Warped Serie Gran Reserva 1988 (GR88)
Posted on June 15 2021
Smoking Time: 59 Minutes
Cigars Smoked: 5+
Kyle Gellis established Warped in 2007, but his interest in cigars was stoked earlier. Kyle's father was an avid cigar lover, and Kyle was always at his side after he came home from work and had a smoke. At the age of six Kyle delighted in choosing the cigar, cutting it, and holding the lighter while his father unwound from the day. Kyle listened as his father explained what he tasted, the characteristics he liked and didn't like. The GR88 blend was created to commemorate Kyle Gellis’ birth year.
Warped Cigars has well established themselves as a boutique brand, known for creating exceptional blends both unique, and eccentric.
GR88 has received a 95 rating from Cigar Aficionado, earning a #3 spot in the top 25 list for 2019
Visual Inspection: Wrapper is very veiny, however very smooth with hard-to-spot seams and a matte texture, appearance and feel. It has very good construction, aside from a small crack in the wrapper at the foot of the cigar. Which I do not think will cause any hindrances.
Aroma is sweet, with light hints of honey, and vanilla. I also identify a bit of earth, slightly dusty, with sawdust.
Cold draw is very inviting, the honey sweetness is present, and accompanied by walnut and a light oak.
First Third: The cigar took the flame very well, and has a good draw on it, producing an off-white smoke. Immediately, the oak flavor I picked up in the cold draw, changed to more of a charred flavor. I pick up a bitter taste at the front of my draw, reminiscent of an unripe berry.
That Bitter taste has quickly faded, and is replaced by a smooth cream. The burn is rough, but frankly, they always have been for me. However they even themselves out on their own, like I have never seen before. As this third comes to an end, it has grown more creamy with graham crackers coming to join the party Honey is still present but faint.
I ashed my cigar relatively soon, around 20-25 minutes, due to it being extremely loose and drooping. The ash is light grey in color.
Second Third: Almond starts out in front, while still maintaining its creaminess. Honey is starting to be more prevalent, but not overpowering. The burn line is still wavey, and the draw is about as loose as it was at the start. A nutty flavor begins popping up, an enjoyable light hint, with a small amount of pepper on the rethohale.
Ash has become a darker grey, but tighter packed, not leading to any drooping. The charred oak is starting to show up on my tongue, with notes of a mild dark chocolate and toffee.
As this third begins to wrap up a light breakfast coffee appears, and makes me think it would pair great with one, or a cup of tea. Cream, honey, and graham crackers are still the main flavors, which have remained consistent.
Last Third: With about an inch and a half left, the cigar has started to become hot, but not too uncomfortable. The dark chocolate hints ramp up a bit and are becoming more bitter. The burn line is less wavy, at this point, but better than it has been, with a slight bit of cracking in the wrapper around where the band was.
Hints of roasted almond arrive, and are welcomed by the other flavors I have consistently been getting. A retrohale reveals baking spices, similar to coriander, with ever-so-slight hints of rosemary.
Primarily cream, honey and graham cracker are the flavors that have stayed consistent from beginning to end. Only with slight other hints coming, and going
Final Thoughts: While construction issues on my 4th cigar were noticeable, they did not cause any problems. I am very pleased with the consistency of flavors throughout the whole cigar, it was nice having fleeting bits of other hints to provide more of a 3 dimensional feel. I am notoriously a fan of Warped, and quite enjoy everything I have smoked, the GR88 is always reliable, and haven't heard a negative word about it from my friends I have passed them on to. I will continue to keep these in my humidor, and smoke them when I need a quality cigar to reference. The GR88 is an exceptional Nicaraguan Puro that I feel would hold its own with other contenders above its weight class.