Team Cigar Review: Warzone Robusto

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Cigar Details: Warzone Robusto

  • Vitola: Robusto Extra
  • Length: 5.5″
  • Ring Gauge: 50
  • Country of Origin: Nicaragua
  • Wrapper: Cameroon
  • Binder: Honduras
  • Filler: Nicaragua and Columbia
  • Factory: La Zona
  • Blender: Hector Alfonso
  • Price: $8.49
  • Release Date: November 2019
  • Source: General Cigar

Aaron-Loomis

 Aaron Loomis

Seth Geise

 Seth Geise

 John McTavish

Jiunn-Liu

 Jiunn Liu

Pre-light Experience

The wrapper on the Warzone Robusto is light brown and has a network of veins that carry a lighter color which give a turtle shell effect. The seams are easily visible due to the vein colors and they are slightly lifted. The head is finished off with an expertly applied triple cap. The band is quite reflective and carries the brand name as well as logos for both of the companies involved. The aroma from the wrapper is damp and slightly sweet wood while the foot brings sweet cedar and some baking spice. The pre-light draw is sweet cedar with a light mustiness.

Pre-light Experience

The Warzone Robusto comes with a nice dark natural wrapper that is sporting tooth throughout. There are a few veins present throughout and those are medium in size. The cigar is firm in hand and has a nice applied cap. The cigar has a lovely aroma on the foot and is giving off some sweet rich earth with noticeable red pepper notes as well. The wrapper is delivering similar notes with some cedar and barnyard qualities as well.

Pre-light Experience

The Warzone Robusto has a dark, sandy colored wrapper with a bright reflective gold band. Nosing the wrapper, I was able to pick up notes of cedar, leather and aged tobacco. In the foot, there was a mild nuttiness and fig.

Pre-light Experience

The Warzone Robusto has a Colorado Claro wrapper shade showing a sandy, inconsistent shade of brown and fine tooth. Veins are well pressed, seams tight but visible, bunch and roll even and head finished off with a well layered cap. Aromas from the wrapper give pungent barnyard and cedar. Aromas from the foot tell dried nuts, hay and cedar. Cold draw gives cedar, dried biscuits and nuts.

First Third

The cigar begins with cedar and heavy black pepper. At a half inch in, the black pepper eases up slightly while a light mustiness joins the profile. At an inch in, the pepper has lightened up even more so that the cedar and pepper are even with the mustiness slightly behind. The retrohale is musty cedar with light black pepper. At an inch and a quarter, the mustiness now has a slight lead over the cedar. As the third comes to a close, the mustiness and cedar are even while the black pepper is in the background. The profile is now slightly dry. The strength in this third was right at medium.

First Third

The first third opens by delivering some sourdough and Asiago cheese notes. It has some white pepper with that, and it is finished with some dry cedar and sweet earth notes that has some dry components to it. The pepper is pronounced on the retrohale and results in a long finish. I would classify the cigar as smoking at a medium-full level for strength, body and flavors. The blend just hits you right from the beginning.

First Third

The first third begins with a creaminess and delayed post draw cedar, sweetness and pepper. That pepper coats the back and the sides of my tongue between draws. The creaminess moves into the middle of the profile. As the cigar gets an inch in, that pepper recedes, with cream and nuttiness replacing the void. At the halfway point, the profile has sweetness with some mild citrus finishing each draw.

First Third

The first third has a spicy and sweet flavor combination. There’s an underlying dry red pepper spice that especially does a great job of sitting on the tongue. With that spice comes sweetness in burnt toast and rich roasted nuttiness. Retrohaling gives highlighted versions of all said. The finish has worn cedar and leather. Strength is medium plus and body medium.

Second Third

As the second third begins, some dry earth joins the profile. At a half inch in, the musty cedar and dry earth are even, with the black pepper remaining in the background. At three quarters of an inch in, a slight vegetal note joins the profile. The retrohale is musty cedar, dry earth and a vegetal note. At an inch and a quarter, the musty cedar is up front with the dry earth slightly behind and a light vegetal note in the background. The black pepper has left the profile. As the third comes to a close, the musty cedar and dry earth are even with the light vegetal note in the background. The strength remained at medium.

Second Third

The second third shows some transformation. The pepper notes have subsided, and I am getting some creamy aspects on the forefront with graham cracker qualities and that Asiago cheese and sourdough profile. There is still quite a bit of dry cedar and sweet earth, but the earth notes are still a little dry. Still getting a long finish with the cigar as well. I found the body, strength and flavors move down a notch to a solid medium level, and it is a pleasant second third.

Second Third

Cream and nuttiness carries the retrohale into the second third. Cedar finishes the draw as the cigar progresses. Some earthiness hits the post draw as the second third settles in. Minutes later, cedar has taken up the middle of the flavor profile. No other evolution through the second third, just a pleasant cream and nuttiness, with cedar accents.

Second Third

The second third’s flavor profile melds the spice and sweetness in a more harmonious manner. In terms of flavors, it’s still the same with dry red pepper spice on the tongue and intensified on the retrohale, burnt toast and rich roasted nuttiness. Strength and body remains medium plus and medium, respectively.

Final Third

As the final third begins, the musty cedar and dry earth remain even while the vegetal note is no longer detectable. At a half inch in, the light vegetal note returns. The retrohale carries the same profile of musty cedar, dry earth and light vegetal note. At an inch in, the musty cedar takes a slight lead over the dry earth. The strength remained at medium.

Final Third

I am in the final third of the cigar now and finding more transitioning taking place. I am picking up some lemon balm qualities and it is paired with that creaminess that has been present since the second third. I am getting some faint cedar notes as well, and the finish has some barnyard and coffee qualities. It is smooth with a long finish, and the flavors linger on for some time. Like the second third, the final third is more medium in strength, body and flavors.

Final Third

The flavor profile is cedar forward with a sweet finish as the Warzone moves into the last third. The middle takes on a nutty component, with a dry cedar finish. As the last third settles in, earth joins the post draw.

Final Third

There’s nothing new to say (which is a good thing) within the final third. Still medium plus strength, medium body with sweet and spiciness in red pepper spice, burnt toast and rich nuttiness.

Burn

The burn was slightly wavy in the first third but self corrected. Even though the wrapper cracked in a few places, it stayed tight enough for a straight burn the rest of the way. The ash held on in inch and a quarter increments.

Burn

The burn was very good throughout and it delivered a lovely ash that held on firmly to the end. Well made cigar.

Burn

As with most cigars I’ve smoked from La Zona, the burn is straight and flawless on both cigars I smoked for the review experience.

Burn

The burn has all sorts of issues. Just half an inch into the cigar, there was a two inch wrapper crack. This led to two major touch-ups. In addition, the cigar had minor canoe issues throughout pretty much the entire smoking time.

Draw

The draw was slightly tighter than I prefer, but didn’t cause any issues with the smoking experience.

Overall

The cigar began with cedar and heavy black pepper. Some mustiness joined in fairly quickly as the pepper lightened up. The second third saw some dry earth join the profile and towards the end, the pepper left as a vegetal note joined in. The final third was just the musty cedar and dry earth with light vegetal note. Construction was very good and strength was medium the whole way. The Warzone Robusto started out well, but became a bit dry at the end of the first third. The second third saw the enjoyment drop down a bit as the dry earth put a slight damper on things. I was curious to see how this Cameroon offering fared and overall it was fairly average. The dryness is fairly typical, but wasn’t overbearing. Probably not something I’ll return to often, but definitely something worth giving a try.

Draw

The draw was absolutely perfect on Warzone from start to finish.

Overall

The Warzone Robusto is a very good cigar and a great release for Espinosa and General Cigar. I think it shows the talent in the blending for Espinosa and what they could do with more tobacco in their hands. I have always said that I would love to see the company release something very different, and this is it. They release a cigar with an “old-school” wrapper, something they don’t have in their portfolio, put their touches on it and make something fantastic. It is like HVC with the Broadleaf release in 2018. For General, this is one of the best cigars they have been involved in for some time. If I were them, I would have put more focus on this cigar. I would not have had this become a small side project, but have it become something for them as a company. The cigar is complex and shows transitioning throughout. It is smoking great now, and I truly believe this will age very well. Best Cameroon release from 2019, this really got me going on a Cameroon craze again. Simpy a fantastic cigar.

Draw

Both cigars had a slight resistance to them, roughly 1-1/2 to 2 notches.

Overall

I’ve read quite a bit of commentary in the weeks leading up to my Warzone review. Personally, I enjoyed the Warzone Robusto. I thought the first and second thirds had interesting complexity, and played around with cream, pepper, sweetness and nuttiness. I’ve heard the profile being described as not being a ‘classic Cameroon’, whatever that is. I believe cigars need to be reviewed on their merit, and it’s not possible to pigeon hole cigars into flavor categories based on their wrapper or major defining constituent tobacco origins. I would smoke the Warzone again, and I’d likely pair it with a rum or a port just because I can. Total smoking time was 1 hour and 50 minutes.

Draw

Slightly snug but really a non-issue (just not perfect).

Overall

Overall, I enjoyed the cigar from start to finish. Interestingly enough, if I didn’t know the wrapper was Cameroon, I would have never guessed it because it doesn’t taste like typical Cameroon. Instead, it is a classic representation of what La Zona brings to the table. Richness in spice that is well managed by sweetness and creaminess. With red pepper spice, burnt toast and nuttiness present throughout the entire smoking time, the cigar screams 100% La Zona. If you’re a fan of La Zona, this is a no brainer to purchase. On a side note, because I feel like this is classic La Zona, I am curious what the vision for the collaboration was?

Aaron
Seth
John
Jiunn
AveragePre
Light
GoodPre
Light
GoodPre
Light
Good
GoodFirst
Third
Very GoodFirst
Third
GoodFirst
Third
Good
AverageSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
GoodSecond
Third
Good
AverageFinal
Third
GoodFinal
Third
AverageFinal
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Good
Very GoodBurnVery GoodBurnAmazingBurnPoor
Very GoodDrawAmazingDrawVery GoodDrawVery Good
AverageOverallVery GoodOverallGoodOverallGood

Aaron Loomis

SCORE

5.85

Cost/Point

$1.45

Scoring System

Seth Geise

SCORE

7.78

Cost/Point

$1.09

Scoring System

John McTavish

SCORE

6.67

Cost/Point

$1.27

Scoring System

Jiunn Liu

SCORE

6.52

Cost/Point

$1.30

Scoring System

Team Cigar Review: Warzone Robusto
Seth GeiseTeam Cigar Review: Warzone Robusto

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13 comments

Join the conversation
  • Tim McCabe - April 27, 2020 reply

    Absolutely love the Warzone. I think Espinosa should collaborate with more companies preferably some boutique brands.
    Good luck everyone and thanks for the chance Developing Palates

  • Chris Brose - April 27, 2020 reply

    Being a fan of Espinosa, seems like something I need to try!

  • Bob Langmaid - April 27, 2020 reply

    Espinosa is just killing it!! Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Nathan Wilkerson - April 27, 2020 reply

    Nice review, will have to find these and give them a try!

  • Chase Abernathy - April 27, 2020 reply

    Sounds like this is right in my wheelhouse!

    Chayse - April 28, 2020 reply

    Sounds like this is a great stick and kinda reminds me of CAO Nicaragua

  • Brian Ruppert - April 27, 2020 reply

    Really looking forward to trying this one!

  • Ken Fellenstein - April 28, 2020 reply

    Sounds like another Espinosa to give a try.

  • Tony Matulac - April 28, 2020 reply

    I just smoked this the other day, and this was definitely a flavor bomb!

  • Hollywood Ninja - April 29, 2020 reply

    Always a fan of Espinosa sticks. Will have to seek his one out.

  • Tim McCabe - May 7, 2020 reply

    Was the winner chosen?

    Aaron Loomis - May 12, 2020 reply

    Yes, the winner was Brian R.

    Tim McCabe - May 14, 2020 reply

    Thanks Aaron

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