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.
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.
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).
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 sawdust, 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 altogether. 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.
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
- Incredibly full, sweet, and sophisticated flavors
- Perfect draw
- Chalky, gritty, chewable smoke texture
- Multiple touch-ups
- Out of place flavors at start (first .25")
- Dwindling flavors in last third (occasionally harsh)