To celebrate its 30th anniversary, R. Field Wine Co. in Hawaii got in contact with Kyle Gellis of Warped Cigars for a limited edition store exclusive from the brand’s La Colmena line, a 7 x 40 lancero called Amado No. 407.
Released on Sept. 4, the cigar became the sixth member of the La Colmena family, as well as the last one to be offered to retailers as an exclusive, though Gellis told halfwheel that a previous conversation with Marvin Chang of R. Field did leave the possibility of another La Colmena release for the store down the road.
If you’ve never been to Hawaii, R. Field Wine Co. is part of seven FoodLand locations across the state and specializes in high-end wine, premium cigars and locally-made food. The store traces its roots back to 1985 and was acquired by the Sullivan Family of Companies, which owns FoodLand, in 1998.
As for La Colmena, it debuted at the 2014 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show in two sizes, the Amado No. 36 (6 x 36, $12.50) and Amado No. 44 (5 1/2 x 44, $14.50). Both cigars were limited to being created by a single roller; Raf for the No. 36 and Reynaldo for the No. 44, with production limited to just 100 cigars per day. For Gellis, the line harkened back to his youth when his father would get received his first bundle of custom rolls from Cuba, cigars that bore no band or box, just the name of the roller and a ribbon wrapping.
Since the launch of the line, it has steadily grown and now includes a total of six sizes.
- La Colmena Amado No. 36 (6 x 46) — $12.50 (Boxes of 10, $125) — October 2015 — Regular Production
- La Colmena Amado No. 44 (5 1/2 x 44) — $14.50 (Boxes of 10, $145) — October 2015 — Regular Production
- La Colmena Unico Especial (5 x 48) — $15 (Jars of 10, $150) — October 2015 — 1,000 Jars of 10 (10,000 Total Cigars)
- La Colmena Black Honey (5 x 48) — $15.50 (Bundles of 10, $155) — January 2015 — 60 Bundles of 10 Cigars (600 Total Cigars)
- La Colmena Reina (6 x 48) — $16.50 (Bundles of 10, $165) — April 2015 — 200 Bundles of 10 (2,000 Total Cigars)
- La Colmena Amada No. 407 (7 x 40) — $23.50 (Boxes of 10, $235) — 200 Boxes of 10 Cigars (2,000 Total Cigars)
- Cigar Reviewed: La Colmena Amado No. 407
- Country of Origin: U.S.A.
- Factory: El Titan de Bronze
- Wrapper: Ecuadorian DesFlorada
- Binder: Ecaudor
- Filler: Nicaragua
- Size: 7 Inches
- Ring Gauge: 40
- Vitola: Lancero
- MSRP: $23.50 (Boxes of 10, $235)
- Release Date: Sept. 4, 2015
- Number of Cigars Released: 200 Boxes of 10 Cigars (2,000 Total Cigars)1
- Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3
The La Colmena Amado No. 407 is a handsome cigar with several features to like: the head features a small and tightly twisted pigtail, while the covered foot is executed so well I almost don’t notice it at first glance. The lancero vitola is a given for me, while the wrapper is a smooth shade of butterscotch with very small veins and a clean roll, a look that plays well with the band and its maize, military green and white color scheme, with the logo reminiscent of several parejo vitolas laid next to each other and what could be a lancero in the middle. it’s a paper-like feel in the hand, generally smooth but with just a touch of texture and showing consistent firmness. The covered foot does a good job hiding away most of the pre-light aromas, leaving just a bit of cereal grain and dry tobacco as an initial impression. The cold draw skews towards the firm side, something that appears to be compounded by the closed foot, with a taste of buttered popcorn the first thing to grab my attention, followed by a bit of cool spice.
My first draw off the La Colmena Amado No. 407 is thankfully more open than what the cold draw suggested it could be, as air glides easily once the torch has made easy work of the foot’s covering. I find myself enveloped by a thick, chewy smoke that also has a viscous feel in the nose on early retrohales. It’s a subtle flavor at first glance, though each puff leaves behind traces of vanilla creme and black pepper despite slightly below average smoke production. The ash is also on par for a cigar of this ring gauge, dropping its first clump after passing the half-inch mark. Just as I’m beginning to worry if the Amado No. 407 is going to start showing any flavor changes, I get a fantastic note of sweet cedar from the smoke, syrupy and bright on the tongue, while complex in the nose thanks to a good amount of black pepper.
The second third starts with the black pepper evolving to become the lead note while the sweetness lingers more in the background and the smoke picks up a chalky note; the combination is fairly complex, well balanced and very enjoyable. As with any lancero or small ring gauge cigar, smoking pace is key to getting the best flavors, and the La Colmena Amado No. 407 is no exception; too rapid a draw results in the pepper overheating and becoming harsher than it should be on the senses. The cigar seems headed down that road anyway, so accelerating it isn’t a noble chore. Through the midpoint the burn line has been absolutely fantastic, crisp and even with no draw or combustion issues, and while I can feel it tightening up just a bit in the second half, it’s nothing to be concerned over. If anything, my only source of worry at this point is the growing harshness from the pepper, as that particular component seems to be overstepping its bounds for the first time, and with it comes a slight increase in the mineral component as well as some fragrant wood that has a potpourri-esque slant.
At the start of the final third, I’m still finding an interesting spin on the pepper note; it’s present but it also has some funkiness to it that I’m not quite sure how to describe, particularly as I try and do so while it lingers on my palate. The smoke is soft and creamy, and I’m wondering if my mind isn’t misinterpreting the creaminess as having a touch of sourness, simply because the current combination isn’t one I’m familiar with. Subtle hints of wood round out the current flavor as the La Colmena Amado seems to be sorting itself out for the final two inches or so. The burn remains sharp and even, and I have yet to have a single problem with combustion. A parting shot of eye-stinging pepper closes out the cigar, wrapping up a delicious journey for this Hawaiian exclusive.
- As a reminder, we don’t factor price into our scores.
- Given that these are in 10-count boxes, it makes a box purchase that much more appealing.
- Beyond the release of the La Colmena Amado No. 407, the event featured the debut of a fully-packed Warped’s event-only cigar, Celestial. Made by Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. (TABSA) in Estelí, Nicaragua, that cigar uses only AGANORSA leaf, meaning there’s a very good chance it’s a Nicaraguan puro. It comes in decorative three-packs.
- In all seriousness, the covered foot looks like it was done by a professional gift wrapper.
- I found myself retrohaling nearly every other puff on the third cigar, simply because it was so enjoyable and seemed to enhance the flavor. I usually don’t do it this frequently, but in this case it was a fantastic addition to the smoking process.
- Final smoking time was two hours on average.
- The cigars for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
- The La Colmena Amado No. 407 is available exclusively through R. Field Wine Co. in Hawaii. Be sure to tell them you heard about the cigar on halfwheel.
While it’s not the biggest line, the buzz is certainly strong about Warped’s La Colmena line, and the Amado No. 407 should only add to it, both for fans of the line and fans of lanceros. The burn is one of the best I can recall, and the flavors keep up from start to finish. While this may or may not be a positive, one of the things that I enjoyed most about this stick was that it offered several points where I really had to guess and work to identify the flavors. The complexity drew me into its web several times, keeping the flavors and aromas subtle and enjoyable, and leaving the mind in a state of thinking where have I had this before? and several times not being able to come up with an answer. Another solid entry in the La Colmena line.