By now you have seen the advertisements in many cigar magazine for the Warlock cigar. Well when I first got a sample back at IPCPR my local sales rep and personal acquaintance told me that the cigar was the answer from Altadis to all the boutique cigars. I raised my eyebrow when he told me this cigar was meant to compete with Tatuaje and illusione. While neither is no longer truly a boutique brand you have to wonder if a mass market company like Altadis can truly have a cigar that fits this style.
According to the Altadis website, “Bewitching” is an apt description for this exotic, fuller-bodied cigar. Warlock is handcrafted in Nicaragua by renowned cigar maker Omar Ortez, who works his magic on many of that nation’s finest smokes. The new cigar’s big, bold taste comes from a specially selected Ecuadorian Cubano wrapper, Nicaraguan binder and sumptuous blend of Nicaraguan and Dominican fillers. Connoisseurs of robust, rustic smokes will be left spellbound by Warlock’s powerfully intoxicating flavor.
Can this cigar make Altadis relevant again in the eyes of modern cigar smokers?
Size: 5.5 x 42 (Corona)
Wrapper: Ecuadorian Cubano
Filler: Dominican & Nicaragua
Appearance and Construction: When I was first given this cigar back at IPCPR I was a little disappointed with the band as it looked like a photocopy and not real. For me it is something that really needs to be addressed at Altadis. Their bands over the last few years have been less then inspiring and lets face it on a shelf and good band can call you to a cigar, while a bad band can keep you away if you know nothing about the stick. The Warlock has a gorgeous looking oily wrapper that has very small veins and I can’t say that I have smoked a Ecuadorian Cubano wrapper before. There is a nice solid weight to it, and no soft spots while the foot reveals a nice bunching.
Flavor & Notes: Once I clip the cap (well, ok, bite the cap which has become a horrible habit of mine) there is a nice draw of cocoa present with a slight spicy on the tongue. The foot of the cigar has a nice dark chocolate scent with a touch of cedar. Once the cigar is lit there is a nice profile beginning to develop. The first third reveals notes of dark chocolate, and and creaminess. In fact for a short time there is a similarity to a Mallowmar but thankfully that passes rather quickly. The second third of the cigar becomes a little bolder with notes of wood, nuts and a slightly bitter espresso. As we breach the final third the cigar takes on notes of a rich dark chocolate as the primary note while nuts and almonds join the ride. The cigar offered some really interesting notes through the nose throughout the smoke and this is one cigar that needs to be retro-haled to fully enjoy.
Smoking Characteristics: A nice slow burning stick that burns really well with a thin crisp carbon line. The light gray ash holds on for a solid third with little to no flake. The draw is outstanding and the cigar produces a nice thick volume of smoke. The cigar has a rich aroma to it which really rounds things out.
Conclusion: Altadis will never be associated with boutique cigars regardless of what they do. A company that mass produces so many cigars just can’t be used in the same sentence due to public perception but this stick comes pretty close to changing that. In the end it is still Altadis but this cigar will please most Nicaraguan fans out there. It will never sell the same numbers as Romeo or Montecristo and I hope despite this that Altadis will stick with it because it is definitely worthy of shelf space, humidor space and the time it takes to enjoy one.
Price: $5.00 / Various Sizes are available at Uptown Cigar Company in Boxes or 5 packs.
Disclaimer: My first sample of the Warlock was a gift, I have since bought a couple of more to forumulate this review. As always the typo’s and spelling mistakes have been left in this review for your amusement.