Team Cigar Review: Warped Flor del Valle Sky Flower 2017

No comments

Cigar Details: Warped Flor del Valle Sky Flower 2017

  • Vitola: Corona Gorda
  • Length: 5.62″
  • Ring Gauge: 48
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Nicaraguan Jalapa Corojo ’99
  • Binder: Nicaragua
  • Filler: Nicaraguan Corojo ’99 and Criollo ’98
  • Factory: TABSA
  • Blender: Kyle Gellis
  • Price: $12.50
  • Release Date: April 2017
  • Source: Developing Palates

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper is light brown with some darker areas along with some slightly darker spots mixed throughout. There are a couple of medium sized raised veins and a network of smaller ones. The seams are visible due to the color variations and vein locations. The head has a very well applied triple cap. The standard Flor del Valle band is used on this cigar. The aroma from the wrapper is a mix of barnyard and sweet tobacco. The foot gives a mix of leather and graham cracker. The pre-light draw is pretty interesting as it is a mix of leather and stone fruit sweetness.

Pre-light Experience

The Warped Flor del Valle Sky Flower 2017 is rolled well and is finished with a nice triple cap. It is firm throughout and I am not picking up any soft spots. The wrapper is fairly silky to the touch with a fine grit texture present as well. There are very few veins present and the ones present are medium in size. It has a color that is between Natural and Colorado and it is leaning more towards Natural. It has this antique look to it and it is a faded brown color. The wrapper is sweet and showing some tobacco and barnyard qualities while the foot is giving off notes of rich earth, manure, sweet tobacco and red pepper. The cold draw is great as well and it is delivering some mineral qualities on top of the foot notes.

Pre-light Experience

The Warped Flor del Valle Sky Flower 2017 has a leathery medium brown wrapper shade. Veins are well pressed and seams tight. The bunch and roll feels well done as there are no soft or hard spots, and a uniformed give throughout. Head is finished off with a well adhered triple cap. Nosing the wrapper tells faint nuttiness and dry barnyard. Nosing the foot gives white pepper and roasted nuttiness. Cold draw tells dry wood, dried plums and lip tingling white pepper spice.

First Third

Initial draws bring some wood and a heavy black pepper with some cinnamon undertones. At a quarter inch, some cream joins in while the heavy black pepper note remains. At three quarters of an inch in, the heavy black pepper mellows quite a bit which lets some cinnamon shine through once again to mix with the creamy wood. At an inch in, the cream and cinnamon go away and it is just a mix of wood and pepper. At an inch and a quarter, the pepper is just in the background with the wood note up front. As the third comes to a close, some mustiness joins with the wood. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

First Third

The first third opens up by delivering those known Sky Flower flavors. I am getting sweet tobacco notes that are paired with rich earth and red pepper. There is a touch of leather with that and a nice bit of mineral like flavors and some stronger tobacco notes. It is great to smoke this and see what Medio Tiempo does to a blend like Flor del Valle. It is a full body and strength cigar with pronounced flavors. This particular vintage appears to be stronger than past and also showing some youth to it. Age will help the strength come down some and have the flavors meld more together, but right now it is not smoking at the level that the 2015 and 2016 releases did. The draw thus far is great, not too tight or loose and a decent amount of smoke production. The burn line is razor sharp and the ash is holding on firmly at the end.

First Third

Upon initial draw, the Medio Tiempo’s presence is immediately felt with a slick lathering giving richness in black pepper spice and cinnamon spice. There’s also an underlying dry wood and mixed nuts. The retrohale is fierce with intense black pepper and rich roasted nuts. The finish is comprised of minerals, dry wood, mixed nuts and spice on the rear palate. Body is medium and strength moving towards medium-full.

Second Third

As the second third begins, the musty wood note continues. The retrohale carries a similar musty woodiness. At an inch in, not much has changed as the profile remains a musty woodiness. As the third comes to a close, the fullness of flavor increases, but still with the same mixture of mustiness and wood. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

Second Third

I am in the second third now and finding more balance than what was present in the first third. It is still a little young and really strong, but this third is smoking better. It is delivering those sweet tobacco notes and with that are those mineral and pepper flavors. It has some barnyard and stronger tobacco notes as well, but as I just said it is a strong cigar. This is full in all categories and it is the strongest Sky Flower I have smoked. In some ways, too much. I think it is not capturing what the original Sky Flower delivered. The construction remains great though and I am getting an even burn line with a nice draw. The smoke production is nice and it has a cool draw.

Second Third

The second third’s spice levels are still full flavored but dials back on the intensity levels. The mouth draw flavors are still centered around black pepper, cinnamon, dry wood and mixed nuts. The retrohale is still bold with black pepper and rich roasted nuts. The finish is still full of minerals, dry wood, mixed nuts and spice moves out of the rear palate and is more layered. Body is still medium and strength moves to a consistent medium-full.

Final Third

As the final third begins, a very full wood and musty profile is present. At a half inch in, a slight wood bitterness joins the musty wood. The cigar maintains this profile for the remainder of the smoking experience. The strength in this third was slightly above medium.

Final Third

When I get into the final third of the cigar I find that it returns to the first third qualities and it is much stronger again and slightly harsh. The flavors are there, but they are not ready. Mineral, strong tobacco and red pepper notes are present and the manure, barnyard and sweet tobacco qualities are less so. Like I have said throughout, it is not delivering what it has in the past and I just don’t think this is ready to be smoked yet. The construction is still great, draw is easy and cool with a nice bit of smoke production, but there is more to a cigar than that. It is full in body and strength, and the same goes for the flavors.

Final Third

Last third’s first half mimics the second third. Transition happens after that where the cigar is mainly filled with the same slick mouth feel but is dominantly mineral based. The best part by far is the retrohale, still giving bold black pepper and rich roasted nuttiness. The finish carries forth the same minerals as the mouth draws as well as dry wood. Strength and body maintains medium-full and medium, respectively.

Burn

The cigar went out multiple times and required relights. I’m sure this had an effect on the overall flavor. When I didn’t have to re-light, the ash held on in about three quarter inch increments.

Burn

From start to finish the cigar had great construction. The burn line was fairly even and the ash held on firmly from the beginning to final third. It was never smoking hot and it performed like any well rolled cigar should. I never felt rushed nor did I feel like the cigar was taking forever to smoke.

Burn

Burn performance was overall good. A small portion of the cigar refused to burn causing two minor touch ups within the first third. Aside from that, ashes were sturdy, averaging 1.5 inch increments.

Draw

The draw was fairly tight the entire way, but I don’t think it caused any issues with the smoking experience.

Overall

This cigar made me work, which isn’t something I look for in a cigar. It went out quite a few times. The first third had an abundance of pepper which did settle down into a musty wood profile which continued on through the rest of the cigar. I’m hoping the other guys had better a better burn which translates into a better flavor profile. I’d like to try this again to see if I have a better experience as some of the flavors I did get were enjoyable and I’d like to see what the cigar really can present.

Draw

Great draw from start to finish. It smoked cool and presented no problems on that end. Well rolled cigar.

Overall

I will say that this is the strongest Sky Flower I have ever smoked and I don’t want that to be taken in a way that will attract smokers who like strong cigars. Of the three vintages/releases this is very disappointing and disrespected the initial and sophomore release. I always felt Sky Flower did a great job of showing what Flor del Valle is like with a tweaked blend composed of Medio Tiempo tobacco and this release does not do that. It could be that the cigars are still young and that the tobacco was much stronger, but it does not capture what Sky Flower is all about to me. Sky Flower has always had strength and body, but it also had amazing flavors, complexity and transitioning. This cigar lacks those qualities. I hope that aging does these cigars justice but with a release like this you should not want to age them. I have had to work hard over the past years to not smoke my Sky Flowers and hold on to them so they can last till the next release and age some, but with a release like this, I am not thinking about next year’s release. This is a miss in my opinion and its a shame because I have praised Sky Flower for years now. Time may help this cigar, but the damage is already done. Let’s hope for a better 2018.

Draw

Draw was overall very good. Slightly loose for my liking but it did not affect the flavors at all.

Overall

Although I have enjoyed every release of the Sky Flower, in my opinion, this cigar is very much like most (good) Cuban cigars. The cigar needs more aging (1 to 2 years) for especially the Medio Tiempo to meld with the other tobacco leaves. In my experience, once the Medio Tiempo further ages, the cigar will be less spicy and slick, and a better melded array of flavors will be the result. But at this point, it is still worth smoking to gauge the potential.

Aaron
Seth
Jiunn
Good Pre
Light
Good Pre
Light
Good
Good First
Third
Average First
Third
Good
Good Second Third Average Second Third Good
Average Final
Third
Subpar Final
Third
Average
Subpar Burn Good Burn Good
Good Draw Very Good Draw Very Good
Average Overall Subpar Overall Good

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.75

Cost/Point

$2.17

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

4.68

Cost/Point

$2.67

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.47

Cost/Point

$1.93

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Warped Flor del Valle Sky Flower 2017
Jiunn LiuTeam Cigar Review: Warped Flor del Valle Sky Flower 2017

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *