April 2, 2010

REVIEW: EO 601 Blue Box-Pressed Maduro

Tonight's cigar was given to me by Eddie Ortega (check his blog here), co-owner of EO cigars and one of the men behind this particular cigar. I had the privilege to meet him a few weeks back at a local cigar event (posted here). The 601 Blue is another Don Pepin-constructed cigar made in Esteli and, if it's like most other Pepin-made sticks, I'm sure the construction is fantastic. I've smoked a lot of the Murcielago cigar from EO, but haven't had many experiences with the 601 line. Tonight marked my first 601 Blue, so let's see how it went.

Vitola: Robusto
Length: 5.2
Ring Gauge: 52
Wrapper: Nicaraguan Habano Maduro
Binder: Nicaragua
Filler: Nicaragua
Price: $7.25 (when bought in boxes of 20)
Smoking Location: My back deck
Beverage: water

My 601 Blue cigar was an attractive cigar. The chocolaty brown wrapper was pretty consistent, aside from a few lighter spots close to the head and one prominent vein. The band that 601 uses on the stick really stands out with it's bright colors and and makes the cigar eye catching. Pinching the stick from head to foot, it had no soft spots and was tightly packed. The pre-lit aroma was sweet tobacco and almost barnyard-y, especially closer to the open foot. Once clipped, the pre-lit draw was free and tasted strongly like earthy, sweet tobacco.

First Third 
After an easy, even torching of the foot, the 601 Blue opened up with strong, thick, dense smoke. The draw was perfect and the burn excellent. The initial flavors were also very strong and tasted of roasted nuts, mixed with strong flavors of cocoa on the finish. Although the smoke was very thick and the flavors very strong, the cigar felt clean on my palate and never overwhelming. The ash was tight and held on for over an inch and a half. The body was medium to medium-full.

Second Third

The second third of my 601 Blue was similar to the first third in smoke volume and strength, but a new flavor had emerged. I was still tasting the roasted nuts and the cocoa, but now I was also starting to get some coffee flavors added into the mix. One thing worth mentioning was a difference in the smoke: the texture now felt a little more creamy, where as in the first third, it was a little dry. Overall, this cigar became more complex and even more enjoyable. The burn was razor sharp and the ash was one of the strongest I've seen in awhile.

Final Third and Final Thoughts 
The final third of my 601 Blue threw me for a bit of a loop. The strength of the cigar picked up into the full range and the flavors completely switched up on me. All of the roasted nut/cocoa flavors had dissipated and I was now tasting lots of coffee and leather, which I didn't see coming. The smoke volume was still large and the burn was as perfect as you can get. The stick did get a little hot towards the end, but that could have been due to the wind picking up outside forcing the cigar to burn faster.

My final impression of the 601 Blue from EO Cigars? This is a great cigar. The flavors were strong and, although I preferred the first and second thirds over the final third, the little switch up at the end made this experience even more interesting. Enough good cannot be said about the construction of this stick. I never had to touch flame to this cigar after the initial lighting and only had to ash the stick twice before nubbing it. I would recommend this cigar to anyone who has time to sit back, relax, and really experience what a strong, flavorful smoke brings to the table.

Would I buy it again? I will most certainly buy this cigar again.

Would I buy a box? $150ish a box it is out of my budget, but I would gladly do a five pack or a split with another BOTL.



  1. I love this stick, and kicked myself for missing Eddie at the shop. If you want do a box split, I'm in.

  2. Dan, Eddie has dropped prices down quite a bit recently. Plus, they're on CigarMonster.com quite often -- you can grab a 5-pack on the Mash-Up there tonight for $15 w/free shipping.