Founded in 2008, Warped Cigars’ first release was the Anubis, a blend that was made in a family-owned factory in Little Havana, Florida. Two other lines, Osiris and Private Blend, followed soon after that, but eventually cigar production shut down.

In 2012, owner Kyle Gellis relaunched the company, first by making review notebooks for smokers to take notes while smoking cigars along with other cigar accessories.

Last year, he began hinting about a return to cigars themselves. EL OSO, which translates to the bear, is the first release for 2014, an El Titan de Bronze-made cigar that uses Nicaraguan and Dominican fillers, an Ecuadorian and an Ecuadorian habano oscuro wrapper. Two sizes will be available at launch, a 6 x 48 belicoso named the PaPa sold in boxes of 10 and a 4 x 44 petit corona named Cub that will come in boxes of 20.

“EL OSO’s profile is something I wanted to be different, I spent months developing and refining the blend until it was exactly what I wanted,” said Gellis in a press release. “Dark fruit, sweet spice, cream, and all in a true medium body.”

There will be two vitolas of the EL OSO at launch. They are:

  • Warped Cigars EL OSO Cub (4 x 44) — $11.50 (Boxes of 20, $230.00)
  • Warped Cigars EL OSO PaPa (6 x 48) — $12.50 (Boxes of 10, $125.00)

In addition, Gellis told halfwheel that a 7 x 38 lancero vitola in the same blend named MaMa is scheduled to be released at the IPCPR show in July of this year, although final pricing has yet to be determined.

Warped Cigars EL ESO PaPa 1

  • Cigar Reviewed: Warped Cigars EL OSO PaPa
  • Country of Origin: U.S.A.
  • Factory: El Titan de Bronze
  • Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano Oscuro
  • Binder: Ecuador
  • Filler: Dominican Republic & Nicaragua
  • Size: 6 Inches
  • Ring Gauge: 48
  • Vitola: Belicoso
  • MSRP: $12.50 (Boxes of 10, $125.00)
  • Date to be Released: May 12, 2014
  • Number of Cigars to be Released: Regular Production
  • Number of Cigars Smoked for Review: 3

Covered in a gorgeous mocha brown wrapper that is somewhat slick to the touch, the EL OSO PaPa seems extremely well rolled after a visual inspection. The small band with a bear’s head logo is memorable and understated, as is the color scheme. While the cigar does have some give when squeezed, it is not so band that I think it will be a problem and the cap is excellently applied. The aroma coming from the wrapper is a combination of slight sweet leather, cedar, barnyard, sugar cane and pepper.

The Warped Cigars EL OSO PaPa starts out the first third with some very nice black pepper on the retrohale, along with notes of leather, dark chocolate, hay and coffee. There is a light honey sweetness that comes and goes throughout the first third, but does seem to be getting stronger as the first third winds down. Smoke production is within normal range and the overall strength ends the first third halfway between mild and medium, although it is still increasing. Both the burn and draw are excellent so far, the the effortless draw being the standout.

Warped Cigars EL ESO PaPa 2

While the sweetness in the profile of the EL OSO PaPa morphs from a honey note to more of a generic fruit flavor that reminds me of cherries, the main flavors in the profile change very little. Hay, slightly bitter coffee, dark chocolate and earth shifting in and out during the second third. The black pepper on the retrohale has actually increased slightly, as has the strength, which tops out just above the medium range. Smoke production remains steady, and both the burn and draw continue to impress me.

Warped Cigars EL ESO PaPa 3

The final third of the Warped Cigars EL OSO PaPa stays the course flavors-wise, although a leathery note from the first third makes a comeback and even gains dominance at a few points before the end of the cigar. The sweetness is still present, albeit more generic in nature, and stays in the background for the most part, never breaking through to become a major part of the profile. Construction-wise, both the burn and draw are still excellent in all regards, and the strength never goes above slightly stronger than medium.

Warped Cigars EL ESO PaPa 4

Final Notes

  • You would think a cigar named The Bear would be larger.
  • The smell of the smoke on this cigar is wonderful: a combination of distinct sweet nutmeg and cedar. I wish they made a perfume that smelled just like that, for my wife of course.
  • Apparently, the crown on top of the bear logo will change with each different size. “You’ll notice all the bands have the crown, but each box artwork is different, Cub features no crown, as he is still growing and hasn’t earned that right, and MaMa of course will feature her own crown,” said Gellis.
  • If you had told me that I was going to see a band on a cigar that included a bear head with a crown and that it would be tastefully done and understated, I would have laughed in your face before seeing the logo on the EL OSO. In fact, the band itself might be a bit small to stand out on humidor shelves.
  • Along with the above, there are an astounding number of bear head logos that exist.
  • Still on the logo, on a purely personal note, the first thing I thought of when I saw it was the bears and cartoons I saw as a child when visiting the Steiff factory in Germany and seeing all of the different animals in stuffed form in their own personal habitats.
  • The final smoking time for all three samples averaged one hour and 35 minutes.
  • The cigars smoked for this review were sent to halfwheel by Warped Cigars.
86 Overall Score

While I have never smoked any of Warped Cigars previous releases, I was interested to try the EL OSO, due in large part by the fact that it is rolled at El Titan de Bronze. What I found after smoking three of the belicoso vitolas was an enjoyable cigar that met my expectations, but with a profile that never really took off flavor-wise. The notes that are present are enjoyable, and the excellent construction makes the physical act of smoking the cigar a wonderful experience in that regard, but in the end, I could not help but feel that there was something missing in the profile. Having said that, I enjoyed the EL OSO, and can easily recommend giving them a try when they are released.

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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.