoke texture
Cons
  • Multiple touch-ups
  • Out of place flavors at start (first .25")
  • Dwindling flavors in last third (occasionally harsh)
94%Candy-Coated Delicacy
  • Scott

    After trying several of these, I’m calling this my #1 for 2016, partially for price and availability, but primarily because of the floral/perfumey aromas and rich, cinnamon bread/baking spices character on the palate. I very much agree with your assessment, but fortunately mine have been free of some of the burn issues you seemed to have. Keep up the good work; you offer something unique to the cigar community!

    • Excellent description of the flavors!

      • Scott

        Thanks; I love ’em! I try to avoid descriptors that may not register with a reader, but I just gotta’ say that the aroma in the first third reminds me SO MUCH of a perfume called White Shoulders – very sweet and floral. If there’s a more alluring release this year, I don’t know what it is. Bravo, Mr. Gellis!