In 2015, Warped debuted the first release in a line that would become a yearly tradition around the Christmas holidays. Named Lirio Rojo—which translates to red lilly from Spanish—the limited production cigar has been released in a singular 5 1/2 x 44 corona vitola, packaged in cabinets of 50 without bands.

That is until last year when the company announced that the 2019 version would not be a corona, but instead, a 6 3/8 x 42 lonsdale vitola rolled with a 109 cap, which is basically a combination of a belicoso cap and a normal cap. However, while the vitola size and the cap used on the cigars were changed for last year’s release, other details remained the same: the blend remained a Nicaraguan puro that was sold in cabinets of 50 without bands.

The newest incarnation in the Lirio Rojo line began shipping to retailers on Dec. 2, 2019 priced at $11 each, an increase of $1 from previous releases that were priced at $10 each.

  • Cigar Reviewed: Lirio Rojo (2019)
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Factory: Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A.
  • Wrapper: Nicaragua
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaragua
  • Length: 6 3/8 inches
  • Ring Gauge: 42
  • Vitola: Lonsdale
  • MSRP: $11 (Box of 50, $550)
  • Release Date: Dec. 2, 2019
  • Number of Cigars Released: Undisclosed
  • Number of Cigars Smoked For Review: 3

Physically, the Lirio Rojo 2019 is a fairly petite cigar when held in your hand with a cinnamon brown wrapper that features a hint of oil and as well as plenty of bumps and veins running up and down its length. The 109 cap is a bit more pointed than I am used to and one sample has a fairly large soft spot about an inch from the top of the cigar. Aroma from the wrapper and foot is a combination of manure, nuts, spiced oranges, leather, creamy cedar, cloves and earth while the cold draw brings flavors of creamy peanut butter, leather, cedar, cinnamon, black pepper, generic fruit sweetness and a bit of spice on my tongue.

As the first third of the Lirio Rojo 2019 begins, my palate is immediately inundated with some significant spice as well as dominant flavors of both peanut butter and creamy oak. Lesser flavors of bitter dark chocolate, leather, gritty earth, coffee grounds, hay and a touch of citrus, along with some noticeable black pepper on the retrohale. I also notice a fairly distinct cherry sweetness combined with some black pepper on the retrohale, both of which seem to increase as the first third burns down. Construction-wise, the amount of resistance on the draw is excellent after a simple straight cut, but the burn gives me a bit of trouble almost from the beginning, leading to a correction early on. The smoke production is about average while the overall strength ends the first third firmly between the mild and medium marks, albeit increasing at a fairly rapid pace.

The dominant flavors present in the second third of the Warped don’t change at all—specifically, the same creamy oak and peanut butter notes—but the secondary flavors do, with cocoa powder, pencil lead and toast leading the way. While both the cherry sweetness and black pepper on the retrohale are still present, the former has increased in strength while the latter has waned a bit. One change is the amount of spice on my tongue, which continues to decrease until it finally disappears just before the final third begins. The draw continues to impress and the burn has evened up a bit, while the strength increases enough to hit a point just over the medium mark by the time the second third ends.

While the peanut butter and creamy oak notes remain dominant during the final third of the Lirio Rojo 2019, they have switched places in the profile, with the cedar easily taking the top spot. Other flavors of bitter espresso beans, hay, floral, cocoa nibs, granola and a touch of sourdough flit in and out as well, while the cherry sweetness and black pepper are still very obvious on the retrohale. The smoke production remains about average and the draw continues to be fantastic, while the burn is non-problematic, albeit far from razor-sharp. The one major change is the strength level, which seems to take off like a rocket just after the final third begins, eventually hitting a point just below the full mark by the time I put the nub down with a bit more than an inch remaining.

Final Notes

  • Yes, cigars are a hand-made product, but it is extremely rare for me to have a cigar perform as badly in terms of construction as the second Lirio Rojo I smoked for this review did.  The fact that the cigar continued to go out—and the constant relights that were needed to actually finish the cigar—definitely took a toll on the profile. Having said that, I could consider that sample to be an aberration and not anywhere near the norm when it comes to Warped products in general.
  • Editor’s Note: The difference in score between two of the samples and the aforementioned sample was 20 points. — CM.
  • The ash on these cigars fell almost like clockwork in half-inch increments, a fairly rare occurrence in cigars with ring gauges this small. Interestingly, the ash was never flaky and fell in pretty defined chunks each time.
  • After being virtually unheard of outside of Cuba for years, the 109 cap has been making a strong comeback in various recent releases: AGANORSA Leaf has used it a few times recently, Crux incorporates the cap—which it calls a marblehead—into a number of its lines, Illusione uses it on its Cruzado Marelas Supremas and Tatuaje incorporated it into two of its Monster Series releases in 2014 and 2015.
  • In addition to the above, Warped has released a number of cigars featuring the 109 cap other than the Warped Lirio Rojo 2019, including one size in the Futuro line and the Flor del Valle Seleccion del Valle.
  • While I did not cover the Warped booth at last year’s IPCPR Convention & Trade Show, I did stop by and talk to brand owner Kyle Gellis, who told me all about the anti-counterfeiting technology named Bubble Tags the company will be implementing for all of its releases. While the Bubble Tag’s main purpose is to act as a verification system—in this case, via a QR code that pulls up the verification on Warped’s website—customers will also be able to see what factory each cigar was rolled at, what date they were rolled on, who blended the cigar, the blend information and the size of the cigar.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were purchased by halfwheel.
  • Final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 46 minutes, although that number was thrown off by the one bad sample, which took a bit more than two hours to finish.
  • If you would like to purchase any of the Warped Lirio Rojo 2019, site sponsor Atlantic Cigar Co. has them in stock now.
82 Overall Score

It is extremely unfortunate when one cigar out of three holds back a review, but that was definitely my experience with the Warped Lirio Rojo 2019. While the construction on two samples was fine overall—albeit far from stellar—the second cigar I smoked had significant issues staying lit, to the point where I was having to relight multiple times in each third. To its credit, there were far fewer negative effects to the profile than I expected, but the result was still significantly inferior to the other two cigars in terms of flavors, complexity and balance. Having said that, sans the construction issues the Lirio Rojo 2019 was a very good cigar with a somewhat surprising punch of strength at the end and a blend that I enjoyed more than the final score will indicate.

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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.