Wrapper: Ecuadorian DeFlorada
Filler: Nicaraguan & Dominican
Factory: El Titan de Bronze, USA
Vitola Size: 6 x 36, Panatela
Warped brand owner, Kyle Gellis, has burst onto the boutique cigar scene in the past few years by creating some genuinely unique offerings that stands out in an already flooded market. Kyle produces cigars out of the El Titan de Bronze factory in Miami, as well as Casa Fernandez and their Aganorsa farms in Nicaragua. The Miami made lines (El Oso, La Colmena, and Don Reynaldo) have a higher MSRP than the Nicaraguan lines (Flor del Valle, La Hacienda, Futuro, and Corto) due to the wage requirements in the USA. At El Titan de Bronze, Warped uses only level 9 rollers that is assigned a specific vitola in the La Colmena line.
The La Colmena Amado No. 36 has a pigtail cap and a closed foot, which adds a nice element to the aesthetic. I use a straight cut for the cap and light with a butane insert zippo. The cigar lights almost instantly. This small of a ring gauge is different for me. I love lanceros, but a 36 ring is even smaller than the standard lancero that uses a 38 ring gauge. The first few puffs of this long and thin cigar are very clean and mild, with an airy honey sweetness that permeates the room. The burn line is fantastic. As I get further into the cigar the ashes begin to stack like a roll of dimes. There is no doubt that this is a well-made cigar. The construction is flawless. The flavors are complex and can best be described as light cedar with a warm touch of honey sweetness. These same flavors are amplified by retrohaling.
The ash holds on quite long for a panatela of this size. Even after it fell off, I was able to pick it up and hold it between my fingers. This proves the expert craftsmanship of the level 9 rollers.
However, you are paying for the excellent construction. At an MSRP of $12.50, this is quite high for a cigar of this size.
The flavors progress and the cigar continues to burn like a razor. I get hints of oatmeal sweetened with pure cane syrup. As the halfway point is reached, the cedar becomes stronger and moves to the forefront of the flavors. The ash builds back again after its initial drop. I cannot comment enough on the construction of the La Colmena Amado No. 36. I get so frustrated with a lot of cigars that I smoke with having to constantly touch up the burn line or the cigar repeatedly going out. This cigar is a breath of fresh air. Zero construction issues. I literally never had to touch the burn line up with my lighter. The draw feels snug to the mouth, but then surprises when I realize how much smoke has been produces. Very impressive for the 36 ring gauge.
In the final third, the cigar began to get slightly harsh. The cedar became stronger and some pepper was present that mixed nicely with the floral sweetness that was still present. I continue to smoke it down until about the 1” mark. Final smoking time was 57 minutes.
Overall, the La Colmena No. 36 was mild to medium body throughout and mild in strength. Its flavors were very reminiscent of the classic Cuban style of cigars and blending. The draw was fairly tight, but still produced a lot of smoke. The burn and construction were flawless. Even at the $12.50 price point, I still recommend that you give this cigar a try. It is expensive for its size, but it’s worth price of admission for at least one or two. However, I would probably go with something else in the $12-14 range if I were looking to pick up a 10 count box.
Matt Pressley is a Project Controls Manager for a nuclear power manufacturer in North Carolina. When he’s not spending time with his family, he spends his time smoking and talking cigars on the BOTL forum (catawbamatt), drinking craft beer, collecting vinyl records and watching the NFL and Tar Heel basketball. He’s been smoking cigars for 10 years.