It’s always interesting when a company that is known for its continuous stream of new offerings takes a sort of regroup year. It’s necessary, of course—as too much new begins to lose its effect—but you still can’t help but feel shorted when that annual new offering you’ve come to expect inevitably doesn’t show up.
This was partially the story for Warped at IPCPR 2019. The big debut this year is the company’s effort to bring the cigar industry forward with a modernized approach to dealing with cigar counterfeit. The concept is known as a Bubble Tag, made by French security company, Prooftag. Essentially, there is a QR code sticker that seals each cigar’s cellophane closed. The QR code can be scanned or a serial number can be manually punched in on Warped’s website; doing so will bring up information about the given cigar, along with a unique bubble pattern that should match the one shown on the cigar. When the sticker is torn/removed, it simultaneously destroyed—ensuring the code cannot be transferred to another cigar.
Warped showcased the 2019 run of its popular Sky Flower offering, marking the first time the cigars have been released in 20 months. Sky Flower 2019 is expected to ship in the fourth quarter of 2019. La Colmena Unico Especial (2019) was also on display, bringing the cigar back for the first time in five years. Finally, there was the Flor del Valle Seleccion de Valle—which many will better know as the Ghost Orchid, as the cigars were initially known when teased on social media earlier this year. Due to trademark issues, the cigars are now known as Seleccion de Valle, showcasing the Nicaraguan puro blend with a 109-style head.