Flor de Valle is the first offering from Warped Cigars to be produced in Nicaragua. Made entirely of Aganorsa tobaccos, Flor de Valle is a Nicaraguan puro. The other two releases from Warped, La Colmena and El Oso, are made at the El Titan de Bronze factory in Miami.
Flor de Valle, which translates to Flower of the Valley, is currently available in two sizes (Cristales 6 x 42 & Gran Valle 5.5 x 50) with more sizes on the way later this year (5 x 50, 4.5 x 48 & 6.5 x 52).
I posted a detailed write-up of the Warped Cigars booth at IPCPR. You can check that out here.
Warped Flor de Valle
Size: 5.5 x 50
Vitola: Gran Valle
Wrapper: Jalapa Corojo Rosado 99
Double Binder: Corojo and Criollo
Filler: Corojo 99 and Criollo 98
Produced By: Casa Fernandez
Sample for review provided by Warped Cigars
Quick Note: For this review I used CigarFederation's rating system.
You can view it in detail here.
Pre-Light: The Flor de Valle sported a Jalapa Corojo Rosado wrapper that had a nice velvety feel to it. The wrapper gave off notes of hay and peanut butter while the cold draw offered flavors of roasted nuts. You'll notice the band in the photos is a simple white band with gold text. This cigar was given as a sample at IPCPR 2014 and the real bands were not ready yet. Below is a photo of the band art courtesy of Warped Cigars. The bottom band is the final artwork.
Beginning: The Flor de Valle started out with some buttery and toasty notes with some mild hints of oak. It reminded me of a nicely oaked chardonnay. As I progressed through the first inch a mild white pepper spice showed up along with an interesting citrusy floral note. The spice was mild and pleasant and the citrus/floral note (lemon grass?) balanced well with the butter, toast and oak notes. The retrohale was smooth with notes of oak and mild spice. The first few inches were surprising and rather enjoyable.
Middle: We had our first major transition at the two inch mark. A mild creamed coffee note showed up pushing the floral notes to the background. As I progressed toward the mid point the flavors thickened and the creamed coffee was joined by a honey sweetness. At this point it was a very different cigar than when I fired it up. The toasty notes were still there, but the oak and butter disappeared. The transition brought more strength as well. The body of the cigar was in the medium-minus range while the strength pushed to a medium-plus. The strength snuck up on me a bit. This is not a powerhouse at all, but it can creep up on you
End: The coffee held strong and the honey thickened and combined with the toasty notes creating a flavor similar to caramel popcorn. The body of the cigar kicked up a notch, but the strength stayed in the medium range. This was an exceptionally unique Nicaraguan cigar.
Final Thoughts: The Flor de Valle will take you on a ride. It had everything I want in a cigar: complexity and balance of flavor, not overpowering, enough flavor to satisfy the modern palate and enough nuance to thrill the seasoned smoker. With all that said, I still can believe this is a Nicaraguan cigar. I think Dominican cigar smokers will absolutely love the Flor de Valle. Conversely, I think it may be lost on those who seek out Nicaraguan power houses. I am eager to try the Cristales 6 x 42 as I feel the smaller ring gauge will take the flavors to the next level. I think that size will resonate more with the traditional Nicaraguan cigar smoker.
Rating: 91 AKA "Box Split"
I am a sucker for complex medium strength cigars. The Flor de Valle, as I said before, has everything I want in a cigar. The price point of $9.75 for the Gran Valle 5.5 x 50 is a bit hefty (Cristales 6 x 42 is $8.95), but the smoking experience is worth every penny. The Flor de Valle is going right into my regular rotation, it's going on my Top 10 list and it's going to be the cigar that I tell everyone they need to smoke.